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Caravelair Antarès 450 - caravan review

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Key Features

  • Model Year : 2017
  • Class : Single Axle
  • Berths : 3
  • Internal Length (m) : 4.70
  • Shipping Length (m) : 6.40
  • MRO (kg) : 980
  • MTPLM (kg) : 1150
  • Max Width (m) : 2.30
  • External Height (m) : 2.58

The Verdict

If you're looking for a twin-bed caravan, you'd assume a budget of £14,000 would confine you to the used market – until you discover the Caravelair Antarès 450. Even when you factor in £250 for a TV aerial, the 450 is only £13,695. Its furniture is well built.

Score


Caravelair View more details about the manufacturer of this motorhome over in our manufacturers section.
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AT A GLANCE

The Caravelair Antarès 450 is a newcomer from France is the only caravan with twin beds that you can transform into a double.

Pros
  • The generously-sized beds
  • The big table
  • The simple styling
  • The excellent storage for the size of the caravan
Cons
  • The heating system is gas-only
  • The shower tray is also the washroom floor

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION

Model Year
2017
Manufacturer
Caravelair
Class
Single Axle
Range
Antares
Price From (£)
13695
Berths
3
Shipping Length (m)
6.40
MRO (kg)
980
MTPLM (kg)
1150
Max Width (m)
2.30
External Height (m)
2.58
End Washroom
No
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

The Caravelair Antarès 450 is a newcomer from France is the only caravan with twin beds that you can transform into a double.

French-made, with stark styling, extreme lightweight, good quality, and an ambience that ensures they'll appeal to people with ultra-modern tastes, Caravelair Antarès caravans are comparable with no other range of tourers in Britain.

The Caravelair Antarès 450 is the lowest priced tourer range in the UK, yet Caravelairs are equipped with all the essentials and more besides. They have hitch-head stabilisers, spare wheels, three-burners hobs, oven-grills, wheeled waste water containers and even lights in the ovens.

Perhaps just as significant is the level of furniture finesse and lighting style that identifies Caravelairs as both well-made and stylish.

Marquis Motorhomes and Caravans imports the Caravelairs. Six models start at £11,995, and the range gives buyers two layouts for families, four with double beds, one small two-berth – and this one, with an amazing bed configuration.

The 450 has single beds. But before you file it amid the vast array of twin-bed caravans available in Britain, this one is very different: you can transform the twin beds into a giant double bed.

In continental style, the twin double bed is at the front. The dining area sits across the rear – and this can be turned into a full single bed, making the Antarès one of a very rare breed of three-berth caravans.

More features mark out this caravan as something unusual, one of them is the size of the gas bottle locker – and the width of its door, with an aperture of 14.3m x60cm. You raise the lid high out of the way, with finger-tip ease, on a gas-filled strut. Lifting gas cylinders in and out of here is easy.

You store both the spare wheel and the 30-litre wheeled waste water container that comes with the caravan here – and there’s still space for other items.

There's a lot to like about Antarès, but there are challenges. The heating is gas only. The shower and toilet share a compartment. And Antarès don’t come with TV aerials – but then neither do Slovenian-made Adrias.

British expectancy leads us to assume most buyers of an Antarès will want Marquis to fit one, so we asked the question: add £250 to the price of your Antarès and you’re able to follow your favourite programmes on holiday.

Made in France

Caravelair Antarès are made by the manufacturing giant, Trigano and brought into the UK exclusively by the Marquis group, which puts its stamp on these caravans. They add the hitch head stabiliser to the standard Antarès and installing Marquis’s unique Caraheat system, which sends warmed air out through two vents directly above the Truma heater.

It’s highly efficient, as we have previously discovered during reviews carried out in winter. But, because this is a gas-only system, you’ll have to bear in mind the need to replace cylinders much more frequently than in a caravan equipped with the option to run the heating on mains power.

Caravelairs first arrived in Britain at Marquis’s South Yorkshire branch last year. They quickly established themselves as best sellers there and, now, are on display at other Marquis branches. We collected our review 450 from Marquis’s Preston outlet, one of 11 scattered around England.

Usefully, whichever branch you buy from, you can have your Caravan served at any other branch. The 450 was ours for a day, after a 30-minute tow to a quiet, secluded campsite a few miles from Lytham St Annes.

Showering C

In Britain, we've come to take separate showers for granted. Here is a make of caravan selling very well without that luxury. Most campsite showers are excellent and, if you don’t mind drying out the shower tray and the entire compartment after every use, you'll find the 450's showering space quite adequate.

The compartment measures 1m x 75cm and contains a bench-style toilet, two large mirrors, a small plastic cabinet under the sink and a much bigger wall cabinet above the loo. All you need is here, in miniature. In the context of the short length of the 450, it's rather clever.

