Detailed ReviewBIMOBIL aren’t your average motorhome manufacturer. They specialise in dismountables and off-road adventure vehicles, with four-wheel drive being the rule rather than the exception, and the list of base vehicles used including Unimogs and 4x4 Ivecos.
But they’re well-established in their niche, with over 30 years’ experience at their factory near Munich that currently builds over 100 vehicles a year. For the first time they also now have an official UK importer – 3 Counties Caravans.
The first Bimobil to arrive in the UK is, perhaps, typical of the brand, being a dismountable based on the latest Nissan Navara 4x4 pick-up.
One of the extensive Husky range, this model offers four different body lengths, four choices of layout and a selection of base vehicles that includes Ford Ranger and Land Rover Defender, plus pick-ups from Mazda and Isuzu.
Sadly, though, our test ’van was not the layout 2L model which features Bimobil’s trademark ‘hatchback’. Combined with a rear lounge, the 2L allows you to open up almost the entire rear wall so you can sit inside and feel like you’re outside!
Our test Husky was a 230, featuring the shortest available body, while the layout is number 3. That means that it’s a conventional rear kitchen design with front transverse dinette and rear corner washroom.
Unusually for a dismountable, but in common with other Bimobils, the door is at the side rather than the rear and this is made possible by the coachbuilt-style body design. When you mount the Husky body on your truck the usual pick-up bed is first removed and replaced with a flat chequer-plate load deck, so the motorhome body can have flat sides – and a lot more storage onboard.
With a claimed dismounting time of under 20 minutes (levelled and ready to live in), this seems to make the Bimobil a far more complete motorhome than rival dismountable bodies. It even has a double floor in the lounge area with an external hatch giving access to almost full-width stowage.
Inside, despite a living space (excluding the luton) which measures just 2.27m by 2.00m, the Husky seems a pleasant place to be. It’s light and bright on board, with a very Scandinavian style to the furniture and an ultra-trendy combination of spots and stripes for the seat fabric – or for a more sober fabric, Bimobil offer plenty of choice.
Whatever your décor, you’ll love the huge overcab bed, a real plus of building on a double-cab truck and being able to fit that Cyrano de Bergerac luton.
The bed up there is almost five feet wide and there’s no need for a ladder as you can just step up via the dinette seats. With Froli springs under the mattress and its own heater outlet from the Truma Combi 4 system, you’ll be supremely comfortable whatever the weather outside.
If the dinette bed is in use too, you’ll have to clamber over its occupants to get to the loo, but this size of Bimobil is much more likely to be used as a two-berth. More importantly, the Husky is built and insulated to the same standard as the company’s desert-conquering expedition vehicles.
The rear kitchen is necessarily compact and the equipment only extends to a combination hob and sink unit under a single glass lid, a 60-litre three-way fridge, a cutlery drawer and two power points, one 12V and one 230V. It makes up for that to some extent with the neat spice rack on the wall, the elasticated storage pockets over the door and the hook for your tea towel.
More evidence that the Husky has been designed around practicality rather than just fashion, appears in the washroom which is very compact but made workable by the hinged washbasin, while storage is surprisingly well thought out.
On the road, too, the Husky surprised. It has been some years since a new pick-up-based motorhome has passed through our hands – and what a difference. The Navara was always seen as one of the more appealing trucks of its ilk but this new generation model is transformed.
The 2.5-litre turbo-diesel makes surprising light work of carrying a small house on its back and the Goldschmidt air suspension provides handling that gives little indication of the near 3-metre overall height, nor the 665kg empty weight of the body.
Pity then that the tiny add-on caravan-towing-style mirrors give such a minimalist rear view and that gentle acceleration is sometimes accompanied by an odd jerkiness which we can only presume results from the brick-like aerodynamics.
Passengers are well catered for as four or five can sit in the truck and any conversion rattles cannot be heard.
A longer version of this review was published in the July 2010 issue of Which Motorhome magazine.