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Chausson Flash 04 - comments please!

Mel B

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Hi guys


We've been traipsing round the NEC today looking at various van conversions, liked the Mondial and a couple of others but have come to the conclusion that whilst they look really smart and are nicely finished, they will be just too small for us an our kit.


So, we had another mooch round and saw the Chausson Flash 04, on a Ford base (yippee!), which is similar to the layout we now have but is only 5.99m long. It has a half dinette up front on offside, then washroom - no separate shower but a 'beam me up Scotty circular enclosure. Then on the opposite side, there's a single seat opposite the table, entrance door, kitchen with 3 burner hob and sink (grill at eye level), wardrobe, and finally a fixed transverse bed which can be raised/lowered, with good sized garage under.


The base is the new Ford 2.2 140bhp unit with cruise control, air con, upgraded radio/cd, electric windows & mirrors, remote central locking.


It's a very nice vehicle and will probably do us nicely.


The only downside is that we'd have to go down past Bristol to get it as no one else can come up with a good enough deal (£3,000 difference in the PX value so worth the trip!!!).


Does anyone have any experience of Chausson? It looked to be a fairly good quality build, the only slightly reduced quality being in the windows which aren't the flush type we have now, other than that it seems to be very good.




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No personal experience of course, but one of the mags (PMH I think) did a full review of it a couple of issues back and gave it very good marks for build quality. I think they said something like "German quality at an Italian price."

I remember us thinking it's just the sort of thing we'd change to when I retire, and don't need "everyday vehicle" anymore.

Maybe someone else can come up with the article reference?


Stick with Fords girl - you know it makes sense!

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Hi Mel

We looked at this layout at the Oct 2008 show.

If you are going back to the NEC have a look at other M/H's with the same layout.

Autocruise Sportstar (Peugeot), West Van (Ford, very nice but expensive) Adria (can't remember the model) Hobby Van (Ford), amongst others all around the 6.0m. Also Autotrail's Excel garage model (but that is 6.4m)

They will at least give you a comparison of the interior options and build quality.

The Flash build quality "looked" to be reasonable, but the Flash models are Chausson's entry range, so I would expect there are some cost reduction areas somewhere.

Chausson motorhomes are a French company, as a part of the Trigano group (same group as Auto-Trail)

Although the rise/lower rear bed was atractive we could not have lived with the interior colour scheme (furniture & fabrics), but that may well have changed in 18 months.

We prefered the Autocruise despite the Sevel problems, but have not found any difficulties with the 5speed 2.2L 100bhp engine/gearbox.

(The water in engine bay mods had been factory fitted before we took delivery.)

We find the 100bhp engine is more than adequate for a 6M van and will cruise at motorway speed. So I would expect the Ford 140bhp to be more than capable.

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Hi guys - just managed to get a signal again! Thanks for the comments.


Ford base - lovely. Drove a short wheelbase van recently on a 13.5 hour round trip to London (don't ask!), and it was lovely, didn't get a numb bum either!


The rise/lower bed is quite a benefit for us - if we want to take one of our 'new to us' scooters with us, we can by raising it, otherwise we can just put the bicycles in there. As for the colour scheme, it's the Malibu (blue) one but as I always make covers for everthying to protect it form our little hairy monsters, it doesn't matter, but is actually quite nice anyway.


We looked at the Autocruise already and it's not as usable for us as the garage is smaller and the cost is a good £5,000 more, plus of course it's the smaller engine (we do like going up mountains!) and on the Fiat ... I think I'd be too worried. The Hobby vans are rediculously priced now - and we can't in all honesty see why.


We'd already considered the Excel smaller version with the rear double bed, but we like the fact that the Chausson still has a rear garage - keep ing the length down ot the 6 metre mark even with the bikes on board, putting the on the rear would add another half a metre so sort of defeats the object of downsizing really.


The PX is very good - £12,500 to change and they'll put on a directional aerial, transferring the 2nd leisure battery and the solar panel and it has extras such as air conditioning and the better radio/cd. Not quite finished 'haggling' yet so might do even better! :D


Going back into the show tomorrow so will have another good crawl all over it and the competition. Must say, though, that overall it should suit us down to the ground. It will also mean that we can sell the car and use the 'van when we need to do shopping etc, as we can now use our scooters for generally running around locally.


