Practical Caravan's experts review the Lunar Lexon 520, the single-axle four-berth voted 'Best caravan for young families' in 2012

Overview

Lunar’s Lexon 520 introduces a new layout for young families that focuses on creating space and practicality in a single-axle four-berth. 

The symmetrical rear side dinette leaves the central aisle clear, while the location of the wardrobe towards the back of the ‘van also makes the interior feel airy and uncluttered. 

Apart from the absence of any hooks, there are some handy features, and the good-quality fit and finish make the 520 feel built to last.

Pitching and setting up

Access to the front and rear steadies is straightforward enough, though you have to crouch down to locate the steady nuts as there are no guiding tubes. The mains cable and water services connect to the offside of the van, including the waste-water outlet which is located just behind the axle.

The front locker lid opens and closes smoothly on gas struts, but as the lock is in the middle it’s possible to brush your head on the latch, which is a bit annoying if you’re concentrating on operating the gas cylinder. A wet locker is located at the front nearside of the ‘van and has enough room to take a pair of adult-size wellies.

The control panel for all the main systems, which is sited to the left as you enter the door, is functional and easy to use.

Lounge

The 520’s front lounge isn’t huge, but it’s still a comfortable place to spend time, and there’s plenty of natural light.

The nearside rear dinette offers plenty of space for young children to play; in fact it’s even roomy enough to accommodate two adults and two children if they want to eat here, though it will be a squeeze with teenagers.

The table is secured via wall catches and has a leg which swivels from flat under the table to lock in a vertical position. The system works well, as long as you don’t take the table leg with you when getting up.

By eschewing the asymmetrical rear dinette of similar caravans, such as the Sprite Major 4, where the dinette is wider near the washroom, the Lexon offers a good amount of floor space for children to play on when the weather keeps everyone inside.

Kitchen

Thanks to its location opposite the doorway, the kitchen offers plenty of space for the cook to move about.

There’s a good amount of work surface, too: the main unit is wide and a detachable drainer frees up some worktop when required; work surface is further expanded by a chopping board that fits over the sink and a glass lid to the hob.

As well as three gas burners and an electric hotplate, there’s a microwave above the heater unit by the door, which is sensibly mounted at chest height. There are enough cupboards for food, crockery and pans, and the sink is easily deep enough for a young family’s washing-up.

An LED strip light under the overhead cupboards and a small kitchen window ensure this area is well lit at all times.

Washroom

The washroom space is used effectively, and the equipment and fittings are good quality. The basin isn’t massive but it’s deep enough for men to wet shave – the mixer tap can be moved to one side so it doesn't get in the way.

The shower has a single-piece hinged door that pulls outward, so you’ll need to make sure there aren't any children or toys in the way when you want to get out. Usefully, the shower head can travel down to just above waist height, which makes it ideal for showering little ones.

Another handy addition is a laundry basket, but frustratingly you won’t find any hooks in the washroom (or in the rest of the caravan, for that matter).

A dresser just outside the washroom provides another mirror plus some more cupboards and shelves.

Beds

The Lexon 520’s front double bed is not the widest you’ll come across, but at 2.13 (7ft) long, it’s comfortable enough. Slats slide out from the centre chest on a cord and pass through channels on each side so they can’t come adrift during assembly. Slide the seat bases and backs into position and the front double is made up in minutes.

The side dinette converts quickly into bunks. The bottom bunk is easily assembled by repositioning the table to bridge the gap between the seat bases before rearranging the cushions; the top bunk has its own mattress.

A concertina partition separates the front and rear areas at night, while a curtain around the bunks helps to black out the kids' sleeping area.

Storage

The Lexon 520 does well to accommodate a family of four’s touring kit. There are four roof lockers in the lounge, including removable shelves in the side ones, although the front locker surrenders space to the radio/CD player.

The nearside front seat bench offers plenty of storage underneath, but the offside one gives up a lot of space to the water system and the electrical switch gear.

Kitchen storage is good, especially overhead where there are several small cupboards for food and crockery, while extra storage is available on the other side of the caravan, above the microwave.

A three-quarter-length wardrobe to the right of the kitchen provides a 55cm-wide hanging space, unless you choose to store the top bunk mattress here. Particularly useful is the set of drawers underneath the wardrobe, with a cubby at floor level that’s ideal for shoes.

The dinette seat boxes can be used for storage, too, although the rearmost one is also used for stowing the wooden side panels for the top bunk.

Technical specs

Berth4
MiRO1260kg
Payload160kg
MTPLM1420kg
Interior length5.55m
Shipping length7.07m
Width2.28m
Height2.65m
Awning size999cm

Verdict

The Lexon 520’s innovative layout includes a symmetrical rear side dinette, full-width washroom and enough floor area to create the space and features young families need. A relatively low MTPLM also makes it safe to tow with many standard family cars.

Conclusion

Pros

  • High quality fittings feel built to last
  • Well-equipped washroom
  • Sensibly organised kitchen
  • Plenty of room for the kids

Cons

  • The front dinette is a little short in length
  • The grown-ups' bed is on the 'cosy' side
  • A total lack of hooks is inexcusable in a family caravan
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