Alastair Clements
Group editor

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Sharp and stylish, can this tourer revive the fortunes of the once-popular nearside fixed double bed layout? Read our Adria Adora 613 UT Thames review

Overview

To mark its 50th anniversary, last year Adria added a bucketful of silver paint and desirable Alde wet central heating to its popular transverse-island-bed Adora Isonzo, and a smash hit was created: this ‘Silver Collection’ model swiftly became the Slovenian firm’s best-seller in the UK.

But its 50th anniversary is now over, so what next? Enter the ‘Platinum Collection’ for 2017, with the same silver sidewalls and front and rear ABS panels, plus the same Alde wet central heating in place of the Truma blown-air system on standard models, but now available on the 613 UT Thames as well as the Isonzo. That’s an interesting decision, because the Thames features a layout that most UK manufacturers are moving away from, with a fixed nearside double bed and a full-width end washroom.

The external graphics and ‘Great Bear’ interior trim carry on unchanged, but the Adora remains a very stylish looking caravan both inside and out, with the silver sidewalls set off by a smart set of alloy wheels. And to see other Adria caravans for sale, click here.

Pitching and setting up

It’s a very large caravan at a whopping 8ft wide, well over 8m long and weighing in at 1750kg laden. With that in mind, and particularly considering that it’s only a single axle, it seems surprising that there’s no Al-Ko ATC anti-snaking device fitted; however, it does ride on a heavy-duty Al-Ko Delta chassis with an AKS stabiliser, and it’s hard to quibble about the remainder of the exterior spec levels. There’s a gas barbecue point, an Al-Ko Secure wheel-lock receiver, a nearside front wet locker containing a 230V socket, a second external hatch at the rear to access the under-bunk void, plus heavy-duty steadies – though it’s worth noting that they are far from easy to access.

The awning light is sensibly positioned in the centre of the sidewall, ideal for illuminating your awning, and it’s good to see that all of the services are relegated to the offside, even the fridge vents. The body boasts dent-resistant polyester sidewalls, and a 10-year warranty against water ingress.

Lounge

As you enter the Adria Adora 613 UT Thames Platinum Collection, you’ll find a slightly bewildering tower of controls to your right, plus 12V, 230V and aerial sockets to supply the TV mount that sits over the shallow cupboard containing the freestanding lounge table.

And the lounge itself is enormous: the Platinum Collection Adoras are as wide as the new Alpina flagship, and they feel it. The sense of space is augmented by the plentiful daylight through the large sunroof and triple front window, although the nearside glazing is curiously small. With no centre chest, that sense of space isn’t an illusion either – you’ll easily seat six or seven on the modern, attractive grey sofas with their bright blue scatter cushions (or there’s optional ‘Fumo’ beige leather for an additional £1100). There’s a small fold-up coffee table if you’d rather not haul out the freestanding unit.

Kitchen

The kitchen has everything you’d expect to find in a £20k caravan: there’s a separate oven and grill, a three-burner hob, a well-sited 140-litre slimline fridge/freezer and a smart illuminated splashback surrounding the rather small window; to nitpick, we’d like to have seen more than one 230V socket in here.

Being an Adria, however, the Thames has a touch of Continental character, too: that hob is in-line rather than square, and its stainless-steel base drains straight into the sink; the Spinflo oven is sited sensibly low; and the microwave is concealed in an overhead cupboard. Unlike most of its British rivals, it also lacks a pop-up worktop extension flap, so to boost food-preparation space you’ll need to drop the glass lid over the hob, or slot the chopping board into its dedicated space over the sink.

Storage is taken care of by the remaining overhead lockers, some usefully large drawers and a pull-out wire-rack larder.

Washroom

The entrance to the washroom is a little narrow and awkward but, once you’re inside, the mirrored walls help it to feel roomy enough – though there’s little in the way of changing space – and it’s generously specified.

Features such as a built-in loo brush give a hotel-bathroom feel, and the glass-effect bowl sink is part of a superb vanity unit with a cupboard beneath, lots of worktop, a downlit mirror and concealed side shelving for your perfumes and potions.

The separate shower doesn’t have a one-piece moulded liner, but there is a mirror, a useful built-in shelf and a radiator for the Alde wet central heating. There’s also a small rooflight, but despite this and the smoked window over the loo, it’s not particularly bright without the artificial lights on.

Beds

Up front, the sofas are a little short to be used as single beds by all but children; however, there’s the potential to create a huge double bed by pulling out the bases from beneath the sofas and rearranging the cushions, with an extra infill section to cover the caravan’s enormous width. The bases don’t have a particularly ‘engineered’ feel, but they do boast proper beech slats.

Unfortunately, there are just two reading spotlights at the front of the van, which means that only one bed occupant will get a light. This, along with the roller rather than pleated blinds, feels a little at odds with the Adora’s upmarket ambitions.

Nevertheless, the Adria Adora 613 UT Thames Platinum Collection's rear master bedroom certainly has the requisite luxury feel. For a start, at a shade over 6ft 5in long and 4ft 11in wide, the fixed bed is simply vast – much larger than in most island-bed layouts – which makes up for the fact that one occupant will have to clamber over the other to get to the loo at night.

The mattress is split so that each side can be propped up for a comfortable reading position, and there’s a full-width shelf plus individual reading lights. Talking of light, it’s unusually bright in this area because there’s no wardrobe, which means that Adria can fit a large window on each side. Two sockets, a pleated privacy blind and plenty of storage options (of which more later) complete a very pleasant bedroom.

Storage

You’d struggle to exceed even the standard 195kg payload, such are the storage options in the Adria Adora 613 UT Thames Platinum Collection. If you need more, you can go for an uprated 1800kg MTPLM, giving a huge 245kg payload allowance.

There’s masses of lounge storage, with a pair of shallow overhead lockers and two bed boxes, albeit with the nearside one restricted by the boiler. There’s also a trio of lockers beneath the cushions along the front. But the real highlight is opposite the kitchen, where you’ll discover a massive wardrobe with hanging space to one side and seven deep, wide shelves to the other.

Under the bed there’s the usual enormous void, but you’ll also find a neat little row of cupboards along the offside wall, topped by a useful shelf.

Technical specs

Berth4
MiRO1555kg
Payload195kg
MTPLM1750kg
Interior length6.14m
Shipping length8.36m
Width2.48m
Awning size1072cm

Verdict

So, what do we think of the 2017 Adria Adora 613 UT Thames Platinum Collection? If you like to take a lot of gear on tour, then this could very well be the van for you – its wardrobe and spacious feel make it an appealing option as a seasonal-pitch van for a couple.

The clean, modern design of the interior adds to the sense of space, and the spec is superb – you’d need to spend a lot more to get the same kit level from most rivals. The Thames makes a strong case for this unfashionable layout making a comeback.

Conclusion

Pros

  • There are lots of storage options
  • That huge fixed double bed should accommodate even the tallest caravanner
  • The living area is bright and spacious

Cons

  • ATC is not fitted as standard
  • It is wide and heavy for a single-axle caravan, so you will need a large tow car to pull it
  • The washroom could be roomier
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