Our experts assess the back-to-basics Kip Shelter Plus micro tourer – a lightweight, versatile and easy-to-store caravan aimed at intrepid adventurers
The Dutch-made Kip Shelter Plus is a little adventurer that is perfect for short getaways.
Compact micro tourers are especially appealing to young drivers and people who have very little storage space at home. In the past we've reviewed the T@B 400 TD and the Trigano Silver and written about some of the niche caravans spotted at the NEC show, such as the Trigano Mini Silver and Knaus Sport & Fun.
In this review we'll focus on the Kip Shelter Plus. It is suited to almost all tow cars and can be personalised to your tastes. There are lots of options for bringing the outside in, or the other way around, with a portable kitchen unit that can be used outdoors and space to store bicycles, a motorbike or surfboards ready for your next active outdoor break.
We had a look at the Shelter Plus with the following options added: blue metallic paint, alloy wheels, service package (which includes a jack, chocks and spare wheel), Whale space heating, and a side locker. Buy the Basic Shelter from £8995 or the Shelter Plus that starts at £11,995, and then choose the extras and design you want.
Pitching and setting up
This model is all about flexible use; to increase living space, there are three options. First, the sturdy De Waard awning features removable sides and is available in a range of colours.
The Atomatent allows you to create the kind of covered areas you want by unzipping different sections of the canvas. You can create an awning or keep it closed up to protect against inclement weather.
Finally, there’s the De Waard Basail tent, whose unusual shape gives it great height. It has a removable floor, two windows and an awning. It even lets you decide whether to extend it with a 150cm-deep porch awning.
The sidewalls of the Kip Shelter Plus can be customised to your specification. Keep the standard Aluminium Raw plating or upgrade to a blue- or silver-metallic bodyshell. There is a selection of designs or you can supply your own photo and colour scheme, all as cost options.
Its standard equipment list is fairly impressive for a micro-tourer: hinged front and side windows, 230V electric hook-up connection (but no leisure battery), aluminium roof rails, gas and water pipelines. An on-board water tank is housed in the front locker, along with the optional service package and the steady winder.
Setting up the Kip Shelter Plus takes just a few minutes, including pushing up the pop-top roof, which is a breeze to use and boosts headroom to 1.98m. Nevertheless, the hooks that hold it down are strong.
There is also a handy awning light and ample storage in the seat boxes, though external access to them is a cost option.
Even the lighting is flexible: three spotlights are fitted to rails running through the caravan, along which the lamps can be moved, depending on where you need illumination.
Another creature comfort is the underfloor heating, which warms the interior very effectively. If you get too warm, simply unzip the flaps in the pop-top to catch a breeze.
There are two pairs of electric sockets, one on either side of the door for charging all the vitals and, of course, powering the essential kettle.
The hob and sink can be removed as a unit and relocated outside for al fresco cooking.
One end is supported by a leg and the other is hooked on to the caravan to the left of the door. Water and gas connectors make it easy to start cooking in the awning – freeing up space inside.
The blinds combine with the caravan’s effective heating to create a relaxed and comfortable sleeping environment.
There are also spacious lockers around the edge of the pop-up roof, with room for clothes and even bedding.
The beauty of this van is that it enables you to indulge in your favourite outdoor activities. If you’re a cyclist, the Bicycle Package provides a bike carrier, connection bar and securing rings on the floor, so you can safely transport your cycles inside.
The Motorbike Package includes a foldable, easy-store ramp for getting the bike into the caravan, a wheel lock and securing rings in the floor.
There is also a Surf and Kite Package for those into surfing or kite-surfing. This includes soft rubbers to protect two boards, a board rail that can be stowed on arrival at the site, and securing rings in the floor.
All of these are enabled by the wide caravan door at the rear, which can be extended from 74cm to 85cm, and a sofa seat that can be folded up and out of the way to create a large, simple-to-use storage area.
The Kip Shelter Plus is a funky tourer for more adventurous caravanners, who love the outdoors and don’t need all the comforts of home on board. It’s not a bare-bones caravan, especially if you dip into the long list of specialist options that are available. This caravan is ideal for quick getaways by active people, but they’ll want to book a site with decent washing facilities.
- Very versatile
- Best for adventurous couples
- Superb underfloor heating
- No worktop space
- No washroom
- No separate lounge