This venerable two-berth is unique, attractive and the only serious option for those with tiny towcars.
Genuinely compact and stunningly lightweight.
Those compact dimensions compromise the sleeping arrangements.
Pitching & Setting-up
An Al-Ko stabiliser and a buttonless handbrake help to make pitching a straightforward business, and the drains are sensibly sited on the offside of the van. The mains cut-off is located under the front bench seat and accessed though a drop-down locker front.
Lunar has the controls positioned on the side of the wardrobe. We’d rather they were nearer the door for easy access when first arriving on site. Still, that feather-light weight will be most welcome when manoeuvring the Ariva into position.
Despite its compact dimensions, not least the fact that it’s unusually narrow, the Ariva manages to present a lounge area that feels reasonably (if relatively) spacious. It’s comfortable, too, and in no way feels disadvantaged in this department alongside its rivals.
The conversion to a dining room is easy and practical, helped by the inclusion of a pull-out (rather than flip-over) table extension. The power sockets, though, are a bit exposed and could easily suffer an unintentional kick.
There’s nothing in the lounge to really dazzle or inspire but the Lunar does, at least, do everything perfectly well.
The layout of the kitchen is sensible enough, but Lunar’s decision to omit a microwave oven looks a bit stingy, even in this sector.
Lunar claws back some points, however, by providing a number of generous and imaginative storage options. The two lockers across the back wall provide plenty of space for crockery and small food items. There’s a huge cupboard under the sink and the lack of microwave above the fridge means there is room for a very traditional cocktail cabinet. It’s a bit old hat, but storage is storage, and in vans of this size, you can’t have too much of it.
The Ariva has a substantial domestic-style door, which is great. However, inside the shower, a clingy curtain is used to separate the shower from the toilet area, where many rivals have solid screens.
The bathroom furniture feels less robust than we’d hoped, too. The various lockers and cupboards provide acres of storage, but the doors flex alarmingly and give the impression that careless handling could easily lead to breakages. It’s one of the few places where the low weight is apparent in the build.
While it’s nothing new to have slats pulling out from the centre chest to form a double bed, Lunar does something with the arrangement that few others do. The slats are located in guide channels that prevent them dropping onto the floor when you are building the bed. Maybe there’s a reason why everyone doesn’t use a similar system, but we can’t decide what it is. It works beautifully.
The only real downside is that the Ariva’s bed is not very long – 20cm shorter than the equivalent beds in rival vans from Elddis (the Avant´Club 362) and Swift (Charisma 220). Best to make up the bed before you buy this van, just to make sure it’s big enough for you.
You could argue that the Lunar’s overhead lockers are not as deep as they ought to be, but we reckon that would be harsh. OK, so they’re not quite as big as some others, but they’re perfectly adequate. The important thing is that there are are six of them and, together with the front-accessed under-seat lockers, they offer ample storage space.
Just be careful with those under-seat locker lids though; they don’t open very far and will close up with the slightest pressure on them.