Alastair ClementsSee other caravan reviews written by Alastair Clements
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There's a new name in luxury caravans with the launch of the Buccaneer Barracuda and this island-bed, centre-washroom van is certainly a contender
Many manufacturers are chasing newcomers to the market with funky compact vans.
Buccaneer has had the top of the British market to itself, but the arrival of the Alaria from Lunar Caravans has added some competition in the booming super-luxury sector, and EHGUK has responded with a few tweaks for 2018.
It’s still a five-model range, but the old fixed-nearside-bed Schooner has been dropped and in comes this Barracuda, with a fixed in-line double bed on the rear wall and a central washroom split across the width of the van – let’s find out if it works.
And to see other Buccaneer caravans for sale, click here.
Pitching and setting up
Until now, Buccaneer has been the only Elddis product to cling to the BPW chassis, but this year, it joins its Consett-built stablemates in switching to Al-Ko underpinnings.
That means a full complement of accessories, too, including an AKS hitch stabiliser, an ATC anti-snaking device, shock absorbers and Secure wheel locks.
Other luxuries on the Buccaneer Barracuda include a gas barbecue point and a 230V socket inside the nearside external locker hatch, Alde underfloor central heating and an E&P self-levelling system.
We’d expect most buyers to specify a mover, too, because this is a very large twin-axle caravan, with a 1990kg MTPLM.
Once sited, you can take advantage of a neat cloakroom just inside the door – ideal for wet coats and walking boots. It’s just a shame it’s not heated.
This does mean that if you’ve more than two people on board, some will get uncomfortably close to the TV, but this really is a caravan aimed at couples, despite its four-berth spec.
Those with short legs might find the seat squabs a touch deep, but it’s otherwise hugely comfortable, and on our test van featured the optional (£1350) leather upholstery.
The seat backs are high and the scatter cushions large and plush, while the deep front shelf and kitchen counter are nearby for cups of tea.
There’s additional shelving beneath the TV as part of an ‘entertainment station’ with classy illumination, plus USB and 230V sockets – making it the ideal place for a DVD player or games console.
Despite the lack of an offside window, there’s plenty of light, mainly from the front sunroof and full-length rooflight.
From the Omnivent overhead to the well-sited microwave above the huge fridge/freezer, it’s superbly specified.
And shifting those main appliances to the nearside leaves a spacious, uncluttered galley.
A peninsula unit gives a sense of separation between the lounge and kitchen, and means there’s more than enough worktop to make a pop-up extension flap redundant.
If you do need a bit more, however, there’s a sturdy cover for the sink – and the sink itself is new for the 2018 season, with a huge stainless-steel unit taking the place of last year’s rather dated granite-effect item.
An illuminated splashback gives a classy look, and there’s plenty of task lighting, along with a pair of 230V sockets.
The cooker unit is hard up against the bulkhead, but it’s a top-spec model with a dual-fuel hob plus a separate oven and grill.
The nearside shower cubicle has a bi-fold door and a classy tiled-effect liner, along with an Ecocamel Orbit showerhead.
There is some wheel arch intrusion, but not so much that it doesn’t feel spacious, and desirable details include a Dometic pull-out drying rack.
The toilet is on the offside and boasts a concealed cistern, while alongside you’ll find a domestic-style towel rail and a bowl sink atop one of the two cabinets.
There’s no window, but there are a couple of rooflights and the LED lighting is effective.
That said, there’s the option of using the front sofa as a large single, or pulling out the base for a slightly uneven 4ft 7in by 6ft 5in double, using infill cushions.
Separated from the living area by that washroom, the rear bedroom feels private and, thanks to the van’s 8ft width, uncommonly spacious.
There’s a useful vanity unit with cabinet and mirror in the nearside front corner. On the other side, there are sockets for a TV.
The 6ft 3in by 4ft 5in fixed island double bed can be retracted to give more dressing space.
There’s a reading light, shelf and window for each occupant, and a thickly padded headboard.
But finding enough space to use up that payload shouldn’t be a problem.
Externally, there’s a huge front gas locker and as well as that front access hatch to the bed box, handy upright storage makes use of an area of dead space behind the kitchen on the offside.
There is plenty of storage beneath the sofas and the fixed double bed, although the latter is slightly compromised by the siting of the on-board water tank and there is no external access.
The kitchen boasts three big drawers and a large cupboard, where you’ll also find the lounge table, plus three overhead lockers and a cocktail cabinet.
There are four overhead lockers in the lounge, plus two in the rear bedroom, and the twin wardrobes on either side of the bed are a proper size, too.
As long as you accept this is a caravan designed for two, you’re unlikely to feel short-changed with the 2018 Buccaneer Barracuda.
The rear main suite is particularly impressive, with a huge bed and plenty of storage for long-term touring – plus the kind of privacy that means you don’t need to worry about the world seeing your unmade bed.
Do make sure you have a big enough tow car before you buy.
If you can afford it, this is a seriously luxurious way to tour.
- That superb rear bedroom is spacious and private
- We like the flexible bathroom facilities
- The kitchen is roomy
- The sofas aren't as accommodating as you might expect
- This van demands a large tow car
- The underbed storage is slightly compromised