144-151 head-to-head.indd

144-151 head-to-head.indd
ON TEST:
CHAUSSON FL ASH 05
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FAMILY FAVOURITES
Chausson Flash 05 and TEC Rotec 670G
Great holidays for mum,
dad and the kids beckon as
two generous coachbuilts
offer bunks and more
A
motorhome parked on the drive, capable
of providing family-sized holiday
accommodation, is an attractive prospect
- especially when you consider the myriad of
uses that mum, dad and the kids can make of
it - and all at a moment’s notice. From days out
and weekends away to long summer trips - all
are in prospect. Such a ‘van can
make financial sense too if you
add up the cost of more conventional holidays
- it ain’t cheap for four people to go away,
especially during high-season school breaks.
Both the Chausson Flash 05 and the TEC
Rotec 670G sit firmly in the seven-metre class
- an overall length that offers enough internal
room to banish motorhome claustrophobia
and offer fully-loaded comfortable family
accommodation. Layouts are very similar, with
LAYOUT PL AN
(7ft 4in)
■ OVERALL WIDTH: 2.24m
(23ft 1in)
■ OVERALL LENGTH: 7.04m
RIGHT: Chausson cab is
very well equipped, even
including air-conditioning
as standard.
FAR RIGHT: Manuallywinding windows and
manually-adjusted mirrors
compromised the TEC cab.
Words & pictures
by Dave Hurrell
144 I NOVEMBER 2006
144-151 head-to-head.indd 1
MOTORCARAVAN MOTORHOME MONTHLY
10/6/06 9:52:01 AM
HEAD-TO-HEAD TEST
TEC ROTEC 670G
LAYOUT PL AN
(7ft 7.5in)
■ OVERALL WIDTH: 2.32m
(22ft 9in)
m
6.94
:
GTH
LEN
L
RAL
■ OVE
both featuring front-end lounges, midships-ish
kitchens and washrooms, plus a pair of allimportant bunks across the rear.
French manufacturer Chausson’s Flash
range stalks the entry-level value for money
end of the market and the 05 seems to be very
competitive at a whisker under thirty grand
on the road. If you want one, one of the many
Barrons motorhome centres must be your
destination as that’s where the 05 is exclusively
available here in the UK.
The TEC Rotec range goes further upmarket,
price-wise at least, and if you’ve more cash
to spend, the prospect of percieved German
build quality (and hopefully increased longevity)
should reassure you.
Both ‘vans offer fresh, modern interiors with
silver trimmed mid-toned wood and cool blue
upholstery that works well. Differences between
the two are evident in detailing with the more
expensive TEC sporting things such as doubleskinned ABS skirts outside and curvy furniture
and wood-edged surfaces inside - as starters in
justifying its higher price over the more simple
and budget-concious Chausson.
Ducato chassis. Both Chausson
and TEC offer motorhomes on
other base vehicles (Chausson
on Ford and Renault, TEC on
Ford), but the trusty Ducato still
looms large in their ranges, as it does
with just about every European manufacturer.
Standard long wheelbase chassis have quite
a high stance and both Chausson and TEC
display classic coachbuilt character, standing
tall at over three metres head-to-toe. Both cabs
will be very familiar to old hands as Europe’s
most popular motorhome base here displays
a now slightly dated character both inside and
out. (Note: Motorhomes on the new Ducato
should by now be beginning to filter through
the system, so the choice may be yours if you
are willing to wait.)
MOTIVE POWER
These French and German motorhomes are
nonetheless powered and underpinned by
the doughty and seemingly omnipresent Fiat
MOTORCARAVAN MOTORHOME MONTHLY
144-151 head-to-head.indd 2
NOVEMBER 2006 I 145
10/6/06 9:53:00 AM
ON TEST: CHAUSSON FLASH 05 AND TEC ROTEC 670G
CHAUSSON FLASH 05
In the cab, the Chausson’s budget status is
betrayed by the presence of seats unadorned
with living area upholstery - and indeed they
remain separate from same, having no swivels
to let them join the caravan component once
on site. There’s no ABS or ASR traction control
here either, but this is where economy style
ends as driver’s airbag, air-conditioning, electric
windows and mirrors and key-operated central
locking impress, especially at the price.
