1000 kilometers in a Globe-Traveler Voyager XS motorhome. CampRest test
For the Voyager XS test, we have been signing up with Elcamp (the manufacturer of Globe-Traveler motorhomes) for several months, but the final free date was not found until mid-November. And since it is a particularly busy period in our editorial office, the test had to be extremely short. Short but intense! We covered 1000 km in four days.
At the beginning of the year, we tested a very similar model from this Polish manufacturer, namely the Pathfinder XS (see description here ). Therefore, I will not elaborate on the interior layout - it is almost identical. Instead, I will try to describe the differences that I consider quite important and I hope that they will help you when choosing a new home on wheels.
However, I must add that the Pathfinder test was carried out by two people, and I took my wife and our two-year-old son to Voyager, which also influenced the perception of some of the camper's functionalities.
Exterior and changes inside
The differences between the two motorhomes are visible to the naked eye, but only when we look at the rear of both vehicles. In the Pathfinder tested previously, access to the boot is possible through the original steel door fitted by the chassis manufacturer. On the other hand, Voyager has an original construction for the entire rear of the vehicle made of laminate.
The Globe-Traveler can only be ordered on a Fiat Ducato or Peugeot Boxer chassis. It's a pity, because I think that such a good bodywork would fit perfectly with the chassis of, for example, Volkswagen Crafter. I hope that such an option will appear in the offer of our domestic producer soon.
The rebuilt rear allowed for an additional 12 cm inside the motorhome, while maintaining the same external length (599 cm).
The manufacturer used these additional 12 centimeters to expand the wardrobe and add sliding doors between the sleeping and living areas. The sliding door was very useful for us when we went with the child, because when one person put the child to sleep in the sleeping area, the other could easily do something else that required the use of light. Compared to the Pathfinder, the folding blinds on the windscreen and in the driver's and passenger's doors have been improved. In Voyager, they do not limit the view into the passenger side mirror. Apart from that, the interiors of both vehicles are essentially identical.
The mentioned length - less than 600 cm - has a significant impact, for example, on the costs of ferry crossings. These relatively small dimensions for a motorhome can also be appreciated when walking along narrow streets or parking lots.
In practice, the use of the radio while driving with rear passengers turned out to be troublesome. A standard Fiat Ducato radio has been installed in the camper, which does not provide additional speakers in the rear. Once installed, the speaker power cannot be split between the front and rear. Effect? I had to drive with the radio muffled so that the passengers in the back would not be too loud.
As I learned from the manufacturer, changes have been planned for both tested models from 2018. There will be additional cabinets in place of the washbasin in the sleeping area. However, the wash basin will not disappear and will be moved to the toilet. All windows in the residential part will be tinted as an additional novelty. There will also be a ladder that will make it easier to get onto the upper bed - its lack so far could have been a nuisance.
Engine, weight and driving characteristics
The previously tested Pathfinder was fitted with a 3-liter 180 HP engine, paired with an automatic gearbox from Fiat. After returning from testing, I wrote that I believe that such an engine should be installed in every motorhome. Now I have changed my mind, but only with regard to the capacity.
The currently tested vehicle was fitted with a 2.3-liter 150 HP engine. This power unit handled the car well enough, but I would have liked it a little more power nonetheless. Fortunately, you can choose the same engine, but with the power increased to 180 HP, and this should be enough to achieve much more fun to drive.
The most important change between the 3.0-liter automatic gearbox (in the previous test) and the 2.3-liter manual gearbox (now) is the weight. The difference after weighing the same cars with very similar equipment, on the same digital scale, was 160 kg (in favor of Voyager), which is a huge value in the world of caravanning. The empty weight of the Voyager XS, fully refueled with fuel and clean water, was 3,120 kg. It is worth noting that both vehicles were equipped with, among others, an awning and solar panels, which also increases the weight.
The fact that the Pathfinder tested previously was built on a "Heavy" chassis and Voyager on a "Light" chassis also had a significant impact on the difference in weight between the two motorhomes. The difference is that the Heavy chassis has a reinforced frame, brakes and suspension, which allows you to raise the DMC of the vehicle to 4200 kg. In addition, the Heavy version allows you to tow a trailer weighing 3 tons, which is 500 kg more than in the Light version.
When it comes to the fuel consumption of the motorhome, with my very "lively" driving it was 11 l / 100km, but when I was driving a little slower, you could easily go down to 8.5-9 l / 100km.
The tested Voyager had an additional rear-mounted VB-Airsuspension supporting air suspension, which we have already described here . Thanks to this solution, the motorhome ran very well and took turns stably. However, I must admit that I did not feel much difference between the Pathfinder, which did not have such a suspension and it ran just as well.
