Base vehicle: Ford Transit Price from: £62,390 Berths: 4 Travel seats: 4 Length: 6.99m Width: 2.35m Height: 2.92m Gross weight: 3,500kg Payload: 355kg
Words: Peter Vaughan
Photos: Chausson Motorhomes
It’s fair to say that Chausson has perhaps the most inventive design team in the industry, as it comes up with something fresh and exciting almost every year. Some ideas have been a bit too wacky to gain market acceptance (remember the version of the Suite in which almost the whole wall of the lounge opened up, like a vast tailgate but on one side?), but this constant flow of new ideas can only be a good thing for the motorhome industry. Some, like the 630’s drop-down single beds and is-it-a-campervan-or-is-it-a-motorhome X550 are not only unique but nothing short of brilliant.
The 660 Exclusive Line is the latest development from this innovative French motorhome firm. It looks like a fairly standard low-profile motorhome from the outside (7m long on a Ford Transit cab), but step inside and you’ll instantly know this is something totally unique.
What’s even more unusual than the floorplan is that you have two main points of access (as well as the two cab doors). The standard habitation door gives you entry to the main living area from the UK offside, while a secondary full-sized habitation door (complete with electric step) at the rear nearside offers access to the garage, which can be used a little like a boot room – very classy. There are shelves for clothes, complete with elasticated straps rather than cupboard doors, and a clever rack that hinges down from the wall parallelogram-fashion or can be folded out of the way. This area – stretching the full width of the motorhome, with headroom of up to 2.11m and a breadth of 750mm – can be used for bike storage, too, or indeed for any manner of sporting or outdoor gear. Whether it’s two-wheeled transport or surfboards you need to stow, they’ll out of the way of prying eyes.
There’s even a smaller garage door on the offside to ease loading, while a roof vent and 12V and 230V sockets are provided.
Forward of the garage (or boot room!), a full-height sliding door takes you into the main living area, where you’ll firstly come to the kitchen and washroom. After a muddy day on the mountain bike, you can head straight into the shower with a reduced risk of leaving a trail of dirt through the motorhome.
The washroom area is one of the more compact aspects of the layout, but it still manages to include a shower without recourse to a curtain. The basin is located on a swing wall, meaning you can pivot this over the toilet to create a proper shower area (with twin drains, too). There’s also a cupboard above the loo, with a small opening window in between. That’s not the only ventilation as there is a rooflight above, while the washroom also has a drying rail for wet clothes. In fact, although this isn’t a big space, the main downside is the height of the toilet – you’ll need long legs to sit comfortably.
The kitchen is more spacious and it’s worth noting that, although the images here show a simple hob, the UK specification includes a more comprehensive spec with a Triplex cooker that features two gas rings, an electric hotplate and a combined oven/grill below.
And despite the bigger cooker, the 660 still has a large cutlery drawer and a pan drawer beneath the oven, as well as additional cupboard space.
A more unusual aspect of this galley, though, is the inclusion of an electric-only compressor fridge. Above this, at a slightly raised level, is useful preparation space for the cook. There is also a window here to vent cooking smells and provide daylight, and a magnetic noticeboard to the left of the hob is an unusual touch. But the signature feature must be the Japanese-style glazed screen that divides the cooking zone from the lounge.
Aft of the main habitation door you get a small wardrobe, above which is a neat shelving unit with cut-outs to hold your wine glasses and bottles of Châteauneuf-du-Pape in place – Well, this is a French motorhome…
The differences do not end there, however, as what could have been a standard lounge has also been turned on its side. Effectively, you have a U-shaped sofa, but against the nearside wall. The settee is large enough for a couple to put their feet up facing the media unit on the opposite wall. Here, there’s storage and a bracket for a 32in flatscreen TV, which rises for the perfect viewing height.
The cab seats swivel to face the lounge, which could perhaps seat eight in total. And the innovation continues with removable parallelogram-shaped sections of settee that unclip to provide extra occasional seating or footstools. The table is pretty clever too, as the four corners fold inwards for more space and it can be lowered to become a coffee table.
There’s another reason to lower the table and that’s to allow the drop-down bed above to come down to the lowest possible position – just 770mm off the floor. And in yet more Gallic let’s-do-this-differently design, it’s a lengthways bed, so egress is possible for both occupants via the offside rear corner. It’s a big mattress, too, measuring 1.90m by 1.63m.
All this fits into a 6.99m motorhome, underpinned by the excellent Ford Transit chassis with the 2-litre 170PS engine and six-speed automatic gearbox as standard. Being an Exclusive Line model, the level of spec is pretty high, so you get diesel-powered heating with on-road capability, a panoramic overcab sunroof, ambient floor lighting, USB ports, external shower and barbecue points, automatic headlights and wipers, and grey exterior side walls. Those features you can, of course, find elsewhere but nowhere else will you discover a layout like this. If you want a big lounge, big garage and a big drop-down bed, you need to see this…
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