Andy JenkinsonSee other caravan reviews written by Andy Jenkinson
Turn heads in comfort with the fixed-bed Wingamm Rookie L, a characterful four-berth that packs a lot into its modest footprint and oozes Italian flair
Originally seen at the October 2017 NEC show as a prototype, the Rookie L, with its fixed bed, was a hit with visitors, so the decision was taken to launch it for the 2018 season at the Scottish Caravan, Motorhome and Holiday Home Show in February.
Gavin Campbell, the man behind the new Rookie, says his buyers are mostly folk new to caravanning who want something more distinctive in style, a caravan that is less conventional than the mainstream brands offer.
Well, we think the Wingamm Rookie L is certainly that – and it's got little, if any, competition.
So will this new caravan live up to expectations? We hitched up and took it out in Cumbria to find out!
Pitching and setting up
Built on an Al-Ko chassis, the Rookie is equipped with an AKS hitch to aid stability, while shock absorbers help when towing.
You'll see that alloy wheels and heavy-duty corner steadies are also part of this van's spec but, like most Continental tourers, no A-frame fairing is fitted.
It has a one-piece, GRP shell, which eliminates the risk of leaks, while it has polyurethane insulation, and those bold and attractive graphics are a neat touch, too.
British buyers will be pleased to see that the door is on the UK nearside – it is a one-piece, unglazed unit with a moulded inner panel boasting integrated storage.
An LED awning light is fitted, plus you get external access to the space under the fixed double bed via a hatch on the nearside.
With the Wingamm Rookie L's curved nose, a sizeable gas locker is part of the appeal, with enough storage for other caravanning bits. It's also easy to get at, with its lid opening on a vertical hinge.
Large grabhandles make this van easy to manoeuvre, while the inlet for the 70-litre fresh-water tank is placed in the rear panel.
LED road lights are fitted, plus a rear high-level brake light.
The cassette emptying hatch is on the offside, along with the mains inlet socket, so you won't be emptying the toilet through any awning you might fit.
You won't find a dedicated battery box – the on-board battery is placed under the fixed bed.
The table you see here is sturdy, but restricts space, so a freestanding table will come on full production models.
We thought a larger front window, or perhaps two porthole-type side windows, would help to give the lounge more natural light and an airier feel, however the Midi Heki placed midway does allow some extra daylight to reach this area.
Night lighting is via twin LED ceiling lights, while a blown-air outlet for the Truma heating has been placed in one of the seat bases.
No overhead lockers or shelves are fitted here, but each side wall has some handy storage pouches.
It’s quite a cosy spot to while away the hours but, as mentioned, a larger front window would be a useful addition.
Kit-wise, there's a 146-litre slim Dometic fridge in our test van with an oven above it – the latter might be too high for some. Note that that's an optional fridge – the standard 70-litre version releases extra space.
No grill is fitted, but there is a two-burner stainless-steel glass-topped hob and, next to this, a large stainless-steel sink.
Worktop is a tad restricted, but if you lower the hob's glass top you'll have a bit more room.
The Wingamm Rookie L's kitchen is lit by LEDs and there is a mains socket on the front of the kitchen cabinet, rather than on the wall.
Storage wise, there's a pair of overhead lockers, as well as a large cupboard and three drawers.
And we are pleased to see that the offside corner washroom has enough floor area for it to be used as a changing room, too.
The shower is circular and has a curtain, plus there is an electric-flush Dometic toilet and a deep handbasin.
Below the basin there is more storage space and, above, there's a mirrored cupboard.
Ceiling lights will provide night-time illumination, while the clear window (which has a blind) lets in plenty of light and helps ventilation.
A shower curtain is unusual now, but otherwise this is a well-designed, first-class washroom, especially considering this caravan's proportions.
This side fixed double isn't massive at 1.87 x 1.28/80m, but it's acceptable in a caravan of this size. And, as is often the case with such beds, it has a cutaway to help movement through the van.
The bed's mattress is comfortable and there are two spotlights here, plus overhead lockers.
Lift the bed to reveal a storage space with external access – although much of it is taken up with the water tank, spare wheel and battery.
There are also two blown-air outlets in the bed base.
But this is a four-berth and the second double is made up in the front U-shaped lounge.
This double is 2.13 x 1.30m and is constructed by pressing the table down, locking it into position and rearranging the cushions, an additional cushion inserted into the gap to make the full double bed.
A change in the production models means a slide-out base will replace the table.
The front lounge lacks overhead lockers and just has those wall pouches, but there is underseat storage for bedding.
The side wardrobe by the entrance door has good hanging space, plus a couple of drawers underneath.
The kitchen also has a good-sized cupboard, plus three drawers and two overhead lockers.
As aforementioned, there's space under the French bed and deep lockers overhead – and, as a bonus, a small shelf is fitted above the fixed bed, with two adjustable spotlights.
You also have a cupboard below the handbasin in the washroom and a mirrored cabinet above.
The Wingamm Rookie L takes the idea of the 3.5 we tested before and develops it with aplomb, squeezing an impressive amount into its relatively diminutive footprint.
The front lounge is cosy, but we'd like a bit more natural light in there, while you might be suprised by the space in the washroom – you won't be confined to full-facility sites.
Overall, this is a tourer that is sure to turn heads and its GRP shell is a big bonus in terms of reducing the chance of leaks.
Don't like the interior décor? Don't worry! Wingamm will be offering a few different furniture finishes.
The Rookie L is a niche caravan that's distinctive and practical, and has a usefully light 1200kg MTPLM.
So is it worth a look? If you want to stand out from the crowd, then probably, yes!
- It has super-quality GRP bodywork
- There's a surprisingly spacious washroom
- It is light and distinctive
- No TV aerial is standard
- It needs extra mains sockets and could do with two corner spotlights
- There's no barbecue point
- It's not cheap!