Lizzie Pope
Digital Editor

See other News articles filed in ‘Caravans’ written by Lizzie Pope
   
With eye-catching layouts, sparkling interior finishes and a growing UK presence, prepared to be wowed by Hobby's 2017-season caravan range

If ever a brand needed an image makeover to woo British buyers, it’s Hobby. And, having seen some of the company’s appealingly-different 2017-season line-up, perhaps now is that time.

This argument is further strengthened when you learn that, according to Hobby UK’s John Hindle, the firm has plans to expand its UK dealer network and build dedicated repair centres here, too.

Open your mind and you’ll be spoilt for choice, because Hobby’s 2017 caravan portfolio comprises 57 models across seven ranges. And all models apart from those in the Ontour series now have extra-large habitation doors (albeit on the UK offside).

For the first time, an electronic stability system for the chassis and brakes will be an option on all Hobby caravans up to the 660. Another interesting new option is the fully-automatic CAP 650 satellite system, by Kathrein – perfect if you want to keep up to date with your favourite TV shows when on tour (such as Practical Caravan TV!).

Hobby has also launched its own app. Called HobbyConnect, it will allow owners to control all their caravan’s on-board technology remotely, using their tablet or smartphone.

The 2017-season Hobby caravans

The four-model, entry-level Ontour line-up was launched just two years ago and has received minimal changes for 2017.

The family-focused De Luxe range has 13 models, including the new-for-2017 495 WFB with a front parallel lounge, a full-width end washroom and a fixed double bed against the (UK) offside wall. The De Luxe range as a whole has received light aesthetic updates, too, including new curtains and soft furnishings.

Three new models have been added to the De Luxe Edition line-up for the 2017 season: the 460 LU, 490 KMF and 650 KMFe. The 460 LU has two in-line fixed single beds at the rear, a U-shaped lounge at the front, and a washroom on the (UK) nearside with a compact kitchen opposite. The new 490 KMF can sleep five, thanks to a double bed across the front of the van, fixed bunks across the rear and a side dinette that can be turned into another single. Need even more space? How about the 650 KMFe, which provides a fixed double at the front and fixed bunks at the rear, both against the (UK) nearside, while the U-shaped lounge that sits between them can be converted into another double.

Thirteen models make up the Hobby Excellent range for 2017, all of which sleep four apart from the five-berth 540 KMFe and the six-berth 560 KMFe. And there’s a wide choice of layouts including fixed twin singles, fixed doubles, fixed bunks and an island bed model. The new-season variants are the 495 WFB and the 560 WFU, both of which have full-width end washrooms and fixed doubles along the (UK) offside wall. In addition, the range has been facelifted, featuring a new window on all models with beds at the front, as well as magnolia gloss detailing and swan-neck lights. Outside, the Hobby logo now uses raised chrome lettering.

That revised logo also features on the 11 vans in the 2017 Prestige line-up. Two models make their debut this season, the 560 WFU and the 660 WFC, both of which have heated wardrobes thanks to their Truma Combi 6 heating. The Prestige 660 WFC’s 1900kg MPTLM may, perhaps understandably, deter some British buyers, but this impressive twin-axle feels like a very UK-friendly van with its massive front lounge, fixed double bed, L-shaped side kitchen with funky pull-out racking and full-width end washroom – and we noticed a thoughtful design detail, in the handy mini wardrobe to the left of the door, with hanging space and two shelves.

The Premium range, established in 2011, gets a trio of glossy new interior trim options for the 2017 season (bronze, stone grey and magnolia), as well as new LED lighting, chrome switch covers and a USB point in the kitchen. Stepping into the Premium 560 UL at the launch event, it’s no surprise that this over-8m-long and over-2.3m-wide tourer felt generously proportioned, especially for a single-axle van. It’s a very well-finished space, with large fixed singles, albeit with a compact all-in-one washroom. Space-age looks on the outside and snazzy ambient lighting inside make you feel as if you’re in a very special caravan.

Finally, the two enormous four-berth vans in the Landhaus range, the twin-single 770 CL and the island-bed 770 CFf, continue largely unchanged. But weighing in at 2300kg each, it seems unlikely that we’ll see many of these in the UK.

So, yes, the layouts aren’t what you’d commonly see from British caravan manufacturers, but there are some great ideas out there that create very different and flexible living spaces that may give you food for thought. The level of fit and finish throughout is very impressive, too.

Of course, Hobby caravans have their habitation doors on the ‘wrong’ side for UK caravanners and their not inconsiderable weights will mean you’ll need a hefty tow car and, quite probably, a B+E driving licence to pull one, but give Hobby’s 2017 offerings a chance and you may be surprised.

The 2017 Hobby caravan range at a glance

     
Ontour

  • Hobby Ontour 390 SF – 4-berth, fixed double across the front, 1100kg MTPLM
  • Hobby Ontour 460 HL – 3-berth, fixed twin singles at the front, 1200kg MTPLM
  • Hobby Ontour 470 KMF – 5-berth, fixed double across the front, fixed bunks at the rear, 1300kg MTPLM
  • Hobby Ontour 470 UL – 3-berth, fixed twin singles at the front, 1300kg MTPLM
        

