Sterckeman has been around for many years and has a loyal following abroad. For many UK buyers the name won't mean much, although that's not surprising. Although part of France's mighty Trigano Group, the brand has enjoyed hit and miss sales in the UK. The first examples came into Britain in the mid-1980s, imported by Emm Bee Caravans in Bury. Sales were steady but in difficult economic times, imported tourers became too expensive.
Over the next 20 years, Sterckeman came and went in the UK. However, Freedom Caravans in Stafford has been offering the marque for a few years now and these affordable, lightweight tourers have found their niche.
The latest Starlett 330CP Compact two-berth is the lightest couples’ caravan currently on sale in the UK and has a conventional end-kitchen, front-dinette and corner-washroom layout. The tell-tale signs of a Continental tourer are easy to spot, though: the offside caravan door and the stucco aluminium side panels.
Pitching and setting up
The lower front ABS panel is of quality build, generous in size and easy to access. There's also a side front exterior locker – a neat touch in this price bracket. Plastic wheel trims are used, so there are no alloys, and no A-frame cover is included. The rear gets a moulded road light panel and an awning light is fitted, but a TV aerial is optional.
The tiny Compact is so easy to move around by hand, especially with its sturdy grab handles. On balance, pitching up is easy – except for the front corner steadies, which are hard to locate and tricky to operate.
For dining the 330CP Compact has a clip-on table that is sturdy and practical to use. Storage is restricted to three front roof lockers, while a narrow shelf is placed above the side windows. All windows here open and come with flyscreens and blinds, with a stylish ceiling light up above for night use. The seat bases are made from plywood and lack access flaps, also a sign of keeping costs low, but the cushions are thick and supportive.
Pull-out drawers offer more storage, as do two roof lockers and side corner shelves. The worktop is very limited, though, but is a good attempt for a tourer the size of the Compact. A power point is located just beneath the roof locker.
A large mirror also is fitted, as is a roof vent, but no washroom window is included. Considering its compact dimensions, the washroom works quite well.
The double measures 1.4m x 1.95m so offers good sleeping arrangements, but some users may actually prefer two decent-sized single beds.
There's enough storage under the seat lockers for bedding and the wardrobe offers good hanging storage even though the Truma gas heater is placed in its base. The washroom has a cupboard but it's big enough for most needs.
The 330CP Compact is an excellent little tourer. It's very affordable but pile on the extras, such as a shower, TV aerial and a larger fridge, and the price will soon creep up. Despite this, we're big fans of this great little tourer.