The lack of a noticeable difference was due to the fact that the Pathfinder used a suspension from the aforementioned "Heavy" version, which is already a bit harder as standard. I have to agree with the manufacturer that the chassis in the "Light" version combined with pneumatics is the best compromise between weight, price and driving characteristics.
The mentioned suspension not only stabilizes the ride, but can also harden or soften the entire vehicle, which has a significant impact on comfort and safety.
We have written about this innovative solution many times, just like other media from the caravanning industry in other European countries. During the previous test, I did not have the opportunity to sleep on the top bed and when describing the impressions of using the motorhome, I was influenced by the feelings of my friend who used the bed.
This time I can confirm on the basis of my own experience that it is suitable for use by adults and not only as an "extra bed for children". The only problem that may be problematic when using the bed by two adults is turning 180 degrees after climbing up to assume the appropriate sleeping position (head should point towards the rear of the car). Due to the small space between the bed and the ceiling it will be a bit tricky but doable.
The bed turned out to be very comfortable and the ladder, which will appear as standard in the new models, will certainly make it easier to get in and out.
Winter version and motorhome heating in winter
Pathfinder, Voyager and Explorer are Globe-Traveler models that are manufactured as standard fully-fledged winter motorhomes. This means that they are very well insulated, and the clean and dirty water tanks as well as the dirty water drain valve itself are located in heated spaces, which allows the vehicle to be used all year round. This is a very important point that not all newbies pay attention to.
When buying a Globe-Traveler, we can choose between gas or "diesel" heating. In both motorhomes of this brand that I have tested, Truma Combi 6 Diesel heating was used - i.e. diesel heating.
I already know that when I am interested in a motorhome for myself, such interior heating and water heating will be on my list of "mandatory equipment". Convenience, no need to think about how much gas is left in the cylinder, or no need to take a few heavy cylinders for winter trips, I consider advantages worth any price (in Elcamp the surcharge for such heating is about PLN 5,000).
What we missed in other motorhomes, and what I did not pay attention to during a winter trip with a friend, is the possibility of installing a child seat using ISOFIX. A great tribute should be made here to Jacek Jaskot (Globe-Traveler designer) for using this very practical element. This is useful in a motorhome, as the seat must be unfastened when parked to increase the space for sitting at the table.
Although we didn't take the bikes with us this time, I was very curious about the rear mounted bike carrier. The opening for the trunk occupies almost half of the rear wall of the motorhome, so the rack must be mounted relatively high, which would turn out to be troublesome when putting bikes on the rack. Fortunately, the manufacturer used the Thule Lift V16 trunk, which lowers the entire trunk to a comfortable position with a crank (the one used when unfolding the awnings). Once mounted, the bikes can be easily raised to transport height.
You can see it in the video I made during the test:
A cool thing that satisfied me is a very large number of 230 V and 12 V sockets - they are where they should be and there is no need to use additional extension cords. I also learned that all models from 2018 will have more USB sockets as standard. This is very good news, especially as more and more devices can be powered by a cable with this type of output.
Driving the Globe-Traveler is really great fun. In a motorhome of this brand you can feel like in a passenger car. Everything fits very well with each other, you cannot hear even the slightest crackling and the only thing that can knock are the beer bottles in the refrigerator (especially when we pack too little of them). As for the XS variant, you cannot expect too much space inside, so you need to think about the amount of luggage you take, especially for longer trips. Fortunately, the manufacturer offers a choice of other, larger models. We will also try to test them for you soon.
- very, very, very well soundproofed motorhome with all elements perfectly fitted,
- a neat motorhome, in which you can feel like in a "passenger car",
- diesel fuel heating (!!!),
- pneumatic suspension,
- practical, lowered bicycle rack,
- a motorhome in the winter version - because campers are not only for summer use,
I would like it more if:
- the manufacturer gave a wider choice of chassis than Fiat and Peugeot,
- the gas cylinder to power the stove was smaller, which would allow for additional space in the trunk,
- a ladder was installed to make it easier to get on the upper bed (from 2018 there will be such a solution),
- the radio had the ability to distribute the power between the front and rear speakers,
- the rear seat was slightly better contoured for the back,
- The steering wheel was trimmed with leather as standard.
The full range of motorhomes of this brand can be found directly on their website www.globe-traveller.eu
The main driver, founder and the brain of CampRest. He is the one who runs the whole mechanism, implements new ideas faster than he is able to invent them. He used to be a professional driver and have run his own freight forward company - as you can see, he has always been drawn to sleep in the car;) He likes to drive large motorhomes and encourages you to get a C driving license and buy motorhomes over 3.5 tons.