The Adria Adora Isonzo is more than eight metres long. It's wider than most tourers, too, at 2.45m. Yet the newest Adria costs thousands of pounds less than any other touring caravan of comparable dimensions on the British market.
And it has a unique layout; the Adria Adora Isonzo’s transverse-bed layout has a wardrobe configuration like no other. Whereas transverse beds usually have wardrobes on each side, the Isonzo has one large wardrobe (and copious quantities of shelving) forward of the bed.
The Isonzo, named after a river which flows through both Italy and Slovenia, where Adrias are made, was launched in October last year. Two months later Adria was celebrating a major triumph for the Isonzo; it won Caravan magazine’s Caravan of the year title, after gaining exceptionally high scores from all five of our judges.
Now, though, this amazing caravan comes under scrutiny of a different kind. The Isonzo has joined Caravan Buyer and Caravan magazine’s fleet of long-term test caravans, on loan through Venture Caravans of Northampton. Over the coming months we’ll be caravanning, Isonzo-style, using it, working in it, enjoying a little leisure time in it. The results will find their way into Caravan magazine’s pages. Right now, though, our task is to give it our usual thorough test…
The key to the success of the Isonzo’s layout is its width. At 2.45m it is around 12-15cm wider than the majority of tourers in its class.
The extra width means the central area of the Isonzo, between the kitchen and the door, is vast, by caravan standards, at 1.64m. It really does feel a big caravan. And it is. With an overall length of 8.19m, it’s among the longest caravans in Britain. One to consider, then, if you like plenty of space. It’s also one to look closely at if you like your caravans to be ultra modern in looks; the Isonzo is almost stark in interior design, with plain white walls and white gloss surfaces. And the fabrics and woodwork are almost the same shade, a sort of cappuccino colour.
The crisp, plain styling continues in the shower room, which spans the width of the Isonzo, behind the bedroom…
That pleasingly plain woodwork dominates the décor in the shower room. All the walls, including those in the shower, the door and the cabinet door, match.
The washbasin is fruit bowl-style, in clear acrylic. It stands up on a glossy white surface. Along each side of the mirror above it are slim shelved cabinets. The cabinet below here is a good width, at 76cm. but’s not as capacious as its width would have you believe, the top shelves are 27cm deep, which is fine but the lower shelves are only 10cm deep.
Three very bright LED clusters shine down from the ceiling in the washbasin area. Subtle lighting is concealed behind mirrors on the rear wall in both the shower and the area above the toilet; it’s a nice stylish design. There’s only one towel bar (on the rear wall); we think another couple of towel loops or hooks would have enhanced the practicality here.
Unusually, this caravan has a mains socket in the washroom, in close proximity to the mirror, so ideal for using a hairdryer.
At 1.37m wide and 1.93m long the Isonzo’s bed is larger than most; typically, caravan beds are around 1.9m long and 1.3m wide. Everything, it seems, is bigger in an Isonzo!
The bedroom has quite a cohesive, separate feel, even without the pleated room divider in place. That’s because the wardrobe and the fridge-cooker unit form a natural visual barrier forward of the bed area.
Head-height lockers span the whole length of the bedroom (1.95m), above the bed. Bedside cabinets each contain a drawer and a hinge-down-door cupboard.
A second double bed can be made in the lounge. Its base is made up from two slide-out slatted units which pull out from under the settees on each side. The seat backs, plus an additional section of upholstery (that you can store under the double bed) make up the mattress. The upholstery is dense foam, as is the mattress on the main bed; both feel firm and comfortable.
Access to under-settee storage is via the tops. You raise the solid wooden settee base and then extend the slatted bed base towards the centre of the caravan. There are no hinges to support the lids when you delve inside, so you have to hold them up. The process is a little clunky. But keep in mind the reasonable price and the generous size of the Isonzo and you can forgive it this foible.
The system for getting into the area under the fixed bed, though, is anything but clunky. It’s superbly designed. The frame is in two halves, lengthways, so each side rises independently, vertically towards the centre of the bed, on spring hinges. Access, and space, makes using this area a delight. We put in an Aquaroll and a Wastemaster, still in their boxes, on one side of the bed and there was still space for more stuff. A wide exterior door enables you to slide in awning tables and folding chairs. While we were examining the storage aspects of the bed’s construction we discovered something we hadn’t been expecting. The top sections of each side of the bed frame can be raised, at an angle, for reclining.
The wardrobe gives you a hanging width of 60cm and full long-coat depth. Seven shelf spaces are alongside the wardrobe; each is 34cm wide and 23cm deep; this generous capacity means that accommodating quantities of sweaters and shoes will never be a problem in an Isonzo.
The table is stored in its own cabinet forward of the wardrobe unit. It’s quite a tight fit but once you know how to tilt it to get it out, it is easy.
U-shaped lounges are always lovely spacious environments and, in a caravan that’s wider than most, that advantage is enhanced.
Six can sit here. Or, for four at coffee time, you can hinge up a table from the front wall.
Adrias do things differently. Especially hobs. Three-burner, in-line hobs are a feature of all Adora models for 2014. There’s surface area in front of the hob and to its left. The oven and grill are housed in a separate tower unit above the fridge. The grill is at eye height, with the oven below it. Providing you are of average height, this arrangement seems to us to be very convenient. Adoras don’t have microwave ovens. However, there is a power point in one of the top cabinets and enough space to put a small microwave in here.
Two drawers and a cupboard, each 1.1m wide, plus a pull-out unit containing three shelves to hold small items in place, give enormous storage opportunity.
The enormity of the Isonzo’s length, on a single axle, provokes comparison between this caravan and British-made tourers of similar length, which are all on twin axles. For sure, on its first test tow when we collected it from Venture Caravans at Daventry, the Isonzo gave us confidence that its geometry was designed for stability. This caravan rides on an AL-KO Delta axle, specifically designed for extra stability on long caravans. On Delta axles, the axle tube is cranked, rather than straight. The cranked tube changes the angle at which the tyres touch the road. AL-KO explained to us: “When the caravan is turning a corner, the wheel under load has an increased toe-in angle, and negative camber angle, to compensate for the increased loading.” It’s good to know the technical explanation; despite its length, the feeling the driver gets on corners and roundabouts, is that the Isonzo follows very positively and stably. Over the coming months we’ll be analysing these characteristics more closely as we give it more tow miles of work.