We had been agreeing on the Voyager XS test with Elcamp (the manufacturer of Globe-Traveller motorhomes) for several months, but finally we managed to hunt down a free date only in mid-November. And because this is a particularly busy period in our editorial office, the test had to be extremely short. Short but intense! In four days we covered about 1000 km.
At the beginning of the year, we tested a very similar model of this Polish manufacturer, namely the Pathfinder XS (description here: Winter camper test: Globe-Traveller Pathfinder XS ). Therefore, I will not elaborate on the interior layout - it is almost identical. However, I will try to describe the differences that I consider quite important and I hope that they will help you when choosing a new mobile home.
However, I must add that we conducted the Pathfinder test with two people, and I took my wife and our two-year-old son to Voyager, which also affected the perception of some of the motorhome's functionalities.
The exterior and changes inside
The differences between the two motorhomes can be seen with the naked eye, but only when we look at the back of both vehicles. In the previously tested Pathfinder, access to the trunk is possible through the original steel door fitted by the chassis manufacturer. In Voyager, on the other hand, the original body of the entire rear of the vehicle was made of laminate.
The Globe-Traveller 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 perfectly match the chassis of, for example, a Volkswagen Crafter. I hope that soon such an option will appear in the offer of our native manufacturer.
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 when we were traveling with the baby, because when one person put the baby to sleep in the sleeping area, the other person could easily do something else that required the use of light. Compared to the Pathfinder, the accordion blinds of the windshield 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. Other than that, however, the interiors of both vehicles are virtually identical.
The aforementioned length - less than 600 cm - has a significant impact on the cost of ferry crossings, for example. These relatively small, for a motorhome, dimensions will also be appreciated when navigating narrow streets or parking lots.
In practice, the use of the radio when driving with passengers in the rear proved to be a nuisance. The motorhome has a standard Fiat Ducato radio, which does not provide for additional speakers in the back. Once installed, the power of the speakers cannot be split between the front and rear. Effect? I had to drive with the radio very muted so that the passengers in the back wouldn't have too much noise.
As I learned from the manufacturer, changes have been planned in both tested models since 2018. There will be additional cabinets in the place of the washbasin in the sleeping area. The sink, however, will not disappear, but will be moved to the toilet. An additional novelty will be tinted windows in the living area. There will also be a ladder facilitating access to the upper bed - its absence so far could be a nuisance.
Engine, weight and driveability
The previously tested Pathfinder was equipped with a 3-liter engine with 180 hp, coupled with an automatic gearbox from Fiat. After returning from the tests, I wrote that I think that such an engine should be installed in every motorhome. Now I've changed my mind, but only in terms of capacity.
The currently tested vehicle has a 2.3-liter engine with 150 hp. This power unit handled the car well enough, but I still wish it had a little more power. Fortunately, you can opt for the same engine, but with the power raised to 180 hp and that should be enough to achieve much more fun from driving.
The most important change between the 3.0 liter automatic engine (in the previous test) and the 2.3 liter manual engine (now) is 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 curb weight of the Voyager XS when fully fueled and clean water was 3,120 kg. It is worth noting that both vehicles were retrofitted with, among others, an awning and solar panels, which also contributes to the increase in weight.
The difference in weight between the two motorhomes was also significantly influenced by the fact that the previously tested Pathfinder was built on the "Heavy" chassis and the Voyager on the "Light" chassis. The difference is that the Heavy chassis has a reinforced frame, brakes and suspension, which allows the vehicle's GVM to be raised to 4200kg. In addition, the Heavy version allows you to tow a trailer weighing 3 tons, which is 500 kg more than in the case of the Light version.
When it comes to the consumption of the motorhome, with my very "lively" driving it was 11 l / 100 km, but as soon as I drove a little slower, I could easily go down to 8.5-9 l / 100 km.
The tested Voyager had an additional VB-Airsuspension air suspension installed at the back, which we have already described here: Air suspension in a motorhome . Thanks to this solution, the camper drove very well and stably cornered. However, I must admit that I did not feel much difference between the Pathfinder, which did not have such a suspension and ran just as well.
The lack of a perceptible difference was due to the fact that the Pathfinder used the suspension from the previously mentioned "Heavy" version, which is already a bit stiffer as standard. I have to agree with the manufacturer that the "Light" chassis 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, as well as other media from the caravanning industry in other European countries. During the previous test, I did not have the opportunity to sleep on the upper bed and when describing the experience of using the motorhome, I was suggesting the feelings of a friend who used this bed.
This time I can confirm based on my own experience that it is suitable for use by adults and not just as an "extra bed for children". The only thing that may be problematic when using the bed by two adults is turning 180 degrees after going upstairs to take the right sleeping position (the head should be directed towards the rear of the car). Due to the small space between the bed and the ceiling, this will be a bit difficult, 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 on and off.
Winter version and motorhome heating in winter
Pathfinder, Voyager and Explorer are Globe-Traveller models that are standardly produced as full-fledged winter campers. This means that they are very well insulated and the tanks with clean and dirty water as well as the valve for draining dirty water are located in heated spaces, which allows the vehicle to be used all year round. This is a very important point that not all newcomers pay attention to.
When buying a Globe-Traveller, we can choose between gas or "diesel" heating. In both motorhomes of this brand that I tested, Truma Combi 6 Diesel heating was used - i.e. diesel fuel.
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 several heavy cylinders for winter trips, I consider the advantages worth every price (in Elcamp, the surcharge for such heating is about PLN 5,000).
What we missed in other motorhomes and what I didn't pay attention to during a winter trip with a friend was the ability to install a child seat using ISOFIX. A big bow to Jacek Jaskot (designer of Globe-Traveller) should be given here, that he used this very practical element. This is so useful in a motorhome that when the car is parked, the car seat has to be unfastened to increase the space for sitting at the table.
Although we didn't bring our bikes with us this time, I was very interested in the bike rack mounted on the back. The trunk opening takes up almost half of the rear wall of the motorhome, which means that the trunk must be mounted relatively high, and this would prove troublesome when putting bicycles on the trunk. Fortunately, the manufacturer used the Thule Lift V16 rack, which, using a crank (the one used when unfolding awnings), lowers the entire trunk to a comfortable position. After mounting the bikes, they can be easily raised to transport height.
You can see it in the video I recorded during the test:
A nice thing that satisfied me is a very large number of 230 V and 12 V sockets - they are where they should be and 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 since more and more devices can be powered by a cable with this type of output.
Driving the Globe-Traveller is really fun. In a motorhome of this brand you can feel like in a passenger car. Everything is very well fitted together, you can't even hear the slightest crackle, and the only thing that can clink are beer bottles in the fridge (especially when we pack too few of them). When it comes to the XS variant, you can't expect too much space inside, so you need to think about the amount of luggage you take, especially on longer trips. Fortunately, the manufacturer offers other, larger models to choose from. We will also try to test them for you soon.
- very, very, very well soundproofed motorhome with all elements perfectly matched,
- a neat camper, in which you can feel like in a "passenger car",
- diesel heating (!!!),
- pneumatic suspension,
- practical, lowerable bicycle carrier,
- motorhome in the winter version - because motorhomes are not only for use in the summer,
I would like it better if:
- the manufacturer offered a larger 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 has been installed to facilitate climbing onto the upper bed (from 2018 there will be such a solution),
- the radio had the ability to distribute power between the front and rear speakers,
- the rear seat was slightly better profiled under the back,
- the steering wheel was trimmed with leather as standard.
The full offer of motorhomes of this brand can be found directly on their website globe-traveller.pl