Practical Caravan reviews the Hymer Nova GL 590 and discovers it's better built and more stylish than ever before – but you'll need deep pockets to buy it!
If caravans could be likened to cars, then the new Hymer Nova 590 would be a premium executive saloon – a Mercedes S-Class, perhaps. It’s big, Germanic and stylish, in a restrained sort of a way, engineered without compromise, and endowed with a suitably premium asking price.
The 590 tested here is the flagship caravan in Hymer's UK range and it is unique in having a transverse, fixed double bed and full-width end washroom.
Pitching and setting up
Thankfully, both the inboard water tank filler and submersible pump connector are banished to the nearside. Access to the heavy-duty corner steadies is straightforward. We like the full-width rear grab-handle, too, and the large, low-set front gas locker’s magnificently over-engineered door.
Lighting, too, is borderline excessive, with no fewer than nine spotlights on offer. The touch-operated reading lights are particularly impressive –touch once for white light, twice for pale blue.
Other pleasing attributes include fitted cupholders on either side of the main front window, twin knick-knack shelves and a pair of speakers. That panoramic roof window does preclude fitment of roof lockers, however.
The dresser opposite the kitchen contains the fitted flatscreen TV and CD/radio, along with a pair of mains sockets and a USB point.
Worktop space is pretty sparse, however – if your food preparation extends much beyond tenderizing a couple of small steaks, then you’ll have to commandeer the dining table.
There’s plenty of room around the toilet, but it does seem a little curious that the flush button is next to the cupboard under the washbasin, rather than on the loo itself.
The separate shower is a good size, fully lined and fitted with two spotlights. Top marks for the dedicated shower drying rail and proper pop-up rooflight.
The transverse rear double is smaller than the front, but at 1.98m by 1.5m min (6'6" x 4'11") , it’s hardly pint-sized. The sliding mechanism opens up useful walk-around space through to the washroom and creates a huge daytime chaise longue.
Each occupant also gets a speaker, reading light and storage shelf, while net curtains at the head end break up what would otherwise be a dreary expanse of wood. A full-height pull-across concertina partition adds privacy and helps to retain heat on chilly nights.
There’s not as much storage space in the dresser as first appearances would have you believe – there’s a small open clothes rail behind the ‘floating’ wall, and the drawer beneath the stereo is enormous. But the promising-looking locker beneath is filled with boiler plumbing. The adjacent door opens to reveal a couple of deep shelves. The main wardrobe above is a good size, but ultimate capacity is hampered slightly
by the presence of the Alde heater flue and reservoir, fusebox and stereo back.
Moving further to the rear, the second wardrobe adjacent to the bedroom is narrower, but uncluttered and boosted by two drawers beneath.
The fridge, too, is sandwiched by a pair of additional lockers, and the three drawers beneath the kitchen sink are enormous.
Naturally, the island bed base lifts to reveal a huge storage void – that obviously should only be filled once you’re pitched up – which is further accessible both from outside and via an interior bulkhead door.
If you can get past the 590’s hefty weight and asking price, it soon becomes clear that it’s one of the best couple’s caravans for sale in 2015. The feelings of space, solidity and sheer innate engineering are palpable, and the layout is spot on. If Hymer can address the shallow washroom and negligible kitchen workspace for 2016, it will make an already formidable premium contender close to perfect.
- Good all-rounder
- Properly engineered
- Excellent layout
- Spacious lounge
- Ample storage
- You'll be able to use it all year round
- Shallow washroom
- Insufficient kitchen worktop space
- Awning, hook-up lead and toilet cassette are all on the same side
- Heavy to tow
- High price