Humberto is a 2008 Hymer B544.

We chose the B544 because of the large lounge area.  I’d say it has the largest lounge of any (European style) motorhome, of any size.  That’s quite a statement considering it’s only a 6.5m long van I know. Let me explain.  The B544 does not have a fixed bed or garage.  It has a drop-down double bed above the cab and a few options of how to utilise the two Sofas for sleeping.  The lack of Garage/Fixed-bed frees up 75% of the inside for seating.  The driver and passenger seats swivel round to form part of the lounge and means you could (if you actually wanted to) seat 8 people around the table. (Hint.  There’s  video down below if  you want a tour)

We have seen some very large (8m plus) vans that, because of their fixed bed and (extremely useful) garage beneath, are left with a rather small, and formal, 4 or 5 seats around a small table.  That just doesn’t appeal to me at all, I like to stretch out on a sofa and the B544 provides that on each side, ideal for 2 people to properly relax in the evening…without actually going to bed.

The drop-down bed has pillows and duvet on it at all times.  It takes about 30 seconds to fold the front seats and drop the bed into place so it’s really no hassle.  It also leaves the 2 sofas free if people want to stay up late.

Since ALL motorhome layouts are a compromise we decided that this was the best compromise for us.  If you want EVERYTHING then you suddenly find yourself driving a 13m, 8 tonne RV. which in itself a compromise.

The engine is a 3.0L 160BHP 6 speed manual.  We don’t get embarrassed by cars at traffic lights, it has plenty of “Go”.  So far we have achieved around 25-26mpg, about what we expected.  The chassis is rated to 3850Kg (uprated 350Kg from basic 3500Kg so we should have no problems with payload).

You can never have enough storage (and I’ll always wish Humberto had a big garage) but, for a 6.5m van it really does offer a lot of options.  It has a double floor with “skirt-lockers” between the floors.  If you look at the photos you can see the doors along either side of the skirts.  They are about 24cm tall, which isn’t exactly a garage, but go right across the width of the vehicle.  That means we have huge amounts of storage for things no deeper than 23cm.  We need to think how best to utilise it but it’s enough.

Internal storage is also very generous and well thought out.  The sofas are on top of flip-lid storage “bins”, there are plenty of wall cupboards, kitchen drawers and Washroom cupboards.

See video below for a tour.

In summary, we must have viewed hundreds of Motorhomes over the last 10 years and none of them gave us so much of what we wanted with so few compromises as this Hymer B544.

The only motorhome I have seen that would tempt me away from Humberto… is a 2016 B544 (only because I love the swing-wall shower room) but that is £85,000 !!!!!  I’d be afraid to leave it out of my sight.

Click image for full-size.

Humberto - 2008 Hymer B544 - Raglan Castle, Monmouthshire, Wales.
Humberto – 2008 Hymer B544 – Raglan Castle, Monmouthshire, Wales.
Humberto at the beach - Hayling Island, Hampshire, England.
Humberto at the beach – Hayling Island, Hampshire, England.

As part of an upgrade, for a life “Off-Grid” we paid for a GAS-IT LPG install.  This replaced our Calor Gas bottles (2 x 7Kg) with 2, permanently installed, 11kg Bottles and an LPG filler point on the outside of Humberto. See bottles and filler-point below.

GAS-IT bottles and (white circular) LPG filler point)
GAS-IT bottles and (white circular) LPG filler point.

There are several advantages to using GAS-IT (other such systems are available from GASLOW and AUTOGAS).

  • LPG is cheaper from a garage pump. (About 30% the price of Calor)
  • You can top-up the LPG bottles when you fill Motorhome with Diesel. That means you are always full and not running Calor Gas bottles down to empty.
  • LPG is widely available on the continent whereas Calor Gas dealers are not
  • 2 x 11Kg bottles is a LOT of gas and should allow us to remain “off-grid” with (gas powered) heating for much longer.

After using my GAS-IT bottles for 2 years I think they will soon pay for themselves.  It’s not a matter of IF they will pay for themselves, it’s a matter of when. 

Here’s my first ever attempt at a refill..

We also had a couple more “upgrades”.

Solar Panel – We had a 150W solar panel installed .  That tops up our 2 x 12v Leisure Batteries for “off-grid” living.  

In summer there’s simply no need to pay for a 240v “Hookup”.  The Solar panel charges the batteries faster than you can use them.  We have a 12v to 240v “Inverter” for things like Laptop chargers or a Fan.

In Winter months that isn’t the case.  Our experience is that the Leisure batteries slowly lose charge as the short days don’t provide enough “top up”.  I think we’d be fine for 4 or 5 days but it’s never been an issue since driving Humberto quickly recharges the batteries.

150W solar panel looked big in the shop but now seems insignificant on Humberto's roof, Room for a few more I'd say.
150W solar panel looked big in the shop but now seems insignificant on Humberto’s roof, Room for a few more I’d say.

External Gas Point – We love our Weber BBQ.  It’s the best gas BBQ I’ve used.  We decided that it MUST accompany us on our travels and so, to make things easier, we had a TRUMA external Gas point fitted.  Now the Weber BBQ simply clicks into the Gas bayonet fitting and draws on the LPG supply.

Truma Gas point. BBQ hose simply clicks into bayonet.
Truma Gas point. BBQ hose simply clicks into bayonet.
Weber Q1000 9Baby Weber) on 2m of hose to Truma Gas point
Weber Q1000 (Baby Weber) on 2m of hose to Truma Gas point

USB Power – We also fitted some USB points inside as almost everything we take with us is USB powered/charged now.   We now have 6 USB ports, under wall cupboards and in the seating boxes, with a new 12v “Cigar lighter” plug in the lounge.  You are never more than arms length from a USB port now.

One of two double USB sockets in wall cupboards. Matching one on the other side
One of two double USB sockets in wall cupboards. Matching one on the other side.
Double USB socket and a 12V socket in the sofa, behind the driver.
Double USB socket and a 12V socket in the sofa, behind the driver.

Want to see the external storage lockers on a B544?  Click below (and please subscribe to our Youtube Channel, so you receive notification of new videos from our travels)