De Luxe

  • Hobby De Luxe 400 SFe – 3-berth, fixed double, 1300kg MTPLM
  • Hobby De Luxe 440 SF – 4-berth, fixed double across the front, 1300kg MTPLM
  • Hobby De Luxe 455 UF – 4-berth, fixed double across the front, 1350kg MTPLM
  • Hobby De Luxe 460 LU – 4-berth, fixed twin singles at the rear, 1350kg MTPLM
  • Hobby De Luxe 460 UFe – 4-berth, fixed double, 1350kg MTPLM
  • Hobby De Luxe 490 KMF – 5-berth, fixed double across the front, fixed bunks at the rear, 1400kg MTPLM
  • Hobby De Luxe 495 WFB – 4-berth, fixed double, 1500kg MTPLM
  • Hobby De Luxe 495 UL – 4-berth, fixed twin singles at the front, 1500kg MTPLM
  • Hobby De Luxe 540 KMFe – 5-berth, fixed double, fixed bunks at the rear, 1600kg MTPLM
  • Hobby De Luxe 540 UL – 4-berth, fixed twin singles at the front, 1500kg MTPLM
  • Hobby De Luxe 545 KMF – 5-berth, fixed double, fixed side bunks, 1600kg MTPLM
  • Hobby De Luxe 560 KMFe – 6-berth, fixed double, fixed bunks, 1700kg MTPLM
  • Hobby De Luxe 650 KMFe – 6-berth, fixed double, fixed side bunks, 1900kg MTPLM
       

De Luxe Edition

  • Hobby De Luxe Edition 440 SF – 4-berth, fixed double across front, 1300kg MTPLM
  • Hobby De Luxe Edition 460 UFe – 4-berth, fixed double, 1350kg MTPLM
  • Hobby De Luxe Edition 460 LU – 4-berth, fixed twin singles at the rear, 1350kg MTPLM
  • Hobby De Luxe Edition 490 KMF – 5-berth, fixed double across the front, fixed bunks at the rear, 1400kg MTPLM
  • Hobby De Luxe Edition 495 UL – 4-berth, fixed twin singles at the front, 1500kg MTPLM
  • Hobby De Luxe Edition 545 KMF – 5-berth, fixed double, fixed side bunks, 1600kg MTPLM
  • Hobby De Luxe Edition 560 KMFe – 6-berth, fixed double, fixed bunks, 1700kg MTPLM
  • Hobby De Luxe Edition 650 KMFe – 6-berth, fixed double, fixed side bunks, 1900kg MTPLM
       

Excellent

  • Hobby Excellent 460 UFe – 4-berth, fixed double, 1350kg MTPLM
  • Hobby Excellent 495 UFe – 4-berth, fixed double, 1500kg MTPLM
  • Hobby Excellent 495 UL – 4-berth, fixed twin singles at the front, 1500kg MTPLM
  • Hobby Excellent 495 WFB – 4-berth, fixed double, 1500kg MTPLM
  • Hobby Excellent 540 KMFe – 5-berth, fixed double, fixed bunks at the rear, 1600kg MTPLM
  • Hobby Excellent 540 UFe – 4-berth, fixed double, 1500kg MTPLM
  • Hobby Excellent 540 UFf – 4-berth, island bed, 1500kg MTPLM
  • Hobby Excellent 540 UL – 4-berth, fixed twin singles at the front, 1500kg MTPLM
  • Hobby Excellent 540 WLU – 4-berth, fixed twin singles, 1500kg MTPLM
  • Hobby Excellent 560 CFe – 4-berth, fixed double, 1600kg MTPLM
  • Hobby Excellent 560 KMFe – 6-berth, fixed double, fixed bunks, 1700kg MTPLM
  • Hobby Excellent 560 UL – 4-berth, fixed twin singles at the front, 1600kg MTPLM
  • Hobby Excellent 560 WFU – 4-berth, fixed double, 1600kg MTPLM
       

Prestige

  • Hobby Prestige 495 UL – 4-berth, fixed twin singles at the front, 1500kg MTPLM
  • Hobby Prestige 540 UFe – 4-berth, fixed double, 1500kg MTPLM
  • Hobby Prestige 560 UL – 4-berth, fixed twin singles at the front, 1600kg MTPLM
  • Hobby Prestige 560 WFU – 4-berth, fixed double, 1600kg MTPLM
  • Hobby Prestige 560 WLU – 4-berth, fixed twin singles, 1600kg MTPLM
  • Hobby Prestige 620 CL – 4-berth, fixed twin singles at the front, 1900kg MTPLM
  • Hobby Prestige 650 KFU – 6-berth, fixed double, fixed bunks, 1900kg MTPLM
  • Hobby Prestige 650 UMFe – 5-berth, fixed double, 1900kg MTPLM
  • Hobby Prestige 660 WFC – 4-berth, fixed double, 1900kg MTPLM
  • Hobby Prestige 720 KFU – 6-berth, fixed double, fixed bunks, 2200kg MTPLM
  • Hobby Prestige 720 UKFe – 7-berth, fixed double, fixed bunks, 2200kg MTPLM
        

Premium

  • Hobby Premium 495 UL – 4-berth, fixed twin singles at the front, 1700kg MTPLM
  • Hobby Premium 560 CFe – 4-berth, fixed double, 1800kg MTPLM
  • Hobby Premium 560 UL – 4-berth, fixed twin singles at the front, 1800kg MTPLM
  • Hobby Premium 650 UFf – 4-berth, island bed, 2000kg MTPLM
  • Hobby Premium 650 UKFe – 6-berth, fixed double, fixed bunks, 2000kg MTPLM
  • Hobby Premium 660 WFU – 4-berth, fixed double, 2000kg MTPLM
       

Landhaus

  • Hobby Landhaus 770 CFf – 4-berth, island bed, 2300kg MTPLM
  • Hobby Landhaus 770 CL – 4-berth, fixed twin singles at the front, 2300kg MTPLM
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