Review: Dethleffs Globeline Low profile T6613EB

By: Bill Savidan, Photography by: Bill Savidan


Bill Savidan gets a pleasant surprise when he gets behind the wheel of the latest Dethleffs Globeline

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Built on a Mercedes chassis, the Globeline gives Dethleffs buyers the opportunity to buy a rear-wheel-drive motorhome

In the past five years, I have reviewed several Dethleffs motorhomes, all built on Fiat Ducato base vehicles. But when I arrived at Zion Motorhomes to find the Dethleffs Globeline up for review, I was surprised to find it was built on a Mercedes Sprinter cab/chassis. 

In the cab

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The Mercedes cab features an MBUX multimedia system with a 7-inch touch screen

While front-wheel-drive Ducatos are often the first choice with motorhome manufacturers in Europe, many buyers prefer rear-wheel-drive motorhomes. By building on the Sprinter, Dethleffs now caters to both front- and rear-wheel-drive markets. But being rear-wheel drive is not the only reason for the move to Mercedes. 

There are up-to-the-minute features such as keyless entry and start, and an MBUX multimedia system with a 7-inch touch screen. The is also a suite of more than a dozen driver aids in the adaptive ESP driver-assist and control system, designed to keep the driver safe an emergency, all of which make the Sprinter a genuine competitor. And with the Mercedes 7G-Tronic Plus fully automatic 7-speed gearbox providing seamless gear changes, the vehicle is also a joy to drive.

Building on a different chassis always presents challenges; is there a step-up/down from the cab to the motorhome or is the floor flat? Is the step through to the cab difficult because the cab roof is so low? Fortunately, with the Sprinter, these issues were resolved, and the Globeline body blends seamlessly with the Sprinter cab.

Exterior

Outside, the all-white Globeline looks clean and polished. The LPG and toilet cassette hatches match the all-white body as do the garage doors, one each side at the back. This rear garage sits on a drop chassis extension that provides extra headroom and has a 150kg loading capacity. It is heated, illuminated, has a 230-volt power outlet and boasts adjustable tie-down points for securing loads.  

At a smidgen under 7000mm long and 3000mm high, the Globeline is reasonably compact. With its foam sandwich panels and shapely fibreglass mouldings, the finished product is light, durable and pleasing on the eye. The panel thicknesses (floor: 49mm, sidewall: 34mm, roof: 35mm) means the Globeline is exceptionally well insulated from both the summer sun and winter snow.

The roof hatches and awning hung windows are double-glazed for better insulation and to minimise condensation. At 4100kg GVW, a Class 1 (car) licence is all that is needed to drive the Globeline. But it does need to meet the more stringent demands of a six-monthly Certificate of Fitness check. 

Boarding

A single pop-out step assists entry through the 700mm-wide house door on the driver’s side. Straight ahead is the dinette and, immediately left, is the kerbside kitchen with the washroom opposite. At the back, there are twin single beds over the garage. This popular layout is not often seen in motorhomes under 7000mm long.

A Globeline point of difference is the small drop-down bed (1600mm x 1000/800mm) over the dinette. This bed only lowers about 600mm, so a ladder (supplied) is required to get in and out. It’s suitable for a young grandchild now, but it will be too small once the teenage years arrive. (Come to think of it that may not be a bad thing.)

Upfront

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When travelling, removing the side settee seat cushions gives the window-seat occupant enough legroom to face forwards

Someone has spent a lot of time getting the dinette seat cushions to the perfect state of softness, where the initial sinking feeling stops at just the right time. If you notice the guests linger longer than they should, that will be why. Having a table that is adjustable fore and aft, and from side to side, compensates for not having a swing-out extension leaf.

Nevertheless, careful tabletop adjustments are required to ensure all diners are close enough to the table. Mounting the TV on the wall above the dinette means the rotated cab seats become the best choice for television watching.

Seat belts are fitted to the two forward-facing dinette seats so, when travelling, removing the side settee seat cushion allows the window-seat occupant to face forwards. As mentioned, the floor is one level from the cab through to the bedroom, where two steps have been installed to make it easier to get in and out of bed. The bathroom floor is just one step up.

