Power-lift beds make Ford Flash motorhome the Swiss Army knife of camping
An impressive motorhome by any measure, the Ford Transit-based Flash 634 from France's Chausson gets the absolute most livability out of its small footprint using smart, space-optimizing design. Chausson packs in Swiss Army knife-like multifunction with three beds that lift clean to the ceiling to open up two dining areas, a full-length lounge chair and plenty of storage. At night, the power beds drop down and the Flash 634 sleeps up to five people. With room for bicycles and other large gear in its rear garage, the Flash 634 is a highly versatile motorhome for families that love to travel and play outside.
At 21-ft (6.4-m) long, the Flash 634 is a compact semi-integrated motorhome that's shorter than some camper vans. But while camper vans often struggle in accommodating more than two people comfortably, the Flash 634 seats and sleeps up to five while also offering a roomy layout with a stretched rear lounge, two sets of tables and chairs, a bike garage and a bathroom.
Power and manual lift hardware serves as the foundation of Chausson's Flash design, featuring not just in a single bed, as on the Adria Twin 640 SGX, but all over the interior. Three individual power-lift beds eliminate the permanent sleeping footprint so that the space can be used for other purposes during the day.
Toward the front, a pair of single-person bunk beds is stacked over the dining area just behind the driver cab. At night, the table drops down on its power telescoping pedestal to make room for the bunks and a curtain closes the bunk area off for privacy. During the day, the bunks lift away at the push of a button, stacking up against the ceiling and allowing the dual-seat rear bench, dining table, swivel driver cab seats and side bench to serve as a traditional dining area.
The rear sleeping area is even more impressive and multifunctional. When the double bed lifts away, the full-width box below works as a comfy lounge chair – put some cushions on it and you can stretch out in back while working, playing on a tablet or just relaxing and enjoying the view out the side window. A small side table and charging ports finish the lounge off. The box itself also features four built-in storage compartments below hinged lids, and a mounting strip on its side secures the second table between the two rear seats.
The entire rear furniture box can lift up with a manual outdoor crank, opening up the entirety of the rear pass-through garage underneath. When this furniture box is lowered, the garage still holds smaller cargo, but with it up, the garage can accommodate larger, taller cargo like bicycles. Chausson calls it the "EasyBox."
The Flash 634 seats four standard during the ride and can accommodate one more on the optional fifth road seat. It sleeps four on its three power-lift beds, and Chausson also offers a fifth sleeping berth.
In between all the lifting hardware and hidden storage, the Chausson Flash 634 has a straightforward floor plan. The kitchen block includes a dual-burner stove, sink and 146-L refrigerator, while the wet bath holds a toilet, sink and shower. A large, opening front skylight with screen helps the side windows in bringing in plenty of light during the day.
The Flash 634's 5,500-watt air heating system runs off the vehicle gas tank, and an electronic-ignition boiler delivers hot water to the faucets. An AGM battery provides dedicated electrical storage, and all-LED lighting promotes efficient power usage.
The Flash 634 living module is built out of fiberglass with XPS foam insulation and polyester-reinforced roofing and flooring. Standard crossbars on the back make for no-hassle rack mounting. The Ford Transit chassis comes standard with a 123-hp 2.0-liter engine. The available VIP package brings base vehicle upgrades like cruise control, air conditioning and a passenger airbag.
According to its pricing sheet at the 2018 Düsseldorf Caravan Salon, the 2019 Flash 634 starts at €47,990 (approx. US$55,550). The floor model featured in our photos from the show was priced at €55,045 ($63,720) as optioned with a 168-hp 2.0-liter engine, rear-view camera and other upgrades.
Step inside the Flash 634 in the video below and see how its lifting hardware works overtime to increase usable space throughout the day.