The more expensive TEC seems full of
contradictions as it featured welcome ABS,
ASR and (optional) air-con, but no airbag,
no central locking, and - horror-of-horrors wind-up windows and manual mirrors. Even
the passenger-side door bin is missing. The
consequences of two drivers, who are also
partners, working as a team to manually adjust
the nearside mirror every time they swap seats
does not bear thinking about - a recipe for
domestic disharmony if ever there was one! As
is often the case with German motorcaravans,
the options list (and an extra clump of cash) will
be your port of call if you desire the things that
- these days - most of us would expect to see
fitted as standard. A cynical way to separate us
from more of our hard-earned? Surely not!
The TEC was found wanting under the
bonnet too as it was fitted with the 2.3-litre
mid-range motor - the Chausson comes with
the range-topping 2.8 as standard. Of course,
TEC’ll be happy to supply same (I think you
know where to find it), just have £3700 ready
- that’s £217 per extra ‘horse’!
I LIKED
■ Excellent value for money
■ Range-topping motor
■ Cab air-conditioning
■ Driver’s airbag
■ Versatile lounge-diner
■ Easy-clean washroom
■ Oven with grill
■ Garage storage
I WOULD HAVE LIKED
■ ABS
■ Better lighting
■ Mains electric heating
I DISLIKED
■ Clingy shower curtain
ROAD MANNERS
FROM THE TOP: The Chausson’s linear galley offers
worktop and a grill, but lacks the big fridge-freezer
of its rival.
The Chausson’s big sofa provides real feet-up
lounging and plenty of space for comfortable
entertaining.
A classic layout of Pullman dinette and sofa
upfront, leaves the cab seats out of the living area
equation.
Mealtimes should be a pleasure as two dinettes
offer very versatile eating.
146 I NOVEMBER 2006
144-151 head-to-head.indd 3
It’s immediately more comfortable in the
Chausson’s cab as it has no seat-raising
swivels fitted. The TEC’s half-dinette layout
demands cab pews that turn to join the living
area and these raise the seats - degrading the
driving position and potentially leaving cab
passengers’ feet swinging in mid-air.
It may lack the bigger engine of the
Chausson, but the TEC still performed very
well on the road. Fiat’s mid-range engine is
known for punching above its weight and coupled with the lower ratio top gear - it revved
enthusiastically and pulled this bulky but lightlyloaded ‘van along with ease.
The Chausson sported the same low ratio
top, making it an even more relaxed performer.
Just as bulky as its rival, and again lightlyloaded, it was very easy to drive, pulling away
comfortably in top from 45mph.
Both ‘vans exhibited the best-feature
characteristics of the Ducato with light, positive
steering, slick dash-mounted gearchange and
powerful disc brakes making for an easy drive.
This model Ducato may be a bit long in the
tooth, but these great features mean it still
compares well with the current batch of chassis
from other manufacturers.
The Ducato’s rather stiff suspension does well
with big motorhomes like these, producing good
handling with little roll - another on-road pleasure
provider as driver confidence is boosted. The cab
air-conditioning fitted to both ‘vans was an almost
essential feature during the test, as temperatures
hovered in the low 30s (this motorhome tester
would consider in-cab cooling an essential piece
of kit even in the UK, but especially for foreign
touring). The Chausson scores points big time
here as cab air-con comes as standard.
Both ‘vans also provide cutaway cab roofs
with overcab bed bases rising on gas struts
to make entry and exit from the cab easier. I’d
expect this feature on the dearer TEC, it’s a
surprising, but welcome, addition on the much
MOTORCARAVAN MOTORHOME MONTHLY
10/6/06 9:53:22 AM
HEAD-TO-HEAD TEST
cheaper Chausson.
On-road conversion noise, too, was very
muted in both - the TEC’s slightly less vocal
performance may be a testament to that
German build quality.
