It’s a mark of how far modern caravans have come that one of the smallest, lightest and cheapest tourers you can buy is so broadly talented. Only the unlined shower gives the budget game away – everywhere else, the littlest Venus impresses with its simple style, high build quality and proven, practical layout.
We’ve awarded the excellent Venus 460/2 budget caravan four stars.
It’s compatible with a wide variety of tow cars
Surprisingly well-equipped in ‘Plus Pack’ guise
Tow it with a towcar weighing as little as 1359kg
Exposed screws on shower tray
Needs an extra pair of lounge reading lights
It may be the smallest and cheapest of Lunar’s impressive budget range, but does it still cut it as a year-round tourer? We take a look at the Venus 460/2 to find out.
Lunar’s recent makeover of its Venus budget brand has given it a lift, with a duotone exterior, stylish graphics and – on this ‘Plus Pack’-equipped example – smart alloy wheels.
It’s a similar story inside. The single front window (new for 2015) floods the interior with light, classy wood effect is offset by new ‘Randazzo’ upholstery and cream locker doors, and the soft furnishings marry modernity with 1970s retro chic.
You can tow a 460/2 as a fully-laden 85% match with a towcar weighing as little as 1359kg – depending on year and spec, that’s Ford Focus TDCi territory.
The flat, supportive double bed makes up via simple pull-out slats and is a whopping 6ft 6in long
Pitching & Setting-up
The 460/2 is light enough to manoeuvre on its pitch by hand, and the corner steadies are easily reached, with those at the front embellished by a guide hole cut into the skirting.
We found the gas locker door difficult to close thanks to an over-strong hinge, and getting it locked proved a struggle, too, although the latter was more a consequence of its newness than an inherent design fault.
Each of the Venus’s settees is 6ft 1in long and, while the pronounced knee rolls and shallow backrests don’t appear to bode well for sitting comfort, they are supremely supportive.
A good-sized Heki rooflight adds to the daylight admitted by the single front window. Night-time lighting comprises two adjustable reading lights at the rear of the lounge and a pair of ceiling dome lights, but we would have preferred a second pair of reading lights towards the front of the lounge.
It looks the part, too – the neutral soft furnishing colours are stylish and inoffensive, and the cabinetry looks surprisingly premium. The cream locker doors break up the swathe of wood and, with the exception of a couple of exposed screws,
it is well-finished and solid.
A dresser opposite the kitchen has space (though no permanent fixing point) for a TV. There are only two mains sockets, though. Our test model’s MP3-compatible radio/CD is part of the Plus Pack.
A good-sized sink served by a large mixer tap sits in generous worktop space thanks to a loose-fit drainer. The spacious Dometic fridge has a removable freezer box and the Thetford Duplex combined oven/grill has spark ignition. The three-burner gas hob allows improved room for large saucepans and adds further to the available worktop space. Opting for the Plus Pack brings with it a microwave oven.
The one power socket is placed sensibly high up on the adjacent wall, the better to keep the kettle plug away from spillages.
There’s a reason why the end washroom/separate shower configuration endures from year to year – it really works, if it’s done properly. And the Venus 460/2’s example ticks most of the boxes that matter.
It’s spacious enough to double as a dressing room, and the loose-fit carpet keeps your toes warm on chilly mornings when the heater has yet to kick in fully.
The huge washbasin sits on top of the vanity unit, rather than being sunk into it, which helps to eliminate overspills, but does restrict worktop space a little. We like the large mirror, though, and the fact that the towel hoop is positioned sufficiently high up on the wardrobe wall to allow your towels to hang full length – and therefore dry more quickly than if they were folded over.
It’s slightly disappointing that the shower cubicle isn’t fully lined, and the screws holding the shower tray in place are rather obvious, but there’s a light and a second drying rail.
Both sofas are long enough to serve as twin single beds (1.86m x 0.69m), and the flat, supportive double bed makes up via simple pull-out slats and is a whopping 6ft 6in long (2.01m x 1.86m). If there’s a problem in this configuration it’s that the inner occupant has no individual reading light.
There’s some equipment clutter under the offside sofa, but it is long enough to have plenty of space left over. Each settee can
be accessed without having to remove the seat bases, too. There are four lounge roof lockers (including the one over the dresser), the central chest of drawers and still more stowage space in the dresser’s drawer and twin cupboards. The combi cooker allows for a floor-level cupboard beneath, in addition to the usual roof lockers and large cupboard to the left of the fridge.
There’s no roof locker above the washroom mirror, but a decent-sized cupboard beneath the washbasin and a corner wardrobe that offers a combination of good hanging space and shelves make up for this shortcoming.
|Shipping Length||6.23 m|