Base vehicle: Ford Transit Price from: £46,840 Berths: 2 Travel seats: 4 Length: 6.59m Width: 2.10m Height: 2.75m Gross weight: 3,500kg Payload: 858kg
Words: Peter Vaughan
Photos courtesy of Chausson
With its new ‘S’ models, Chausson is tackling a different sector. Not only are these low-profiles slim (just 2.10m wide) but they have slimmed down pricing, too (from £44,840 for the S514). They are only available on a Ford Transit and solely in entry-level First Line spec.
The dimensions will no doubt suit first-time buyers who might be put off by the 2.35m breadth of a full-sized motorhome and they’ll certainly suit those who like to explore off the main roads. Or folk who might be considering a panel van conversion.
The ‘S’ range is not only similar to a campervan in width but also in terms of layout; the pair of floorplans being very close to what you’d expect a continental maker to offer in a van conversion line-up. The S514 has a transverse rear double bed, while the longer S697 has twin singles in the stern.
Externally, you’ll spot that the body barely juts out behind the cab, while also noticing that the front bumper is black plastic and there’s no overcab sunroof. No alloys are fitted either, but you do get Chausson’s IRP structure with GRP on the floor, roof and sides.
The diesel heating will keep you warm in winter and framed habitation windows are a nice surprise at this price level. The cab spec includes manual air-con, two airbags, cruise control and a DAB radio with Bluetooth.
Externally, of course, the layout incorporates a large garage. The bigger of two loading doors is on the offside, while the space within (with a small light, 12V and 230V sockets, but no tie-downs) has headroom of 1.05m. Payload benefits from the slim spec list, too.
Inside, the half-dinette lounge is as you’d expect, but tucked into a corner (behind the driver’s seat on RHD models) is an unusual top-loading cupboard, the surface of which can act as your TV station. The lounge seat is quite upright but fairly comfortable, as long as you’re reasonably long in the legs.
The kitchen only has a two-burner hob for cooking and the 87-litre fridge is a basic model with push-button ignition for its gas function. Worktop space is also very limited until you deploy the flap at the forward end. Facilities are comparable to a campervan of this style.
Where the ‘S’ beats many van-based rivals is in its washroom. A huge mirror increases the impression of space but it’s not founding wanting in reality, especially when you swing the basin to the right to create a good-sized shower cubicle. The only downside is the flimsy plastic catch that secures the moving wall.
The layout is completed by single beds measuring 1.96m and 1.92m long. Overhead cupboards will stop you sitting up with a cuppa and there’s a slight cut-off to the end of the offside berth but more noteworthy is the huge wardrobe under this bed. With a 900mm-long hanging rail and 840mm height, you should be able to maintain your sartorial elegance with ease.
This is a ‘no frills’ motorhome whose main attraction is its price (and the Ford cab). If you want a bit more spec, you can add the Accessory Pack (awning and solar panel) or the Pack + (170PS engine, cab touchscreen and reversing camera). Our advice would be to keep it standard and tell your friends how you bought a brand-new motorhome for the price of a secondhand one.
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