Vanmaster produces the next best thing to fully bespoke tourers, with plenty of room for individual preferences, from the steadies to the locker handles. What’s more, the top-notch construction and the upmarket kit list distinguish the brand, and the V640 in particular, from any rivals. The stratospheric standard is matched by the price, but some customers will see £50,000 as worth paying.
Superb build and kit
Ideal for all-season touring
You can personalise this caravan
It’s heavy to tow
Locker handles look cheaper than other fittings
Vanmaster has been in business for 20 years and although this prestige producer has had some rocky patches in that time, the luxury caravan brand has survived and held onto its reputation.
We viewed its first prototype in 1995, when it was poised to make waves as a niche brand. It continues to excel in this sector of the market, which attracts the most uncompromising of UK customers.
Of the original owners, three people still work for Vanmaster, passing on their skills in caravan construction.
We got hold of a new twin-axle V640 TB to see what makes the latest crop of stately homes on wheels special.
The V640 is available in five layouts with two or four berths, although it is bought mainly by couples
Pitching & Setting-up
From day one, Vanmasters have been built on Al-Ko chassis and equipped with heavy-duty steadies; our test van had automatic corner steadies. An Al-Ko AKS stabiliser and the ATC anti-snaking system come as standard equipment, as are the smart alloy wheels.
The range has retained its classic profile, but now uses GRP extensively, except for the sidewalls. The design of the end panels, which the company produces itself, has been refreshed – just slightly in front and massively at the rear. The result is an even grander-looking tourer than before.
All the V640’s service points are on the offside, where an exterior lamp will come in useful when you need to check any of them. There’s no single front locker; rather, there are separate ones for each gas cylinder and a small one in the middle for connecting the towing electrics.
Vanmaster builds caravans to order, based on its standard models. This means you get a very wide range of fabric options from which to choose. The tourer we tested, for example, had very swish blue leather upholstery. Comfort is guaranteed with the sumptuous collection of bolsters and scatter cushions.
The central chest of drawers between the parallel bench seats is fitted with a neat slide out surface, which is ideal for light meals and snacks. It can also be used in tandem with the supplied freestanding table.
LED corner spot lamps, lines of LEDs beneath the overhead lockers and a ceiling light provide excellent night-time illumination. Twin speakers are fitted for the DAB radio/CD player, while an offside roof locker houses the control panel.
The seat bases have pull-down flaps, which allow easier access to the storage spaces here. Finally, the heating is supplied by Alde’s wet system.
Relaxing in the luxurious lounge could make you feel (dare we say it?) smug!
Vanmaster has long been respected for its well-designed, practical kitchens. The V640’s offside galley maintains this standard. The separate oven and grill, topped by a dual-fuel hob, are complemented by a high-set microwave. A choice of 115- and 150-litre fridges with separate freezers is available to be fitted in the dresser opposite.
The spacious marble-effect worktop can be extended with a slide-out flap at the front, while to its right are a drainer and a large rectangular sink.
Overhead are an Omnivent and four downlighters, which supply excellent illumination, while three mains sockets are also fitted. The large cupboards are augmented by a well-made drawer with fitted slots for each piece of crockery.
When it comes to luxury, the Vanmaster’s washroom is unbeatable. Its opening salvo is a large shower cubicle, a Dometic ceramic toilet, and a deep oval handbasin.
Beneath the marble-effect work surface is a chromed radiator that’s just right for warming towels. Above it are a window and a retractable shaving mirror.
This is also where you’ll find not one, but two wardrobes, among many other storage options. The provisions for lighting and ventilation include the rear window and a roof vent.
The V640 is available in five layouts with two or four berths, although it is bought mainly by couples. The TB floorplan we tested comes, as the name suggests, with twin fixed beds, as well as an end washroom.
Both beds are a good height for easy access, unlike those in some tourers whose twin beds are so high you have to climb into them! The beds measure 1.9m long and 0.62m wide. Vanmaster fits domestic-style luxury mattresses for comfort, reading lights and headboards – but not small shelves.
A pair of speakers is fitted in the bed boxes and front access flaps make it simpler to use the storage space below.
The front lounge can be made into a double bed by pulling the extending frames from below the bench seats, and supporting them with detachable legs. The seats are too short to be used as single beds.
There’s plenty of overhead lockers, including especially deep ones in the front.
The kitchen spoils its chef with an enormous locker and cupboard, in addition to cutlery and crockery drawers – one feature of Vanmaster’s bespoke craftsmanship for customers. By the main door is a cabinet with Vanmaster glasses; alternatively, a TV cabinet can be ordered.
Above the twin beds are more overhead lockers, while the washroom’s twin wardrobes can be ordered with a cupboard or drawers. The washroom also comes with a decent-sized cabinet beneath the basin.
The V640 scores very well in the storage it provides for two.