Nigel Hutson

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Spacious, smart and featuring a layout popular with couples and families, read our Lunar Clubman ES review to discover why you shouldn't discount this van

Overview

There are some caravan layouts that are here to stay, and one of those is the side-dinette, end-washroom four-berth. When they were introduced in the 1980s, there were those who suggested that it was a passing fad, but 30 years later every manufacturer still produces models with that layout.

The Lunar Clubman ES has been around for years, and however good the previous year’s incarnation is, somehow Lunar still manages to improve it. The 2016 model continues that trend with its restrained but up to date styling, discreet graphics and two-tone alloy wheels. Although this layout is one of the most spacious there is, that feeling is enhanced inside by the new (and bigger) Skyview rooflight, light-coloured furnishings and cream-coloured locker doors.

A layout that’s popular with couples and families alike, let’s have a closer look at this 2016 Lunar Clubman ES. And to see other Lunar caravans for sale, click here.

Pitching and setting up

Built on Al-Ko running gear, the Lunar Clubman ES comes equipped with an AKS3004 stabiliser, ATC stability control and, new for 2016, self-adjusting brakes. It also has easily accessible heavy-duty corner steadies.

The huge front locker’s lid cleverly cantilevers up and out of the way to give almost unimpeded access, and in there you’ll find an automatic gas change-over regulator.

On the nearside, at the front there’s an external gas barbecue point, and just behind that a wet locker which also has a mains socket inside it. Moving to the offside, all the services are readily accessible, and there’s no need to be scrabbling about in the dark as there’s a light to illuminate things. The main electrical controls are in a smart panel above the entrance door.

Lounge

One of the advantages that the ES has over its fixed-bed siblings is that it doesn’t have a fixed-bed taking up space during the daytime and, as a consequence, the lounge is incredibly roomy. Not only is it physically big, but the spacious feel is enhanced by the light-coloured fabrics, and tasteful light-blue-coloured scatter cushions and curtains, together with all the light that the 'Skyview' rooflight allows in, as well as the cream-coloured overhead locker doors enhanced by their wood trim.

For couples, dining is feasible at either the front using the occasional table or, of course, at the side dinette. If the main table is needed, it’s nice to see that it is stored right next to the lounge, where it is needed.

The dresser between the lounge and side dinette serves as the main TV point (including satellite TV connection) and it’s also where the microwave is fitted (at a sensible 1.30m from the floor). There’s another TV point on the wide front shelf below the windows.

Kitchen

The kitchen in the 2016 Lunar Clubman ES puts you in no doubt that this is a top end caravan, and it comes with a dual-fuel hob, a separate oven and grill, and a large Dometic fridge/freezer.

Thanks to a removable drainer, there’s a decent amount of work surface, but Lunar has thoughtfully put a fold-up extension at the end of the kitchen unit to add a bit more. New for 2016 is the stainless steel sink.

Also new is the backlit surround to the three overhead kitchen lockers. In the kitchen unit, there’s a large cupboard which not only houses the main table, but also has a couple of good-sized pull-out baskets. Finally, there’s a pan cupboard beneath the cooker, and a neat touch below that is the floor level 'Lunar' light which shines blue when switched on.

The aforementioned Skyview rooflight extends over the kitchen, so aids with both providing light and ventilation.

Washroom

This is possibly one of the best washrooms in a caravan on the market! That’s a bold statement, but one that can be backed up.

It’s amazing how spacious it is when you consider that there’s a fully lined shower cubicle, a vanity unit (with a backlit mirror and decorative but functional bowl), a Thetford electric flush toilet and two good-sized wardrobes in there! Both the wardrobes are illuminated. The one on the right as you enter the washroom has three drawers and a drop-down flap at the bottom, whilst the other (located in the caravan’s rear offside corner) has a couple of large shelves.

It’s nice to see that there’s a rail in the shower for hanging damp towels and the like. And, of course, having the Alde heating system, there’s a heated rail in there, too. In addition, both natural and artificial lighting are excellent. Overall, it's one very swish washroom.

Beds

The lounge converts into either a pair of good-sized single beds, or a large double. Although the knee rolls aren’t too pronounced, it’s probably still worth turning the base cushions around when making the double bed to ensure a good night’s sleep. However this area is used, each occupant gets a reading light and thanks to either the front chest, kitchen unit or dresser, somewhere to put things when it’s time to snuggle down. They can even watch the TV comfortably, too.

The side dinette converts into a pair of bunk beds. The bottom one is usable by adults (although it is quite narrow), but the top one is for children only, as the fold-out mattress is very thin. During the day that has to be stored somewhere, too. The bottom bunk uses the dinette’s table for part of its base.

There are sturdy guard rails to the top bunk, which is accessed via a ladder. Worthy of note is that there are reading lights under the overhead lockers for the top bunk occupant, but nothing for the bottom bunk.

Storage

There’s no lack of storage in the Lunar Clubman ES. We’ve already mentioned the two wardrobes in the washroom, but there’s also a good-sized cupboard under the washbasin, and a smaller one on the wall above the opaque window in there.

At the front, the nearside bunk base is clear (apart from a slight intrusion from the wet locker), and despite the offside one housing the electrics and heating system, there is still usable space in there.

Up above, thanks to a lack of a sunroof, there are six overhead lockers, four of which are shelved. One on the front does house the radio/CD player, though. Of course, there are a couple of drawers in the front chest.

Moving to the side dinette area, there’s another pair of unshelved overhead lockers. As there isn’t any blown air ducting to accommodate, both seat bases are clear. Granted the wheel arch does take up a bit of space in the front one, but there’s still room for a sleeping bag and pillow in each.

Finally, there’s an overhead locker, a drawer and large cupboard in the dresser to supplement the kitchen’s storage, and a floor level cupboard just inside the entrance door for shoes and boots.

Technical specs

Berth4
MiRO1273kg
Payload167kg
MTPLM1440kg
Interior length5.51m
Shipping length7.06m
Width2.33m
Awning size1010cm

Verdict

There’s good reason why the side-dinette, end-washroom layout is so popular with couples and families. Basically, the only drawback is having to make up the bed.

Lunar’s Clubman ES is an excellent take on this layout and it leaves you in no doubt that it is an upmarket caravan – and it’s full of neat little touches, too. It doesn’t sport a trendy front sunroof, but it’s all the better for it. A pair of useful lockers has been retained, and they look good with the cream and wood finish, complementing those either side.

Quite honestly you couldn’t wish for a lighter caravan (light, not weight!), and therefore a sunroof would be superfluous – that Skyview rooflight works a treat.

If you’re looking for a classy, high specification caravan of this layout, the 2016 Lunar Clubman ES can’t be overlooked.

Conclusion

Pros

  • It's very light and spacious
  • The impressive washroom is practical, too
  • We like the Skyview rooflight and the Alde heating system

Cons

  • You have to make up the beds
  • There's no light for the bottom bunk’s occupant
  • Items can become trapped in the front locker’s cantilever mechanism
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