Andrew McPhee

See other motorhome reviews written by Andrew McPhee

Read Practical Motorhome's review of the Hymer T 674SL, a 'van that is ideal for year round touring

Design

It's a shame that the Hymer was not available to us in its standard, white bodywork (the silver paintwork of our test 'van is a cost option): we would like to have seen whether it's as attractive in a solid colour as it is in metallic; its curvy lines and rounded Fiat Ducato nose are well emphasised by the silver.
Those who travel year-round will appreciate the high levels of winterisation in Hymer. The Hymer's waste tank is insulated and heatable, whereas it's either an option or not available at all on many rivals.
The Hymer's door feels very sturdy: it has a triple-locking system and concealed hinges, but doesn't lock centrally from the cab doors. It also has no electric step - instead, it has a deep doorwell, 38cm off the ground, which doubles as a step.

On the road

The Hymer is based on the Fiat Ducato and has a good payload - useful if you are carrying a lot of kit.
The view out is pretty good, but there's no rear window or reversing camera as standard. 'Split' door mirrors that allow you to see the kerbside help make rearward vision better, though.
The two forward-facing, belted rear seats give plenty of legroom. Tall people may struggle to sit comfortably on the nearside seat under the overhead cupboards, but at least the two speakers below the cupboards will help entertain them while on the road.

Lounging & dining

There's a front-end half dinette and a front-end kitchen. Although easy access to the kitchen from the dinette will suit some people, entry to the cab area (and the two swivel dining seats) would be restricted while a cook is at work - more so when the table is extended. The area is all lit by a large, panoramic vent. Headroom is around two metres.
The lounge is a comfortable, relaxing place to be. Swathes of quality fabrics curtain the windows, and the cupboards above feel sturdy although they are fairly low over the dinette bench so anyone over 5ft 10ins tall would struggle to sit comfortably by the window; even if you're shorter, it's still a little claustrophobic.
There's room (and sockets) for a flatscreen TV and the lounge has directional reading lamps that handily slide along a rail.

Kitchen

The kitchen is at the front of the 'van, opposite the dinette - handy for serving food, but less so for allowing diners access to the cab while a meal is being prepared. Many competitors have their kitchens at the midway point.
A downside of the stylish kitchen - particularly so for the British market - is that there is no option of an oven. It's fairly well equipped, though - you get an extractor fan above the worktop, as well as a Heki roof lights for natural illumination.

Sleeping

There are two single beds arranged longitudinally at the rear (the gap can be filled to create a spacious double) and a curtain at the end of the bed separates the primary sleeping area from the rest of the 'van.
The Hymer has a particularly comfortable mattress (sprung, as opposed to some rivals' foam versions) and an ingenious double-bed conversion: pull forward the board from between the two singles, extend the cleverly concealed ladder and insert the remaining cushions. Also, the steps up to the singles have lights to one side to help you find your way in the dark. However, there's no aerial or 240V socket in the bed area for those who might want to install a small TV.

Washroom

We were not sure why the designers chose to fit a forward-facing door on this model: when the door is open, there's a mere 33cm of space to squeeze through. Once you are inside, though, it's a pleasant place to be and two large mirrors increase the sense of space. There's plenty of room to move around and the shower is fairly big, although the large, plastic seat within it eats up some of the room. The shower also has a high, 22cm lip to prevent water spillage but this lip might prove impractical for older people. There's little storage space: just a plastic-fronted cupboard, one cubby hole and a plastic soap dish. The sink is a bit on the small side, too - just 31cm in diameter.

Storage

Unlike many rival motorhomes, the Hymer doesn't have large lockers under the beds, but there are deep storage bins under its bed steps.
The high, twin-single beds - a £1161 cost option - allow for a large garage. Hymer leaves the garage's weight limit to the owner's discretion, up to the maximum weight allowed on the rear axle - however, we would advise future owners against loading the garage with kit weighing much over 200kg, as it could affect the vehicle's stability.
Internally, you get a half-length wardrobe, while the fresh water tank occupies the area under the dinette bench.

Technical specs

Sleeps2
Travel seats4
MTPLM4000kg
Payload860kg
Length7.06m23′2″
Width2.35m7′9″
Height2.75m9′
Waste water100L
External Options
Aluminium sidewalls
Kitchen Equipment
Dometic Fridge, 3-burner gas hob, Extractor fan
Washroom
Thetford C-250 toilet
Heating
Truma Electric/Gas Blown air heater, Truma Electric/Gas water heater

Verdict

Beautifully designed and a good all-year 'van, but others (such as the TEC Freetec 708Ti) have better layouts.

Conclusion

Pros

  • Wonderful interior fit and finish
  • High level of winterisation.

Cons

  • Forward-opening washroom door
  • No option of an oven in the kitchen.
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