Motorhomes Caravans & Destinations


Paul Owen discovers the Chausson 640 from RV Direct New Zealand is quite the tardis, with a lot more room than might be expected in a van of this size.


If you want maximum interior space within a four-berth motorhome of modest proportion­s, the Chausson 640 is the ideal choice. At just 6.99 metres long, the Chausson creates expectatio­ns of having a cabin that is rather cramped and confined as you first approach it. Once inside, there’s lots of what Cadillac once called ‘the ultimate luxury’: space.

It’s the deletion of the four-berth 788’s island bed that creates the extra room. The four-berth 640 has a much larger drop-down bed and the same five-seat lounge up front as the longer model, and the sleeping platform and the table with the telescopic leg below it can be effortless­ly lowered in seconds by pushing a couple of buttons. Like an island bed, the Chausson’s dropper can be left made up and ready for the night. Just push the lowering buttons, chuck a couple of pillows aboard and climb in.

The benefits of buying a shorter motorhome are multiple, and not a day will pass on tour when the easier parking, the increased opportunit­ies of finding a flat camping site, and the lower fuel and ferry costs won’t be appreciate­d. One of the biggest benefits of all is that the 640 has a Gross Vehicle Mass rating of 3,500kg, which qualifies it for Warrant of Fitness checks at longer intervals instead of the stringent, far more expensive Certificat­e of Fitness checks every six months.

The wealth of space might be the first impression gleaned when first stepping inside the 640, but it will be quickly followed by an appreciati­on of the décor of the Chausson. Black taps and controls contrast harmonious­ly with the lighter faux-wood plank floor, the light grey hue of the synthetic leather upholstery, and the sawcut textured off-white of the lockers, cupboards, and drawers. It’s an interior design that has ‘a certain something about it’, and it’s pure eye candy if you’re sick of the slightly depressing dark wood themes of British RV interiors.

The New Zealand version of the Chausson 640 comes fully fitted with a host of very desirable additions to match the well-considered design details. Foremost of these is the diesel heating, which means the cabin can be heated while on the move, and that you can park up with an already cosy motorhome no matter what the weather. The Chausson comes with a 100w solar panel as standard, while the rear wall already has bike rack mounts installed.

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