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Standard or Maxi chassis?


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Greetings all - I’m new to the Forum. I would be grateful for any experiences or observations on the maxi versus standard Fiat chassis with regard to ride and handling on a 6.5m-7m van with rear garage, loaded up towards 3500kg in total.

I have recently sold a Burstner travelvan 620G after 10 years good service, standard Fiat chassis, 6.6m long, wheelbase 3.45m, overhang 2m, 3Ltr Comfortmatic. We carried a scooter in the rear garage (Honda Vision 110, a great little machine which I’d thoroughly recommend, only 105kg) so the garage load was about 200kg in total and the the rear axle loading was up towards 1950. Despite that it rode and performed well, albeit with a lightish front end. I had rear air assist fitted but didn’t notice a great difference except usefully raised rear height, and it didn’t stop the various squeaks and groans from the Fiat suspension.

Finances/current uncertainties permitting I would like to get a new van for 2021, definitely narrow and sub 7m, same rear fixed beds/garage for scooter but with a bit more 'strength and flexibility’. I am thinking for example of a the Hymer Exsis t 580 (Fiat chassis based, I think it is a replacement for the the Alko based 588) which at a slightly longer 6.9m also has a slightly longer wheelbase of 3.8m and the same 2m overhang, also a much better garage load capacity of 350kg. I’m assuming a similar total weight towards 3500/rear axle towards 2000. Apart from the scooter we travel fairly light and I’m confident that we can keep within those limits. I’m hopeful that the slightly bigger dimensions and wheelbase would help but that would still leave the question of whether to spec the maxi chassis, possibly downplated so we are not speed or licence constrained.

So my questions are 1/ would the maxi's extra load capability (even if largely unused) help the rear load carrying performance? 2/ How would it be likely to ride and handle compared with the standard chassis fully loaded up? It will be costly enough without the thought of adding full air suspension but 3/ would that in theory be appropriate for this middling size/weight of van and 4/ would that be best fitted on the light or maxi chassis?

Simples - thanks for any observations or advice!!

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