February 12, 2018 – As promised, here we are talking about Falkor, our Hymer Exsis SG. As you may have guessed from reading the previous post, we have a weakness for not too big vehicles. After trying motorhomes from 4.5 meters to 7.5 meters, we realized (Paolo, above all!) That size matters: a short van can be parked in places where cars also stop, while an agile vehicle allows you to go to places that are difficult to access or even closed to a classic motorhome.
However, finding the most suitable vehicle is always the result of a series of compromises. Who doesn’t like having a huge living area, beds that are always ready, separate shower, tall fridge, garage compartment and large wardrobes? By reducing the size, some of these comforts are lost, or at least greatly reduced. If you look at the layouts of most of today’s motorhomes and vans, you will easily realize two things: the minimum dimensions today start (with some rare – and uncomfortable – exceptions) from 6 meters in length and the interior living spaces are very narrow. With the space occupied by modern mechanics removed, there is not much left on the set-up.
In the original Hymer Exsis, born in 2004, the problem was brilliantly solved: instead of making a traditional semi-integral, the Germans dared more, considerably increasing the height and creating not a frontal skyview, but an entire superstructure that goes to replace front pillars and fenders of the Fiat Ducato. The result is an hybrid between semi-integrated and a very original integrated, but above all very spacious and usable inside. All in a length contained in 5.45 meters!
The living area consists of a classic semi-dinette that can afford a side bench for two people: many vehicles even 7 meters long do not have it! The longitudinal fold-down bed, thanks to its total height, guarantees plenty of space for those who rest, but above all, allows you to freely use the underlying dinette, without cluttering the entrance door. In addition, the double bed measures 2 meters long by 1.60 wide: like a home bed! The only negative is that the feet go to the front (where the ceiling is too low for the head and there are no windows), making getting in and out more uncomfortable. On the sides of the bed, however, there are two windows, and the large skyroof is not far away: ventilation is guaranteed.
The linear kitchen, with 3 burners and a steel sink, is small but functional, with 2 drawers (one of which is really large) and a large closet. On the other side, there is a 90-liter Thetford trivalent refrigerator with small freezer and a very large two-shelf cabinet. Above the fridge there is space (even too much!) to place objects of all sizes, which, however, must be fixed in some way or removed when traveling. During the night, that space becomes a gigantic bedside table.
At the height of the kitchen, the floor rises with a fairly high step, which gives access to the large bathroom with wardrobe. This choice makes it easier to get into the bed, to have a large locker accessible from the rear (where we store table, chairs, wedges, toolbox, electric cable and water pipe) and to keep in an internal position (and therefore antifreeze) the gray water tank.
Before the bathroom, on both sides, there are two full-height columns dedicated to stowage. The one on the left is organized in shelves, while on the opposite side there are two removable baskets. At the base is the Truma 4000 stove. Also for stowage, Hymer has thought of ingenious folding compartments (such as those for aircraft) arranged on both sides. There are 5, plus an open compartment. On the sides of the bed there are two practical storage compartments. In addition, the side bench and a one half free under the dinette (the rest of the space here is occupied by the service batteries and the ElectroBlock energy management system), in addition to the compartments under the two swivel seats in the cabin.
The transverse bath is very large, not only in relation to the length of the vehicle, but in absolute terms. The swivel sink leaves room for the use of the toilet and the floor consists of a shower tray measuring 60×90 centimeters. The wardrobe, about 65 centimeters wide, is also very high and under its base there is a fresh water tank (100 liters) and a locker for two 13 kg gas cylinders. Unfortunately, there is no window in the bathroom, but there is a small skyroof.
From this long description it is clear that Falkor is a sort of “Tardis”, the famous phone booth of Doctor Who: small outside, huge inside. A couple of summer holidays and many scraps of travel lasting 36 hours each made us understand that the Exsis SG, with a little spirit of adaptation, could be our new home!
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