I'll have to give up my lovely bit AES split fridge/freezer but on the plus side it has diesel heating that can be used on the move so no freezing whilst travelling - must admit I've missed that with the Rimor as our Rapido had a heat exchanger for rear heating.

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in your postion 12 months ago

saw a chausson allegro 94 @ nec same layout

highbridge made us a great offer however after the show we saw the same model locally and after negotaiations got a better deal, and didn't have to travel 300miles for services or snags.

Which haven't been with the van but with the satelite system.

would certainly recommend Chausson we are off to europe from may till xmas will then see how it performs

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Guest JudgeMental
Randonneur - 2010-02-26 8:03 PM


I thought Chausson were French!


Me 2! :-D


The bed can be lowered right? This is good IMO you can still sleep in it in higher position and when you take the bikes out, lower it for a little more air and comfort........


£25000'ish new in Germany, what where they at the NEC?


Honestly? Its a bit plain for my tastes.



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Sorry if this is a bit late, but if it's on the short wheelbase Transit, Mel, be wary of traction if you do carry those scooters.  If it is on MWB, ignore, mostly, the following. 

You'll need to check the weight limit on the garage.  I wouldn't even think about hanging the scooters on a rear bracket, far too far behind the rear axle!  Check underneath for a chassis extension, ours has about two tonnes of extra steel under the rear!

You will find the interior storage limited, meaning a lot has to go into the garage, behind the axle.  This may well not overload the rear axle, thought it will probably run it close, but it will all deduct load from the front, where the drive is. 

I predict slightly vague steering, constant awareness that the weight is all at the back (a bit like a VW "beetle"), a degree of wallowing around on uneven surfaces, and a sometimes critical lack of traction at the front.

Some of these downsides can be overcome by adding air-rides at the rear.  This will mostly cure the wallowing, and some of the steering waywardness, but will do nothing for the lack of traction.

The rest of the wayward steering, and some of the loss of traction, can be compensated by reducing front tyre pressures.

Ours is on Continental Vancos (not the "camping" flavour), and I am using front pressures from British Tyre Manufacturers' Association "Tyre Safe" booklet, for a 1,300Kg axle load at 36psi/2.5 bar.  Conti couldn't recommend pressures for these tyres (215/75 R 16C), because the load was off the bottom of their load/pressure graph!  However, as members of the BTMA, they advised the pressures published in the booklet were fine to use.

If we had even one scooter in the garage, I don't think the front wheels would, actually, touch the ground!  :-D

I suspect there will be no spare wheel.  If you add one, it will have to go in the garage, so adding another 25Kg to its load.

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The Flash 4 is on a Transit FWD mwb 3300m platform-cab chassis - same as your Hobby Van. The swb version is 2933mm, but I don't think anyone builds coachbuilt motorhomes on it. The lwb FWD platform-cab chassis is 3750mm.




There's plenty of Chausson-related stuff if you search on Chausson/Derek Uzzell/All posts. I stand by my comments in the following thread:




Essentially - nice base-vehicle, practical design, B & Q build quality.



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Derek Uzzell - 2010-02-28 11:21 AM




Essentially - nice base-vehicle, practical design, B & Q build quality.



We bought a Challenger Genesis 34+ -theChusson Flash 04 is the same layout etc in France. Would endorse Derek's comment about the build quality -not finished to the highest standard, but it is (or at least was when we bought it 18 months ago) an entry level model.


Love the Ford base although a slight niggle is having had 2 clutch cylinders under the pedal replaced in less than 15000 miles. This baffles Ford but at least I am enjoying a dialogue with them and feel they are concerned and want to help.

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Thanks to everyone for their helpful comments and info. We did the deal, we decided not to have a BBQ point or extra sockets put in (probably won't use them) so it's costing us £12,254 to change from our Rimor, should be getting it early April all being well (it's being made at present so we know it is a genuine 2010 one). We had a really good mooch around again and did lots of research on the internet and talked to others at the show and decided it was definitely the right van for us and the deal was good too. :-D


This is where we’re getting it from:




It is classes as a 3/4 birth and has seatbelts for 4. It has the larger 140bhp engine, air con, and an upgraded radio, passenger and driver airbags, grill electric mirrors and windows, and remote central locking.


