THE weather was the same as it had been a year earlier, but Victory Leisure Homes was not the same; what a difference a year has made. Then there were just a couple of models, now there are several more; then there were just caravan holiday homes, now there are lodges too. Then there was a recession. Now, there are the green shoots of recovery and a government promising austerity measures.
One year earlier, managing director Peter Nevitt had told us that all model names would begin with a V and we had fun writing down a list of possible names. He’s had a change of heart since then and the names will no longer all begin with V. Ah, we thought, there will be a V in the name, hence Fairhaven; but no, not that either. It’s random name selector now.
In the kitchen
Fairhaven’s side entrance door leads into the kitchen, with the living area to the left and the sleeping quarters to the right. I thought it was a workable kitchen with solid looking 40mm mottled brown worktops with matching upstands and two visible double power points, which I thought a bit minimalist.
There were four eye level cupboards and I liked the new style corner cabinet doors and the adjustable height shelves, too. There were six base units and I was pleased to see proper bases in the cupboards, not the floor of the holiday home. There was just one drawer and we had an interesting discussion with Peter Nevitt about the desirability of more; the drawer had a cutlery inset in it, but where does one keep the tea towels, and other kitchen trivia?
A free-standing gas oven with four burners had a grill and a separate oven; an extractor hood is an option. I was surprised to find a fridge freezer and a microwave, though the latter is an optional extra. There was space in the boiler cupboard, immediately to the right of the entrance door for household cleaning essentials and keeping a floor mop near the door is very practical.
There was one other thing I didn’t like in the kitchen and on this point Peter didn’t take much time to agree with us; we really didn’t like the cluttered-looking cupboard and drawer handles on the right wall. Now, if that drawer was moved to the other side of the kitchen, to the left of the oven, then the cupboard sizes would be the same and the handles would be the same height. Simple: designs just need a woman’s touch, that’s all!
Dine and lounge
The dining area had an oak table with four matching chairs. “Do you like the black leatherette-look seat pads. Posh, aren’t they?” we were asked. Leatherette? That’s plastic to you and me!
The living area had a very casual look to it and the fixed, L-shaped sofa with ten scatter cushions was very comfortable. It was upholstered in a durable tweed-look biscuit colour with a fabric kick-board. There was a free-standing table and one wall cupboard, but the feature of the room was unquestionably the flame effect electric fire with a matt black plinth and black and stainless steel border set in an oak backboard.
A nice touch was the adjacent power point, which had a black finish. There was also a pair of matching black floating shelves and the whole image was smart looking.
The short curtains co-ordinated well and had a contrasting top border.
We weren’t expecting French doors, but the two windows on the front gable gave plenty of light, and there wasn’t much in the sky that day.
The television in the model we saw was for display purposes only. The carpet was heavy duty, dark chocolate colour with a lighter fleck.
The master bedroom had a double bed, 6ft 3ins x 4ft 6ins, with a slatted base and room to store possessions under it. There were neat corner shelves and light switches each side and one power point. Over the bed were two cupboards and an open shelf unit which complement the two wardrobes, one of which is full height, the other is three-quarter height with two drawers. There is an option for a TV point above the smaller wardrobe.
The dressing table had one drawer and a power point was conveniently placed. The fully lined windowsill-length taupe and green curtains with a geometric pattern were hung on brushed stainless steel poles; the voile curtains had a small gold, cream and bronze design on them.
Adult friendly two
The second bedroom was shown with twin beds, but it can, in the words of Peter Nevitt, be “adult friendly”. This means the centre chest of drawers can be moved and the two 2ft 3ins beds made into a double bed. The full height single wardrobe had a two drawer set in it with impressive metal box frames. I thought a little stool would be useful at the dressing table but I was told that my thoughts were just “a girl thing”!
The bathroom had white high gloss cupboards, a small tiled splashback above the basin and a rectangular shower with a sliding door. I did think that, with just one heated towel rail fitted, there was a shortage of towel holders; for me, I like heat from the towel rail on a cool, off-season day.
The small but adequate smallest room had a compact pedestal basin, with a mirror above it and the toilet roll holder was well placed. There was just one round towel holder, but I’ll live with that!
I was impressed with this home and think that for the ex-works price it’s good value for money. It’s not often you find two toilets in a model of this size and price range.
If you plan to use it extensively in low season, you might find the comfort level improves with the addition of some of the optional extras. Double glazing will considerable reduce condensation as well as increasing the thermal properties of the home.
For export, the Fairhaven becomes the Village range, with continental sockets and vinyl floors.
• Type: single unit caravan holiday home
• Standard: BS EN1647
• Size: 35ft x 12ft
• Bedrooms: 2
• 32ft x12ft 2 bed; 37ft x 12 ft 3 bed; 40ft x 12 3 bedrooms with centre lounge and en-suite to master; export models under the Village name.
• Reticulated aluminium cladding
• End lounge
• Single glazing
• Morco Boiler “C” rating (82-86% efficient.) (holiday home industry standard)
• Low energy lighting
• Steel chassis with galvanised corner steadies and two towbars
• Steel pantile roof
• External light
• Vinyl floor to kitchen, bathroom and toilet
• Double glazing £tbc
• Central Heating £tbc
• Extractor hood in kitchen £tbc
• TV socket in master £tbc
• Microwave £tbc
• Bedding sets £tbc
• High performance plastic cladding £tbc
• Wood cladding £tbc
£24,745 (incl VAT) ex works
Victory Leisure Homes, Stoneferry, Hull, East Yorkshire HU8 8EH. Tel: 01482 822822. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
. Web: www.victoryleisurehomes.co.uk
This review was published in the November 2010 issue of Park & Holiday Homes. To order your copy please click here