Rory White

See 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

An Al-Ko stabiliser and a buttonless handbrake help to make pitching a straightforward business, and the drains are sensibly sited on the offside of the van. The mains cut-off is located under the front bench seat and accessed though a drop-down locker front.

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.

Lounge

Despite its compact dimensions, not least the fact that it's unusually narrow, the Ariva manages to present a lounge area that feels reasonably (if relatively) spacious. It's comfortable, too, and in no way feels disadvantaged in this department alongside its rivals.

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.

Kitchen

The layout of the kitchen is sensible enough, but Lunar's decision to omit a microwave oven looks a bit stingy, even in this sector.

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.

Washroom

The Ariva has a substantial domestic-style door, which is great. However, inside the shower, a clingy curtain is used to separate the shower from the toilet area, where many rivals have solid screens.

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.

Beds

While it's nothing new to have slats pulling out from the centre chest to form a double bed, Lunar does something with the arrangement that few others do. The slats are located in guide channels that prevent them dropping onto the floor when you are building the bed. Maybe there’s a reason why everyone doesn’t use a similar system, but we can’t decide what it is. It works beautifully.

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.

Storage

You could argue that the Lunar's overhead lockers are not as deep as they ought to be, but we reckon that would be harsh. OK, so they're not quite as big as some others, but they're perfectly adequate. The important thing is that there are are six of them and, together with the front-accessed under-seat lockers, they offer ample storage space.

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.

Technical specs

Berth2
MiRO828kg
Payload152kg
MTPLM980kg
Interior length3.63m
Shipping length5.17m
Width2.02m
Height2.6m
Awning size790cm

Verdict

This venerable two-berth is unique, attractive and the only serious option for those with tiny towcars.

Conclusion

Pros

  • Genuinely compact and stunningly lightweight.

Cons

  • Those compact dimensions compromise the sleeping arrangements.
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