In the market for a new van?
Wondering what offerings are in the pipeline from manufacturers outside the UK? Wonder no longer.
Here we bring together all the 2018-season news from the leading foreign brands sold in the UK.
And don’t go thinking we’ve forgotten Adria! Well established on UK dealer forecourts since the 1970s, with its layouts switched for the UK, the Slovenian brand therefore appears alongside the UK’s Big Five in our coverage of new caravans. Get Adria’s latest news here.
Three models will be available from six selected dealer sites around the UK: the 7.6m-long two- or three-berth Yukon, the 6.81m-long four-berth Missouri, and the 8.25m-long four-berth Colorado.
The Missouri is a single-axle model, while the Yukon and Colorado are both twin-axle tourers.
MTPLMs are on the heavier side: 1825kg for the Missouri, 2100kg for the Yukon and 2400kg for the Colorado.
Prices have been released ahead of the official launch at October’s NEC show. The Missouri starts from £78,495, the Yukon is £84,995 and the range-topping Colorado requires a £91,995 investment.
These outlays give buyers the chance to own a design classic, a distinctive riveted aluminium ‘silver bullet’ travel trailer (that’s a ‘caravan’ to us Brits) fitted with a range of luxury items including Corian work surfaces, hand-crafted cabinetry, Alde wet central heating and LED lighting throughout.
Inside the new Airstreams
Swift Group specification staples also feature, including Ecocamel showerheads and Duvalay Duvalite mattresses.
Swift has wisely pitched its Airstream interiors to cater for different design tastes.
At the point of purchase, buyers can choose between the ‘Americana’ decor scheme, with leather sofas and stitching that’s reminiscent of an American football, or the ‘Manhattan’ look and feel, which is closer to contemporary European tastes.
All three Airstream models have wraparound front and rear panoramic windows with tinted tempered glazing, a ZipDee awning, stainless steel stonechip guards, external gas barbecue and shower connection points, plus exterior access to internal storage areas.
Cost options include solar front window protection (£1395) and an upgraded MTPLM (£50).
French manufacturer Caravelair is introducing three new Antarès models to the UK for the 2018 season, although the company’s whole line-up should become much more attractive to British buyers because entrance doors will move to the UK nearside – and have a window.
The three new models – which like the whole Caravelair Antarès range are available exclusively through Marquis Leisure – include the 406 (a four-berth with bunks), the island-bed 455 and the fixed French-bed/end-washroom 485.
Among the existing range, the two-berth, end-kitchen 335, the four-berth 455 and the six- or seven-berth 496 will be continuing with the same layouts.
The 420, 450 and 476 will no longer be available.
We haven’t seen the UK versions yet, but vans shown at the European launch revealed improvement to exteriors, and to spec levels inside.
New grabhandles, an Al-Ko jockey wheel, external TV aerial and gas barbecue points, and a solar panel ring the changes.
Inside, dual-fuel hobs with a kitchen worktop extension flap will feature in all models except the 335, and there’ll be a fold-down table in the lounge area, plus a new control panel for the electrics and water, with a time display.
Caravan windows are made by Seitz and come with blinds and flyscreens, and UK tourers will have drop-in carpets.
Buyers will also benefit from Truma Combi 6 space and water heating, to make caravanning in a Caravelair even more comfortable over the season.
We’re seeing Caravelair’s UK-specific 2018 range during a factory visit in France at the end of September, so keep checking back for updates if you’re interested in these distinctive, value-for-money French tourers.
Available in four layouts – Familia 310, Triton 430, Troll 530 and 542 Touring (shown here) – all four models will be sold in the UK.
The most distinctive feature of these special-edition vans is the retro-inspired two-tone paintwork, ‘Carrara White’ over ‘Crystal Silver’, teamed with smart alloy wheels featuring a complementary metallic finish.
Step inside one of these 60th-anniversary edition models and you’ll see that the traditional interior receives a modern update with light-oak furniture and dark-brown upholstery – beige ‘Cusco’ is available as an option.
Other extras included are two extra reading lights, an externally accessed locker at the rear, a stone deflector, a pair of utensil bags, redesigned cushions, a mosquito net (for the more adventurous), a 30-litre water tank, a sink cover with a chopping board, and a spare wheel with a bracket.
White, high-gloss overhead lockers with chrome handles also feature, while the worktop and table have an easy-care finish.
The fixed rear double-bed Familia 310, Triton 430 and Troll 530 models, and the fixed-rear-twin-single Troll 542 give customers a choice of four layouts in total.
This is all in addition to the standard Eriba features that these diminutive Hymer caravans are well-known for.
This includes the traditional tubular-frame chassis and pop-up roof, but also more modern fittings such as LED ambient lighting, a worktop extension flap, a pull-out entrance step, anti-sway coupling and automatic brake adjustment.
