Berths: 6 Travel seats: 5 Base vehicle: Ford Transit Gross weight: 3,500kg
Not only does being able to raise the bunks up to the ceiling add versatility in terms of whether you use one bunk or two, and at what height, but, with both beds stowed away, there’s a second seating area. The inward-facing seats here are combined with a sturdy table (710mm by 770mm) which simply flips up from the wall. There are various recesses for storage, USB sockets for the youngsters’ gadgets and room for toys galore under the seats.
If it’s storage capacity that you’re most concerned about – and family motorhomes need plenty of family-sized locker space – then you’ll be pleased to see that beyond the bunks/kids’ area is the sort of vast wardrobe that we’ve become familiar with in a variety of other Chausson models (such as 610 and 630). There’s a huge garage at the back, too, accessed here by a large rear hatch and an offside door. There’s an internal height of 1.27m in the garage, so bikes will fit no problem, while 12V and 230V sockets are fitted and there’s heating and lighting, too. Maximum weight in here is 150kg.
The front lounge – like the rear garage and wardrobe – owes much to existing Flash models, with an L-settee offering two rear, belted travel positions and a side sofa opposite converting into a rear-facing fifth place with just a lap belt. As such, although the lounge can be converted into a bed, it’s probably best to view the 716 as a four-berth in normal use. In that case, bed-making involves nothing more onerous or strenuous than pushing your finger on a switch. The Hideaway bed over the lounge measures 1.91m by 1.39m, narrowing to 1.21m, and comes right down to seat level, so no ladder is required.
The rear bunks are a good size, too, coming in at 1.84m long and 0.84m maximum/0.65m minimum wide. They are rated at 120kg each, so are not just limited to little people.
A solid sliding door aft of the kitchen not only provides separation between the two sleeping areas, but can be used to convert the rear into a generous changing room (including seats and wardrobe). There’s a shower on the nearside and a slightly tight-for-space toilet room opposite, behind a tambour door. Roof vents are fitted over both the loo and shower.
Despite this being a keenly priced Flash model, the kitchen comes with a 175-litre AES fridge/freezer and, for the UK, a British-style cooker with full oven.
Unlike most Chaussons, though, the new 716 comes only on a Ford chassis. With its superior ergonomics, great new 170PS engine and now an automatic option, that’s just another plus for this revolutionary new design.
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