A luxury motorhome in a compact package, the Hymer Exsis-t 588 offers much to the downsizing motorcaravanner, as the Practical Motorhome review reveals

Overview

As motorcaravanners seek to downsize, Hymer provides another compelling reason to do so. 

In 2014 Exsis-t continues Hymer’s push into the compact market, tapping into growing demand for smaller, lighter and more economical motorhomes.

This new three-strong range was an unexpected addition to the Hymer portfolio at the 2013 Düsseldorf show, and are the first low-profiles to carry the Exsis badge (‘Exsis’ was previously synonymous with Hymer’s compact A-class offering).

In the last few seasons, motorhome manufacturers have considered altering classifications as customers looked to downsize. So why not take the most desirable characteristics of an A-class motorhome and repackage them in a new, more affordable, low-profile line-up?

Design

The habitation is built using PUAL construction on a lowered Al-Ko chassis.The 588 is fully winterised, thanks to its insulated and heated water tanks, and Truma Combi 6 heating system. The standard kit list includes ABS, ESP, daytime running lights, heated exterior mirrors, cold foam mattresses and electric entrance step. The habitation door is on the UK offside, but this will suit those who tour Europe often.

On the road

Like its more upmarket stablemate the 2014 Exsis-i 578, the two-berth Exsis-t 588 carries the popular rear twin fixed-beds layout and is based on the Fiat Ducato. The van comes with a 2.3-litre turbodiesel, 130bhp engine and is 6.95m (22'9") long, 2.22m (7'3") long and 2.77m (9'1") high.

Four travel seats are provided, but not the berths to match, though a cost-option infill cushion will make one berth between the rotated passenger seat and the lounge sofa.

Unladen, the 588 weighs just 2860kg, so you can travel with two extra people, use the full 250kg capacity of the rear garage and still have spare payload to play with before getting close to 3500kg, the threshold below which you can drive a motorhome with an ordinary car licence.

Lounging & dining

In Hymer parlance, the Exsis-t 588 is a ‘semi-integrated’ motorhome, one step down from a fully integrated A-class, in which you can’t see where the habitation and cab areas meet. Hymer has made a good job of concealing
this join on the 588, with overhead storage lockers that run from the front lounge into the cab, above upholstered B-pillars that feature reading lights.

The medium-tone cabinet work contrasts well with the cream-coloured fabrics and worktops to create a pleasant ambience. Our test ’van had the optional L-shaped lounge that seats three people, with five able to sit around the table when the front seats are rotated.

A large nearside window and optional skylight above the cab provide plenty
of illumination.

Kitchen

The kitchen features a curved worktop containing a smart aluminium three-burner gas hob and sink combo. When lowered, their glass lids provide a decent amount of space to prepare meals, which is increased further by a handy worktop extension.

At the other end of the kitchen, the fridge with a separate freezer compartment sits under the combination oven/grill.

The galley is compact, so everything is close to hand.

Sleeping

The Exsis-t 588 is a versatile two-berth motorhome, with the rear twin fixed single beds layout. It’s popular with couples who prize easy access to the washroom at night – you don’t have to disturb your partner.

Each of the twin beds measures 1.94m x 0.8m (6'4" x 2'8"). You can specify the beds at an extra-low height.

If you wish, you can turn the twin beds into a large double bed. Just drop down the wooden flap and fill the gap with a cushion (ordering this extra cushion will cost you £170).

Ample natural light floods in from two side windows and a rooflight.

Washroom

The well-equipped washroom has a Thetford bench toilet, two half-length mirrors and good storage, including a discreet toilet roll holder. The shower can be separated from the rest of the space via folding doors, to shield the cabinet work from spray. A letterbox loo-roll holder completes the spec. The wooden slats in the shower are a £125 cost option.

With onboard tanks holding 100 litres of fresh water and 100 litres of waste water, you'll get a good shower when you're wild camping. With a 95Ah leisure battery and two 11kg gas bottles onboard, you'll be able to run the lights, heater, water heater and cooker and be self-sufficient off-grid.

Storage

There's a very useful rear garage, with a 250kg load limit, that can be accessed from both sides of the ’van. The two gas bottles stow on the nearside.

Inside, the 588 has myriad storage options, from overhead lockers to drawers. The latter are preferable to cupboards because they free you from having to fish around in the furthest recesses under the galley for something that’s been pushed to the rear.

There’s a clever wardrobe at the foot of the offside bed that can be loaded from the top, and the spacious rear garage can be accessed from both sides of the van.

The payload is 640kg.

Technical specs

Sleeps2
Travel seats2
MTPLM3500kg
Payload640kg
Length6.95m22′10″
Width2.22m7′3″
Height2.77m9′1″
Waste water100L
External Options
GRP sidewalls, Integral awning, Awning light
Kitchen Equipment
3-burner gas hob
Washroom
Thetford C-402 bench toilet

Verdict

Well-designed, beautifully built and weighing 2860kg unladen, the twin-bed Exsis-t 588 is a very desirable motorhome. If you fancy A-class comfort without the price premium, then the 588 is worth a close look.

Conclusion

Pros

  • The Hymer Exsis-t 588 is an excellent low-profile coachbuilt motorhome for couples who like a little luxury
  • The rear garage is another big 'plus'
  • Onboard facilities are good enough for full-timing

Cons

  • At almost 7m (22'9
  • At £55,890 OTR (£65,195 as tested), it's not a budget van, but you get what you pay for.
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