Andrew McPhee

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Secondhand motorhomes for sale represent great value for money, as Practical Motorhome discovered in its review of this used Hymer B544

Overview

For less than £30,000, you could be driving the pinnacle of motorhome ownership - an A-Class. How do you get into the A-Class club for this money? Simple - buy used.

This Hymer B-Class is an excellent example of the class, and as a second-hand buy it represents great value for money - it's winterised, has lots of standard equipment and its internal finish is like new. Still want that brand-new 'van?

Design

The Hymer 544 is a 2003 model that has been registered late: all B-class Hymers had grey sides in 2004. The result is a motorhome that looks young even now.
You get a double-floor where the water tanks are housed, and they’re accessible through internal floor hatches. However, the habitation area door is on the ‘wrong’ side.

On the road

The B544 is based on the face-lifted Ducato MkIII chassis, which comes with a 2.8-litre common-rail turbo-diesel.
On the road, you do notice the size of the vehicle, although the Al-Ko chassis cuts out the body-roll you might find in a similarly-sized, standard chassis coachbuilt. The driving experience is generally a quiet one, too, with not too much engine noise.
A-class windscreens provide excellent views, though the distance from there to the dashboard can be off-putting at first. The lounge windows in the 544 offers good all-round visibility akin to a van conversion, but the view through the rear window is restricted by the adjustable dinette/travel seat headrests.
There are captain seats in the cab with front and rear height adjustment, and there’s plenty of room for four dinette passengers.
We would recommend taking any potential used buy to a weighbridge because specification and payloads can vary considerably (see our ten-step guide to test driving by clicking here).

Lounging & dining

The Hymer 544’s hard-wearing microfibre upholstery could have come straight from a showroom. The worst signs of wear are peeling paint on the lounge downlighters.
All the living area is well lit, thanks to the big windscreen, large side windows and rooflights.
The 544 benefits from a light, removable table, but this does not affect the more pronounced corridor-effect from which some other, similar motorhomes suffer.
We were most impressed by the 544’s pleasant ‘entrance hall’ effect, due to the presence of the sideboard. However, the coat hooks above the sideboard and atop its chromed pole are not all that practical.
The 544 offers lots of seating space, with a no-fuss dinette for four. However, only the passenger cab seat swivels and although there are lots of seats, dinette occupants sit more upright which makes this the least social space of the four ’vans on test. It is nevertheless still a pleasant area.
The superbly supportive upholstery is still firm even after this amount of time. For watching TV, there’s a locker-height cabinet, but it’s too lofty for comfortable viewing, though it wouldn’t be too hard to fit a flatscreen TV mounting.

Kitchen

Due to lack of space, there’s no oven in the 544’s kitchen, but you do get a double sink with a solid covers. That means that if you cover the larger sink, there’s space to fit a chopping board and still have sink access.
Storage space is good: you get a slide-out bin and wire tray in the double cupboard beneath the sink, and the sideboard cupboard can also be used by the cook.

Sleeping

As well as the spacious drop-down bed, the 544 has two options: a small dinette double bed and a lounge single (with room between for the overcab ladder), or a huge double bed which takes up the entire lounge. Making up any of these beds requires some effort as the dinette back cushions have fabric loops around the back of the headrests, which need to be removed.

Washroom

The 544 lacks a separate shower, unlike some rivals, but it has a swing-wall arrangement that works well to make a large shower space (albeit with no bottle storage). This, and the fact that the toilet footwell is in the shower tray, are the only drawbacks. A large, wind-up roof light and two mirrors create a feeling of space, while the quality of the sturdy GRP shower tray is excellent. The towel rail and four hooks are essential (and often-omitted) equipment, while the wide sink offers room enough to wash in.

Storage

Exterior storage space is generally pretty good. There are rear (18 x 85cm DxW) and mid-axle (15 x 57cm DxW) double-floor spaces, each accessed by twist-lock skirt doors on either side. Each has a floor hatch, too, for access to the spare wheel (which it looks as if it would be awkward to remove). You also get under-sofa lockers.
Inside, locker storage is pretty good. There are excellent gas-strut sofa bases which are easy to raise for access to a huge space, while both of the dinette seats have hinged tops that offer yet more room.

Technical specs

Sleeps5
Travel seats4
MTPLM3900kg
Payload850kg
Length6.06m19′11″
Width2.27m7′5″
Height2.9m9′6″
Waste water100L
External Options
Aluminium sidewalls, Integral awning, Directional TV aerial, Electric step
Kitchen Equipment
Dometic Fridge, 3-burner gas hob
Washroom
Thetford C-402 bench toilet
Heating
Truma Gas/Electric heater, Truma Electric/Gas Blown air heater

Verdict

Big payload, low mileage, and ‘as-new’ fabrics. A classic floorplan and a true family-berth, with large lounge and six travel seats.

Conclusion

Pros

  • Excellent dining space
  • Sleeps five comfortably.

Cons

  • No oven
  • Small, combined washroom
  • Poor TV position.
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