Lining up for new season
Over the summer many caravan and motorhome manufacturers have revealed updates to their ranges, both in terms of interior furnishings and – often – exterior graphics.
There are a few new layouts in most ranges and some less popular designs will not appear in dealerships for 2014. In our limited space it’s not possible to cover all the developments in motorhomes and caravans, but here are some of the new specifications that caught our eye at the launches this summer.
The final Coachman range with a traditional body shell, the Amara, will pass into history next year – replaced by the Vision range. These units have a new exterior shell that takes styling cues from the Pastiche but with more discreet external mouldings. The result is a smart exterior look. Although the Vision is at the lower end of the Coachman range it still has a high specification and stylish exteriors. Prices start at £15,195 for the two-berth, end-kitchen Vision 380/2.
Swift has announced a new construction method for its 2014 caravan ranges. It’s not as radical as Bailey’s Alu-Tech or Elddis’s SoLiD redesigns, but the Swift SMART construction is based on a polyurethane-based material (with the trade name PURe) used in place of the traditional timber frame. The result is said to give a strong frame, modern appearance and an aerodynamic shape that’s resilient to moisture and thoroughly tested (hence SMART).
If you visited the Spring Caravan and Camping Show at Birmingham’s NEC in February you may have seen Swift’s Colour Concept Caravan. Show visitors were asked to comment on a selection of different colours and fabrics on display in the caravan. The most popular of these have been incorporated into the 2013 Sterling range of caravan interiors, including hessian-effect furniture, textured wall coverings and chrome electrical sockets.
All Swift’s 2014 motorhomes and caravans are tested and certified to Grade 3 standard for heating and insulation. The company has also formed a partnership with Duvalay so all fixed beds will come with Duvalay Duvalite mattresses.
The Swift Sundance range of coachbuilt motorhomes will not be produced for 2014, being replaced by the Esprit range with an all-white bodyshell and updated interiors. The equivalent Bessacarr E400 range is similarly updated and called simply the 400.
Autocruise panel van conversions will see a new model released later in the year, the Carrera. Based on the older Pace model, it will be aimed at the more active campervan user, with black leather furnishings, gunmetal grey furniture and ‘go faster’ stripes.
The top-of-the-range Swift Kontiki updates for 2014 will include a black cab, though these will not be available for viewing until October.
The range of caravans attracting most attention at the Elddis product launch bore the name ‘Compass’. A few years after Elddis consolidated its ranges, dropping several traditional names, it has re-launched the Compass brand – a name that dates back to the late 1970s. The Compass models (Corona, Omega and Rallye) will complement the standard Elddis ranges (Avante, Affinity and Crusader respectively) and have different, some may say more traditional, furnishings. The Compass caravans will be built on AL-KO chassis rather than BPW ones, as in the rest of the Elddis caravan range. As a result of the introduction of Compass and the expansion of the Elddis ranges of caravans, customers will have a choice of 40 different models in 2014, up from 29 this year.
Elddis is also introducing a large front roof window in Crusader models.
On the motorhome side, the new Accordo range aims to use the best features of a panel-van conversion in a small coachbuilt motorhome. Both the Accordo 105 and 125 (two- and three-berth respectively) are less than 6 metres long but well specified.
It’s only two years since Bailey entered the motorhome market but that hasn’t stopped it from completely revamping its line-up. The Approach Autograph replaces the Approach SE range with two new layouts including the 750 model with fixed twin beds over a rear garage.
Gone is the over cab bed model, replaced by a low profile six berth with ceiling-mounted drop-down bed. Headroom has been maintained in this area by use of an ultra-low AL-KO chassis and raising the roof height. The chassis and roof height changes have been implemented throughout the Autograph range to facilitate a raised floor in the rear providing additional storage areas.
Alde programmable radiator heating and an opening skylight in the overcab area are among the many numerous specification improvements to all models. If all this space and luxury is too much for you then watch out for Bailey’s compact motorhome range to be launched at the Motorhome and Caravan Show in Birmingham next month.
Lunar is becoming known for its lightweight product and 2014 will see it reaffirm its desire to be seen as a leader in this field.
By changing its core material for walls and roofing to a polypropylene honeycomb material called ThermHex Lunar has made significant weight savings, 60kg in one instance. Though it’s a more expensive material Lunar believes it’s worth this investment for the consumer, as cars are getting lighter and fuel more expensive. The Venus range also benefits from the change to ThermHex as well as a change to a BPW chassis equipped with the stability enhancing Swing V-Tec axle.
The ranges have been revised and there’s two new caravan models for 2014 to look out for.
Lunar are very pleased with the initial interest with their Vacanza camper-car and have a dedicated Vango Air-Beam awning for it and they intend to go to production with their matching trailer concept.
Adria takes pride in trying new ideas and this can be seen in its 2014 offerings to the UK.
The Adora range has new styling with flat windows and an opening sky-roof. The smart kitchen with bespoke three-burner hob and large drawers has a high level oven and the Ergo concept bathroom which makes effective use of the space.
The new Astella Glam range offers modern luxury with a touch of glamour. The Glam has the feel of a cosmopolitan apartment and in addition to the Adora features there are glossy wood finish cabinets, a stylish kitchen area at the front while the saloon has a feature light. Externally the silver and chrome finishing add to the luxury feel of this unit.
The New Coral motorhome has the new sky roof, a kitchen that makes good use of space and a slick command wall. Adria offers 70 different options so the unit can be customised to your needs.