Dethleffs Globebus Active T2 review

By: Peta Stavelli


Dethleffs Globebus Active T2 review Dethleffs Globebus Active T2 review
Dethleffs Globebus Active T2 review Dethleffs Globebus Active T2 review
Dethleffs Globebus Active T2 review Dethleffs Globebus Active T2 review
Dethleffs Globebus Active T2 review Dethleffs Globebus Active T2 review
Dethleffs Globebus Active T2 review Dethleffs Globebus Active T2 review
Dethleffs Globebus Active T2 review Dethleffs Globebus Active T2 review
Dethleffs Globebus Active T2 review Dethleffs Globebus Active T2 review
Dethleffs Globebus Active T2 review Dethleffs Globebus Active T2 review

Inside and out, the Globebus Active T2 from Dethleffs looks like a much larger motorhome. It’s hard to believe it’s less than six metres long…

First impressions: The blue and white exterior looks regal. It’s not all that surprising to find this combination has been named ‘Imperial’ Blue and White by the manufacturers. Inside, it’s approachable, woody and light with everything needed to get up and go within easy reach.

But as I scan the well-thought-out and extensively kitted interior, I am still coming to terms with the fact the vehicle is less than six metres. It does not seem possible to fit so much into so little. And then I drive it and understand the pure genius of this design which drives like a ‘van and looks like a larger RV.

I’m a bit of a chicken when it comes to driving brand-new vehicles onto main roads and the exit from UCC’s Christchurch yard on to Main South Road only comes after negotiating a parallel side road which is frequented by really large trucks. Suddenly I feel small again.

But no need to worry. To scramble the animal metaphors, this little puppy purrs like a kitten as we melt into the traffic and negotiate our way towards Halswell Quarry Park for photographs. After a few intersections with traffic lights, followed by a trickier few without, I’m beginning to get the hang of it and I am mightily impressed.

Even my sidekick, sales manager for digital, Georgia, is looking relaxed. In fact it’s turned into a very pleasant girl’s day out as we reach the edge of the countryside where long, wide and mostly empty roads give me an opportunity to plant my foot. But nor do we encounter trouble on the narrower roads of the quarry park where we pass other vehicles and families ambling along in the bright autumn sunshine. Nifty is how I would describe the Globebus Active.

Technically speaking, this is how the designers intended the low frame chassis and low overall height, combined with aerodynamically designed cab hood with a powerful 2.3-litre MultiJet engine, to perform. Aerodynamic design equals, not only performance, but also a reduction in fuel consumption. On the day of our test, I am particularly grateful for this as the needle of the test model showed empty all the way there, and back.

I loved the large panoramic window and the well-designed cab interior. Above the cab is a large opening skylight. This vehicle is sleek in appearance and performance. Safe on the road with standard ESP and important driving assistance systems; cruise control, if desired, and with safety features like daytime running lights. I love that the long-lasting rear lights are multi part which makes repairs easier and cheaper.

Stepping inside the low profile vehicle is easy. I am really taken with the arched design of the convex door, which – in common with all opening flush windows is screened. The honey tones of the Calva Apple Wood joinery imbue the interior with warm light.

Globebus _Active8

Everything in the Globebus Active has been designed to be non-fussy and sleek so that the sense of space is maximised. Behind the scenes is the manufacturer’s clever design of retracting overhead lockers and hidden electrical ducts which enable the easy retro-fitting of extra spotlights, speakers, or sockets.

The kitchen, even by European standards, is compact and yet it’s not the smallest RV galley I’ve been in. It contains everything you need in the way of appliances and interior storage. The 90-litre three-way fridge includes an eight-litre freezer. The fresh water tank is 114 litres while the waste water tank is 90 litres. The motorhome is certified fully self-contained. And – more good news – it runs on a warrant of fitness.

No matter what your plans are you will find the exterior locker large enough to store all the toys you require. It’s nothing short of amazing to find a locker of this size in a vehicle so small and, again, that’s the genius of this design: big thinking; small space.

Nor will you suffer any comforts when travelling in any conditions. The Globebus is fitted with a powerful Truma6 E Heater and an Air Plus ventilation system to keep air circulating. Outside the GRP roof is designed to be snow- and hail-proof.

Researching for this story, I stumbled across an article written for UK magazine Practical Motorhomes which gave me some background to the Dethleff’s story of which I was not aware. The company has recently appointed a new managing director, Alexander Leopold who, since his appointment, has been overhauling the company’s ethos, actively targeting the mainstream, emphasising its ‘Friend of the family’ tagline. The company is focusing on creative innovations like the new electric drop-down bed in the 4-Travel range (we will be reviewing this vehicle next issue).

Under Leopold’s direction, the Globebus has become the Globebus Active and is actively marketed to the "downsizers" who combine touring with travel on city streets. That was me, as I negotiated unfamiliar and busy roads crossing Christchurch. I applaud the wisdom of this design which really allowed me to have the best of both worlds.

Other innovations in the 2016 range include 16-inch stainless steel wheels in all models; plus LED daytime running lights and improved EvoPore mattresses to replace the previous ones made of cold foam.

Again, the focus on more-for-less will appeal, not only to entry-level double-income no kids couples; it will also have broad appeal at the other end of the spectrum as those active retirees who have been used to a much larger vehicle look to one which gives them all the comforts of a home away, but with an ease of negotiability for driving in cities and towns.

From me, it’s a big thumbs up for the Globebus Active Low Profile T2.

For more information on this vehicle, drop in to UCC at 7 Foremans Road, Christchurch, or phone 0800 222 108. For North island readers, contact Jonas on 0800 11 2828.

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