Alastair ClementsSee other caravan reviews written by Alastair Clements
Bold changes inside and out make the Lunar Clubman SR one of 2017's show-stoppers, so don't miss our review of this island-bed, mid-washroom caravan
As its lowlier ranges move ever more upmarket, the flagship single-axle range of Lunar caravans, the evergreen Clubman, has been crying out for a revamp. And it gets one for 2017, along with what must be the layout of the moment – a washroom across the centre of the van, with an island bed mounted on the rear wall, plus a parallel front lounge.
But long before you discover any of that, you notice how the van looks. Painting the gas locker panel black, and adding dramatic new graphics that sweep up from there towards the back, has transformed the styling of the Clubman; it now works far better with the sharp, twin-spoke alloy wheels added last year. It will be interesting to see how the market takes to this bold new direction – we liked it, though were concerned that the gloss-black of the gas locker and hitch cover might show marks.
Even more dramatic is what’s above the triple front window. A sunroof in a Lunar? Yes, and it makes a huge difference: the Clubman looks much more modern, which is aided by the neat graphics on either side. And to see other Lunar caravans for sale, click here.
Pitching and setting up
Additions for 2017 include a useful light for that gas locker and, of course, you get Al-Ko ATC, AKS, secure wheel locks and shock absorbers. Other items on a very complete spec list include external gas and satellite points, plus a 230V socket in the small front wet locker. But our favourite external detail can be found towards the back of the caravan: in each sidewall, low in the rear corner, is a door. Open them and you’ll discover a shallow but long and wide locker across the back of the van. Most rivals’ interpretations of this layout don’t have any external access to the space beneath the bed, so it’s an ingenious feature.
The integration of the compact new front sunroof is even more impressive from the inside, where a smart plastic moulding blends it in with the huge Skyview rooflight that extends almost the length of the living area. It also houses the new, flush-fitting ceiling lights.
And in case you were thinking of accusing Lunar of hypocrisy for fitting the sunroof at all – something it claimed it wouldn’t do, because it takes away storage space from the lounge – just check out those brilliant corner lockers. Inside, they are more generous than you might expect (despite the offside one containing the stereo head unit), and really make use of otherwise dead space. Beneath there’s a new wraparound ‘light beam’ fronting a useful shelf, while on the main shelf beneath there are all the relevant sockets for a TV.
There’s a dual-fuel hob, plus a separate oven and grill, and beneath the worktop two large cupboards open to reveal a mixture of shelves, drawers, wire racks and, conveniently, the freestanding lounge table.
On the nearside there’s the new slimline fridge/freezer with a locker beneath and the microwave above; the fridge sits at a perfect height, but the microwave is sited unusually high for a Lunar. It’s also a shame that there’s no coathook by the door.
The circular shower sits on the nearside, with some wheelarch intrusion into the base. It’s finished with an attractive mosaic effect, and has plenty of shelving and its own light.
Each side gets its own window, plus a large bedside table with drawers beneath. Above them, you’ll find a gloss-doored wardrobe on either side, as well as individual reading lights and shelves, and a padded headboard. Overall, it’s a very nice place to spend time; we particularly like those tables, which have plenty of room for a cuppa, specs and a book.
At the foot of the bed there’s a TV point with a mount, sockets and a small shelf, and the whole room feels lovely and bright thanks to those side windows and a huge rooflight overhead.
In the lounge, there’s a new system to make up the front double bed (though sub-five-footers can use the sofas as singles): pull-out slats have gone, in favour of a frame that slides out from beneath the sofas.
We’ve already covered the plethora of storage options in the bedroom and kitchen, and four overhead lockers in the lounge are ideal for visitors’ kit.
Traditionalists may baulk at the bold new style of the 2017 Lunar Clubman SR, but it’s good to see this flagship model receiving its own clear identity. The new sunroof also gives a more modern look to this likeable range, which gains a fresh interior feel for 2017.
Lunar has taken time to bring this layout to the market, but it’s clear that it has thought hard about resolving some of its compromises. The larger lounge and useful external lockers should prove beneficial in use.
- A thoughtful interpretation of this layout
- The rear 'garage' is an ingenious touch
- The lounge and living area are generous
- It has an excellent, neatly-installed sunroof
- At 6ft, the island bed isn't the longest
- The gloss locker lid may show scratches and dirt
- There is just one 230V socket in the kitchen
- There isn't a coathook by the door