20/08/2010
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Grantham Caravans

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GRANTHAM Caravans is located in an enviably convenient location, being situated only a short distance from the A1 in Lincolnshire, on the B1174, south of Grantham.

You will find all the latest models from Lunar, Sterling, Sprite and their own range of dealer specials, the Belvoir range, made by Sterling.

Add to that a good supply of used caravans, a large and well stocked accessory shop, an on-site workshop and you can see Grantham Caravans has everything pretty well covered. 

You bring your caravan to be serviced on-site and if you would like your visit to coincide with a short break, Grantham Caravans can arrange a free overnight stay at the nearby Woodland Waters caravan park.

Used caravans have been in very short supply in recent months, but I managed to find a very appealing selection in a contrast of styles.

Bailey Ranger - £7,995


bailey ranger 510/4There is little about the Ranger to inspire reams of prose, but the simple fact is that people always snap them up as soon as they go on sale. So why is it? Basically, it is because they have a cheerful appearance that is neither radical or old fashioned, They aren’t to much of a challenge to tow and they do everything that is required without making a fuss about it.

If you are being ultra critical, you might notice the absence of lockers over the front windows and bare wallboard where you might instead have had fancy trim. If you are comparing it to a top of the range Coachman, then the woodwork might look comparatively unsophisticated. Even so, when you look around, you find that everything that the higher priced caravans have is present and correct and you won’t need a big 4x4 to tow it.

The kitchen is of a simple design, but has a big expanse of worktop, a four burner cooker and a white enamelled sink with integral drainer. There is plenty of room to stand a microwave to supplement the oven and grill, but Bailey have been a bit mean with the 70 litre refrigerator.

Further back on the offside is the usual two-seater dinette that doubles as a sleeping area for children. Again, it is functional rather than decorative, but it does the job as well as any other.

The washroom scores quite highly, as there is plenty of room to move around and the wardrobe has a full-length hanging space. The plastic basin won’t win any design awards, yet the wide lib around it is very useful as a temporary shelf. The shower cubicle is quite a large one and looks very usable. The only need for caution will be to ensure that the seals between the wallboard and the shower tray are perfectly maintained.

Mart’s verdict
:

Neither flash nor stuffed with gimmicks, but eminently practical and therefore popular.

Ace award tristar - £9,495


ace award tristar caravanThe late, lamented Ace range always managed to retain a separate identity from their Swift Group stable mates and this example is enhanced by alloy wheels. It is another of those four berths that is probably destined to be enjoyed by a couple who want a fixed bed, combined with a lounge in which to stretch out and relax. It could still be used by a family, especially if the children can bed down on the L-shaped sofas, but two people would enjoy this far better.

The small kitchen worktop is also fine to rustle up meals for two, but anything more ambitious could become a bit of a chore. The hob includes an electric hotplate though and there is an opening window for ventilation.

The little washroom doesn’t have a lot of room, but you can use the loo without banging your knees on the door and there is clear access to the basin. The shower cubicle is a very tight space, but it has a useful ledge that you can sit on if holding the shower head.

The bedroom is quite magnificent, which is why this caravan favours couples. The storage storage facilities are especially fine, with a cavernous area under the lift-up bed frame.

Mart’s verdict:


Brilliant as a two berth, less successful for four. You can be very comfortable in this relaxing interior.

Fleetwood Colchester 560/4EK - £8,995


fleetwood colchester caravanFleetwood has also been consigned to history and  you can’t help but wonder why. Very radical and daring when it first emerged, it’s not pretty by any means, but streamlined and practical.

With the TV left in place by the previous owner, it immediately made you feel at home. The round pedestal table gives it a club-like atmosphere, which is enhanced by the rather grand woodwork.

The table was a bit wobbly and I hope it can be fixed, because it really enhances the L-shaped lounge.

Unlike the Bailey’s dinette, the Colchester’s is boosted by a very extravagant upper tier that houses a cocktail cabinet and cupboards. It even has an alcove with its own lighting.

The kitchen also forms an L-shape and there can surely be few to match it in terms of the space it provides. So big is it, that you stand next to the fridge and see the cooker in the distance.

It seems odd to enter the shower from within the kitchen and the adjacent washroom is entered by a separate door, which opens straight out onto the cooker. It’s all a bit unconventional, but a sliding screen closes off the entire area to preserve your modesty.

Mart’s verdict:

I loved this Colchester for its character – something that is often missing in modern caravans. It has to be very highly recommended and this really is perfect for the whole family.

Contact:

Grantham Caravans
Spittlegate Level, Grantham,
Lincolnshire  NG31 7UH
Tel: 01476 560599
Web: www.granthamcaravans.co.uk (link will open in new window/tab)

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