The Italian-built Polaris 530LG is attractive and has good equipment and storage. The layout is an alternative for couples who don’t want to clamber over each other to get in and out of bed but it may be a bit weird for UK tastes.
This van is well equipped
Beds are a generous size, thanks to the wide body
Front steadies are awkward to reach
There’s no separate shower
There’s no chest in the lounge to rest things on
Though British manufacturers won’t immediately introduce wider caravans now that legislation has changed, it’s likely we’ll soon see more wide caravans on our roads. That’s because several Continental brands that were prevented from entering the market due to their girth are now an option for UK caravanners.
The Italian brand Rimor is one of these. Rimor have been manufacturing caravans for over 30 years, but the brand is just breaking into the UK market. At the time of writing (July 2010) these vans are only available from 3 Counties Caravans (01684 311 927, www.threecountiescaravans.co.uk) in Worcestershire. We got our hands on the newest layout, the New Polaris 530LG, to see what first impression it would make.
The 530LG has fixed single beds that are a generous 77cm (3'2") wide
Pitching & Setting-up
To see what impact the extra width had on manoeuvrability, I towed the van 120 miles on motorways and A-roads. My towcar, a Skoda Superb, is quite wide (1.82m), so I had no problem seeing the required distance behind the unit in my towing mirrors. Overall, I didn’t find it any more difficult to tow or move around.
Continental vans often come under criticism for low specification, but the New Polaris is well equipped. It’s built on an Al-Ko chassis and has a stabiliser, 13-pin electrics and a buttonless handbrake as standard.
Though the U-shaped lounge is shorter than those in most UK vans, it didn’t feel cramped. In fact it felt open and spacious. The corridor between the kitchen and washroom was generous as well, so one person could easily pass if another was cooking.
The kitchen has a 100-litre Thetford fridge, three burner-hob and a combined oven and grill. There are lights above the hob and sink, a kitchen towel holder and a power point, though the power point is less than ideally placed below the worksurface by the entrance door. Unfortunately, installing the oven means some storage space has been lost, including the cutlery drawer. But storage is still excellent, with two overhead lockers and a large, shelved cupboard.
The washroom is the one area of the van that does feel compact. A bench toilet leaves just adequate floor space for a shower, though only a curtain separates it from the rest of the room and the showerhead is also the basin tap. A nice strip of workspace by the basin, a large mirror and good storage complete the room.
The beds benefit from the extra width. The 530LG has fixed single beds that are a generous 77cm (3’2″) wide. To get this layout in a British van you would need to use the lounge as two singles. In that situation, the beds would only be 72cm (3′) wide.
The front locker is cavernous with room for two gas bottles and more. The lounge has room for a chest with two drawers between the beds. There are overhead lockers in the kitchen, but they do not have plate and cup racks.