Our time with the Adria Altea 472 DS Eden is almost up, but before it goes back to the manufacturer, I had the pleasure of using it for a few days on a trip to Kent.
A noticeable feature of Adria caravans is the extended A-frame which is said to add stability. The Altea also has an Al-Ko AKS stabiliser. All I can say is that despite some poor road surfaces and very busy motorway traffic at times, it did not give me a moments concern behind our Vauxhall Insignia tow car.
Arriving on-site at Tanner Park Farm I was soon set up. Colleagues have commented upon how difficult it is to reach the corner steadies. I agree. They're all tucked under a long way, especially the front ones which are set at an angle. On the plus side, I did notice that there are TV connections in the battery locker for you to hook up to an external source if required.
I'm a fan of Adria's clean continental looks generally, and although the Altea is an entry-level caravan, it's external looks don't give the game away until you look closely. Perhaps the two biggest 'give-aways' are the large single front window, and a lack of a window in the door.
Having the Lux pack, ours comes with allow wheels, which together with the contemporary graphics on its damage-resistant polyester sides make the Altea a smart-looking caravan.
Looking inside the van, it is very much a compromise (aren't all caravans?). This is a five-berth caravan with an internal length of only 4.76m and weighing in with an MTPLM of only 1370kg. It features front and rear dinettes, neither of which would comfortably sit a family of five. However, thanks to light coloured fabrics and woodwork, it doesn't feel cramped.
Daylight floods the front lounge, helped by a huge sunroof. It's just a pity that it only opens by about 10cm, so doesn't do a lot in terms of ventilation.
The kitchen is a bit of a mixed bag, too. The jury's still out on the Dometic three-burner/sink unit. It's very pleasing to the eye, but personally I don't find it all that user-friendly. For instance, washing up requires the detachable drainer to be placed over the burners. That's fine, providing they're cold and not needed at the same time.
There's a combination oven/grill and a Thetford fridge in the lower unit, plus a microwave in an overhead locker, which requires a bit of a reach up.
Storage is reasonable, given the restrictions on size, but if five are using the Altea, bear in mind that the fold-up bunk cushions must be stored somewhere.
Despite its shortcomings, I really enjoyed my short stay in the Adria. It was a pleasure to tow and looks good, and was a perfectly comfortable place to stay during my few days in Kent.