As family-friendly ‘vans, both should be able
to convey all their residents in safety and that
means enough seatbelts for all. Five berths and
a total of four three-point belted seats sees the
TEC fall short of the mark in this respect, but in
reality this ‘van will probably only be used by up
to four people. The TEC’s forward-facing dinette
seat provides two belted places attached to a
strong steel frame.
Meanwhile, the Chausson offers a similar setup on its forward-facer plus two lap-only belts
on its rearward-facing dinette seat. Although
seven berths and six belted seats is almost
commendable, the lap variety falls somewhat
short in the safety stakes when forward-facing
three-point, inertia-reel seatbelts are the
accepted norm for safe travel in any vehicle.
I LIKED
■ Build quality
■ Stylish furniture
■ Excellent range of lighting
■ Rigid shower screen
■ Large rear bunks
■ Lots of storage
■ Tanks, etc in semi-double-floor
■ Big fridge-freezer
TEC ROTEC 670G
I WOULD HAVE LIKED
■ 2.8-litre engine
■ Electric mirrors
■ Electric windows
■ Central locking
■ Driver’s airbag
■ A grill
I DISLIKED
■ The price
LOUNGE AND DINE
Comfortable, capable lounging and dining
that suits everyone will be an essential in any
motorhome hoping to provide family-sized
accommodation. This is especially true in the
UK, as wet weekends will probably see the
whole tribe trapped indoors from time to time.
Both ‘vans provide spacious lounge-diners
upfront - the TEC offering one of the most
popular Continental set-ups - the half-dinette
with side sofa. Cab seats swivel to face the
table, while a good-sized sofa here helps make
the dinette into a proper lounging space. The
aforementioned cab cutaway and rising luton
bed base help make this area easy to use and
six people can relax while the generouslysized table is perfect for wet-weather game
playing. There’s a good reason why this design
is popular with Euro-zone manufacturers - it
makes very good use of available space and
is versatile (including, of course, those allimportant travel seats). The TEC’s version is
a very good example of the breed with good
quality seating at a comfortable height.
The Chausson also offers a classic set-up
in the form of Pullman dinette with side sofa
opposite. This arrangement is less ‘open’ in feel
but still allows seating for up to for seven, while
the slightly narrow (but long) side sofa offers
proper feet-up lounging for one lucky member
of the family.
It’s at mealtimes that things get more
interesting in the Chausson as the sofa converts
to a second dinette. The centre section of this
seat is actually supported by a small table and
it’s the work of a moment to raise it to full height
and reposition sofa backrests at either end.
This creates a neat little two-seat diner - great
for a couple of kids. Six can now eat in comfort
with four people occupying the main dinette.
Indeed, twin dinettes could even be quite good
for keeping warring sprogs apart at mealtimes!
The TEC’s table employs an extension that
drops onto slide-out supports at its outboard
end. This gives good eating-space for four or
five as two diners can now reach the table from
the side sofa and swivelled driver’s seat.
A motorhome with twin-dinettes might seem
very unfriendly lounge-wise, but when one eatery
converts easily to a sofa as in the Chausson, you
really do get the best of both worlds.
COOK’S QUARTERS
Both galleys benefit from the dubious charms of
an ignitionless three-burner hob and drainerless
circular sink.
FROM THE TOP: Better storage and a big fridgefreezer make the galley a winner.
The TEC’s side sofa and swivel cab seats offer
good quality lounging space.
Good use of half-dinette and L-shaped kitchen,
one of the most popular layouts in the business.
MOTORCARAVAN MOTORHOME MONTHLY
144-151 head-to-head.indd 4
At mealtimes a slot-on table extension helps
provide space for more TEC diners.
NOVEMBER 2006 I 147
10/6/06 9:53:40 AM
ON TEST: CHAUSSON FLASH 05 AND TEC ROTEC 670G
Arguably more stylish by several ‘country
kilometres’, the TEC kitchen features a pull-out
wire-shelf-equipped larder unit and an oven
(but no grill) below decks - its L-shaped design
slavishly following the current Continental vogue.
