Rory WhiteSee other caravan reviews written by Rory White
Lunar has taken a long, hard look at the two-berth segment and come up with a van that, like a plummeting hot-air balloon pilot, has attempted to get rid of all the inessentials in a concerted effort to keep the weight down. The result is an astonishing piece of packaging.
Pitching and setting up
Lunar has the controls positioned on the side of the wardrobe. We’d rather they were nearer the door for easy access when first arriving on site. Still, that feather-light weight will be most welcome when manoeuvring the Ariva into position.
The conversion to a dining room is easy and practical, helped by the inclusion of a pull-out (rather than flip-over) table extension. The power sockets, though, are a bit exposed and could easily suffer an unintentional kick.
There's nothing in the lounge to really dazzle or inspire but the Lunar does, at least, do everything perfectly well.
Lunar claws back some points, however, by providing a number of generous and imaginative storage options. The two lockers across the back wall provide plenty of space for crockery and small food items. There’s a huge cupboard under the sink and the lack of microwave above the fridge means there is room for a very traditional cocktail cabinet. It’s a bit old hat, but storage is storage, and in vans of this size, you can’t have too much of it.
The bathroom furniture feels less robust than we'd hoped, too. The various lockers and cupboards provide acres of storage, but the doors flex alarmingly and give the impression that careless handling could easily lead to breakages. It’s one of the few places where the low weight is apparent in the build.
The only real downside is that the Ariva's bed is not very long – 20cm shorter than the equivalent beds in rival vans from Elddis (the Avant´Club 362) and Swift (Charisma 220). Best to make up the bed before you buy this van, just to make sure it's big enough for you.
Just be careful with those under-seat locker lids though; they don't open very far and will close up with the slightest pressure on them.
This venerable two-berth is unique, attractive and the only serious option for those with tiny towcars.
- Genuinely compact and stunningly lightweight.
- Those compact dimensions compromise the sleeping arrangements.