Judge: Not sure where you’ve found them for sale at £25,000 in Germany, I certainly can’t!??? I assume that would be for the very base model, without the upgrades of: air con, 140 bhp engine, electric mirrors/windows (?), passenger airbag, grill, etc, etc. :-S


Yes, the bed can be raised and lowered manually - similar to the way you wind out a side awning - ie still the hook end in the slot and twist - very easy to do and no electrics to drain the battery. There’s a large garage door on the offside, and a smaller one on the nearside which is ideal - some ‘vans only have one door so I don’t know how you get the stuff out of the other end! The bed being able to be raised and lowered is ideal for our varying needs.


The chassis is 3500kg, not 3300kg so payload shouldn’t be an issue at all and the chassis extends right to the very rear. The rear garage has a 150kg limit which should be more than sufficient for our needs. There is a surprising amount of storage in the main internal part of it (we’ve explored every nook and cranny!). There are a couple of very good drawers which run below the 2 steps under the bed which will take a lot of stuff, plus the bottom kitchen cupboard is fairly spacious too. The locker over the cab it absolutely massive although it does appear to not be insulated well so I’ll have to sort that out so we don’t get condensation problems (as per some other more expensive makes of van). Basically it will do exactly what we want it to, and once I’ve tweaked it a bit everything should fit nicely - I’ve already got a plan to make an extra worktop area which will give me a good lot of extra space to make up for what I’m losing. Plus as we will only have a half dinette, it means we can utilise the front cab seats to relax in (very comfy they are too), something which we can’t do in the Rimor and has always ‘irritated’ me at the waste. The only real loss is the large AES fridge freezer, but as we generally take loads of stuff away with us and end up bringing most of it back (after it’s had a nice holiday) because we end up buying fresh, it ends up not really being used as it should anyway, unfortunately it’s a manual one so I’ll have to get used to twiddling knobs again!


Really looking forward to having on road heating again though! Fitting a second leisure battery will look after the extra power requirements for it being a diesel although we’re going to have to get a new one as the 2nd one we installed last year is a 110 amp and the one in the Chausson is 85 amp so we’ll have to match it - anyone want to swap?


The tyres are Continental Vanco ones and I do plan to get a spare wheel as you rightly guessed there isn’t one fitted, but there’s a very nice spot for it just on the nearside in the garage virtually not far behind the rear axle so the weight will be in a sensible place.


We were only thinking of taking the Yamaha Vity scooter to the odd show etc in the UK as that’s when we’d leave the ‘van on its pitch and go out. When we’re abroad, we travel around from place to place in the ‘van, rather than stay in one spot much, so wouldn’t really use the scooter there. As the Vity weighs 110kg max (with fuel etc), so that still leaves 40kg of allowable load in the garage (obviously taking into account the rear axle weight). The only other items of weight would be the Wetline canoes at around 13kg each plus another 5kg total for the paddles etc, but as we’d only have the bicycles with us rather than the scooter, this wouldn’t be an issue anyway. We have thought about it a lot!


Unfortunately dealers are pretty scarce on the ground in our neck of the woods, the nearest who also do Chausson are Lowdhams and their PX was £3,000 less than we’re getting for the same van, so it’s a no brainer really. The Challenger 34 is similar but doesn't have some of the stuff that the UK versions have by the looks of it, there is very similar CI version (almost identical in fact) but it was at least £2,000 more and with the lower spec engine.


We have thought about the implication of getting from a dealer so far away, but we’ve had ‘vans now since 1996 in one shape for form, and we’ve had no problems with the habitation part of our Rimor (ie fixtures etc) at all, only with the fridge which was fixed by Dometic by their local ‘roving’ engineer, so anything like that can be sorted without a dealer trip. Similarly the base vehicle can be done locally to. It would have to be a fairly major problem to need us to go back to Highbridge to get something sorted out, and, as I’m quite a dab hand with most things, so long as if anything went wrong or needed sorting, I could get the relevant part shipped to me, there isn’t an issue. We also don’t have to go back to them for the habitation service either (I checked!).