The Chausson culinary department displays
its linear tendency forward of the caravan
door. It’s simpler in design and execution - flat
unadorned locker doors and basic lighting in
here help betray the ’van’s budget status. Even
so, there’s a Smev mini oven (with grill and
ignition), a couple of decent cupboards, and a
sensible cutlery drawer below the worktop. And
worktop there is too, as once the slightly oddlooking removable plastic drainer is stowed, a
usable slab is revealed twixt hob and sink.
Sadly, the Chausson’s single divided
overhead locker is no match for the TEC’s
quartet of high-level storage spaces - two large
with stylish ‘fuzzy’ acrylic door fronts and two
small with drop-down flaps below. There’s little
worktop in the TEC galley - but a big cutlery
drawer, two further low-level storage spaces,
recycling bins set into the worktop and a 150-litre
fridge/freezer, all conspire to leave the Chausson
cook’s quarters somewhat out of breath.
There’s a decent-sized fridge in the Chausson
galley, but cook will very much appreciate the
TEC’s big cooler, while the kids will instantly know
how much ice cream’ll go in the freezer. Of course,
it’ll take dad a while longer to work out how much
beer he can mange to hide in the fridge!
The Chausson’s kitchen lacks storage - both
ambient and chilled - but makes up for it with
a grill and some worktop. The TEC galley is a
model of the Continental breed, you just need
to use the hinged glass hob and sink covers
for prep and buy a toaster - both a stove-top
model (for periods away from hook-up) and the
electric variety can be had for around a fiver.
BATHING SPACE
The quintessential Continental motorhome
washroom includes a decent separate shower
compartment - a feature that’s even more
important to have with sprogs on board. The
opportunity to hose down grubby ankle-biters
(especially the very young) without dragging
them to the facilities block will be much
appreciated by harassed mums and dads.
Both Chausson and TEC offer excellent
HEAD-TO-HEAD DATA – CHAUSSON 05
PRICE
■ From: £29,995 OTR
■ As tested: £29,995 OTR
BASICS (*manufacturer’s figures)
■ Berths: 7
■ Three-point belted seats: 4 (including
driver)
■ Warranty: 2 years base vehicle and
conversion
■ Badged as NCC EN1646 compliant: No
■ Construction: GRP-clad sandwich
construction overcab coachbuilt with ABS
plastic mouldings
■ Length: 7.04m (23ft 1in)*
■ Width: 2.24m (7ft 4in)*
■ Height: 2.99m (9ft 9.5in)*
■ Wheelbase: 3.70m (12ft 1.5in)*
■ Rear overhang: 2.45mm (8ft 0.5in)
■ Maximum authorised weight: 3500kg*
■ Payload: 422kg* (after the weight of the
driver (75kg), gas, fresh water and fuel
tanks at 90 per cent of capacity)
THE VEHICLE
■ Chassis: Fiat Ducato LWB chassis cab
■ Engine: 2.8-litre common-rail turbodiesel
producing 127bhp
■ Transmission: Five-speed manual gearbox,
front-wheel drive
■ Brakes: Discs all round
■ Suspension: Front: Independent. Rear:
Rigid axle
■ Features: Driver’s airbag, cab airconditioning, electric windows and mirrors,
key-operated central locking, twin door
bins, adjustable steering column, flip-up
map holder
INSIDE
■ Layout: Overcab double bed ahead of twin
dinettes/side sofa, offside kitchen, nearside
separate-shower washroom, across-therear bunks convert to garage
■ Insulation: Floor 75mm, walls and roof
32mm
■ Interior height: 2.10m (6ft 10.5in)
KITCHEN
■ Sink: Circular stainless steel unit with single
lever mixer tap and removable drainer
■ Cooker: Smev three-burner draining hob,
no ignition. Smev mini grill/oven with
electronic ignition
■ Fridge: Dometic RM7401, manual energy
selection, capacity 97 litres
ABOVE TOP: A vision in plastic, this washroom should
be easy to keep clean.
ABOVE: The Chausson bunk beds are comfy and
practical but narrower than the TEC’s.
