Andrew McPhee

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Practical Motorhome's expert team reviews the Dethleffs Advantage I6501B

Overview

A-class motorhomes are now more affordable than ever. That’s great for those who want the advantages of an integrated cab and improved living space for about the same money as an upmarket coachbuilt.

The Dethleffs Advantage is a good example of this.

Stepping inside, the first thing you notice is just how big the cab seems in comparison to a standard Fiat Ducato base – and there is only one cab door, situated on the opposite side from the driver. An acre of glass stretches away from the cab seats and the extra-wide truck mirrors provide good rearward vision. ABS brakes are standard in the Advantage, as is an anti-slip regulator. Additionally, the audio system has been uprated from the standard Fiat set-up.

Externally, the Advantage is an acquired taste. Its abstract graphics are not unattractive, but will not be to everyone’s liking. At the rear there is a garage locker with space for bikes and other gear.

After swivelling the cab seats around and extending the dining table, there is ample room for a party of five to eat dinner and you could probably squeeze in another place setting, too. The seats are finished in a good quality soft-faced cloth and there is ample elbow room for the occupants.

For lounging, the area boasts some nice touches. There is a magazine rack under the table, and a wine bottle holder. However, the TV can only be comfortably viewed from the cab seats or the rear double bed.

The alcove kitchen is uncluttered and ergonomically designed, with ample space for food preparation. The sink is capacious and the three-burner hob is adequate for most buyers. There is one flaw, though. The grill and warming oven are mounted at floor level, on the end of the kitchen unit. At best it can be awkward to reach down to. At worst it could be a hazard – because the door opens directly into the central walkway, people may collide with it if their wits are not about them. Will Dethleffs revise this arrangement?

The rear double bed is comfy enough with its medium-firm sprung mattress and the height of the overhead lockers means that all bar the tallest people will be able to sit up comfortably in bed. The overcab bunk is similarly comfortable, again with reasonable headroom, though it lacks a side window (we’d normally expect one in the roof of an A-class).

Situated next to the bedroom, the washroom is excellent, with a good-sized shower cubicle and swivel toilet. Alternatively Dethleffs offers a fixed rear lavatory and wetroom as a no-cost option.

Those who want the benefits of an A-class motorhome for little more money than a quality coachbuilt, should take a close look at the Advantage. The position of the oven concerns us, but other than that this model offers super value for money.

Technical specs

Sleeps6
Travel seats4
MTPLM3500kg
Payload520kg
Length6.9m22′8″
Width2.25m7′5″
Height2.99m9′10″
Waste water110L
External Options
Awning light
Kitchen Equipment
3-burner gas hob, Combined Oven/Grill
Washroom
Thetford C-250 toilet
Heating
Truma Gas Blown air heater

Verdict

Fine A-Class with every main area more than competent – it’s just the position of the oven that puts a question mark over it. Otherwise, it's hard not to like.

Conclusion

Pros

  • Good dining space
  • Excellent washroom

Cons

  • Limited field of view for TV
  • Floor-level oven
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