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Venus 490/4 - caravan review

Posted on 09 Jun 2012

Val Chapman

Key Features

  • 2012 model
  • 6.98m shipping length
  • 4 berth
  • 5.23m internal length
  • MTPLM 1199kg
  • 2.09m max width
  • MIRO 1017kg
  • From £12,495 new

The Verdict

At just £12,495 this caravan is stunning value. Furniture and fittings feel quality and all you need is here. This is a brilliant new model!

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Full Details
Tech Spec
Pros & Cons

At A Glance

Plain styling but far from boring. Venus caravans make a statement of no-frills appeal.

Technical Specification


Model Year 2012
Manufacturer Venus
Class Single Axle
Range No Range
Base Vehicle -
Price From (£)12495
Berths4
Shipping Length (m)6.98
MRO (kg)1017
MTPLM (kg)1199
Max Width (m)2.09
External Height (m)2.60
End WashroomYes
Island DoubleNo
Fixed Singles/BunksNo
Triple BunksNo
End KitchenNo
Back & Front DinetteNo
Side DinetteNo
Caravan Buyer Test Date5/2012
Caravan Test Date6/2012
View the full Buyers Guide entry

Detailed Review

VENUS models have simple exterior styling. The front wall is steeply curved and the gas bottle compartment is exceptionally wide, at 1.54m.

The large aperture makes accessing the contents brilliantly easy. Graphics are, in typically Lunar style, far from flamboyant – just two bands of dark burgundy outline the side lounge windows. The new, four-model Venus range is made by Lunar Caravans, but they’re a separate brand, hence it’s just the name Venus that you see in simple, plain lettering across the front, above the window.

The door doesn’t have a window, in common with most entry-level caravans, but when you step inside the Venus doesn’t look or feel as if it’s in the budget-category.

LAYOUT

The 490/4’s layout is one of Britain’s most popular – it’s a fixed-bed model with a shower room across the rear.
Venus caravans are only 2.09 wide, making them among the narrowest caravans made in the UK. Yet the 490/4’s layout doesn’t feel narrow.

Crucially, the central corridor area – between the offside kitchen and the fridge beneath the wardrobe opposite – is a workable 68cm.

Even the narrowest part of the corridor, 54cm, between the bed base and the dressing table, doesn’t feel cramped.

It’s the dressing table which makes a big contribution to the 490/4’s image as a far-from budget caravan. At just over a metre long, it’s bigger than those you find in caravans much longer than this and it also has a greater capacity, with three 60cm wide shelves and a cabinet beneath.

Venus caravans have the Whale blown-air system. It’s mounted under the floor, meaning that there’s no big, square Truma heater unit to be accommodated within the layout: this in turn means more storage.

KITCHEN

In the 490/4, that advantage is in the kitchen, because the fridge is opposite, beneath the wardrobe in the position that would be occupied by a heater in a caravan using the Truma system.

For this reason, the 490/4’s kitchen gets a cavernous cupboard, 70cm wide and containing two shelf areas, each 42cm deep, plus a cutlery drawer. Two LED spotlights focus light down on the kitchen surface, and, here again, there is more space than you’d expect in a caravan of this length.

There’s 34cm of space to the left of the sink and another 37cm in the form of the sink cover that matches the rest of the surface. Yet more accommodation is gained by the choice of cooking facilities.

The three-burner hob is triangular, creating space alongside it. The combination oven-grill has less depth than an oven with a separate grill, which means the cupboard beneath it is 40cm deep – that’s about twice as deep as cupboards under separate oven-grill units.

LOUNGE

The lounge creates a double bed; slats draw out from under a ledge between the seating. There’s no central-front cabinet but the slats’ ledge, together with a 23cm deep windowsill, gives you ample places to put mugs, books and much prettier things like vases of flowers!

There’s a power point here, but no TV connection points; these are on the forward kitchen wall, which means you would have to either put your TV in the kitchen or stretch the aerial lead across the offside settee to reach your TV on the front shelf.

The carpet is a single strip that runs from the front of the lounge to the forward end of the bed. At each end, on the underside, a strip of rubberised fabric prevents the carpet from moving as you walk on it.

SHOWERING

The 490/4’s shower-dressing room, spans the width of the caravan behind the bedroom to give enough floor space. It’s a bit short of places to put stuff, though, with only a 7cm wide space on each side of the sink and a small shelf above the mirror.

At only 13cm deep, the cabinet under the basin isn’t capacious, but that doesn’t matter, because the enormous cupboard in the dresser takes care of all washing necessities.

Our test Venus was equipped with the £399 Plus Pack. That gives you two vital pieces of equipment – a spare wheel (on under-slung carrier) and a hitch head stabiliser.

It also gives you alloy wheels and AL-KO Secure wheel lock receivers, plus a door flyscreen.

DINING

The freestanding table is conveniently stored on the right hand side of the wardrobe. There’s plenty of dining space for two and just about enough for four.

SLEEPING

Great comfort in the fixed double bed, and the one that you can make up in the lounge is easy to construct.

TOWING

The light weight means you can tow it with a relatively lightweight car; on its road test, it was simply an easy tow.

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