Words: Val Chapman Photos: Richard Chapman
Eriba caravans don’t simply appeal to buyers looking for small caravans. They enjoy a cult following; they’re recognised as the VW campervans of the caravanning market.
Renowned for robust build and quirky features including a table that clips to the outside, these caravans were first produced in 1957 and have, in external shape, changed little since their early days.
Noted for their aluminium exterior, in an aerodynamic shape inspired by the aviation industry, the original Eriba Touring, Troll, Puck, Familia, Titan and Pan models have been turning heads for more than 60 years.
Now, the head-turning gets new momentum, with bright colours – red and blue – from which to choose. These are the Eriba Touring Troll 530 Ocean Drive (blue) and Rockabilly (red).
Eribas, made in Germany, are having a boom time right now, as the virus effect on travel shines a very bright spotlight on touring caravans as a means of getting away, safe in your own little abode.
All caravan sales are burgeoning and Eribas are doing particularly well. Is that down to their quirky looks? Or their renowned build quality? Or both? We spent a day at Adventure Leisure Vehicles, at Tebay, in Cumbria, to find out.
Our review Eriba is the Troll 530 Rockabilly, the caravan with a name that originated in Memphis, for a hybrid of country, rhythm and blues music that morphed into rock and roll.
So, does the Rockabilly on wheels make waves of anywhere near the proportions that its namesake did on music? Well, probably not. But certainly, this little red and white eyecatcher is doing its bit to attract newcomers into caravanning.
What, then, is a Rockabilly? It’s a special edition of the Eriba Touring Troll 530, with extras including a 30-litre water tank, a carpet (long pile, in rich red) and a spare wheel.
The Rockabilly is a mere 4.71m in body length and just over 2m wide. And its compact appeal extends to its height. It has a pop-up roof that increases headroom from 1.72m to 1.95m.
For a little caravan, the 530 packs in a lot. A double bed at the rear, a dining area at the front, a small but well-planned kitchen and a combined toilet-shower room. All you need!
This is a three-berth; the seating area transforms into a bed that’s one metre wide and 1.95m long. The double bed is also 1.95m long, and 1.36m wide.
So, stunning and intriguing from the outside and impressive from the moment you step inside. For a start, the step is built into the caravan; it hinges down. After a few minutes inside the Rockabilly, you notice that the storage space is phenomenal for the caravan’s size.
Recesses at the front, alongside the kitchen and on the wall outside the shower compartment; 11 top lockers; a wardrobe with a hanging width of 43cm and four 27cm-wide shelves; a shoe cupboard by the door – plus, of course, a cavernous space under the bed. It all adds up to a lot of storage space.
The kitchen is impressive, too. The surface is just over a metre long; an extension adds another 20cm. The sink cover matches the surface and sits flush, leaving a small space so that the tap can be used when the cover is in place. It's absolutely superb!
With thanks to: Adventure Leisure Vehicles for the caravan review location