Alastair ClementsSee other caravan reviews written by Alastair Clements
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- There are lots of storage options
- That huge fixed double bed should accommodate even the tallest caravanner
- The living area is bright and spacious
- 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