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144-151 head-to-head.indd 5
WASHROOM
■ Toilet: Thetford swivel-bowl electric-flush
cassette
■ Basin: Vanity unit with single-lever mixer
tap
■ Shower: Separate showering area
enclosed by curtain. Shower mixer and
head on fixed high-level bracket, single
outlet tray
BEDS
Overcab double
■ Length: 2.23m (7ft 0in)
■ Width: 1.50m (4ft 11in)
■ Headroom: 620mm (2ft 0.5in) max
Dinette double
■ Length: 1.71m (5ft 7.5in)
■ Width: 1.27mm (4ft 2in)
Lounge single
■ Length: 1.85m (6ft 1in)
■ Width: 620mm (2ft 0.5in)
Transverse rear bunks
■ Length: 2.11m (6ft 11in)
■ Width: 810mm (2ft 8in)
■ Upper headroom: 720mm (2ft 4in)
■ Lower headroom: 790mm (2ft 7in) max
EQUIPMENT
■ Fresh water tank: Inboard. 70 litres
(15.4 gallons)
■ Waste water tank: Underslung. 109 litres
(24 gallons)
■ Water heater: Truma Combi boiler, gasonly operation
■ Space heater: Truma Combi with blownair, gas-only operation
■ Leisure battery: 95 amp hr
■ Gas: Capacity 2 x 11kg cylinders
■ Lighting: Single filament lamps over cab,
bunk beds and kitchen, adjustable halogen
reading lamps in dinette, 2D fluorescent
ceiling fitting in lounge, two halogen
downlighters in washroom
■ Sockets: 230V: Five (two in lounge, in TV
locker, externally-accessed storage locker,
kitchen). 12V: Two (in cab, TV locker)
OPTIONAL EXTRAS
Fitted to test vehicle
■ Base: None
■ Conversion: None
Other options
■ Base: None
■ Conversion: Choice of Dakar or Dorine
upholstery (FOC)
E&OE
MOTORCARAVAN MOTORHOME MONTHLY
10/6/06 9:53:54 AM
HEAD-TO-HEAD TEST
washrooms with good separate showering
areas. Indeed, the formula for both is very
similar with swivel-bowl Thetford throne, vanity
basin and shower, all in a spacious enclosure.
The Chausson’s need for economy in this
department is exhibited in the form of a ‘plastic
palace’ approach to furnishing, with acres
of the shiny stuff taking the place of more
expensive wood. However, it’s an ill wind... and
all that plastic is gonna be easy to wash down
especially after the little darlings have indulged
in a spot of ‘enthusiastic’ bathing. Oodles of
storage above and below are favourite features
in here while disappointments include a lack of
blind or flyscreen on the window (a flyscreen will
be very important in hot weather to allow decent
ventilation and keep bugs at bay) and the fact
there’s a curtain enclosing the shower. Believe
me, these curtains develop an irresistible urge to
attack and enfold your soapy body once you get
a good shower-steam-generated updraft going.
Wooden furniture, better mirrors, and a
shower with strong, rigid folding screens raise
the upmarket flag in the TEC washroom. A
rooflight provides good illumination in this
windowless space and storage is good in here
too. The shower compartment may be enclosed
by rigid doors but it’s a bit smaller than the
Chausson’s generous douche. Cupboards
above and below are joined by a small dropdown-door locker above the toilet - storage for
spare loo rolls methinks. The TEC’s washroom
was difficult to criticise - only the lack of a
window and the somewhat disconcerting
presence of a mains socket in here attracted
the attention of my big red pen.
BEDTIME
Mum, dad and two kids (just four people) living
aboard both ‘vans will be the best recipe for family
motorcaravanning bliss. That’s because come
bedtime the only problem that’ll arise will be the
fight to see who gets top bunk! Also, with the
sprogs safely tucked up in the rear, the lounge is
left as a peaceful haven for tired parents to relax
in. Both sets of bunks here do a good job, the
TEC pair being very wide and comfortable.
