Vanmaster is a brand many caravaners would aspire to. The alluring oak veneer and build quality spoke volumes, especially if you were pitched on the rally field. You really had made it if you owned one of these distinctive tourers!
In mid-1995, I got to take a look at the very first prototype being built, and to test it when complete. It was a high-quality, well-designed caravan, produced by a small team with years of experience in van manufacture.
Over the years, the range was extended, but few were built the same, because buyers could adapt the interior to suit.
The Signature line-up was introduced as a higher-spec Vanmaster, a step up from the less well-equipped V range.
Then in 2009, the firm’s new owners made a push to promote and modernise the brand. Some years later and with another owner, the company began to focus on servicing and repairing existing Vanmaster tourers.
The Signature 520 harks back to an early Vanmaster model, the best-selling, two-berth, end-washroom Ovation.
Launched in 2012, this model offers a touring couple acres of luxurious living space, along with brilliant storage.
End-washroom fans were well catered for – Vanmaster washrooms were considered to be among the best and most spacious on the market. Luxury fittings and excellent storage were also appealing attributes. The firm updated the locker design, to give the interior a more modern feell, but retained the upmarket oak finish.
The Signature’s exterior boasted twin front gas lockers, and even a specific spot for storing the road light lead.
Nowadays, there aren’t many of these fine tourers around, but if you have a big enough tow car, they are super.
Check out Buccaneer’s Fluyt, from 2013, which provides twin single beds, an end washroom and loads of kit. Look at paying £15,995 for a 2013/14 model. Or you could try a 2013 Lunar Clubman CK – a two-berth that boasts a spacious end washroom but is a lot lighter – costing around £13,995.
Vanmasters are rare these days, but we did manage to find one other 520, priced a little higher at £18,295 and in first-class condition. However, prices for all pre-owned caravans are on the rise, and Vanmaster is no exception. For others in the range, you can expect to pay:
- 450 £15,495-£16,495
- 480 £16,399-£16,995
- 580 SD £20,295-£21,195
- 580 SBEW £20,295-£22,195
- 580 TB £20,395-£21,295
- 640 SD £24,995-£25,995
- 640 TB £24,995-£25,995
- 640 IB £25,995-£26,295
- 640 SBEW £24,595-£24,995
- 640 TBEW £25,195-£25,595
The Vanmaster is a superb tourer, and you can see why owners love them. There are few reports of any problems, and the factory still refurbishes them, which is good to know.
The Signature was a luxury range, built to last, and it’s understandable that Vanmaster owners tend to hang onto their pride and joy. The model that we looked at was absolutely immaculate – owners of this brand look after their vans!
It’s a heavyweight, yes, but if you have a suitable tow car, this is a very special tourer.
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It's a heavyweight, yes, but if you have a suitable tow car, this is a very special tourer.