AutoTrail Cheyenne 635SE HiLine
Below is an independant and unbiased review of a AutoTrail Cheyenne 635SE HiLine
This is our second motorhome which we purchased on 12 September 2005 from Brownhills of Newark. We opted for the Maxi chassis with a 3,850 kg payload on the Fiat 2.8 JTD, habitation air conditioning, swivel table, Fiamma two bike rack and a combined Phantom ProActiveTracker and Sigma Category 1 alarm. So far we have spent 35 nights away covering 1,900 miles.
AutoTrail motorhomes look good both outside and inside and the clean smart white aluminium body is finished off by a one-piece GRP roof. Walls and roof are 40mm thick and the vinyl protected floor 45mm thick. All windows and locker doors are well finished off and neat. There are external water-fill, BBQ and shower points, a recessed awning and awning light and we have added a combined terrestrial and satellite TV point which allows us to plug into on-site facilities without the need to thread leads through windows or doors. The entrance door is one-piece with an opening window and comes as part of the one-key central locking system so is convenient and an added safety feature. Decals, recessed front and high level rear lights plus the reversing camera have all been designed to compliment the rounded and smooth body lines.
The 2.8 diesel copes effortlessly with everything we have come across from the fast smooth motorways to the winding and steep roads of Cornwall. One thing that we like is the audible warning buzzer for the retractable step which reminds us that the entrance step is onboard before we start off. The driving position is good and even in bright sunshine the cab overhang reduces glare. There is plenty of adjustment to the seats, upwards, backwards and tilting and the lumbar support is an added bonus, the steering column can also be adjusted. Controls are clear and easy, the wing mirrors superb and the retractable screen for the reversing camera is well positioned, although on bright days the screen is not easy to view. The spare wheel access is easy and there is a remote spare tyre extension valve which makes checking the spare tyre pressure easy.
When entering there is an airy and spacious lounge, L shaped kitchen with a superb rear bathroom and a large Heki roof light. We have the hi-line model with a double bed over the Luton and plenty of storage in the double level eye-level cupboards. The front cupboard next to the driver has the power supply unit (PSU) and multi-channel Freeview receiver and controls for the status aerial. We found the PSU cooling fan to be noisy but it can be switched off at night.
When you enter the motorhome via the electric step the warm Acer veneer and colour coordinated fabrics give the feeling of welcoming, warmth, space and quality. A carpeted floor and 12 volt aircraft type lighting above the wall cupboards adds to the ambience, there are also 240 volt lights on a dimmer switch and under locker reading lights which are attractive and well designed. To the left are the three and two seater settees. The passenger seat rotates to make use of the swivel table at the front for drinks and eating. The upholstery is buttoned, plump and comfortable with the wall panels set off from the side walls to allow ventilation. A cocktail cabinet with racks for glasses and bottles is housed above a work surface which in turn houses the Truma gas and electric heater. The work surface provides the base the TV and wall sockets provide 240 and 12 volt power points and a TV aerial socket linked to the entertainment centre. The folding table is stored in the wardrobe when not in use.
My wife loves the L shaped kitchen which has been ergonomically designed with everything within easy reach. A big plus is the dual power cooker providing three gas hobs plus a 700 watt electric ring to make best use of on site power supplies. The grill and oven provide the dedicated cook with plenty of options and the floor level storage area is good for storing pots and pans. Immediately opposite is the raised fridge with a generous freezer compartment. The fridge operates on mains, 12 volt electricity or on-board gas and is simple to operate from one switch. When not in use the catch can be set to let air flow into the fridge to prevent smells. The sink with a mixer tap and draining board with its own waste outlet is adequate for most uses and has twin removable work tops. An added bonus is that the work tops can be mounted on a separate aluminium strip to provide extra work surface. There is plenty of cupboard space below the sink, in the cupboard under the work surface and two drawers below the fridge with one being a spacious cutlery drawer. At eye-level are two cupboards for plates and one with a roller top for a microwave complete with internal power point. But the roller top is grey, why canít it be in Acer? Above the fridge is a large cupboard which can take a massive amount of food.
Separated from the kitchen by a sliding door this is superb in terms of quality, space and fittings. There is a rear window and the lighting in both the bathroom and shower is effective. The large mirror is ideal and the open shelf storage and wall cupboards and storage below the washbasin are adequate for everything modern couples require. The shower is full height and we find it most useful for hanging our outdoor clothes. The bathroom is carpeted and heated and has an Omnivent 12 volt three speed roof vent providing facilities for extracting and blowing air.
As a four berth the lounge and Luton make into double beds and we store the bedding in the Luton. However we use the long side of the lounge as a single bed for Verna and I sleep in the Luton. We both get a peaceful nightís sleep with plenty of space.
There is exceptional storage both inside and outside with three external lockers. One of these is a wet locker with drainage and the other houses the leisure battery and as it also connects to the inside is alarmed when the central locking is activated. The wet locker could perhaps be longer. In addition, the gas locker which is opened from inside has room for two 13kg bottles and we have a TB Turbo refillable bottle with a permanent fill point in the underskirt. This leaves us room in the locker to store the levelling blocks. The wardrobe has twin doors for access from the bathroom or lounge and internal lighting.
The Fiat conversion has a radio and single CD which doubles up as a DVD/MP3 player with rear speakers but for music a multi-disc version would be a bonus. Also fitted as standard is a flip down TV monitor linked to the infra red reversing camera and multi channel Freeview TV receiver.
The heating system which we believe provides the most flexible system available has a Truma combi 3 Kw gas and 2 Kw mains electric heater with 12 volt blown air system using five floor level vents. The electric heater has 500, 1000 and 2000 watt settings which is ideal for overnight and daytime heating in winter and can be quickly boosted by the gas heater when it is really cold. The hot water boiler is gas/mains electric and very efficient although the on/off switch is under the seat so not the easiest to get to. Although the body only has a single floor nearly all the pipe work is above the floor level and will remain frost-free except in very cold temperatures. The insulated fresh water tank is slung below the floor but above the waste water tank so again is well protected. The digital electronic controls above the door are easy to understand and we like the battery charging switch which allows either the leisure battery to be charged on its own or both the leisure and vehicle battery to be charged. This is a big help to us as our motorhome is kept on a secure storage site and overnight charging every 3 to 4 weeks keeps both batteries topped up in winter. We also fitted an extra mains power point behind the driverís seat to plug in our laptop.
The design is excellent for us; the build quality superb and driving is very quiet with no rattles, groans or squeaks.
AutoTrail Cheyenne 635SE HiLine
Verna and Chris
Related Link: Auto Trail
January 12th 2006
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