Wide-bodied vans are rare in the UK, but if you read Practical Caravan's Dethleffs Nomad 560 SB review, you'll find there's a lot to like about this tourer

Overview

Here, we review the Dethleffs Nomad 560 SB as a seasonal tourer. Wide-body caravans have been legal in the UK since 2010, but they remain uncommon. Only the Slovenian Adria Astella is built for the UK volume market. (We classify Bailey's Retreat caravans as semi-statics, not tourers.)

Practical Caravan's test team found this 2012 Dethleffs Nomad 560 SB available at a discounted price of £19,995 from Lowdhams Leisureworld, but Lowdhams is no longer the UK agent for Dethleffs, so you'll have to hunt around for this model. It's worth it, though, if you're looking for a roomy caravan as a seasonal tourer.

The Dethleffs Nomad 560 SB features a U-shaped front lounge, a fixed bed and an end washroom, with the entrance door on the offside, and comes with a comprehensive spec that you’d expect from a German-built tourer.

Pitching and setting up

The Nomad sits on Al-Ko underpinnings with a buttonless handbrake and an AKS stabiliser. Electrical connections are made via 12N/12S plugs instead of a more modern 13-pin plug.

The cantilevered gas locker lid can be lifted clear for excellent access to the cylinders and spare wheel, on the nearside. Sturdy grab handles and heavy-duty steadies feature, but you’ll have to crouch to wind the front ones.

This German-built van has an offside entrance and nearside connection points. The toilet cassette hatch is on the offside, where the only awning rail is.

Controls for the van’s systems are on the left as you enter via the one-piece door.

Lounge

It may have a one-piece front window, but there’s nothing budget about the Dethleffs Nomad 560 SB's lounge. Instead, it appears to have come from an executive jet. The high-quality U-shaped seating can comfortably accommodate six around the table, which clamps to the floor.

Fit and finish are superb; the dark woods are complemented well by the grey, beige and brown upholstery. The large windows and rooflight let in plenty of light. Electric lighting is provided by spotlamps in the front corners and strip lights under the lockers. A TV bracket is on the wardrobe wall.

Kitchen

Dethleffs has branded the kitchen its ‘GourmetCenter’ and it is hard to disagree with this title. The sink and cooker are one unit built into a granite-effect worktop, with split glass lids to provide flexibility between cooking and preparation space. You can lift one lid to access the largest gas ring, leaving the other two lowered.

A combined oven-grill sits under the worktop, below the gas knobs for all the kitchen appliances. These have been put close to each other for ease of use, but some cooks may prefer cooker controls to be on the unit itself.

A cupboard is between the oven and fridge and beneath that is a wide drawer for pots, pans and utensils. There’s no microwave, but an extractor fan is fitted.

Washroom

This room may have plenty of wood, but it doesn’t make for an oppressive ambience. The white ceiling and walls provide relief from the mid-tone woodwork and two mirrors help it feel larger.

On the left as you enter is an electric-flush swivel toilet. The rear wall is lined with shelves, while a vanity unit with recessed sink is under the window. The nearside-corner shower cubicle has moulded walls and looks well-sealed, and there’s space for lotions and gels in the grey unit housing the showerhead. A double towel rail, three hooks and a toilet-roll holder complete the spec.

Beds

The 2.03m x 1.44m fixed bed boasts a comfortable sprung mattress and two reading lights, but no shelves for resting your book. Natural light floods in from the large nearside window, a smaller one opposite and a rooflight. A partition can be pulled from the nearside for privacy.

The lounge seats, 1.67m and 1.5m long, respectively, can be used as single beds for children. To make up the 2.3m-long double bed, lower the lounge table and place the seat and filler cushions on top.

Storage

There are so many places to stow things in the Nomad it’s tempting to think it was designed for storage before a caravan was built around it. There are 15 overhead lockers, most of which have an open shelf underneath.

There’s masses of space under the fixed bed, with a row of useful cupboards opposite, and the lounge’s offside seat box happily swallows bedding. The washroom has plenty of shelf space, both concealed and exposed.

Other storage locations of note are two shoe lockers next to the caravan door and a large wardrobe with a shelf unit to its right.

Technical specs

Berth4
MiRO1480kg
Payload320kg
MTPLM1800kg
Interior length6.3m
Shipping length8.12m
Width2.5m
Height2.61m
Awning size1078cm

Verdict

The extra girth of this tourer will appeal to caravanners who use seasonal pitches on their caravan holidays and want plenty of room for entertaining. Narrow approach roads to campsites may prove a challenge, but if you stay in one place for long periods, this won’t be much of an issue. 

The Dethleffs Nomad 560 SB uses its size well. You feel the greater width in the lounge and kitchen, and in the space around the fixed bed. It has an excellent lounge, kitchen and washroom with warehouse-like storage. There is no end to its clever design touches. 

Ultimately, though, it all comes down to how the van is used. For siting on a British seasonal pitch, the Dethleffs Nomad 560 SB's offside door and awning rail are not ideal. 

The Dethleffs Nomad 560 SB's recommended retail price was originally £22,995.   

Conclusion

Pros

  • It has a stylish lounge
  • Its flexible kitchen sets high standards
  • An incredible variety of storage spaces — what a package!
  • The washroom is superb

Cons

  • The offside entrance will hurt Dethleffs in the UK market
  • The toilet cassette hatch opens into the offside awning
  • The knobs for the gas hob are far from it
  • There is no microwave
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