Indeed, groups of adult friends could easily
make use of these bunks as they are bigger
than standard domestic singles and very
comfortable.
HEAD-TO-HEAD DATA – TEC ROTEC 670G
PRICE
■ From: £36,995 OTR
■ As tested: £38,465 OTR
■ Shower: Separate compartment with rigid
alloy-framed folding doors, mixer tap/
showerhead/riser rail, single outlet tray
BASICS (*manufacturer’s figures)
BEDS
■ Berths: 5
■ Three-point belted seats: 4 (including
driver)
■ Warranty: 2 years base vehicle and
conversion, 5 years water ingress
■ Badged as NCC EN1646 compliant: No
■ Construction: GRP-clad sandwich
construction overcab coachbuilt with ABS
plastic mouldings
■ Length: 6.94m (22ft 9in)*
■ Width: 2.32m (7ft 7.5in)*
■ Height: 3.06m (10ft 0.5in)*
■ Wheelbase: 3.70m (12ft 2in)*
■ Rear overhang: 2.27mm (7ft 5.5in)
■ Maximum authorised weight: 3850kg*
■ Payload: 610kg* (after the weight of driver
(75kg), gas, fresh water and fuel tanks at 90
per cent of capacity)
THE VEHICLE
■ Chassis: Fiat Ducato LWB chassis cab
■ Engine: 2.3-litre common-rail turbodiesel
producing 110 bhp
■ Transmission: Five-speed gearbox, frontwheel drive
■ Brakes: Discs all round
■ Suspension: Front: Independent. Rear:
Rigid axle
■ Features: ABS, ASR, cab air-conditioning,
driver’s door bin, adjustable steering
column, flip-up map holder
INSIDE
■ Layout: Overcab double bed ahead of
half-dinette with swivel cab seats and side
sofa, nearside L-shaped kitchen, offside
separate-shower washroom, across-therear bunks convert to provide garage
■ Insulation: Floor, walls and roof 30mm
■ Interior height: 2.03m (6ft 8in)
KITCHEN
■ Sink: Circular drainerless unit with hinged
glass lid and integral folding mixer tap
■ Cooker: Cramer 3-burner hob, no ignition;
Spinflo oven, no ignition, no grill fitted
■ Fridge: Dometic RM 7651L fridge-freezer,
with internal illumination, manual energy
selection, capacity 150 litres
WASHROOM
■ Toilet: Thetford swivel-bowl electric-flush
cassette
■ Basin: Oval vanity unit with single lever
mixer tap
Overcab double
■ Length: 2.01m (6ft 7in)
■ Width: 1.42m (4ft 8in)
■ Headroom: 680mm (2ft 3in)
Dinette single
■ Length: 2.11m (6ft 11in)
■ Width: 1.2mm (3ft 11in) max
Transverse rear bunks
■ Length: 2.11m (6ft 11in)
■ Width: 960mm (3ft 2in)
■ Upper headroom: 630mm (2ft 1in)
■ Lower headroom: 820mm (2ft 8in)
EQUIPMENT
■ Fresh water tank: Inboard, 100 litres (22
gallons)
■ Waste water tank: Underslung, 100 litres
(22 gallons)
■ Water heater: Truma Combi boiler, gasoperation only
■ Space heater: Truma Combi with blownair, gas-operation only
■ Leisure battery: 75 amp hr
■ Gas: Capacity 2 x 11kg cylinders
■ Lighting: Two adjustable halogen reading
lamps in luton bed, four adjustable
halogen reading lamps and one triple
halogen downlighter in lounge, fluorescent
task lighting in kitchen, three halogen
downlighters in washroom, autoillumination in wardrobe, one adjustable
halogen reading lamp above each rear
bunk, triple porch/awning light above
caravan door
■ Sockets: 230V: Four (in lounge, kitchen,
washroom, TV locker). 12V: Three (in cab,
kitchen, TV locker)
OPTIONAL EXTRAS
Fitted to test vehicle
■ Base: Cab air-conditioning (£1132)
■ Conversion: Additional garage door (£426)
Other options
■ Base: Comfort pack (electric windows,
mirrors, central locking (£452)
■ Conversion: Truma C6002 heating upgrade
(£338)
MOTORCARAVAN MOTORHOME MONTHLY
144-151 head-to-head.indd 6
E&OE
ABOVE TOP: Wooden furniture and rigid shower doors
are part of the TEC’s more sophisticated washroom.
