There’s a vast choice of tourers with island beds. Most have the bed aligned across the caravan. Just a few models have the bed head against the rear wall. All except the Adria Altea Trent have the shower and toilet in separate compartments, on each side of the corridor, forward of the bed. The Trent has a combined shower-toilet room opposite the kitchen.
Combining the toilet and shower rooom is one way in which the designers have managed to achieve the luxury of a rear island bed in a caravan that’s only 6m long.
The Trent isn’t one of the new caravan layouts for 2015; its unique combination of island bed, light weight, and a lower price than the majority of tourers, has already established its popularity. There are changed, though. Prices have risen slightly for 2015 but the Altea Pack, which formerly added £390 to the cost of the Trent, now comes as standard.
The Altea Pack adds the following equipment: a hitch-head stabiliser, a Truma Ultraheat facility (that’s the electric operation addition to the gas heating system), a sink cover and a removable drainer.
This change, together with new lighting design and a new body shape (making Alteas look more like the longer Adoras and Astellas), has been introduced to celebrate two milestones in Adria manufacture. The Slovenian company has been making caravans for 50 years, and 2015 also marks the 40th year in which Adrias have been on sale in Britain.
Considering its low price tag, you might expect the Trent to have a somewhat spartan look and feel. Neither is the case. In looks, it’s refreshing, modern, light (the use of white helps here) and pleasingly plain. In feel, the upholstery is the same dense foam used in higher-priced Adora models, and it feels just as comfortable. That goes for the mattress, too.
Even in the shower-toilet room, the spartan tag doesn’t apply. Minimalist, yes, but that’s far from being a criticism…
The little room is only 1.2m long and 74 cm wide. Yet it manages to contain a toilet, a washbasin, enough space to shower, and a wall cabinet of amazing proportions.
A three-section mirrored cabinet above the toilet incorporates, and disguises, a hinge-down washbasin. It’s large, at 46cm x 36cm. Even though it’s quite shallow, this basin is certainly adequate in proportions. What’s also impressive is that the hinge-down mechanism feels positive and sturdy; very different from the tip-up space-saver basins that some caravan manufacturers used in corner washrooms some years ago.
There’s more to impress prospective buyers in the little room. The mirror’s upper two sections conceal a broad, shelved cabinet. By “conceal” we mean there are no handles, no press-catches, just a small aperture into which you insert fingers to release a plastic catch at the base of each door. At 74cm wide and with each of the three shelves giving 23cm of height and 15cm of depth, this cabinet is more than sufficient in size to hide away all your showering and preening equipment.
The bed, too, is amply proportioned, at 1.92m long and 1.36m wide. The foot of the bed is only slightly rounded, so there’s no noticeable diminution of width or length. When you consider that the bedroom takes up 2.07m of the caravan’s length, leaving only 4.09m for the kitchen and the lounge, the bedroom is a pretty important part of the Trent. This is the reason why people will go for this model. Its chief appeal is as a two-berth but it does have easy two-plus-two capability. The wooden-framed slatted central base of a double bed draws out from under each of the settees to meet in the centre. And the settees, at 1.39m are fine for small children to use as single beds.
What you gain in terms of ease of lounge-bed construction you lose on the subject of storage. To get into the areas under the settees you have to take off both the backrest and seating section, then raise the solid wooden locker lids. These have no mechanism for holding themselves up while you delve inside. Then you have to remove the slatted bed base section. It’s an unrefined, slightly awkward process of which you might expect we’d be critical, in view of the vast majority of caravans having bed locker tops that support themselves on hinges. But any criticism is tempered. That’s because the Trent costs only slightly over £14,000 and to get a new caravan at that price you have to be prepared to avoid comparisons with higher-priced models.
In fact, there’s so much storage opportunity under the double bed that if we bought a Trent we’d avoid using the lounge for storage altogether.
The wardrobe arrangement is impressive. There’s a wardrobe on each side of the bed and one in the centre of the caravan, too. Those alongside the bed have 1.4m of hanging depth, plus shoe cabinets beneath. The third wardrobe gives you 56cm of hanging width. There are shelves at the back of this wardrobe, so you have options on how to use it. A wide, deep drawer is beneath it, although if this caravan were ours we’d consider this to be part of the kitchen storage capability.
The substantial dining table stows away in a cabinet on the fore end of the kitchen. The cabinet is a bit narrow for the table so it’s quite difficult to extract and replace. If the Trent were ours, we’d leave the table up all the time. It’s practical to do this because you can slide the table to one side or the other across the lounge; its legs go under the seat bases, so you can create space on either side depending on how you’re using the lounge…
The Trent’s lounge is U-shaped, with a hinged coffee table above the seat under the front window.
It's here in the lounge that the 2015 Altea range’s signature under-locker lighting design is most noticeable, although the same feature is in the kitchen and bedroom. LED strips are concealed within an amazing locker base shape that uses silvery brushed metal-effect and white. Adria tells us the idea is to make it look as if the lockers are floating on air. Some may consider that description to be a bit of an exaggeration but the design is stunning anyway.
Mains and aerial points are close to a shelf that’s the ideal place for a TV. But there’s no aerial as standard, so you need to budget for one to be added if you’re a TV watcher.
There’s no microwave and the oven and grill are a combination unit, saving on both space, weight and cost. Upper storage runs the full length of the kitchen. The huge drawer under the wardrobe, plus a cabinet under the oven-grill, together give you just about enough lower storage space.
The Trent’s test tow was longer than most, because we hitched it up at the end of Adria’s 2015 model preview day in Warwickshire, and towed it to Lincolnshire for its review. This modest-length caravan with its long drawbar (a characteristic of continental-manufacture tourers) delivered a stable performance throughout the journey, over a good mix of road types. Trents have hitch-head stabilisers as standard for 2015 although our prototype example didn’t have one. In the wind-free conditions of our journey there were no challenges to stability, but we’re pleased to see that this feature is now standard.
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