Cutting-edge design and a fashionable side settee lounge layout make this newcomer a highly desirable motorhome
Base vehicle: Fiat Ducato Price from: £68,490 Berths: 4 Travel seats: 4 Length: 7.40m Width: 2.33m Height: 3.00m Gross weight: 3,499kg (3,850kg and 4,250kg options) Payload: 357kg
If you like novel pieces of design, take a look at a Dethleffs Pulse next time you’re at a motorhome show. More specifically, examine its new Maxi-Flex high-level lockers. Now, you would have thought that one eye-level cupboard was much like the next; not here, though, as the duo-tone doors split and fold as they rise. As you’d expect from Dethleffs, the mechanism used gives an impression of superb quality, while their shape creates a greater feeling of space in the living area.
Of course, these new doors are simply symptomatic of the cutting-edge design inside this new range. The Pulse line-up fits between the existing Trend and Magic Edition models, offers both low-profile and A-class body types, and sits in the £60k to £70k middle ground.
This 7051 DBL (along with the single bed 7051 EBL) also adopts the fashionable side settee lounge, which has also been seen in rivals including Bürstner, Pilote and Rapido. Strangely, the new DBL/EBL layouts are only available in A-class form, though. Perhaps Dethleffs is testing the water before considering a wider roll out of this type of lounge.
On the outside, the Pulse is, perhaps, less eye-catching, though the Grand Turismo Package (costing £2,400) adds extra graphics (here in silver but also available in black), LED daytime running lights, flush-fit habitation windows and 16in alloy wheels for a bit more style. The wide habitation door eases access (though you’ll need to deploy the external electric step) and, of course, there’s a rear garage with variable height (adjusted manually by a winding handle) and two large loading doors.
The lounge will be a key feature for UK buyers, especially as those side-facing settees are made extra-comfy with their squishy backrests. The table might be a permanent fixture, but it folds in half so it’s not too bulky when you’re not in gastronome mode. Then, after a big meal, you can rotate the cab seats through a full 180 degrees and stretch out with your feet up on the sofas; now the telly is in the perfect place, too.
And, as is the trend of 2019, these settees can also be converted into a pair of travel seats, for when the grandchildren come along. There are beds for four, too, in the form of two doubles. There’s a drop-down bed in the cab, while the rear island bed has a very generous 1.62m width. Initially, it looks short (at 1.81m) but there’s an infill cushion at the head of the bed to extend length to 1.92m. Then, access around the foot of the bed is quite tight but, as the mattress is just 660mm off the floor in its lowest setting, there’s loads to room to sit up in bed.
The kitchen includes a three-burner hob and Thetford Duplex oven/grill (mounted under the cutlery drawer). As the galley is almost a straight unit, rather than the more common L-shape, it increases floor space. Opposite is a 142-litre fridge/freezer.
Concluding this stylish newcomer is a split washroom with good-sized shower facing a slightly confined toilet cubicle on the nearside. Open the loo door and deploy the sliding door for the bedroom and you create a spacious, full-width washroom.