Andy JenkinsonSee other Advice articles filed in ‘Caravans for sale – buying guides’ written by Andy Jenkinson
Abbey caravans used to be one of the UK’s best known names, with several ranges offering different specification levels at various price points.
Owned by Swift Group from 1993, the Abbey brand was given a new image with production being moved from the outdated factory at Grimsby, where the Abbey name was founded in 1966 by the Cosalt Group.
The Abbey GTS Vogue came into being in 1995 and featured plenty of kit, plus layouts for both couples and families.
By 2002, the Abbey Vogue range offered an incredible choice of nine layouts, from the small 212 end-kitchen two-berth to the 517 double-dinette five-berth family tourer.
This was also the year when the mainstream Abbey caravans received glassfibre sidewalls. The GRP idea had been kicked off in 1996 with the Abbey Domino.
In addition, the interiors had a new wood effect and fresh soft furnishings, while mains sockets got a satin gold finish.
Spec included a fridge and a full oven with a four-burner hob, while heating was dual-fuel blown air. The latest Vogues were well finished and attracted a great deal of attention.
The Abbey GTS 215 was launched back in 1990, but it wasn’t until 1995 that it gained the Vogue moniker.
The 215 followed the top-selling couples’ layout of the time, with a generous front lounge being the main feature. The kitchen was placed on the offside, with a large dresser opposite.
The end washroom was the other big selling point. It was well finished and for 2002 got new fittings, which gave it a more upmarket ambience.
The spec didn’t include a radio/CD player as standard – they were still a few years off being fitted in a tourer in this market. However, the Abbey did come with all the necessary wiring and speakers, so it was ready to go.
The 215 would prove a cracking new buy and, as you can imagine, makes an even better used purchase. With prices starting from around £5k, we thoroughly recommend it. Here’s what to watch out for...
- Check for any side panel bulge
- Look for faded sidewalls
- Check peeling wallboard strips
- Inspect tyres/scuffed alloys and get replaced/repaired if necessary
- Make sure all the electrics work
- Examine interior furniture sidewall fixings for warping
- Inspect the enamel sink for damage (chips/scratching)
- Check for water ingress around the rear panel
What to pay?
There are plenty of GTS Vogues on the used caravans for sale pages, but prices vary.
The cheapest 215 we saw was £4250, but you may find a 212 for a shade less. At the other end of the scale, good examples of the five-berth 516 and 517 can top £6500.
- Or you might like a Sterling Opal? You’d pay around £5k for a decent 2000 model and perhaps a tad more with some extras.
- Another option is an Avondale Avocet. These 2005 models are still smart, both inside and out – and priced at circa £6k.
The GTS Vogue was a class act when new, and even as a used buy its combination of a classy interior and slick exterior turns heads.
Owners of Abbey caravans are full of praise, but check for warped sides and furniture coming away from the sidewall – it’s not common, but we have spotted the odd problem on our travels.
With plenty of comfort and a feeling of luxury, they make a super buy.
Some details on the featured 2002 Abbey GTS 215 Vogue:
- Price: £5495
- Berths: 2
- MIRO: 1067kg
- Payload: 132kg
- MTPLM: 1279kg
- Internal length: 4.61m
- Width: 2.16m
- Seen at: Salop Leisure, Emstrey, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, SY5 6QS (call 01743 282 400 or go online)