Dethleffs Globebus I7 review


Dethleffs Globebus I7 review Dethleffs Globebus I7 review
Dethleffs Globebus I7 review Dethleffs Globebus I7 review
Dethleffs Globebus I7 review Dethleffs Globebus I7 review
Dethleffs Globebus I7 review Dethleffs Globebus I7 review
Dethleffs Globebus I7 review Dethleffs Globebus I7 review
Dethleffs Globebus I7 review Dethleffs Globebus I7 review
Dethleffs Globebus I7 review Dethleffs Globebus I7 review

MCD reviews the German-manufactured Dethleffs Globebus I7

For a motorhome that is less than seven meters long, the Dethleffs Globebus I7 has a lot to offer. Bill Savidan takes a closer look to find out more about this German-manufactured motorhome.

Buyers apparently like A Class motorhomes a lot or they don’t like them much at all. From what I have been told, the most common reason for their dislike is their appearance, while those who like them love the large windscreen and the way it lights up the interior and connects them with what’s going on outside.

Exterior elegance

Dethleffs’ designers have done an excellent job of making the Globebus I7 look good. It has an elegant profile with a gently curved and sloping front panel. Roof rails hint at something interesting along the roofline, while the modest use of black and grey decals around the windows successfully disguise the otherwise box-like side white panels.

The overall length of 6.94 metres is comfortably balanced on the 3.8-metre Fiat chassis. Whether it is enough to sway those in the ‘don’t like the appearance’ camp remains to be seen. Two external features that stand out are the large awning and the huge rear garage. Supplied by Thule, the Omnistor 4.5-metre awning spans from behind the bedroom window to halfway along the driver’s window, providing a large shady refuge on hot summer days.

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The rear garage has a door on both sides for easier loading/unloading. For more headroom, the bed above can be raised up to 300mm by connecting the crank handle and winding away until the desired height is reached. Dethleffs have installed the LPG locker (for two 9kg LPG bottles) kerbside in the garage, which avoids cutting another doorway in the side of the RV, but it does take up useful garage space.

Light and bright interior

Getting into the Globebus I7 is easier now. Dethleffs have installed an electrically powered step and a wider (700mm) door. On entering the lounge, the dinette is to the right and the bathroom and bedroom are to the left. Straight ahead is the kitchen.

With large windows all around, the interior is like a European version of the classic Kiwi RV of old, which had the lounge in the back with windows all around, but here the lounge is at the front.

In the Globebus I7, Dethleffs blend the standard Fiat dashboard components into the surrounding A Class bodywork using matching custom-made panels. The resulting cab is wider than the standard Ducato cab and has a passenger door but no driver’s door. Because the cab is more spacious and has a flat floor, the driver can exit relatively easily past the passenger through the kerbside door.

There are privacy blinds on all cab windows and they work well. The single blinds on the side windows are most effective. They fold into a housing at the rear while underway. When deployed, they slide forward on a top rail and are held at the front by a magnetic strip. A simple but effective system. In keeping with the light airy theme, the cabinetry is honey coloured with a distinctive horizontal timber grain (Rosario Cherry). Drawer and door fronts are lacquered (Ivory) and have a horizontal chrome highlight strip.

The seat cushions including those in the cab are covered with a milk chocolate coloured durable coarse weave fabric with eco-leather infill panels (Quatro). The matching curtains have highlights of silver and champagne. It is practical and conservative—a good base for an adventurous owner to dress up with their own colour preferences.

Dining in comfort

The Globebus I7 has four belted seats and sleeps four, so it is no surprise the dinette seats four in comfort. A small side settee makes a fifth seat and another could be accommodated at the opposite end of the table, but they wouldn’t be so comfortable. There would be a clash of knees under the table. But four for dinner is fine.

The dining table is mounted on a fixed pedestal but the top slides both sideways and fore and aft before locking into the most suitable position.

It has some quirky features too, such as the small wall shelves above the side settee, the shallow locker in the floor under the dinette table, and the upholstered panels on the dinette partition above the side settee and around the long mirror by the entry door. They all add character to the otherwise conservative interior. LED strip lighting has been used extensively to create a moody background light effect to complement the reading and work lights under the overhead lockers.

Kitchen needs

A well-equipped kitchen is a must for most Kiwi motorhomers, and the Globebus I7 does not disappoint. Fitted into a compact space, it has a Thetford Duplex oven, a three-hob LPG cooktop with an extractor fan above, and a 142-litre Thetford fridge/freezer—one of those tall ones with tall bottle shelves on the door. There is good storage with two overhead lockers above the bench and a cupboard and cutlery drawer below. It is a bit short on bench space so you will have to be well organised at mealtime.

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However, ventilation is excellent with a window behind the bench, a hatch above, and a door to the opposite.

User-friendly bathroom

Stepping through to the master bedroom, you pass between the shower stall on the right and the toilet/handbasin compartment on the left. This compartment door swings across to close off the kitchen, giving the occupants of the bedroom complete privacy from the rest of the motorhome. It is a compact space with a handbasin moulded into the bench top on the right and the Thetford swivel bowl toilet on the left. There are cupboards and shelves both above and below the vanity bench top offering plenty of storage options.

Opposite is the shower stall. When the shower is not in use, the shower doors remain open, providing extra passage space past the end of the bed. In a novel combination of door styles, one shower door is hinged and the other slides. Joined together, they enclose a good-sized shower stall with all ‘mod cons’—removable duck boards, shelves for shampoo and soap, a detachable shower handpiece, a roof hatch, and a ceiling rail for clothes hangers. Together these two spaces combine to become a spacious, easy-to-use bathroom.

And it’s bedtime

Come the end of the day, there are two double beds to choose from, the obvious one being the island bed in the master bedroom. The other, less obvious, is tucked into the ceiling above the cab. This bed is a signature feature of A Class motorhomes. Quite a large bed at 1850mm x 1500mm, it lowers to rest on the fully folded down cab seats—an easy height for getting in and out. In the lowered position, it is forward of the dinette so it doesn’t interfere with that seating area. A full-width curtain pulls across for privacy when the bed is occupied. Consisting of a foam mattress over sprung wooden slats, this pull-down bed offers the same level of comfort as the island bed in the rear. So whether the guests are your grandchildren or another couple, the Globebus I7 offers a comfortable night’s stay.

Forward facing island beds are still the most sought-after sleeping arrangement in New Zealand RVs. The Globebus I7 version does not disappoint. It is comfortable and spacious with easy access down both sides and low enough to sit on without stretching your legs. That is providing you don’t exercise the option of raising the bed to provide more headroom in the garage below. Each occupant has a side table and both hanging and overhead lockers. There is more shared space available in a deep locker under a hatch in the floor and below the mattress at the foot of the bed. A window on each side and a roof hatch provide adequate ventilation. Come night-time, LED lights provide both discreet highlights and well directed reading lighting.

Verdict

Like a pocket battleship from times past, the Globebus I7 packs a lot into a small motorhome less than seven metres long. It will appeal to those who have limited parking space at home to store their RV and will offer more overnight parking options to those who tour during holiday peak times. At the same time, it has all the comforts of home at a price I never expected to see an A Class motorhome offered for.

As reviewed, the Dethleffs Globebus I7 retails from $165,000 (including on-road costs and GST) and features a 4.5-metre awning, 200W solar panel, automatic satellite dish, 19-inch LED TV and a seven-inch display stereo with a reverse camera.

 

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