The Beachy dares to be different and will be easy to spot onsite. For summer touring, its contemporary design will appeal to many first-time caravanners, as will its competitive price and light weight. The build quality is good, as you would expect from Hobby, and innovative design touches such as the rear door give it great style.
It’s decidedly bright and airy inside, too, although for some, the lack of a hob and a washroom might be a deal-breaker.
Spacious, very bright and airy interior, lightweight, well made
No hob/grill or oven, no proper washroom, no heating as standard
The Hobby Beachy is a caravan that comes with few bells and whistles, but it doesn’t pretend to be anything else. It has taken a while for the range to pass UK fire safety tests, but the introduction of new fire-retardant upholstery this year means it is finally available in the UK. I took a look at the Hobby Beachy 360, the smallest of the three models in the range.
Hobby started selling into the UK in the 1970s, but really got a grip on the market in the 1980s, building a reputation for making large, luxury caravans.
Over the years, the German company, which you can find out more about in our guide to the different makes of caravan, has changed direction, with different importers. And a couple of years ago, it launched its most radical range to date.
Apparently MD Holger Schulz was sitting on the beach one day and thought it would be a good idea for his designers to come up with a basic tourer, which would be suitable for such an environment.
It would have to be simple, light and a budget caravan, and capture the feeling of a summer break with its bright interior and contemporary exterior.
The Beachy was the result.
Pitch and set-up
The Beachy has no fancy mouldings – a sign that cost has also been a major factor in the design. But it boasts smart, contemporary styling. The smooth aluminium sides are well finished, and it is built on an Al-Ko chassis. UK models will have black alloy wheels and an underslung spare wheel. The drawbar will also come with its own chequerplate cover.
The corner steadies are easy to access, while the rear panel has a touch of Bailey’s Discovery, with retro-style radius corners.
The Beachy comes with two doors – one at the rear – an unusual feature in itself. The rear one is a stable door. The bottom section is hinged as usual on the side, while the top half swings up and is supported by struts. It has a small porthole window.
The sturdy grab handles are well placed at both front and back. Towards the front, the side door is a one-piece unit with a porthole window. For the UK, the door will remain on the ‘wrong’ side, but a side awning is supplied as part of the spec.
The mains hook-up is by the side door, but because the Beachy has no hob or oven, no front gas locker is needed.
Lounge in the Hobby Beachy 360
The Beachy’s lounge is unlike any you will have seen before, with its seating split in two and having high backrests.
You get two freestanding tables. There’s one side window, large enough to let in plenty of daylight. The midi-Heki above the lounge, LED striplights under the overhead storage and two adjustable pendant lights help to keep things bright at night. Note that there is no heating fitted as standard, so you may find yourself in need of a caravan heater.
Kitchen in the Hobby Beachy 360
The kitchen is basic by most standards, with a stainless-steel sink but no cooker. Hobby reckons most buyers will have an electric hob, and provides a mains socket (and USB points) by the door.
Although there’s no window here, the white walls reflect plenty of light, and there’s LED lighting at night. You also get a coolbox, which can be removed to take outside for picnics.
Beds in the Hobby Beachy 360
The 360 is classified as a three-berth, but it’s most suitable as a tourer for two. You make up the double bed by using the table as a base and then bringing the seat backrests into play to form the mattress. This does make up a large bed, which could provide a third berth for a small child if needed.
Washroom in the Hobby Beachy 360
Continuing the minimalist interior, the corner room at the front is not actually a washroom, but a wardrobe combined with a toilet area. There’s no shower or handbasin, and you would need to buy a freestanding toilet (check out our sister site’s guide to the best portable toilets for campervans for ideas). There is a large wall mirror with an LED striplight, some shelves and a hanging rail for clothes.
Storage in the Hobby Beachy 360
Given the Beachy’s simple design, you’d think storage would be limited, and it is. But it is provided. On the offside of the lounge, open-fronted overhead ‘lockers’, fitted with retainers, are not deep, but will take smaller items, as will the corner pouches, Bedding can be stowed under the seats.
By the offside settee, there is one cabinet with two fabric drawers, and another with two shelves. Above the kitchen, there are more of the ‘lockers’ with retainers, this time with removable trays. Most of the space under the worktop, however, is taken up with the water containers.
Alternatives to consider
If you’re looking for a small caravan, the Campmaster Duo could be an option – it offers a comfortable bed and decent storage for a van that has a shipping length of 4.61m. Then there’s the eye-catching Mink Highlander, a rugged tourer which is ideal for those who want a no-frills caravan that can be set up in seconds.
You could also consider a pre-owned model, such as a 2014 Compass Omega 482, a van that was short-lived yet proved popular with fans of traditional décor.
- Price: £18,895
- Berths: 3
- MiRO: 731kg
- Payload: 169kg
- MTPLM: 900kg
- Interior length: 3.73m
- Shipping length: 5.08m
- Overall width: 2.16mm
- Alloy wheels
- Smooth aluminium sides
- Three mains sockets
- USB ports
- Fresh/waste water tank
- Adjustable pendant ceiling lights
- Double bed: 1.80 x 2.00m
If you’ve enjoyed reading this article, why not get the latest news, reviews and features delivered direct to your door or inbox every month. Take advantage of our brilliant Practical Caravan magazine SUBSCRIBERS’ OFFER and SIGN UP TO OUR NEWSLETTER for regular weekly updates on all things caravan related.