If you want big, beautiful and stylish, look carefully at the Adria Alpina Colorado. We especially like the size of its lounge (and the headrests). We love the ability to programme the lighting and to play music from your phone through the high-quality sound system. And the concave lockers. And the built-in step. Only the small size of the shower room and the half-length wardrobes will divide opinion.
The Adria Alpina Colorado has it all! Concave top lockers, programmable lighting, headrests, Alde heating, a 50-litre water tank, and a built-in step
The first thing you notice as you step inside an Alpina is – the step. It’s part of the caravan; you lift a small tab and the step descends from under the doorway. This superb touch of practicality serves to set the tone: Alpinas are different from anything else on the British market in so many ways.
They’re longer than anything else on a single axle, at 8.25m from hitch to tail lights. They’re wider (2.46m), albeit by only a whisker compared to the two new Elddis Avantés at 2.45m. And they have touches of individuality that set them apart from other caravans.
Alpinas headrests in the lounge. They have Bluetooth connectivity and high-quality speakers to enable you to play music stored on your smartphone. They also have multi-option programmable illumination; lighting in various separate areas of the caravan can be programmed to come on and off at differing times.
The top lockers are concave. They have 50-litre water tanks. And they’re built using a construction system unique to Adria. Called Comprex, the system uses both wood and polyurethane; wood for its torsion stiffness and polyurethane in areas that potentially could be affected by any water ingress. Styrofoam (which is impervious to water) and expanded polystyrene is used for the insulation.
Alpinas arrived in Britain for the 2017 model year to succeed the two-model Astella range. But Alpinas are very different. Whereas Astellas had kitchens at the front and dining areas amidships, Alpinas are more conventionally British in layout, with lounges at the front and kitchens on the offside.
Alpinas are well established in mainland Europe; now, Slovenian manufacturer Adria has tailored two models specifically for the UK market. The Colorado has twin beds and a rear shower room and the identically-dimensioned Missouri has a double bed at the rear and an offside shower room.
But before we’d investigated the Colorado’s layout efficiency, we had given it a very thorough road test. Adria loaned us this review model at the end of the company’s new model preview event at Wellesbourne in Warwickshire. Just over two hours and 85 miles later the Colorado was at our test base in Lincolnshire.
It’s a big beast, yet its length and width don’t detract from road behaviour. We enjoyed towing the Colorado (more later). In the meantime, we’ve pulled out the built-in step and we’re heading for the shower.
With a floor area measuring 1.44m wide and 76cm at its deepest point, this is among the smallest rear shower rooms around. The shower’s fine for size, though, at 74cm x 81cm.
There’s not a lot of daylight in the little room, with one small roof light in the shower and a window on the offside; the amount of daylight reaching the mirror in the centre over the washbasin is limited. On the plus side, there are three towel bars. One is on the forward offside wall, one pulls out from the suite of cabinets that surround the basin area and a third, small one, is above the Alde panel radiator in the shower cubicle.
And when you switch on the lights you get illumination streaming down from the ceiling above the basin, from the wall panel behind below the basin and from behind the two mirrors on the rear wall, one in the shower cubicle and the other in the toilet sector on the offside.
The twin beds differ in size, at 1.98m and 1.84m long; the Colorado is clearly made for tall caravanners. And they’re a comfortable 80cm wide. Above each bed a panel of switches enables you to select which combination of lights you wish to use; three spotlights in the roof, lighting above or below the top lockers – or you can reach for the centre of a spotlight on a long flexible stalk; just a touch of the light’s centre brings on the light.
And privacy? That arrives in the form of a simple curtain, albeit made of heavy, quality material and lined. No other current caravans have this feature. And we think it’s really rather nice; much less stark than a pleated partition and just as effective.
A double bed can be made in the lounge by pulling out substantial wooden slatted bases from under each settee. The resultant bed is a mighty 2.2m x 1.8m.
Those pull-out bed bases, though, make access to the settee storage areas rather arduous. But that doesn’t matter, for there is so much storage space elsewhere that these areas probably wouldn’t be needed. There’s a compartment under the centre-front seating section, great caverns under each bed (even though the water tank is under the offside bed) and the nearside bed area has an exterior hatch.
Top lockers line both sides of the bedroom and the lounge. They’re concave, and high-gloss white; immensely stylish and with light emitting from both the tops and the bases.
Do we like the wardrobe arrangement? We’re not sure. These are half-length wardrobes suspended over the foot of each bed. There’s a good amount of hanging width in each, at 54cm, but the depth is only 80cm.
The table has its storage home in a cabinet on the fore end of the kitchen. A coffee table is disguised behind the centre-front backrests; it’s a substantial, gloss-white structure with bevelled edges outlined in chrome-effect; very stylish. At 75cm x 36cm it’s ideal for coffee and biscuits times.
This is where the Colorado will win a lot of fans. The lounge is huge; that’s because of the 2.46m width of the caravan, because it’s U-shaped and because the side settees are 1.8m long. And in each corner there are headrests. Add in the beautifully designed concave top lockers, the bright spotlights on long, flexible stalks and the upholstery which extend to more than half of the depth of the bed boxes and you have one really luxurious lounge.
Thetford’s new, tall slimline fridge -freezer is on the nearside, with small lockers below and above, plus a cabinet alongside it. The grill and oven, plus three 82cm-wide drawers are in the 1.61m-long main kitchen area. The hob is three in-line burners, with a black glass cover and a removable, rigid white plastic drainer to put over the top for washing-up times.
The sink (quite small at 27x30cm) has a white chopping board cover. There’s plenty of surface space, to the right of the sink, and to the left and in front of the hob. And there’s an extractor fan hidden within the top cabinets, directly above the hob; nice!
Lighting is brilliant, literally, with two parallel strips of LEDs at the front edge of the top lockers, more strips both above and below the splash-back wall and even a strip at the base of the kitchen cabinets.
Alpinas are on AL-KO Delta axles. The axle tube is slightly V-shaped, rather than straight. The stub axles on which the wheels rotate are not quite at right angles to the radius arms of the suspension. This arrangement keeps the wheels in good contact with the road during cornering and cross winds.
There were no cross-winds during our tow from Warwickshire to Lincolnshire but there was plenty of cornering and the big Alpina felt glued to the road at all times. It was nicely steady at 60mph on most of the open-road sections and felt great throughout the journey.
Woodland Waters Holiday Park, Ancaster, Grantham
Leather upholstery (the price is yet to be announced)
Also consider: a Buccaneer Clipper at £31,699; a Delta R! at £26,799