The Adria Alpina Rio Grande was launched in 2012 under the Astella name as an 8ft-wide van (an idea then new to touring) that sported a front kitchen.
Such a caravan layout was not uncommon in UK tourers in the 20th century, although by the 1970s, it had rather lost its appeal here.
Fast forward 11 years and the refreshed version, rebranded the Alpina Rio Grande, continues this layout, but with a transverse double at the rear, rather than the corner bed found in the Astella. The new model was launched at the October NEC show, and is on the forecourts from this April.
Pitch and set-up
The Rio Grande has a durable, solid look about it, and the new Adria profile is easy to spot on the road. Although the one-piece front window isn’t that generous, the large gas locker does mean that there’s plenty of space available here. It comes with handy storage containers, too.
The caravan is built on the Al-Ko Delta chassis, with heavy-duty corner steadies. The caravan manufacturer has also added new-look 15-inch alloys, plus a steel spare wheel.
The extra-length drawbar gives added stability, although you still get ATC and an AKS stabiliser: this is a large tourer on a single axle, so stability aids are important for this caravan type.
The front panel has wind deflectors with sturdy grab handles, while the rear panel has superbly styled LED road lights and large grab handles. Most service points, including the onboard water tank filler, are positioned on the offside.
The spec includes a Status TV aerial and a Thule folding step. The extra-wide door is glazed. Outside, as well as exterior-access side lockers (one heated), you get mains and aerial sockets, a barbecue point (ideal if you’re taking a caravan barbecue away with you) and LED lighting integrated into the awning rail.
Lounge in the Adria Alpina Rio Grande
In the central lounge, there’s an L-shaped seat on the offside with a settee opposite. Our test model had upholstery in a grey fabric, although you can go for leather.
There is ambient lighting in the lockers, as well as LED spotlights, so night-time illumination should be excellent, something that the best caravans will always provide.
Even on a dull early spring day, the lounge was well lit by a Heki and the opening sunroof. Large windows on both sides of the lounge allow in more natural light and ventilation.
With a freestanding table, four can dine here in comfort, but if you needed to get to the back of the van, you would have to navigate your way through the lounge.
Kitchen in the Adria Alpina Rio Grande
The kitchen is light and airy, with the large front window and opening sunroof. There is the standard Adria three-burner hob and sink combination, with a large removable drainer and a chopping board.
It’s well equipped – you also get a Thetford oven, a microwave and a 140-litre fridge/freezer, plus an extractor and several mains sockets, ideal for a caravan kettle or similar.
The small dresser, where the table is stored, gives more workspace, and has a table lamp and USB and mains sockets.
Washroom in the Adria Alpina Rio Grande
The rear washroom might feel a tad narrow to some. But it is well finished and has good lighting. The shower is spacious and has folding doors. The roof vent provides more light and ventilation. The mirror behind the large handbasin conceals extra storage space. There is a big side window, and the three spotlights in the ceiling are adjustable.
Beds in the Adria Alpina Rio Grande
You pull out a section from the settee base to make up the front double, although if there are just three of you, the settee could be used as a single bed. Even with the bed made up, there is enough room to walk past without too much inconvenience.
The rear transverse bed has adjustable backrests, good for use as a daybed. The mattress is comfortable and supportive.
Storage in the Adria Alpina Rio Grande
Although this tourer will probably mostly be used as a couple’s van, storage for four would be fine for short breaks.
The kitchen has excellent storage, with large drawers and a useful slide-out rack. There are super-sized overhead lockers in the lounge, as well as good underseat storage, and the bedroom is fitted with two wardrobes (one of which is small, but still useful). There’s a third wardrobe near the kitchen too, so you’ll have plenty of room for your caravan essentials and other accessories.
Deep overhead lockers in the bedroom and washroom offer plenty of storage space, as do the cupboards and shelves.
The Adria Alpina Rio Grande, being a large front-kitchen model on a single axle, is likely to be something of a niche buy.
But it is solid and feels well put together. The interior is contemporary and the kit is pretty good, although surprisingly, no caravan solar panel is fitted as standard.
The lounge is comfortable and spacious, although trying to get through if the table is up could be an irritation. The kitchen works well, while storage is superb and the lighting is good. But some might find the end washroom a little bit narrow.
You can also take a look at our best four berth caravan guide to see our top picks on the market for 2023.
Reason to buy:
- Spacious central lounge, solid build, good storage, glazed stable door
Reason to avoid:
- No solar panel as standard, washroom might feel narrow to some
Or you could try:
- Swift Elegance Grande 845: the revamped Elegance comes with a luxurious contemporary interior.
- Adria Altea 612DL Tyne: a combination of comfort, innovation and style make the Tyne an appealing four-berth.
- Bailey Discovery D4-4L: innovative design touches and appealing interior décor combine to create an attractive budget tourer.
- Price: £43,645
- Berths: 4
- MTPLM: 2000kg
- MiRO: 1740kg
- Payload: 260kg
- Interior length: 6.19m
- Shipping length: 8.19m
- Overall width: 2.46m
- Rear double bed: 1.54 x 1.96m
- Front double bed: 2.17 x 1.12m
- Alde heating
- Thetford oven and fridge/freezer
- 15-inch alloys
- Status TV aerial
- Exterior mains socket and BBQ point
- Awning light
- Waste tank
- Steel AKS wheel receiver
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|Interior Length||6.19 m|
|Shipping Length||8.19 m|