The build quality is fine, the cabinet work isn’t as flash (no pun intended!) as the more expensive Welcome model but will more than serves the purpose we want, and the structure etc is the same as are the furnishings and majority of fittings. The Fiat version (Welcome) has a slightly smaller habitation area to keep the length to 5.99m due to the front bumper taking up a few more inches, this is apparent at the kitchen area which has a different layout, and not as good as the layout in the Ford based Flash version. The only other real difference we could spot is the different windows, plus, of course, by the time you’ve spec’d it up to match the Ford (air con, cruise etc), it takes the price over £40k ... and of course it’s a ruddy Fiat!


We don't have to have an alarm fitted but hubby wants one (he's a worrier!) and we've also priced up air assisted suspension in case we decide to go down that route if we need it (we've already got it on our Rimor). Other than that we're going to see how we get on before we decided to splash any more cash on an awnings as we hardly used it last year, or any other bits.


But we did spend a little more on something ... we finally gave in and bought a double skillet from D&F promotions - with the new van not having an oven (not that I ever use the one I have in the Rimor!) it will be good to be able to do stuff if I want to - looking forward to trying jacket spuds - plus it means I can discard some of my current pans/frying pans too.


Getting excited now!


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Derek Uzzell - 2010-02-28 10:21 AM Brian: The Flash 4 is on a Transit FWD mwb 3300m platform-cab chassis - same as your Hobby Van. The swb version is 2933mm, but I don't think anyone builds coachbuilt motorhomes on it. The lwb FWD platform-cab chassis is 3750mm. ..............

Thank you Derek.  As you surmise, I had assumed ours was on the SWB, simply because I had never seen a shorter version under a motorhome!

Notwithstanding, my comments on the length of rear overhang, and its potential impact upon handling if heavily laden, would still appear valid.  Apologies to Mel if my wheelbase error caused any confusion.

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... and you were making comment about the size of my 'bottom' Brian! 8-)


No confusion here Brian, I'd already checked before signing on the dotted line what the wheelbase/overhang etc was so as not to have 'canterlever' probelms. With your van being on the smaller wheelbase I can understand why you have to be careful, perhaps strapping the better half on the bonnet when fully laden would help with traction? :D


Forgot to say, the more expensive Fiat one also had the big opening skylight window at the front (not sure if it was an additional option though), but obviously it lost a lot of storage space in the process so anyone buying on of these will have to think carefully about where to put all their bits and pieces.

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Guest JudgeMental

Good luck with the new van! :-D Ignore my previous comments re price I was wrong, my kids have stolen my calculator:D


The exchange rate seems to be plummeting again 1.15-16 a couple of weeks ago, now 1.10 again *-)


If the fridge is a 98L then it is enough for 2 people I think...anything less is a struggle


so this is it?



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It's taken me 15 bl**dy minutes to get the website you've given to load Eddie - can't wait to get my replacement Mifi dongle tomorrow, this old dongle's driving me insane!


Yes and no - The external shots are of an older version I think with the kitchen at the front opposite the dinette and the older style decals, the overcab moulding has been changed too. However most of the interior shots are correct with the kitchen next to the wardrobe opposite the washroom. The washroom has a different sink though. It's the right colour furnishings though so whoever is selling it has used some of the new model's interior shots! If they layout had been the one with the kitchen at the front I wouldn't have bought it - with ours having the kitchen opposite the washroom means that access to the dinette/front seats in unimpeded which is much better and I can utilise the washroom sink too when I've got the cover down over the kitchen one. As I said the layout is very similar to what we have now which works very well for us, so is just a cutdown version.


If you look at the Highbridge Caravans site, the pictures are right with the exception that the large cupboard over the kitchen sink has a Smev grill and a small set-back cupboard next to it instead (gotta have my toast ... hopefully it'll work better than the crappy one we have now!):



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Eddie - it's a 90L fridge, so a bit smaller but we've already thought about that - we have a good freezer box which we can put salad stuff etc in along with a freezer block if we find it a bit tight ... especially if we end up with one of those giant lettuces they sell in france the size of a football! 8-) Compromises have to be made to enable us to go 'smaller' and still get the layout we want and that's one of the ones we are willing to accept - the rear bed is still a nice size though - plenty of room for us and the mutts when they jump on us in a morning (assuming Lily learns to mountain climb!).


The new layout will also allow us to seat 5, rather than the 4 we have now ... so if you see us at one of the shows you can pop over for a natter as we'll now have space to entertain in comfort!!!


