Benjamin DaviesSee other motorhome reviews written by Benjamin Davies
Get the definitive verdict on the Hymer B694 SL, only in the Practical Motorhome review
In terms of attractiveness, Hymer’s A-classes are difficult to beat, and the B694 SL continues the trend with its sleek shape, classy detailing and beautiful, silver paintwork.
It has been redesigned with its cab door on the UK driver’s (right) side, while its habitation door is a revelation, with hefty metal fixtures and a three-striker design for greater security – and, it closes with the solidity of an air-lock door. The gas locker is around 50cm off the ground and has an inconvenient 8cm lip.
The Hymer has an understated and functional interior. Our ’van had a gorgeous dark blue-grey upholstery (optional), and wood-and-granite effect surfaces that would not seem out of place in a five-star hotel.
Build and material quality are of a high standard; there's a single-level habitation area from front to back.
However, getting the Hymer’s specification up to a level that matches, say, Burstner’s Elegance i821 G, will bring it pretty close in price. The Hymer’s options list is extensive, but the items are pretty costly.
On the road
Lounging & dining
Sadly, the Hymer has no power points at all in its lounge. In an age when we’re likely to travel with a suitcase full of chargers, we really should be getting more on this front.
There are two, belted, rear travel seats; one of its removable cushions has a hard base which requires a bit of muscle to haul up and out. Hymer has included a clever cup-holder/storage space unit which reveals itself once this cushion is lifted, giving the rear passengers somewhere to rest their drink cans while on the move.
However, the hob has only three burners, and even though the sink is large (38cm in diameter) there is a clear shortage of available workspace – a problem alleviated only slightly by the sturdy sink cover-cum-chopping board.
The Hymer's bed is big (138cm at its widest point and 113cm at its narrowest, and is 203cm long) but it has no door to cordon off the bedroom area. Instead, it makes do with a concertina partition secured by press studs, with fasteners located on the kitchen side – a bit of a chore to operate from within the bedroom.
The pull-down bed up front is 140cm x 195cm, and is comfortable and easy to set up.
The benefit of having a separate shower is that the toilet area can be made far more attractive since it does not need to be so protected from damp.
The toilet provides a top-end finish and lots of space; it is a classy area that is slightly let down by the position of the swivel toilet, which is so close to the wall that the tall and long-legged are going to find it uncomfortable to use.
Being a double-floor model, the B694 benefits from between-floor lockers, handy for storing sundry items such as chocks and wellies. There's a sizeable locker on the nearside, right beneath the fresh-water inlet and hook-up point, making it ideal for cables and hoses.
The wardrobe is just forward from one of the washroom cubicles, and within the partitioned bedroom areas.
Dometic Fridge, 3-burner gas hob, Extractor fan
Thetford C-250 toilet, Separate shower cubicle
Another beautiful A-class ’van from Hymer. It is hugely desirable, but is let down by a costly options list and its low, standard specification.
- Excellent design and build; good storage levels
- Pricey, once you start adding on the options