Read the definitive Heartland 1-RV Edge M21 caravan review from Practical Caravan's experts, check specs of this US-built caravan, designed for the UK

Overview

Devon-based 1-RV’s Edge range provides the facilities of an RV motorhome but in a conventional towed caravan design. It features a slide-out section to give extra room inside when pitched on site. It is built to order by Heartland in North America, based on a fully-winterised North American design, but modified for European regulations. 

Although already seen on fifth-wheel type units, it is unusual in the UK to see a slide-out system used on a towed caravan, partly due to the weight and cost penalties.

The MTPLM of the Edge M18 works out at 2200kg, which is very similar to the current Airstream International 684 or any of the twin-axle Vanmasters. To be in the same maximum weight range as these but with a slide-out system fitted is certainly something of an achievement – especially with a price not very much more than a Buccaneer.

The lightweight aluminium frame and alloy sandwich construction means there is no wood to rot or attract damp.   

Pitching and setting up

Manoeuvring the unit on site is easier than might be expected from such a long unit. The axles are set well back on the Peak chassis and there is a substantial gap between the 14in wheel pairs. This seems to reduce scrub and we found the unit easy to slot into position.

Setting up is straightforward and largely conventional with four manually operated corner steadies. Water is fed either from the 130litre on-board tank or provided by a standard submersible pump and Aquaroll.

The black water (sewage) outlet is on the nearside with a concertina hose for full service connection, or alternatively to a wheeled collector, which can be taken to the usual disposal points.

Lounge

Step inside and there is no doubt about the excellent room available with the slide-out deployed. On current models the lounge moves out some 2ft (600mm), but for 2012 this will increase to 3ft (900mm), giving a large square living area almost the size of a domestic lounge.

With the slide-out moved in for travelling, there is still plenty of room to move along the inside and headroom in the domed-roof lounge is a generous 7ft ( 2.13m).

There is a large dinette in the slide-out section which converts to an additional double bed.

Heating throughout is by gas only. On the downside the décor is probably not to all tastes as it is all dark wood and muted colours.

Kitchen

There is only a two-burner hob with glass cover at the time of this test (replaced with a four-burner unit with full oven for 2012), but the microwave and extractor hood and light are both standard.

The worktop, sink and drainer unit are in a one-piece moulded unit with a smart gloss finish. Work surface is good and there are several storage drawers. The fridge is the 6 cu ft (170 litres) three-way Dometic unit with that removable freezer compartment.

With the slide-out deployed there is plenty of room around the cooking area without compromising inside relaxing space for the non-cooking residents.

Washroom

Often in this kind of design the washroom is something of a disappointment in size compared to the rest of the vehicle. Not so here. A rear washroom layout is used which has lots of room and even features a mini-bath under the shower head. This is great for washing one’s feet after a day on the moors.

There is a skylight and also a powered extractor unit.

Toilet flushing is by a foot-operated system – ah, the memories – and the good-sized wardrobe is in this washroom area which does help with changing clothes in private.

Beds

This Edge model is a four-berth with a large (queen size) fixed bed at the front of the van and a conversion unit to a double in the lounge.

The main bed is an island design with plenty of access room on each side. The main bed looks luxurious, but as it is arranged here it will not be to everyone’s taste as it is part of the open-plan design and thus always in full view from the lounge. However, sliding panel blinds to close off this area would be fitted from 2012.

Useful double mains sockets at each side make for easy fitting of bedside lamps and charging phones or MP3 players.

Storage

Inside storage is good with many drawers, lockers and cubbyholes.

There is large under-bed storage too, though the bed is rather hard to lift up. There are useful mini wardrobes each side of the bed and useful and overhead storage lockers here, too.

Outside there is a massive full-width wet locker accessible from both sides, which is located at the front of the van. This is ideal for when on site, but it is suggested that you do not load heavy items here when travelling as the noseweight (already 135kg) could be compromised.

Technical specs

Berth4
MiRO1950kg
Payload250kg
MTPLM2200kg
Interior length5.9m
Shipping length7.32m
Width2.28m
Height2.99m

Verdict

Big and mostly beautiful, the Edge range represents North American style adapted to European legislation.

It succeeds in providing a luxury caravan with many of the attributes of a fifth-wheel type trailer or large RV, but as a conventional easily-towed unit.

The slide-out system gives a huge internal living area but some specification details are not quite up to UK practice and not everyone will like the dark wood interior décor. We'd give it 8/10.

Conclusion

Pros

  • Masses of interior room
  • Good washroom
  • UK and European legal on dimensions, brakes, lights and fittings
  • Generous standard fittings including air con
  • Electric awning TV, DVD etc
  • Good towing and manoeurvring
  • Fully winterised for all-year touring
  • Great looks

Cons

  • Dark finish inside is dull
  • You will need a 4x4 to tow it
  • No front window
  • Door/awning on offside
  • No cassette system for toilet waste
  • Gas cylinders carried separately
  • Main door does not open through 180 degrees
Share with friends

Follow us on

Most recent caravan reviews

The Practical Caravan Elddis Crusader Zephyr review – 1 - The exterior colour is called 'Champagne', but it is really a heathery brown, differentiating it from the blue of its Compass Camino 660 sister van (© Peter Baber/Practical Caravan)
The Practical Caravan Lunar Lexon 590 review – 1 - Flush-fitting windows, the sunroof, alloy wheels and the cantilever-action gas locker door all add a touch of class to the 590 (© Practical Caravan)
The Practical Caravan Sprite Quattro DD review – 1 - This twin-axle from the 2017 range of Sprite caravans has an MTPLM of 1624kg (© Andy Jenkinson/Practical Caravan)
The Practical Caravan Bailey Pursuit 560-5 review – 1 - The single front window may look budget-style to some, but we like the uncluttered view it provides from inside the van (© Practical Caravan)
The Practical Caravan Compass Capiro 550 review – 1 - The new-for-2017 Compass Capiro 550 has a 1467kg MTPLM (© Practical Caravan)
The Practical Caravan Sterling Eccles 510 review – 1 - Sharp graphics and a carbonfibre-effect gas-locker lid give the Sterling a unique personality that distances it from its Swift Challenger sibling (© Practical Caravan)