The Sterling Eccles Sport 442 has been crowned Practical Caravan’s Tourer of the Year for 2014.

It features a bold new construction method, in which the caravan body panels now have polyurethane framing battens in place of timber. This makes the vans stronger and more resistant to water, says Swift GroupThis is coupled with one of the most eye-catching exterior and interior styling treatments of any caravan in recent years. The design was based on responses to a ‘concept caravan’ introduced at the February 2013 Spring Caravan and Camping Show at Birmingham’s NEC.

So, what did our test team say? “For its new strong, timber-less body frame that’s more resilient to moisture, its crowd-sourced approach to styling, its healthy specification bump and its keen pricing, we couldn’t look past making the Sterling Eccles Sport 442 our Tourer of the Year overall winner.”

The Practical Caravan Tourer of the Year Awards celebrate the best caravans and accessories each year, and the event is run in association with water and heating system specialist Whale. “The team at Whale are delighted to sponsor this prestigious event and be involved in rewarding those who have achieved excellence in the caravan and motorhome industry,” said Sarah Baird, RV Commercial Manager for Whale.

2014 Tourer of the Year awards – the winners in full

Tourer of the Year 2014: Sterling Eccles Sport 442

Editor’s choice: Bailey Pegasus GT65 Rimini

Best caravan for couples: Sterling Eccles SE Ruby

Best caravan for small families: Lunar Quasar 564

Best caravan for large families: Coachman Vision 570/6

Best caravan for seasonal pitches: Elddis Crusader Tempest EB

Best accessory: MGI Giant Plastic Step

Best awning: SunnCamp Air-Volution Ultima Air 390

You can read the results, with our test team’s full verdicts and images, in the November 2013 issue of Practical Caravan. It’s posted to subscribers on 3 October, and hits the news stand from 8 October. And don’t forget to tell us what you think of the winning caravans on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and our forum!