If you want to see something different Eddie, have a look at the Chausson S2 - if we hadn't wanted a garage (and to avoid a Fiat) we'd have been very tempted to go for it instead.

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Mel B - 2010-02-28 4:51 PM No confusion here Brian, I'd already checked before signing on the dotted line what the wheelbase/overhang etc was so as not to have 'cantilever' problems. With your van being on the smaller wheelbase I can understand why you have to be careful, ..............

But see Derek's correction, because both are, in fact, on the same wheelbase Transit.  You will be likely to experience the same problems, subject to actual loading.  It is perfectly manageable, but I'd guess you will want to take some corrective measures.  Enjoy!

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flicka - 2010-02-28 7:50 PM


Congratulations on the deal for the new van, Mel.

Now the long wait for delivery :'(


Thanks flicka - not long to wait, it should be at the dealers by the end of March and we should get it early April - they'd already pre-ordered 5 of them and had sold 2 already. When they sell them all they won't be able to get any more until 2011 as they have been very popular and dealers just can't get hold of them now! Even Lowdhams told us the same thing so that's why we decided to get ours now rather than risk waiting and possibly not getting as good a PX or missing out altogether!

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Brian Kirby - 2010-03-01 12:20 PM
Mel B - 2010-02-28 4:51 PM No confusion here Brian, I'd already checked before signing on the dotted line what the wheelbase/overhang etc was so as not to have 'cantilever' problems. With your van being on the smaller wheelbase I can understand why you have to be careful, ..............

But see Derek's correction, because both are, in fact, on the same wheelbase Transit.  You will be likely to experience the same problems, subject to actual loading.  It is perfectly manageable, but I'd guess you will want to take some corrective measures.  Enjoy!

Brian - Between you and Derek, and my struggling to get pages to load properly with the ruddy awful old dongle, I got very confused with what you two were saying whilst trying to speed read! 8-) What length IS your van? I've tried to do searches on the internet but gave up when it took 10 minutes to load one page off Yahoo! And forget trhinging to find any pictures ... it takes 30 seconds to load your avatar picture (worth waiting for though chuck! ;-) :D ).
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FWD, LHD, 2007 Transit 350 platform cab, 2.2L Duratorq TDCI diesel, 130PS, Ford Flex Packet (German spec: cab aircon, cruise con, radio/CD, tinted windows + screen, electric mirrors).  Overall length 6,070mm (Hobby Catalogue, unchecked), wheelbase 3,300mm (Ford handbook, MWB).  Height 2,700mm, MAM 3,500Kg, MIRO 2,680Kg (weighbridge) 2,700Kg (catalogue) :-).

All these personal details!!!!  I've no privacy left!  :-D

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Oooo Brian, your's is bigger than mine! 8-) The Chausson is 5.99m so you've got an extra 8cm ... no wonder you have a problem with your overhang, a few extra cm can make all the difference you know! :D


The official figures for the 2010 Chausson Flash 04 are:


Base vehicle:


Ford Transit 350L UKP (RHD) 2,200cc / 140BHP / Turbo Diesel




MTPLM: 3500 (68.95 CWT)

Mass in Running Order: 2788 (54.92 CWT)

Maximum User Payload: 712 (14.03 CWT)




Overall Length: 5.99 m (19´ 8.01")

Overall Width: 2.3 m (7´ 6.62")

Overall Height: 2.71 m (8´ 10.77")


Also new for 2010 are a couple of cubby holes at either side of the overcab area, and the curved cupboard doors rather than the flat plain ones in previous years' versions. The build quality is the same as the Welcome so its just bits and pieces such as the big skylight that's not on the Flash models (not too keen on them anyway as we don't want to cook the dogs!).

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  • 4 weeks later...

I know when my new 'baby' is due now!!!! :->


Highbridge have rung today - our 'baby' has been 'born' and is now awaiting collection from the Chausson works, should be in the UK just after Easter. We've arranged to be there to take delivery bright and early on 19 April so they can move our solar panel and 2nd leisure battery across whilst we go for a potter. Then we're going to stop somewhere round there for a couple of nights (CL probably) to make sure everything is okay before making our way across to Peterborough for the show as we're booked in from Thursday to Sunday with the 'Funsters'. :-D


I've also chosen the registration number ... WA10 AGZ ... or ... WAGZ!!!!


With us having dogs its quite appropriate I think! :D

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