ABOVE: The TEC overcab bed snatches the prize owing
to a few more inches of precious headroom.
NOVEMBER 2006 I 149
10/6/06 9:54:05 AM
ON TEST: CHAUSSON FLASH 05 AND TEC ROTEC 670G
CHAUSSON FLASH 05
The Chausson’s bunks are narrower but still
good and I particularly liked the built-in access
ladder.
Upfront, both overcab double beds are good
examples of the breed, but the TEC steals a
lead on its rival with almost three inches of extra
headroom. Each has one side window and a roof
ventilator that’ll be essential in hot weather.
Downstairs, the TEC completes its fiveberth status by offering a transverse bed made
from the dinette and side sofa. With plenty of
length and at nearly four feet wide, this bed is
quoted as a single, but if visitors came to stay,
two slim adults could sleep here too. This berth
is quite flat once you’ve arranged the cushions
to best effect - but also requires the use of three
additional infill cushions. Many joins do not a
perfect bed make, and if I planned to use this
berth on a regular basis I’d invest in an overlay
to smooth things over.
The Chausson lounge offers a single and a
double bed. The former made from the side sofa
is easy to deploy; just remove the backrests and
you’re in business. The dinette double emerges
using the table lowered with two pull-out supports
helping to increase width in the aisle. A neat
infill stored along the wall sits securely on these
extensions and just one other narrow infill joins
backrest to make this berth. This bed is wide
enough to be called a ‘proper’ double but falls
short - literally - as is comes in at around 5ft 7in
long. Of course, female motorhomers are often of
modest stature so if your desire is for single beds
these could make his’n’hers downstairs.
It really is ‘horses for courses’ bed-wise,
single sleepers may well find the Chausson a
more attractive proposition while the TEC’s bigger
bunks will be more comfortable for adults.
STORE ROOM
FROM THE TOP: These lounge beds are versatile, although the double may be too short for some.
In the rear, the kitchen and washroom are in close company.
Chausson’s useful and capable garage is, nonetheless, narrower than its counterpart’s.
150 I NOVEMBER 2006
144-151 head-to-head.indd 7
Generally speaking, family life means carting
lots of kit and this is just as true (maybe even
more so) on holiday. From baby buggies to
bikes and beyond, all this gear needs to travel
and the truly capable family motorhome’ll have
a home for it. Here it’s the bunks layout that’s
the answer as in both ‘vans the bottom berth
swings up to create a slim garage.
Of course, there’s still a big chunk of storage
space under these beds when they’re down - but
once raised, must-have holiday kit like bikes (or
maybe even a scooter) can be carried. External
doors give access to these spaces (the second
unit fitted to the TEC being another extra-cost
option). In addition, TECs wider bunks mean a
wider garage adding to the space on offer.
Payload and particularly axle loadings (a
loaded motorhome must balance its loaded
weight between front and rear axles) are
important too and therefore I was pleased to
discover a maximum weight figure for the TEC’s
garage (150kg – though subject to rear axle
load) clearly displayed in the rear.
Even so, I’d always recommend that you
visit your local public weighbridge with your
motorhome loaded. An overloaded vehicle
is potentially dangerous and the penalties for
same can be steep.
The Chausson’s garage may be narrower
but it should still be plenty big enough for family
holiday paraphernalia. Elsewhere, the Chausson
sports a decent wardrobe, and storage space
under rearward-facing dinette seats and side
sofa - the latter being a modestly-sized space
albeit with an external access hatch.
The TEC comes up trumps all-round storagewise, as it features space under both lounge
seats plus a metal-bodied skirt locker that would
seem to be perfect for mucky kit and tools.
