You’re sure to know of Marquis Leisure – it’s the UK’s biggest leisure vehicle dealer, with 13 branches across the UK and a wealth of experience in finding models that the British buyer will love. But you’re likely to be less familiar with La Mancelle.

La Mancelle is owned by French giant Trigano – as is Marquis Leisure – and was born in 1960 in the world-famous city of Le Mans. Over the past 63 years it’s refined its caravan making and today continues to pride itself on producing beautifully built leisure vehicles that are well-fitted out with quality materials – all fixtures in La Mancelle caravans look and feel solid and refined.

Late last year Marquis Leisure took the decision to import a range of La Mancelle caravans to our shores; the initial models have now arrived in Britain, and are available to view at three Marquis branches (Surrey, Exeter and South Yorkshire). Four models are currently available, all of which are single axle: two in the high-end Liberty line-up (the 490 SA and the 440 PC), and two in the mid-range Fantaisy range (360 CL and 440 CL).

Practical Caravan took a trip to the Surrey branch of Marquis Leisure  – where the tourers will be displayed in the indoor showroom –  to take an exclusive look at three of the four new La Mancelle models.

La Mancelle Liberty 490 SA

La Mancelle Liberty 490 SA
The La Mancelle Liberty 490 SA
  • Price: £39,995*
  • Berths: 4
  • Overall length: 6.71m (22’0”)
  • Overall width: 2.225m (7’5”)
  • Overall height (exc TV aerial) 2.58m (8’6”)
  • MTPLM 1800kg
  • Max user payload: 365kg

Heading up the range is the Liberty, which features a distinctive and modern front profile. The wood-effect exterior graphics look smart, too.

Inside you’ll find a semi-circular front lounge with deep, comfortable sofas and a table that can be moved in all directions. It’s a light, bright area thanks to the front and side windows, too. At night it easily makes up into a comfortable double bed.

Lounge in La Mancelle Liberty 490 SA
The lounge in La Mancelle Liberty 490 SA by day
Bed made up in lounge of La Mancelle Liberty 490 SA
The bed made up in the lounge of the La Mancelle Liberty 490 SA

The washroom features a swing-wall shower unit, which transforms the area into a dedicated cubicle. The kitchen, meanwhile, has a full-size oven/grill, and a hob with a trio of ring burners.

At the rear is a spacious and comfortable island double bed, and plenty of storage space.

La Mancelle Fantaisy 360 CL

La Mancelle Fantaisy 360 CL
The La Mancelle Fantaisy 360 CL
  • Price: £27,995*
  • Berths: 3
  • Overall length: 5.53m (18’2”)
  • Overall width: 2.05m (6’9”)
  • Overall height: (exc TV aerial) 2.58m (8’6”)
  • MTPLM: 1420kg
  • Max user payload: 442kg

The smaller of the two Fantaisy-range models, the 360 CL, is a three-berth featuring a transverse island bed at the rear. Beneath it lies masses of storage space – perfect for stashing lighter items when you’re kitting out a caravan.

Transverse bed in Fantaisy 360 CL

The roomy front lounge makes up into a further bed. During the day, there’s plenty of space here to relax and dine. The kitchen, meanwhile, has an oven/grill, as well as a two-burner hob. The washroom is located just opposite the kitchen.

La Mancelle Fantaisy 440 CL

La Mancelle Fantaisy 440 CL
The La Mancelle Fantaisy 440 CL
  • Price: £29,995*
  • Berths: 4
  • Overall length: 6.41m (21’)
  • Overall width: 2.05m (6’9”)
  • Overall height: (exc TV aerial) 2.58m (8’6”)
  • MTPLM: 1420kg
  • Max user payload: 349kg

The 440 CL is the larger of the two Fantaisy models that Marquis is bringing to the UK, and it’s a four-berth with a pair of spacious double beds. This model’s longer length means this is a comfortable island bed caravan – a real luxury for couples on tour.

Rear island bed
The bed in the La Mancelle Fantaisy 440 CL

As with its sister 360 CL model, there’s a lounge with dining table up front, but the area is bigger here than in the 360.

Again, the kitchen has an oven/grill, and a two-burner hob – there should be plenty of space here to cook up a meal. The washroom lies opposite.

La Mancelle Liberty 440 PC

  • Price: £37,995
  • Berths: 4
  • Overall length: 6.38m (20’11”)
  • Overall width: 2.25m (7’5”)
  • Overall height: (exc TV aerial) 2.58m (8’6”)
  • MTPLM: 1800kg
  • Max user payload: 433kg

We weren’t able to view the final caravan in the UK-bound La Mancelle range on our visit to Marquis, but like its sister 490 SA model, the Liberty 440 PC features a high level of specification as standard, and should feel equally as well built. It differs from the 490 SA in that it has a French (corner) bed and a corner washroom alongside; the kitchen and the washroom are also on the opposite side.

* All prices exclude delivery charge of £995 (including VAT)

Specification and construction

All 2023 Liberty and Fantaisy models brought to the UK by Marquis will feature a good level of kit as standard. This includes:

  • European Whole Vehicle Type Approval (EWVTA)
  • On-board water tank
  • AL-KO Heavy duty corner steadies
  • Two-piece Hartal door with flyscreen
  • AL-KO AKS 3004 Stabiliser
  • Dometic extractor hood with light and digital clock display
  • Fully lined shower cubicle with built-in contrast panel, storage & shelves
  • Seven-year water-ingress warranty
  • Alloy wheels
  • Marquis exclusive ‘Plaisance’ graphics
  • Exterior gas BBQ point
  • 230 volt external mains socket
  • External satellite and aerial connection
  • Truma Aventa Air Conditioning (Liberty models)
  • 100% low-energy LED lighting throughout

Who is La Mancelle?

La Mancelle was is a caravan make founded by André Devaux in 1960, based in the heart of historic Le Mans, in France’s Pays de la Loire region. The Pékina lightweight and compact caravan was launched in 1977, with the modern Isline following on in 1997. La Mancelle Caravans was bought by the mighty pan-European Trigano Group in 2000.

More ranges were added over the following two decades, including Elegance (2014), Excellence (2015), Liberty (2016) and L’Escale (2018). Today, La Mancelle produces three ranges: Fantaisy, Liberty and Excellence. A pair of models from each of the former two ranges are being brought to the UK by Marquis Leisure, all of which offer a good level of specification and a quality build.

Address: La Mancelle Caravans, 45 Boulevard Pierre Lefaucheux, 72025 Le Mans

Who is Marquis Leisure?

Marquis Motorhomes and Caravans was established back in 1973, and is now the UK’s largest leisure vehicle dealer: it’s grown to include 13 branches around the UK, from Plymouth to Durham. It is primarily a motorhome dealer, but also stocks a wide range of new and used caravans at the Durham, South Yorkshire, Surrey, Suffolk and Exeter branches: if you decide to buy a caravan from one of these branches, you can choose to collect it from your local branch. Marquis also offers servicing workshops at each of its locations, and you’ll receive a CaraMarq three-year guarantee on all pre-owned caravans under 15 years of age as standard.

The La Mancelle models are available to view at three Marquis branches: Surrey, Exeter and South Yorkshire. For more information, see or call 0800 026 7777.

Lead image: JM. Mortier Okaparka

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