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Buccaneer Clipper - caravan review 2018

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Key Features

  • Model Year : 2018
  • Class : Twin Axle
  • Berths : 4
  • Internal Length (m) : 6.39
  • Shipping Length (m) : 8.16
  • MRO (kg) : 1820
  • MTPLM (kg) : 1979
  • Max Width (m) : 2.45
  • External Height (m) : 2.63

The Verdict

If you want the best in caravanning opulence and sophistication, and you want your corner steadies to lower and raise themselves at the touch of a button on a handset or a panel by the door, consider a Buccaneer. And if you’re looking in the over£30,000 sector, whether you’re just a couple or a family of four with offspring rising into teenage, the Clipper layout may just prove your best holiday option.

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AT A GLANCE

A top-spec caravan of opulence, with a self-levelling system, underfloor heating — and appeal to both couples and families of four

Pros
  • The exterior offside locker behind the kitchen unit
  • The versatility and wide appeal of the layout
  • The 40-litre water tank
  • Two rails in the wardrobe
Cons
  • There’s nothing not to like!
Pros
  • The exterior offside locker behind the kitchen unit
  • The versatility and wide appeal of the layout
  • The 40-litre water tank
  • Two rails in the wardrobe
Cons
  • There’s nothing not to like!

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION

Model Year
2018
Manufacturer
Buccaneer
Class
Twin Axle
Range
No Range
Price From (£)
32699
Berths
4
Shipping Length (m)
8.16
MRO (kg)
1820
MTPLM (kg)
1979
Max Width (m)
2.45
External Height (m)
2.63
End Washroom
Yes
Island Double
No
Fixed Singles/Bunks
Yes
Triple Bunks
No
End Kitchen
No
Back & Front Dinette
No
Side Dinette
No
Caravan Test Date
Caravan Buyer Test Date

DETAILED REVIEW

A top-spec caravan of opulence, with a self-levelling system, underfloor heating — and appeal to both couples and families of four

Words by Val Chapman
Photos by Richard Chapman

Last year the first ever family-layout Buccaneer arrived; that's the six-berth Galera, with bunk beds. Now this comprehensively-equipped, ultra-luxurious range includes a layout that's perfect for a family with teenage offspring.

The Clipper isn't a new name but this is a new layout for 2018, with twin beds at the rear and a centrally-positioned shower cubicle on one side and a toilet-washbasin room opposite. These two elements of the layout join, with a sliding door on the bedroom side and a hinged door on the forward side.

What makes this layout so good for teenagers is the bedroom at the rear is totally separate from the rest of the caravan, with the grooming facilities in the centre, accessible from either end. So no-one must walk through anyone else's bedroom to get to the loo and the shower.

Picture two teenage sisters making the rear bedroom their holiday retreat, clothes strewn everywhere as they decide what to wear, and spending hours in the grooming room… Keep the kids happy, especially when they become bigger kids, with more fickle holiday desires and priorities, and you can be pretty sure they'll come on holiday with you for a few more years.

It's a versatile layout; you can think of the bedroom as a secluded, feet-up, TV-watching zone. Some cushions and throws would give it an instant lounge look.

Buccaneer equipment puts these caravans right at the top of the weight and price tree, with a touch-of-a-button self-levelling system topping the list of techy goodies and underfloor heating (part of the Alde system) coming a close second.

The LevelSystem automatic leveller lowers giant stands under the axles and then lowers outsized corner steadies; in two minutes your Clipper is levelled as you watch. This is lazy caravanning at its extreme; put another way, it removes the tedious task of corner steady winding; even if you do it with a drill and attachment, it still must be done.

But if you don't view the LevelSystem as important to your caravanning lifestyle (after all, manually winding corner steadies is bound to contribute to your five a day exercise routine!), you like the twin-axle, twin bed layout but would rather have it in a lighter form and with a less Rolls Royce price tag, you can have it; the Elddis Crusader Supercyclone weighs 203 kg less and costs £5300 less; the kitchen's different and it's cm narrower than the mighty Buccaneer's 2.45m width but the basic layout is similar.

The Clipper, though, is among a few tourers that sit at the pinnacle of caravanning opulence – and its layout is versatile in its appeal. While it's certainly good for teen families, it's also good for a couple looking for a twin-bed caravan with no expense spared.

Everywhere you look, there is obvious luxury, including in the shower.

Showering A

A caravan with a fully-tiled shower? Surely not! Yet here it is. Soft grey 'tiles' (they're plastic, of course, but they do look like ceramic) with real white grout, create a luxury bathroom look. And there's a brilliant touch of practicality in this cubicle; an expanding towel rail, with space for four towels, is attached to the nearside wall. When it's not in use, it folds against the wall.