MOTORCARAVAN MOTORHOME MONTHLY
10/6/06 9:54:17 AM
HEAD-TO-HEAD TEST
LIFE SUPPORT
One of the reasons for the TEC’s superior
storage provision is the fact that its fresh water
tank and leisure battery/charger are neatly
enclosed within a semi-double-floor under
the main living area. The Chausson’s inboard
fresh tank is located under a dinette seat. Both
offer a frost-free location for plumbing but the
TEC does this in a more sophisticated way,
providing hatches in the floor and easy access
for maintenance.
Lighting, too, is different - with the TEC
showing a plethora of halogen-equipped spots
at almost every location. Auto illumination in the
wardrobe and a stylish triple spot unit outside
above the caravan door are icing on its cake.
Heating and hot water is taken care of in both
cases by Truma’s trusty Combi. Sadly, in both
‘vans and with both functions, there’s gas-only
operation available. This is something I find
more difficult to excuse in the more expensive
TEC, but it has to be said that gas-only fired
heating and hot’n’cold is often the norm - even
in expensive Continental motorhomes.
So what of control? Well, you’ll be pleased
to discover that both ‘vans feature simple,
easy to use control panels that tell you of tank
and battery levels and allow the control of life
support systems without the need to spend
hours reading an instruction manual.
TEC ROTEC 670G
CONCLUSION
Both these motorhomes tick just about all the
boxes on the family motorhome wish-list. They
offer plenty of room within, sensible payload,
and good levels of storage.
To my mind, ‘vans with bunks like these are the
very best for family-friendly motorcaravanning.
Aside from providing desirable garage space,
the kids’ll love the separate, instant sleeping
accommodation in the rear.
This should lead to less stressful holidays for
mum and dad as they can relax in the lounge
when the little ones are in bed. Also, all the
family can easily get to the toilet at night. Come
the dawn, parents can leave the kids in bed,
and out from under their feet, while they make
breakfast and get ready for the day ahead.
Sleeping space upfront is very different
in these ‘vans and the Chausson has the
edge here with a better choice of beds. The
Chausson lounge-diner, too, is very versatile
and comfortable and, of course, there’s no
need to swivel those cab seats to provide
accommodation as it’s waiting there just behind
you as soon as you’re pitched on site.
Equally, it is, in part, the presence of the TEC
half-dinette lounge that frees up extra space aft
to allow a better kitchen with big fridge-freezer,
plus wider bunks and bigger garage too.
I found it very difficult to criticise the
Chausson Flash 05 as it offers superb value
in a comfortable family motorhome for under
thirty grand, especially when you consider the
amount of desirable kit fitted as standard.
Conversely, the TEC Rotec 670G did
disappoint as I was somewhat shocked to
find wind-up windows and manual mirrors on
a £38K motorhome. Add the 2.8-litre engine
option to bring the specification up to the
Chausson’s and you’ll smash the forty grand
barrier to smithereens.
That said, the TEC majors on providing a
more sophisticated living area with better quality
furniture and lighting, plus desirable features such
as a big fridge-freezer and stylish washroom.
Even so, I be very tempted to sign for a Flash
05 and treat myself to my very own ‘cashback’
bonus.
FROM THE TOP: The lounge bed could accommodate two slim sleepers.
Offside washroom and nearside wardrobe sit ahead of transverse rear bunks,
here things seem a little more spacious.
Wider bunks mean a wider garage; there’s more space for bulky holiday gear in the TEC’s rear.
VEHICLES LOANED FOR EVALUATION BY:
■ Chausson Flash 05: Barrons Motorhomes, Chapel Lane,
MOTORCARAVAN MOTORHOME MONTHLY
144-151 head-to-head.indd 8
Coppull, Lancs PR7 4NE
(tel: 01257 793377; web site: www.motorhomedeals.co.uk)
Preston, Lancs
■ TEC Rotec 670G: Brownhills North West, Blackpool Road,
(tel: 0800 8140300; web site: www.brownhills.co.uk)
E&OE
NOVEMBER 2006 I 151
10/6/06 9:54:30 AM
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