Bedford-based Stealth has made a few changes for 2012, introducing a new range, Concordia, and dropping two other ones (Valiant and Defiant). Concordia features three models: the two-berth Harmony, the four-berth Serenity and the five-berth Tranquility. Of all the layouts, the family-friendly Tranquility is the most interesting, and it's the one we’re looking at here. </p><p><br />Since launching a couple of years ago, Stealth vans have been an acquired taste for most caravanners, thanks to their distinctive but unconventional look and feel. Concordia has been designed to change all that, in an attempt to give the Stealth brand mainstream appeal. Inside you’ll find many of the same components and equipment fitted in other British caravans, with a few quirks left in for good measure. </p><p><br />Chief among these is the ‘sunken’ front chest, which pushes the traditional centre chest into the space where the gas bottles would normally reside – in the middle of the front locker. The bottles have been moved to either end of the locker and the space vacated is now taken up by a chest unit featuring a 12V, 32-litre cool box. This has been included to offer cold storage for bottles and cans, so that space in the fridge can be freed up for food. </p><p><br />This arrangement also results in a longer lounge area, which sports sofa-style seating, and the creation of a deep front shelf upon which you could plonk a whopping 40in flat panel TV and still have room to spare. According to our resident forecourt sniffer, Jenko, 'sinking' the centre chest into the caravan's front wall has been done before, many years ago. But Stealth's execution of it is particularly good, he adds. Time will tell if this catches on elsewhere in the British market, but it's one of several interesting design touches Stealth has come up with in the Concordia range.

Pitching and setting up

Compared to previous offerings from Stealth, Concordia vans look decidedly conventional on the outside. In come white bodyshells and three-piece front windows, although the anthracite ‘shield’ effect on the front lends the caravan some distinctiveness. In another quirk, the A-frame fairing doesn’t have a cover, but elsewhere the Tranquility's exterior looks pretty inoffensive. There were no gas bottles fitted to our preview caravan, but access to the front locker is good. Services drain on the offside, behind the axle, and the battery box is located on the offside as well. Powering up the caravan will require getting right inside – the control panel is located in the front wall of the caravan, up above the front shelf, behind a flap. Here you'll find the master control panel, the Alde heating controls and the CD/radio. It's all very neat and tidy, but most caravanners will prefer having these controls situated near the entrance door for convenience.

Lounge

As mentioned, the front shelf and sofa-style seating give the lounge a very domestic appearance. The front seats are pleasing to the eye and comfortable, but the large expanse of beige fabric won't be good at hiding the dirt of a family holiday (the beige upholstery can be swapped for silver as a no-cost option). The caravan windows all let in plenty of light, and are supported by a decent-sized rooflight. Lighting options for evenings are well catered for, thanks to a ceiling light, downlights in the van’s front corner and along the bottom of the lockers. Drop-in carpets complete the lounge look.

Kitchen

This isn't the biggest galley for a family of five, but equipment levels are good. A dual-fuel cooker, separate oven and grill sit to the left of three drawers, above which you'll find a rectangular sink. To the right, there's a 110-litre fridge, and up above, tall cupboards and a microwave. Food preparation space is pretty good, as long as you use the full combination of worktop and the glass sink and cooker covers.

Washroom

Tranquility’s washroom is located amidships, on the offside. It features a separate shower unit with circular door, Dometic swivel toilet with ceramic bowl and handbasin with mixer tap and a cupboard underneath. Entry is through a domestic-style door, and drop-in carpets are fitted inside. There’s enough space for one person to dry off after a shower, which means that larger families may be better off using site facilities if they want to perform ablutions speedily. The washroom doesn’t do much to offend – its lack of space is the main compromise of this layout – but its décor and equipment levels are pleasing.

Beds

Sleeping arrangements in the Tranquility certainly aren’t shabby. The front lounge sofa converts easily into a double bed, using slide-across slats, and there looks to be plenty of room for mum and dad to stretch out. At the back of the van, Stealth has pulled off something quite impressive. A wooden door leads into a dedicated children’s area, featuring a nearside double bunk and offside dinette which offers an additional berth. It’s quite a tight fit for an adult to get around the table, but small children should be OK. This room will be a great space to park the kids during rainy days in the caravan. There's plenty of room for them to relax or play, and that solid door in place of a screen will help give the other occupants some peace and quiet.

Storage

Larger families could struggle to squeeze all their kit in to the Tranquility. Overhead locker space is good in the lounge and kitchen, but the wardrobe located between the washroom and the lounge is on the small side. The situation is alleviated slightly by a dedicated wardrobe in the children's area, but this is still pretty narrow. However, this, in combination with the overhead lockers, under-bunk storage and a small cupboard next to the wardrobe means that there's plenty of room to stow away children's toys, clothes and games consoles. So as long as the parents can find enough places to stash their kit in the front of the van, then the Tranquility should be up to the job.

Technical specs

Berth5
MiRO1415kg
Payload165kg
MTPLM1580kg
Interior length5.67m
Shipping length7.49m
Width2.32m
Height2.47m
Awning size1010cm

Verdict

Stealth makes a confident bid for mainstream acceptance with the Concordia range, and Tranquility is the most interesting model. The lounge feels upmarket and the spec throughout the van is good, with sought-after items like Alde wet central heating. The layout makes perfect sense for families, as the amidships washroom means that occupants of either end won't have to creep past each other to get to the washroom in the small hours. At just under £20,000 this isn't a cheap caravan, but you do get plenty of toys for your cash. And that dedicated children's room at the rear means you've got the space for a few more.

Conclusion

Pros

  • Lounge has showroom appeal and is backed up by a decent kitchen and very presentable washroom
  • The children's room at the back of the van is a real highlight, as it offers a space that is completely discrete from the rest of the caravan
  • Exterior appearance won't offend traditionalists looking for a stylish but distinctive package

Cons

  • Storage may be limited for a family of five, as wardrobe hanging space is in short supply
  • Beige sofa fabric is not the most practical colour for families
  • Control panel situated in the lounge won't please experienced caravanners used to switching on the caravan from the entrance door
  • Lack of A-frame fairing makes front of caravan look unfinished
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