Base vehicle: Ford Transit Price from: £43,800 Berths: 5 Travel seats: 5 Length: 6.39m Width: 2.35m Height: 2.92m Gross weight: 3,500kg Payload: 632kg
Four instant adult beds (none of them created from seats), plus an extra child’s berth; a five-seater lounge, plus a secondary seating area in which the kids can play; a garage, plus extra innovative storage solutions – all in a low-profile motorhome measuring just 6.39m overall.
The design team at Chausson has been at it again, coming up with the sort of concept that rival manufacturers would be too timid to put into production.
On the outside, this looks like just another Chausson low-profile, although, unlike most of the range, it comes only in Flash trim and only on the Ford Transit. That combination keeps the price down – with the essential VIP Pack (cab air-con, cruise control, passenger airbag, overcab sunroof, etc), it’s still only £45,100. Note, too, the surprisingly short wheelbase.
It’s inside that the 634 serves up all the surprises. Firstly, let’s look at the Hideaway bunks. We’ve seen this feature – a pair of bunk beds that power down from the ceiling – before, in the clever 716 Welcome, but this time the beds are mounted up front, over a conventional half-dinette lounge.
First, you lower the table and remove the side-facing backrest cushions, then press a button and the lounge turns into a bedroom with a pair of 1.90m by 0.80m (max) bunks (big enough for adults, with headroom of 0.73m top and 0.60m below). The habitation door is unobstructed by the transformation and there’s a curtain for privacy.
At the opposite end of the ’van is the parental bed – a 1.91m by 1.31m (narrowing to 1.15m) double that glides down from the ceiling electrically. This can be used in conjunction with a ladder (retaining the small dinette below, or even adapting that into a child’s bed (1.63m by 0.54m). But, alternatively, you can lower the bed right down to 0.98m off the floor, whereupon you’ll understand why there are two built-in steps in front of the wardrobe.
With the bed stowed at roof level, the small rear dinette will be perfect for kids (or perhaps one parent, one child) as a play area – especially as a large flat surface alongside looks perfect for toy cars… You can even stow the little ones’ stuff here as there are four top-loading compartments, each 145mm deep. Chausson calls this its Easy Box system and says it offers 300 litres of space.
But the innovation doesn’t end there, as these stowage lockers themselves can be raised up to increase space in the garage below. You’ll use a manual winding handle for that transformation, creating up to 1.11m of headroom (from 770mm with the Easy Box in its lowest position).
So, the 634 packs a lot into a little motorhome but what, perhaps, impresses most is the incredible feeling of space inside. Up front, that’s helped by the habitation door’s window and the big overcab sunroof, plus the spotlights set into the base of the bunks. The front lounge may be quite conventional but it also offers five travel seats (the side seat turning into a rear-facing position with lap belt).
Even the kitchen exceeds expectations, with plenty of worktop space and an under-counter compressor fridge that offers a massive 146-litre capacity. UK models also get a low-level, full-sized oven/grill not seen in the French-spec ’van photographed here.
And the washroom makes good use of space, too, with a decent-sized shower (two rotating doors, no clingy curtain), a tambour door for access, and an opening window and rooflight. The loo is a touch high, though (like the half-dinette seats).
The 634 will be a Marmite motorhome but, for those who love it, we reckon nothing else will do.