01/11/2007 Share this story Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

Winners announced at inaugural Which Caravan Awards

THE Eccles Elite Onyx has been named as Caravan of the Year 2008 in the first ever Which Caravan Awards.

A host of awards were presented including Best Lightweight Caravan, Accessory of the Year, All-Time Classic, Dealer of the Year and Best Interior Design.

Describing the judging process, Managing Editor Mark Sutcliffe said: “A panel of three judges spent many hours on what, before 1 July, would have been a smoke-filled room; discussing the relative merits of an extensive shortlist of 2008 model year tourers.

“Much heated debate punctuated our deliberations as argument and counter-argument, aided by the odd beverage, bounced back and forth.”

Winners at a glance:

•    Caravan of the Year
Winner: Eccles Elite Onyx
Runner up: Bailey Senator Carolina

•    Accessory of the Year
Winner: AL-KO ATC
Runner up: Alde Wet Central Heating

•    Best Couple’s Caravan
Winner: Elddis Odyssey 550
Runner up: Hymer Nova 470

•    Best Family Caravan
Winner: Bailey Ranger 620-6
Runner up: Sprite Quattro

•    Best Lightweight Caravan (MTPLM under 1250kg)
Winner: Lunar Stellar

•    Best Luxury Caravan
Winner: Swift Conqueror 630
Runner up: Fleetwood Heritage 640CB

•    Most Innovative New Caravan
Winner: Fleetwood Heritage 640-I
Runner up: Bailey Senator Carolina
Highly commended: Adria Adiva 542UL, Eldiss Odyssey 525

•    Best Interior Design
Winner: Adria Adiva 552PH
Runner up: Coachman VIP 535/4
Highly commended: Lunar Clubman EB

•    All-time Classic
Eriba Touring 555 GTV

•    Dealer of the Year
Lowdham Leisureworld

Caravan of the Year – Eccles Elite Onyx.

The Eccles Elite Onyx was judged as the most complete caravan on the market. Managing on a single axle, which keeps weight and length to accessible limits, the Onyx is within reach of the widest possible spectrum of buyers.

Runner up – Bailey Senator Carolina

The Senator Carolina is yet another family tour-de-force from Bailey and it’s really about middle market quality and practicality rather than out-and-out opulence.

Accessory of the Year – AL-KO ATC

This innovation could, within the next few years, herald the end of long Bank Holiday queues on the M5 in the wake of yet another jack-knifed caravan.

Runner up – Alde Wet Central Heating

Once you’ve sampled central heating as provided by Alde’s Compact 3010 boiler, you won’t want to live without it.

Best Couple’s Caravan – Elddis Odyssey 550

The 550 takes the basic layout of its more opulent stablemate the Crusader Cyclone – complete with its fixed rear island bed – and sticks it on a single axle platform – with obvious weight and price advantages.

Best Family Caravan – Bailey Ranger 620/6

The high-gloss interior looks great and the interior feels anything but entry level. The Ranger’s ability to sleep six while somehow cramming in a fixed double bed is a brilliant feat of design.

Runner up – Sprite Quattro

The Sprite is an immensely capable caravan for six and a palace for four. But the jewel in the Sprite’s crown is the size of the rear washroom.

Best Lightweight Caravan - Lunar Stellar

There are many lightweight contenders out there, but few offer the same level of spec as the Lunar and almost none offer such a sensible rear L-shaped kitchen.

Runner up – Bailey Ranger 470/4

Another close call but the Bailey is cheaper, a little narrower, can sleep four and only weighs a few kilos more than the Stella.

Best Luxury Caravan - Swift Conqueror 630

All Conquerors gain extremely high levels of kit this year, consequently they’re impossible to ignore. In our book, mere gadgets and equipment don’t always equate to a quality luxury tourer, but the Conqueror, at £18,225, really is the finished article.

Runner up – Fleetwood Heritage 640-CB

The Heritage has always been a well-specified tourer, but for 2008, Fleetwood has loaded the Heritage with goodies.

Most Innovative New Caravan – Fleetwood Heritage 640-I

Fleetwood really has loaded the Heritage with goodies – including such refinements as a solar panel, AL-KO ATC, LED lights, memory foam mattress toppers and soft-close drawers.

Runner up – Bailey Senator Carolina

How many layouts can you think of that have triple, end, fixed bunks next to a dinette in such a self-contained manner, rather than kids’ bunks next to something that attracts a lot more traffic, like the family washroom?

Best Interior Design – Adria Adiva 552PH

In our considered opinion, the innovative Slovenian manufacturer has come nearest to replicating the sheer style of high end motorhomes or the interior cabins of the yachting world.

Runner up: Coachman VIP 535/4

Coachman’s solid understanding of its customers’ needs and steadfast refusal to chase volume means the caravans always feel a bit special and this version of the VIP is no exception.

Highly-commended – Lunar Clubman EB

With lower prices, it’s now a serious challenger to the best for interior visual appeal particularly with a sumptuous leather option, black windows and smart new appliances.

All-Time Classic – Eriba Touring

The robust construction technique means Eribas aren’t particularly light, but they behave well on the road and despite their compact dimensions, cram an awful lot of features into such a small space.

Dealer of the Year – Lowdham Leisure World

Lowdham’s aftersales service is superb and it has a wide range of caravans and accessories on offer in friendly spacious showrooms.

The Judges:

Mark Sutcliffe – a highly experienced caravan magazine editor with a strong knowledge of the caravans currently on the market. Mark was a general judge and umpire.

Phil Stephens – has many years of owning and testing caravans. Phil judged the new caravans for engineering build quality, innovation and level of specification.

Sally Pepper – recently appointed Editor of Which Caravan. She judged the new caravans for interior design, practicality of layout and appeal to new caravanners.

* A special awards supplement is featured in this month's Which Caravan, on sale now. Order your copy here


01/11/2007 Share this story Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

Recent Updates

Outdoor equipment specialist, Terra Nova Equipment, has now become employee owned ...

Get prepared for the Norfolk Motorhome & Campervan Show

Do your research ahead of July's Norfolk Motorhome & Campervan Show with our fantastic magazine offers ...

Win a two-night stay at a Premier Parks campsite of your choice

Enter Premier Parks' latest social media competition and you could enjoy two nights at a quality campsite on ...

Where is the cheapest place to camp in Europe?

Everyone is on the lookout for a bargain at the moment, and camping is no different. But which is the ...

Other News

Outdoor specialist, Whitby & Co, will now distribute two German brands – Petromax and Feuerhand – to the UK and Ireland market ...

Forestry and Land Scotland calls for responsible access

Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS) is urging visitors to be mindful of plants and wildlife in a bid to help ...

Download the Summer 2022 issue of Caravan magazine today!

Don't miss the next issue of Caravan magazine, Summer Sensations, you can download it here today ...

Hobby reveals innovations for 2023 caravans

German caravan manufacturer, Hobby, will launch a new model for 2023 and make a number of updates to its ...