All models also come with blackout blinds, cold-foam mattresses for the fixed beds and upholstery with stain guard.
Al-Ko’s ATC anti-snaking system, an underfloor storage tray, shower fittings and a rack for cycles are among the items on the options list.
The Eriba stablemate and iconic German brand also gets in on the 60th-anniversary celebrations, with two models from the Nova GL range.
French-bed four-berths, the 485 and 545, get ‘60 Edition’ makeovers for 2018.
Benefits for buyers include ‘60 Edition’ branding on the sidewalls, a rear automotive-style LED light cluster, a 50-litre underfloor fresh-water tank, a panoramic lounge skylight, a cold-foam bed mattress and an LED awning light with a motion detector.
Like the rest of the range, bodyshells use the much-vaunted PUAL system, with 51mm sandwich floors and 1.98m of internal headroom.
Layouts-wise, the 485 and 545 both feature French-bed/corner-washroom floorplans, although on different sides.
The 5.78m-long 485 has an offside bed, while the 6.12m-long 545’s is on the nearside.
Both vans have large, U-shaped front lounges, although with a wider bodyshell (2.4m instead of 2.3m) the 545 will be even more spacious.
Inside the latest Hymer caravans
Cabinetwork is finished in ‘Chiavenna Walnut’, with two-tone overhead locker doors (‘High-Gloss Coffee and Iguana Silver’), and there’s a choice of ‘Janeiro’ or ‘Cusco’ fabrics.
Kitchens have soft frosted glass laminated work surfaces, with a coating that’s said to be impervious to greasy fingerprints.
There are also pleated cassette blinds to all windows – these combine flyscreens and pleated blackout blinds all in one – a shoo-in at this price point.
Sterling prices for the Hymer Nova GL 485 and 545 ‘60 Edition’ are yet to be released, but last season’s non-special editions retailed for £25,890 and £28,590 respectively, so expect to see a premium applied for the enhanced spec and ‘60’ branding.
As seen at the launch event, both vans look sharp in the metal and the build quality is second to none.
Hymer-fanciers looking for something a little extra may well be tempted by these two models – they’ll certainly look the part for years to come.
The German manufacturer had some new offerings at both ends of the size spectrum at its 2018-season launch event.
Starting with the small stuff, a new Deseo was revealed. This is effectively a European-designed-and-produced ‘toy hauler’, conceived to cater for users who take weighty outdoors leisure kit on tour.
But, as one member of Knaus management noted, whereas the first version of the Deseo was effectively storage space with a place to sleep, this second iteration is a place to sleep with storage space.
The four-berth, fibre-framed Deseo boasts automotive-derived A, B and C pillars for structural strength.
This allows the caravan to incorporate a drop-down double bed, and riding on a twin-axle chassis, a whopping payload in the region of 800kg.
The Knaus Travelino is here!
Staying with low-weight innovation, Knaus confirmed that its Travelino mini-caravan enters volume production this season.
For anyone unfamiliar with the concept, the Travelino is a two-berth tourer with a lounge, a kitchen, a washroom, a bedroom and an MTPLM of just 900kg.
Two new models for the Knaus Sport range were also revealed: the French-bed 500 UF and the fixed-twin-single-bed 540 UE. Both feature large panoramic skylights.
Knaus also displayed UK-handed 2018 versions of two StarClass models: the end-washroom two-berth 480 and the fixed-twin-single-bed 695, on a twin axle.
The iconic T@B teardrop caravans produced by Knaus go forward with the same three models for 2018.
There are the 5.17m-long two-berths, the 320 RS and the 320 Offroad, as well as the 5.97m-long three-berth 400 TD.
Improvements for the new season comprise reshaped lounges, extended table mounts, new interior facings and deeper kitchen sinks.
This Knaus-produced budget brand has specially enhanced four CaraOne models for UK buyers in 2018.
These are the rear-lounge/front-double-bed two-berth 390 QD, the front-lounge/rear-transverse-bed four-berth 400 LK, the front-lounge/French-bed six-berth 550 UK with rear bunks, and the front-lounge 740 UDF, a twin-axle model with midships bunks and a rear French bed.
Built on Al-Ko chassis, these Weinsberg caravans feature layouts switched for the UK, plus ovens and larger windows, and despite pressures on the euro/sterling exchange rate, Knaus says the pricing will be “absolutely competitive” in the “hard UK market”.
Weinsberg also displayed the CaraOne 740 Edition Ice. As the name suggests, it’s designed specifically for year-round use, and packs the same floorplan (and twin axle) as the 740 UDF.
An interesting design concept for the 740 Edition Ice was revealed at the launch: a pair of reclining chairs positioned in front of a heater with a ‘real fire’ display, and a flatscreen TV sliding up out of the cabinetwork behind it.
There was no mention of this mod con going into production anytime soon, though.
Caravelair's entrance doors will move to the UK nearside – and have a window