With the French factory now shut, all Hymer caravans are built in Germany so new models have been slow coming through. Expensive but solidly built, Hymer pop-top models are a niche product that provides solid compact tourers for couples and families. The new 430 Feeling model comes with an optional bed in the elevating roof.

Pitching and setting up

The Feeling 430 is so easy to set up and handle on site. The Al-Ko chassis comes with the AKS hitch stabiliser and also has heavy duty corner steadies, too. The exterior is solid and very well finished and with the Diamond plus pack (which most Feelings will be sold with) the exterior has a classy white with an off-grey and black finish. In fact, it looks a little like the latest Eccles models. A wet locker and alloy wheels are further additions of the Diamond pack.
A decent-sized front locker allows for good storage and also large gas cylinders. Access is easy too, with the large locker door. While moulded corners not only give the Feeling 430 good looks, they are also immensely strong. And due to their construction using special glues and foam, plus an aluminium framework, the Hymer is robust yet MTPLM figures are 1300kgs. The elevating roof allows for extra sleeping, making the 430 a five-berth family layout.

Lounge

The 2.12m width gives the Feeling 430 a surprising amount of living space. Wood finish (Alder) and soft furnishings are contemporary with the roof locker design being very unfussy yet attractive. We liked the corner roof lockers, with silver sliding doors adding to the Hymer’s overall modern feel. Clever radius corners have enabled the designers to fit small shelves. Twin single settees have curved corner backrests which enhance the spacious feel – you could sit six here if needed so five would prove easy for meals. Lighting is excellent, with corner spots plus central ceiling-mounted twin spots. Twin single beds or one large double bed can be made up while only a twin central chest of drawers is fitted.

Kitchen

The kitchen area is a little more basic than we would expect. An 80-litre Dometic fridge is fitted while the hob gets just three burners and no grill. The worktop is a little limiting, while storage itself isn’t bad with a good utensils draw and cupboard space. A roof locker adds more storage while a side window allows natural light and ventilation with two down-lighters. No oven is fitted and there is nowhere for a microwave to be placed – that would possibly have to go onto the front single dinette’s table. Only one mains socket is fitted.

Washroom

The Feeling 430’s washroom really excels here. It’s situated on the nearside (Hymers have entrance doors on the offside) and even before you enter the washroom, a nifty storage designer console with three fitted shelves and spot lamp is placed between the washroom and the wardrobe – it’s a neat feature. The washroom is very compact yet well designed. However, you won’t find a shower, and it’s not possible to fit one, either. An electric flush Thetford cassette loo is fitted, as well as a neat corner hand basin. A great mirror and shelf storage plus a cupboard mean that you have plenty of places to store toiletries. A side window allows in natural light plus adds to ventilation.

Beds

The Feeling 430 comes with twin singles at the front, or one double. Both configurations should prove comfortable. The front end of the van has a single dinette which converts to a single bed. It doesn’t look very wide so we reckon it’ll be best only for a small adult or child to use. The elevating roof is called the Maxi bed. The roof is erected on site and could sleep two children in comfort. Users of the top bed also get a side window each and one in the front end.

Storage

There are plenty of roof lockers, but the only downside is that they aren’t very deep which limits what you can put in them. The wardrobe offers some useful hanging space while the Truma heater below will keep clothes aired. Storage under the front seats is good but access is only through the top – no access flaps are fitted. The front dinette has two side roof lockers but only a shelf over the front window and storage in these seat lockers will be restricted due to their size.

Technical specs

Berth5
MiRO1062kg
Payload238kg
MTPLM1300kg
Interior length4.3m
Height2.24m

Verdict

The Hymer Feeling 430 is a robust, smart-looking tourer. It’s ideal for those with restricted storage and smaller cars. It’s not cheap to buy in its Diamond pack guise, but without it the Hymer would feel basic. There are some nice interiors and some excellent designer touches but it all comes at a price. 7/10

Conclusion

Pros

  • Smart looking with robust construction, the Feeling 430 sports some pleasing design touches and a tasteful interior
  • Weights are low, given the sturdiness of the construction
  • Washroom really excels

Cons

  • This van would feel basic without its options pack, and there's no shower in the washroom
  • Kitchen isn't as well-specced as we'd like
  • Roof lockers aren't very deep so don't offer masses of storage space
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