Alastair Clements
Group editor

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Bold changes inside and out make the Lunar Clubman SR one of 2017's show-stoppers, so don't miss our review of this island-bed, mid-washroom caravan

Overview

As its lowlier ranges move ever more upmarket, the flagship single-axle range of Lunar caravans, the evergreen Clubman, has been crying out for a revamp. And it gets one for 2017, along with what must be the layout of the moment – a washroom across the centre of the van, with an island bed mounted on the rear wall, plus a parallel front lounge.

But long before you discover any of that, you notice how the van looks. Painting the gas locker panel black, and adding dramatic new graphics that sweep up from there towards the back, has transformed the styling of the Clubman; it now works far better with the sharp, twin-spoke alloy wheels added last year. It will be interesting to see how the market takes to this bold new direction – we liked it, though were concerned that the gloss-black of the gas locker and hitch cover might show marks.

Even more dramatic is what’s above the triple front window. A sunroof in a Lunar? Yes, and it makes a huge difference: the Clubman looks much more modern, which is aided by the neat graphics on either side. And to see other Lunar caravans for sale, click here.

Pitching and setting up

The USP of Lunar caravans has always been low weight, and the new-for-2017 Clubman SR is no exception: at a kilo less than 1500kg it significantly undercuts most of its upmarket rivals. And Lunars also tend to feel as though they’ve been designed by caravanners: the services are on the offside away from your awning, and there are cutouts in the side skirts and notches in rear panel to make the winders for the heavy-duty steadies a doddle to access.

Additions for 2017 include a useful light for that gas locker and, of course, you get Al-Ko ATC, AKS, secure wheel locks and shock absorbers. Other items on a very complete spec list include external gas and satellite points, plus a 230V socket in the small front wet locker. But our favourite external detail can be found towards the back of the caravan: in each sidewall, low in the rear corner, is a door. Open them and you’ll discover a shallow but long and wide locker across the back of the van. Most rivals’ interpretations of this layout don’t have any external access to the space beneath the bed, so it’s an ingenious feature.

Lounge

Even in the twin-axle Lunar Delta, a centre washroom made for a fairly tight lounge – but not so in the 2017 Lunar Clubman SR, which feels surprisingly spacious, aided by the additional lighting from that new front window. The sofas, in attractive pale ‘Chambers’ upholstery with check-patterned cushions, are a good length and deeply sprung; up front, firm wraparound bolsters provide ideal support for lounging, too.

The integration of the compact new front sunroof is even more impressive from the inside, where a smart plastic moulding blends it in with the huge Skyview rooflight that extends almost the length of the living area. It also houses the new, flush-fitting ceiling lights.

And in case you were thinking of accusing Lunar of hypocrisy for fitting the sunroof at all – something it claimed it wouldn’t do, because it takes away storage space from the lounge – just check out those brilliant corner lockers. Inside, they are more generous than you might expect (despite the offside one containing the stereo head unit), and really make use of otherwise dead space. Beneath there’s a new wraparound ‘light beam’ fronting a useful shelf, while on the main shelf beneath there are all the relevant sockets for a TV.

Kitchen

There’s further attractive lighting in the kitchen, in particular the glowing LED surround to the trio of overhead lockers. Under-locker task lighting illuminates the new ‘Pearl’ splashback, and there’s masses of worktop – plus a huge lift-up flap should you need more – while the large stainless-steel sink gives a domestic feel. Frustratingly, there’s still just one 230V socket, although Lunar has added a pair of USB sockets.

There’s a dual-fuel hob, plus a separate oven and grill, and beneath the worktop two large cupboards open to reveal a mixture of shelves, drawers, wire racks and, conveniently, the freestanding lounge table.

On the nearside there’s the new slimline fridge/freezer with a locker beneath and the microwave above; the fridge sits at a perfect height, but the microwave is sited unusually high for a Lunar. It’s also a shame that there’s no coathook by the door.

Washroom

The central bathroom isn’t the largest we’ve seen in this layout, but it works well. It’s kept bright by a rooflight and a smoked window, and the Clubman’s interior facelift stretches to new gloss locker doors for the bathroom cabinets, and a pop-up plug in the new bowl sink. The latter sits atop a revised vanity unit with backlit mirror above. You’ll also find a heated towel rail, powered by the Alde 3020 wet central heating.

The circular shower sits on the nearside, with some wheelarch intrusion into the base. It’s finished with an attractive mosaic effect, and has plenty of shelving and its own light.

Beds

Let’s get the negative out of the way first: as is so often the case with this layout, the length of the rear island bed is restricted – in this case to 6ft dead, albeit with a generous 4ft 5in width. If that’s long enough for you, you’ll find plenty to like in the 2017 Lunar Clubman SR – not least the ever-useful option of two doors into the bathroom, so that you can both easily gain access to the loo at night.

Each side gets its own window, plus a large bedside table with drawers beneath. Above them, you’ll find a gloss-doored wardrobe on either side, as well as individual reading lights and shelves, and a padded headboard. Overall, it’s a very nice place to spend time; we particularly like those tables, which have plenty of room for a cuppa, specs and a book.

At the foot of the bed there’s a TV point with a mount, sockets and a small shelf, and the whole room feels lovely and bright thanks to those side windows and a huge rooflight overhead.

In the lounge, there’s a new system to make up the front double bed (though sub-five-footers can use the sofas as singles): pull-out slats have gone, in favour of a frame that slides out from beneath the sofas.

Storage

There should be more than enough storage for the belongings of a couple in this caravan. That long rear locker beneath the bed is just the place to stow outdoor chairs and the like, and other bulky items can be stored under the bed inside the van or in the generous front gas locker. The front bed boxes are usefully large, too – albeit with the usual intrusion from the boiler and consumer unit in the offside – with drop-down flaps giving access when the seats are in use.

We’ve already covered the plethora of storage options in the bedroom and kitchen, and four overhead lockers in the lounge are ideal for visitors’ kit.

Technical specs

Berth4
MiRO1344kg
Payload155kg
MTPLM1499kg
Interior length5.77m
Shipping length7.32m
Width2.33m
Awning size1040cm

Verdict

Traditionalists may baulk at the bold new style of the 2017 Lunar Clubman SR, but it’s good to see this flagship model receiving its own clear identity. The new sunroof also gives a more modern look to this likeable range, which gains a fresh interior feel for 2017.

Lunar has taken time to bring this layout to the market, but it’s clear that it has thought hard about resolving some of its compromises. The larger lounge and useful external lockers should prove beneficial in use.

Conclusion

Pros

  • A thoughtful interpretation of this layout
  • The rear 'garage' is an ingenious touch
  • The lounge and living area are generous
  • It has an excellent, neatly-installed sunroof

Cons

  • At 6ft, the island bed isn't the longest
  • The gloss locker lid may show scratches and dirt
  • There is just one 230V socket in the kitchen
  • There isn't a coathook by the door
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