Read the definitive Heartland 1-RV Edge M21 caravan review from Practical Caravan's experts, check specs of this US-built caravan, designed for the UK
Devon-based 1-RV’s Edge range provides the facilities of an RV motorhome but in a conventional towed caravan design. It features a slide-out section to give extra room inside when pitched on site. It is built to order by Heartland in North America, based on a fully-winterised North American design, but modified for European regulations.
Although already seen on fifth-wheel type units, it is unusual in the UK to see a slide-out system used on a towed caravan, partly due to the weight and cost penalties.
The MTPLM of the Edge M18 works out at 2200kg, which is very similar to the current Airstream International 684 or any of the twin-axle Vanmasters. To be in the same maximum weight range as these but with a slide-out system fitted is certainly something of an achievement – especially with a price not very much more than a Buccaneer.
The lightweight aluminium frame and alloy sandwich construction means there is no wood to rot or attract damp.
Pitching and setting up
Setting up is straightforward and largely conventional with four manually operated corner steadies. Water is fed either from the 130litre on-board tank or provided by a standard submersible pump and Aquaroll.
The black water (sewage) outlet is on the nearside with a concertina hose for full service connection, or alternatively to a wheeled collector, which can be taken to the usual disposal points.
With the slide-out moved in for travelling, there is still plenty of room to move along the inside and headroom in the domed-roof lounge is a generous 7ft ( 2.13m).
There is a large dinette in the slide-out section which converts to an additional double bed.
Heating throughout is by gas only. On the downside the décor is probably not to all tastes as it is all dark wood and muted colours.
The worktop, sink and drainer unit are in a one-piece moulded unit with a smart gloss finish. Work surface is good and there are several storage drawers. The fridge is the 6 cu ft (170 litres) three-way Dometic unit with that removable freezer compartment.
With the slide-out deployed there is plenty of room around the cooking area without compromising inside relaxing space for the non-cooking residents.
There is a skylight and also a powered extractor unit.
Toilet flushing is by a foot-operated system – ah, the memories – and the good-sized wardrobe is in this washroom area which does help with changing clothes in private.
The main bed is an island design with plenty of access room on each side. The main bed looks luxurious, but as it is arranged here it will not be to everyone’s taste as it is part of the open-plan design and thus always in full view from the lounge. However, sliding panel blinds to close off this area would be fitted from 2012.
Useful double mains sockets at each side make for easy fitting of bedside lamps and charging phones or MP3 players.
There is large under-bed storage too, though the bed is rather hard to lift up. There are useful mini wardrobes each side of the bed and useful and overhead storage lockers here, too.
Outside there is a massive full-width wet locker accessible from both sides, which is located at the front of the van. This is ideal for when on site, but it is suggested that you do not load heavy items here when travelling as the noseweight (already 135kg) could be compromised.
Big and mostly beautiful, the Edge range represents North American style adapted to European legislation.
It succeeds in providing a luxury caravan with many of the attributes of a fifth-wheel type trailer or large RV, but as a conventional easily-towed unit.
The slide-out system gives a huge internal living area but some specification details are not quite up to UK practice and not everyone will like the dark wood interior décor. We'd give it 8/10.
- Masses of interior room
- Good washroom
- UK and European legal on dimensions, brakes, lights and fittings
- Generous standard fittings including air con
- Electric awning TV, DVD etc
- Good towing and manoeurvring
- Fully winterised for all-year touring
- Great looks
- Dark finish inside is dull
- You will need a 4x4 to tow it
- No front window
- Door/awning on offside
- No cassette system for toilet waste
- Gas cylinders carried separately
- Main door does not open through 180 degrees