The level of light in the vanity area is lovely; three spotlights in the ceiling and softer light coming from each side of the mirror creates a flattering, even light; again, teenage girls will love this as a makeup room.

A heated towel rail is against the offside wall. Cabinets under the washbasin and on the wall create enough space for all the usual washing equipment.

Sleeping A

With deep, crushed velvet, back-lit headboards, luxurious, light-reflecting curtains hanging on chrome café rods and light streaming across the ceiling from bright, white LED strips above the lockers on three sides of the room, this is surely one of the lost luxurious caravan bedrooms you can find.

At 1.92m long the twin beds are made for tall caravanners.

The lounge transforms into a double bed by means of roll-out slats to form the centre of the base. Or you can make up two singles, at 1.81m long.

Storage A

Buccaneer buyers are often caravanners who take long holidays; in that scenario storage is an important topic, whether you're a couple or a family. And the Clipper delivers hideaway places in quantity. Big spaces under the rear beds (even though the 40-litre water tank is under the offside bed), six top lockers in the bedroom and four more in the lounge, four drawers at the front and space under the settees… so far, all brilliant.

At first glance, you may think there's a shortcoming, though. It's the wardrobe., situated between the shower and the fridge-freezer. It's only 34m wide. But when you open it, you realise it has two rails, one above the other! And there's a nice refinement – a light comes on automatically when you open the door.

Dining A

The table has its own cabinet on the fore end of the unit that houses the fridge and, above it, the microwave. Of course it's meant to be used in the lounge. But don't forget our comment about the bedroom doubling as a second lounge, for feet-up TV watching; there's space to put the table up in here if you want TV time to be feast time, too; versatility in a layout is a wonderful thing!

Lounging B

There's always a touch of classic elegance about Buccaneers. The 2018 range has a nod to grandeur in the form of a rather traditional, elaborate curtain pattern. But, as you'll see from the photos here, this is tradition at its most subtle. And, at 1.81m long, the settees give you enough seating space.

Kitchen A

The Clipper's kitchen has several elements that make it special. One is the large rectangular sink ( practical). Another is the L-shape, making it feel well separated from the lounge and creating a huge amount of surface. And here lies a secret: under the curved protruding section of the L-shape is a large, three-shelf cabinet.

But the shelves aren't as deep as the cabinet, because, behind it is a huge exterior cabinet. That's an ideal place for welly boots, walking boots, dog tethers and anything else that needs to be outside the caravan.

There's something else that makes the Clipper kitchen special. It's aesthetic. The top surface is edged by two bands; one of glossy brushed steel and the other of slightly opaque plastic. It's tactile-smooth and high-end domestic kitchen in design.

More typically Buccaneer refinements arrive in concealed top locker door catches; you just run your fingers under the edge until you find the catch. When you squeeze it slightly, the door pops open, and then closes again with a solid-sounding clunk.

We love Buccaneer splash-backs, too; pale grey with a slight horizontal line – sparkly bits which shine in the light that streams from a concealed strip of LEDs above it.

Three drawers, the two double-doored top cabinets, plus a cabinet above the microwave and those three shelves in the curved unit create plenty of places to put stuff.

Towing A

We haven't yet towed a 2018 Clipper but we have towed other Buccaneers and always found them to be steady, predictable performers on the road. ATC is part of the kit, as you'd expect; with twin-axle geometry it's likely to remain dormant all the time, but it's nice to have something under the axle secretly keeping you safe if you should get side-swiped by a big gust of wind that might upset stability.

Verdict

If you want the best in caravanning opulence and sophistication, and you want your corner steadies to lower and raise themselves at the touch of a button on a handset or a panel by the door, consider a Buccaneer.

And if you're looking in the over £30,000 sector, whether you're just a couple or a family of four with offspring rising into teenage, the Clipper layout may just prove your best holiday option.

Clwyd Caravan & Leisure Ltd

The Green
Wynnstay Yard
Wrexham
Denbighshire
LL14 6DP
http://www.clwydcaravans.com
[email protected]
Buccaneer, Elddis, Coachman, Lunar & Venus. Service & repair and huge accessory shop. Disabled access and facilities. Finance.

Ebor Leisure World


Malton Road
York
North Yorkshire
YO60 7SE
http://www.leisureworldgroup.com
[email protected]
New and used caravans and motorhomes for sale. Habitation servicing.

Tyneside Leisure World


Portobello Trading Estate
Birtley
Co Durham
DH3 2SN
http://www.leisureworldgroup.com
[email protected]
Elddis, Lunar, Swift tourers, plus Auto-Trail, Elddis, Burstner, Roller Team motorhomes. Habitation service. Caravan & motorhome storage.