Like the river after which it’s named, which flows through four countries, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Serbia on its way to join the Danube at Belgrade, the Adora Sava is mighty in every sense. Long, wide, well-specced with Alde heating and a great sound system – and with the inherent stability of twin-axles, this newcomer is an Adria set to make waves in the market. At £23,975 it has few rivals.
The winner of our Caravan of the Year title for 2019 is the family-layout Adria Adora Sava, Adria’s first twin-axle tourer for many years
The winner of our 'Caravan of the Year' title for 2019 is the family-layout Adria Adora Sava, Adria's first twin-axle tourer for many years!
Words by Val Chapman
Photos by Richard Chapman
It's official! Our Caravan of the Year is the brilliant Adria Adora Sava. This Alde-heated five-berth gained its high marks, in particular, for its astounding value, its practical family layout and its super-size.
On its way to winning the title, this eight-feet-wide, 8.29m long caravan won our award for Best Twin-axle Caravan for Families, one of 10 categories in this year's Caravan Awards. As the highest scoring caravan among the category winners, the Sava went on to win our prestigious 2019 Caravan of the Year title.
Adria was one of the first brands to bring the concept of eight-foot-width caravan width to the British market. Now, super-sized caravans are in all but two British makers' ranges. Until now, though, there was one fundamental difference between Adria's max-width, max-length caravans and all others. Adrias were the only ones on single axles.
The arrival of the new addition to the Adora range, the Sava, has changed all that. This is a twin-axle caravan, 2.45m wide, 6.75m in body length and 8.29m from hitch to tail lights – just about as big as you can get.
The Sava is Slovenian manufacturer Adria's first twin-axle caravan on the British market for many years and we believe it's a game-changer. This is why: the Sava is almost as long as the 8.24, overall-length single-axle Adrias, among them the Adora Izonzo, and the two-model Astella range, which ride on AL-KO's Delta axle, designed specifically for long caravans.
Having towed all those models, I have to say their towing characteristics were more stable than I had anticipated. That said, it's generally accepted that four chunks of rubber on the road will keep a caravan on the straight and narrow better than one axle especially if you need to tow in gusty conditions.
Twins engender greater stability confidence. Most buyers see twin axles as equalling maximum stability. And that's why we at Caravan mag are so delighted to see the arrival of the Sava.
This is a caravan designed for the British market, with Alde heating and even a TV aerial – until now, Adrias have been equipped as standard with connection points but buyers have had to have aerials fitted. Another stride forward into British tastes, then.
The Sava's layout is another reason why it's a winner. It has bunks and a dining area opposite one another, forward of the full-width shower room. So the younger caravanners get their own area for eating, sleeping and pastimes, and it's a long way from the lounge. Families of five need plenty of space and the Sava delivers this amply.
While the shower room isn't among the most spacious, with a depth of 72cm, it's fine. The shower cubicle is 74cm x 84cm and with a ledge for shampoos. It has a towel rail running across it, close to the ceiling.
A second towel rail is on the other side of the shower room but it's too close to the wall to accommodate anything thicker than a small hand towel, so more towel loops or hooks would be first on your shopping list if you go for the Sava.
There is, though, something you don't expect in a caravan – a toilet brush! It's in a neat chrome container alongside the loo.
Daylight levels in the shower room are fine, with an opaque window on the offside and a small roof vent in the shower cubicle. After dark, the washroom takes on a boutique hotel look, with lighting concealed behind two of the three mirrors, in the shower and to the left of the basin, plus two spotlights focusing down onto the central basin area.
Slim cabinets run on each side of the mirror above the basin. A 74cm-wide four-shelf cupboard is beneath the basin – good accommodation for washing necessities, then.
The bunks are 75cm wide and 1.95m long. The bed which makes up from the dining area opposite is 1.88m long and 75cm wide.
The double bed created from the lounge is a massive 2.2m x 1.63m. Slatted base sections on a sturdy wooden frame draw out from beneath the settees to meet in the middle.
There's plenty of space under the settees but the slatted bed base structure makes these areas difficult to get into. The lids are not self-supporting and you have to take all the upholstery off to open them. That goes for the boxes under the dining area, too; hence only a B rating here.
There's a great space under the base bunk, accessible from an exterior hatch and by lifting the bunk base but, although it's on spring hinges, they don't support the base; holding this one up while you delve inside, though, is easy.
Wardrobe space is fine for five, at 60cm wide, and with space for shoes beneath. A line of top cabinets above the dining area, plus two more above the lounge, will take care of everyone's folded garments.
The freestanding dining table has its own section in a cabinet by the door, conveniently close to where it will be used. The wrap-around seating means that five can sit around it. Place settings for five would just about fit on the table's 88 x 56cm size. The side dining table, opposite the bunks, is larger than most in this position, at 75cm x 70cm.
All five occupants of the Sava and more can sit together in the enormous lounge, and its seating is firmly supportive and comfortable. Armrests are at one end and cushions are in the corners. Your TV can sit on the cabinet by the door or fitted to the mounting bracket here.
Mains and aerial connections are close at hand, together with two USB ports. And music? Adria's ultra-neat 'Media Controller' sits under a locker on the offside of the lounge; it's a small brushed steel box with inputs for your phone.
During our review day, we connect via Bluetooth (or auxiliary jack) and discover the sound system is crisp, clear and punchy. Except for the BOSE sound system in the Astella range, this is one of the best integral sound systems available in a caravan. The Sava amply caters for all lounging needs.
The kitchen is 1.37m long, with surface areas at the fore end and in front of the three-burner, in-line hob. The flush-fitting cover for the sink means this area can be considered part of the surface, too.
The sink is small, at 27cm x 30cm, so you'd probably want to wash large pans and plates at caravan site facilities. Alongside the Thetford oven and grill, three deep drawers, each 65cm wide, provide good storage space.
And there's a surprise. In the central drawer is a split plastic recycle bin, complete with handle; the Sava even encourages you to recycle!
There's also a small cabinet under the oven plus a pull-out metal basket drawer arrangement to the left of the oven. Each of the three shelves here is 8cm wide and 43cm long; perfect for small items.
Opposite, a 27cm wide, three-shelf-space cabinet potentially augments kitchen space but could equally well be used for clothing or shoes.
The fridge-freezer is Thetford's tall slimline 133-litre model, aft of the kitchen. A microwave sits inside one of the two top lockers.
We'd expected excellence and the Sava delivered just that, in ample measure. At 8.29m long and 2.45m wide it's one of the largest caravans you can buy but this mighty beast feels puppet-like on the road; responsive and easy to tow.
Just one shortcoming, though – ATC isn't fitted and isn't a factory-fit option, so it's a question for your Adria retailer. We asked Adria retailer Barnsdale Leisure: ATC can be fitted for around £699. We'd go that, for belt-and-braces safety.
Like the river after which it's named, which flows through four countries, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Serbia on its way to join the Danube at Belgrade, the Adora Sava is mighty in every sense.
Long, wide, well-specced with Alde heating and a great sound system – and with the inherent stability of twin-axles, this newcomer is an Adria set to make waves in the market. At £23,975 it has few rivals.
No other mainstream twin-axle caravan of this size with Alde heating can touch it for the price. Outstanding value, then, and with a layout that's brilliantly practical for family living, the head-turning, metallic grey Sava is stunning in every way. Only the under-lounge storage access difficulty mars this superb giant of caravans.