Pennine Quartz 4 is a lightweight convertible caravan for couples and here's Practical Caravan's expert verdict on this new-style folding caravan
Folding caravan manufacturer Pennine is determined to develop the term it introduced last season: convertible caravans. Its latest offering is the three-strong Quartz range, and we reckon the mid-range Quartz 4 has the makings of a winner.
Pitching and setting up
Despite the relative ease with which you can put it up, we think this is more the kind of unit you’ll want to set up on site for greater periods than just single-night stopovers, with or without the full-size awning option.
As for towing and general manoeuvring, we don’t know of a four-berth trailer unit that’s easier to lug around. The Quartz’s 900kg maximum weight means it really can be towed by anything from a Ford Focus upwards.
Most folk are likely to order their Quartz with a full awning, too. It completes the package, but isn’t cheap at £1295 (with a bedroom annexe costing a further £399) at launch.
Playing another key part in creating a comforting ambience is Pennine’s use of the latest breathable fabric from leading awning manufacturer Isabella. Called Isatex, it’s a heavy-duty, fully breathable PVC-coated polyester that’s easy to wipe clean.
Also new is the bed board material – phenolic-coated birch plywood – reckoned to be extremely hard wearing and resistant to mildew (a common problem on units like this).
Cupboard storage is pretty good, too. If worktop space is at a premium, there’s always the freestanding table you can pull into position, or the fold-up top in the doorway opposite.
You could even sleep more people if you had to, if you’re prepared to rearrange the lounge cushions.
Convertible caravans are a niche Pennine has created for itself and is now looking to fully exploit. Lots of newcomers are intimidated by the prospect of towing a ‘full-size’ caravan and, if you’re stepping up from tents, or simply prefer some canvas around you as opposed to ‘tin’, this is an enticing prospect.
Veridict overall: 8/10.
- It's easy to transport
- Wraparound lounge is sociable
- Good storage space
- You can tow it with a Ford Focus-sized car
- It's easy to set up when you know how
- It's a lot of effort for one-night stopovers