The kitchen

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A tidy kitchen with a circular sink alongside a three-burner LPG cooktop; oven underneath, fridge alongside

The kitchen is comprised of three cabinets - a large overhead locker, a benchtop cabinet and a full-height fridge cabinet. They become a typical ‘Euro RV’ kitchen when the large overhead locker is wall-mounted above the 1200mm-long bench cabinet with the full height fridge cabinet fixed alongside.

On the open end of the bench is a 400mm-long extension flap. Even so, meal prep and serving space is tight but adequate for the two or three regular inhabitants of the RV. The suite of appliances is also tailored to meet the needs or two or three. A circular stainless-steel sink is set into the benchtop alongside a three-burner LPG cooktop.

Underneath is an oven with a drawer below, a cutlery drawer above, and a shelved cupboard alongside. Beside the bench is a tall, skinny (1500 x 415mm), 142-litre, single-door Thetford fridge fitted with a sensibly sized cold box. There is floor-level storage under the refrigerator.

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Note the hooks on the wall, the bench extension and the steps to the bed

On the wall beside the cooktop is an interesting array of tracks and hooks that look to me like the right place for hanging cooking utensils. A transparent acrylic panel protects the wall beside the hobs. While there is no extractor fan, a window behind the bench and a roof hatch above should take care of cooking odours and condensation. Some of the supermarket shopping may need to be stored in the lockers above the dinette.

Bathroom

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Access to the handbasin between the shower and toilet is tight but workable

This is a ‘dry’ bathroom, meaning it has a separate shower stall (to the left as you enter). To the right is a Thetford swivel toilet with a handbasin in between. The bathroom has an unusual shower-stall moulding, with lots of odd angles and shapes, dominated by a black acrylic corner piece housing the shower handpiece and toiletry shelves. The wooden floorboard can be removed for cleaning and drying.

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The wooden floorboard can be removed for cleaning and drying

A small four-way ceiling hatch in the ceiling provides ventilation. Access to the handbasin between the shower and toilet is tight but workable. There are two wall hooks for clothes or towels, a drying rail in the shower and a toilet-roll holder. There are no towel rails. Three mirrors, two on the wall-cabinet doors and one on the wall, make the bathroom appear larger than it is, and the illusion helps make the bathroom a success.

Time for sleep

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Made up as a double, the bed is 2170mm wide.

The sleeping area is the ‘piece de resistance’ of the Globeline. Every millimetre of body length the designers have been able to save as they crafted the Globeline interior has been invested here to make it work, look, and feel like the best bedroom it can be.

At 2170mm, it is wide and looks it. Each single bed is 830mm wide, and the infill cushion for making it into a double bed is 510mm wide. The driver’s side bed is 1860mm long, and the kerbside bed is 80mm longer. Like the other mattresses in the Globeline, these are 150mm-thick memory foam, and they sit on sprung wooden slats for extra comfort.

A short ladder is provided for accessing the bed when it is converted into a double. Twin lockers are high enough above the bedhead so you can sit up in bed and read. Further storage is available in the lockers at the foot of each bed, in the narrow hanging locker beside the fridge, and on the shelves, one each side above the windows.

Summary

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Floor plan

The Globeline features one of the market’s most popular floor plans; single beds and a large garage in the rear in a motorhome less than 7000mm long. Built on a Mercedes Benz Sprinter rear-wheel-drive chassis, it provides excellent traction, state-of-the-art driver assistance systems, and comfortable travelling. It is well conceived and well built and worth a look if you are in the market for a medium/small sized motorhome. The Globeline Low-Profile T6613 EB retails from $175,000. 

Pros

  • The bedroom is spacious and comfortable.
  • The dinette, and its super-soft but firm cushions.
  • The rear-wheel-drive Mercedes with its top-class auto transmission.

Cons

  • Towel rails in the bathroom, please.

Dethleffs Globeline Low profile T6613EB specifications

Chassis Mercedez 416
Engine

2.1L, 4-cylinder turbo-diesel

120kW/163HP

Transmission 7G Tronic 7-speed automatic
Berths Three
Approx overall length 6960mm
Approx overall width 2330mm
Approx overall height 3000mm
Water tanks

Fresh 120L
Grey 100L

Gas LPG

2 x 9kg

GVM

4100kg

Tare

3265kg

Payload

835kg

Price as reviewed: From $175,000, incl GST and on-roads

Find out more at zionmotorhomes.co.nz

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