Alex Newby

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The 2012 Buccaneer range is more obviously upmarket than the range has been in recent years, and in fashionable twin-bed Clipper form it's a really impressive package. An inviting interior, high specification and the chunky metal fixtures and fittings also mean this caravan is heavy, expensive and a little too flash for some tastes. But none of this really matters, because this is a caravan you buy with your heart rather than your head.

Pitching and setting up

The Buccaneer Clipper is a great-looking caravan. The tough GRP sides, which make dents and dinks of little concern, have a silver finish, while the white awning rails, privacy glass and gently curved front complete the contemporary feel.
Drains, steadies and exterior lockers are easy to access and the Winterhoff stabiliser and BPW Diamond wheel lock are standard. At 1930kg, it’s lighter than the previous year’s models but you'll still need to be looking at cars such as a Land Rover Discovery to tow with.
All the main controls are easy to find, but the light switches seem rather scattered about. The privacy glass makes the caravan look swish from the outside but it also reduces the amount of natural light coming in. Fortunately, lighter glass can be ordered as an alternative.

Lounge

The Clipper’s lounge is smaller than what you’d expect for a 7m caravan. It’s perfectly comfortable for four, but for six it’s tight, so if you’re a sociable caravanner you’ll have to limit visitor numbers or decamp to the awning. Other than that it’s a lovely place to sit, with four LED spotlamps providing the illumination, a spacious four-drawer chest and a TV point on the far side of the doorway.
The USB port in the lounge is a useful feature allowing you to plug in your MP3 player or bring your music with you on a memory stick, and play either through the stereo, which means you can leave your CDs at home.

Kitchen

This is a quite opulent galley. The huge double-height Dometic fridge-freezer is a welcome sight, even if the removable freezer is a bit gimmicky. The microwave is set at a sensible height directly above it, and has a storage locker above it. The double-width sink and integral draining board are fully practical, but this does mean a shortage of worktop. However, there an extension at the right-hand end of the galley which pulls out into the aisle, and you can use the glass tops for the hob and sink, provided you don’t need what’s underneath.

Washroom

The spacious washroom feels upmarket and is likely to delight potential purchasers. The ceramic-bowl, electric-flush Thetford toilet is a rare sight but all the welcome for it. The shower cubicle with the tile-effect walls is handsome and the unusual layout, which puts the washbasin in the rear-offside corner, makes good use of the available space. Even the basin is posh: granite-effect and surface-mounted, it also has a huge swan-neck tap.

Beds

The fixed single beds have soft but supportive mattresses and are long and wide enough for complete comfort on tour. Both sides get reading lights and a tiny shelf, but we found the curtains here a nuisance because they overhang the beds. Another slight niggle is the privacy curtain which closes across a kitchen drawer and locker, leaving a gap. It looks haphazard rather than deliberately designed.
Huge storage spaces below the beds and the six lockers above means there's lots of space here to stow clothes and kit.

Storage

Fixed single-bed caravans always have plenty of storage space, thanks to the two big bed boxes flanking the gangway. Storage in the kitchen is generous, too, while the six roof lockers over the lounge and four-drawer centre chest add plenty more options.
The only place where storage does fall short is in the wardrobe. It's a good size, but there are no shelves in the full-height hanging space, although there are two hanging rails. A couple of drawers would have made better use of the available space.

Technical specs

Berth4
MiRO1728kg
Payload202kg
MTPLM1930kg
Interior length6.34m
Width2.3m
Height2.58m
Awning size1080cm

Verdict

Sharp styling, dark windows and silver-coloured sides make the Buccaneer a head-turner, and the twin-axle Clipper's fixed-twin-bed layout ads to its luxury feel. There's substance as well as style here, both inside and out; at this weight you'll need to make sure your towcar has plenty to it, too.

Conclusion

Pros

  • Stunning exterior looks, while tough GRP panels help keep repair costs down
  • Sumptuous interior

Cons

  • Sheer weight: with an MTPLM of almost two tons you're going to need a monster of a towcar, or leave it on a seasonal pitch.
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