But British separate-shower expectancy leaves us little option but to give it a C rating.

Sleeping A*

Sleeping, on the other hand, earns a big fat A-star for its ingenuity and the size of its beds. Caravelairs are ideal for tall caravanners. The 450's twin beds are 1.95m long and 87cm wide.

You can transform the entire bed area into a luxuriously large double bed 2.1m wide. Two pieces of wood (stored under the beds) sit on ledges on the edges of the twin beds to complete the base and infill mattress sections complete the bed. The mattresses are polyester and cotton, quite springy and exceptionally light to lift.

And there's more to mark out this excellent bed as really special. You can raise the pillow ends, sunlounger-style, to turn the beds into daytime recliners.

Your bedroom can be regarded as a lounge; hide away the duvet or sleeping bags under the beds and replace them with a couple of throws, and your bedroom now looks more lounge-like – and the TV bracket and connections sit perfectly over the foot of one of the beds.

The dining area makes a single bed. The table leg folds (easily, with a click of a switch) and rests on supports on the wall and the edges of the seating unit bases. The bed is 1m wide and 1.92m long; again underlining the fact that Caravelairs suit tall people.

Storage A

With spaces under the twin beds and the dining seating, plus top lockers running the width of the caravan at each end, storage space can safely be regarded as excellent considering the short length of the caravan.

Caravelair spaced the wardrobe ingeniously above the oven-grill which, in turn, is above the heater unit. The hanging width is a very decent 52cm and the depth, at 78cm, is sufficient for garments of jacket length.

There’s a large (97cm wide, 37cm deep) exterior aperture to one of the under-bed spaces – and it leads right through the entire width of the caravan, via a storage unit between the twin beds; brilliant!

Dining A

French-made caravans do dining facilities well; in line with the French enthusiasm for cuisine, perhaps. The 450’s table is substantially wider than those in British caravans, at 75cm, and it’s 1.11m long. Plenty of space on which to spread out a feast!

We love it, hence another A rating.

Lounging B

Lounging, though, is harder to assess by our rating scheme. That's because, well, by comparison with British-made caravans, there isn't a lounge. There's a first-rate, four-seater dining area – and a couple of recliners at the opposite end of the caravan, as we detailed earlier.

So relaxing opportunities are a given. Good, then? We think so.

Kitchen C

A 34m-wide two-shelf cupboard and deep cutlery drawer alongside the fridge plus head-height lockers create enough storage space considering the kitchen is only 1m long. Both the sink (a practical 36cm x 25cm) and the three-burner hob have smart black glass covers.

You'd keep them down to do most of the food prep because surface space is limited. There’s a useful 20cm x 39cm hinged extension; although it intrudes into the doorway space, there is ample room to walk around it.

Towing A

Caravelairs have Trigano chassis and AL-KO axles with independent rubber suspension and shock absorbers. There’s a little detectable bounce on rough road surfaces, but that doesn't in any way mar the 450's excellent road characteristics.

At 1300kg MTPLM, the 450 is firmly in the super-light category, so suitable for a huge range of cars a lot lighter than our beefy SsangYong Rexton which takes all our review caravans out. Our test tow was a comfortable and enjoyable journey.

And when we arrived at Little Orchard Caravan Park we unhitched and manhandled the 450 into position easily – just because we could!

Verdict

If you're looking for a twin-bed caravan, you'd assume a budget of £14,000 would confine you to the used market – until you discover the Caravelair Antarès 450. Even when you factor in £250 for a TV aerial, the 450 is only £13,695. Its furniture is well built.

Its fabrics are high quality and give us the impression they’re very durable. Its double-or-twin bed versatility is impressive. It’s terrific value and – so long as you’re not looking for a caravan with a separate shower.

Options

There are no standard options for Caravelairs

Marquis Motorhomes (Sussex)


Eastbourne Road
Golden Cross
East Sussex
BN27 4AN
http://www.marquisleisure.co.uk
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Marquis Motorhomes (Dorset)

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BH12 4QN
http://www.marquisleisure.co.uk
sales@marquismotorhomes.co.uk
Auto-Sleepers, Auto-Trail, Benimar, Elddis, Majestic, and Mobilvetta new motorhomes. Base & habitation service & repairs.

Marquis Motorhomes (Lancashire)

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Lancashire
PR2 2PD
http://www.marquisleisure.co.uk
sales@marquismotorhomes.co.uk
Autocruise, Auto-Sleepers, Auto-Trail, Bessacarr, Elddis, Escape, Swift motorhomes. AS Caravans, Buccaneer, Lifestyle, Majestic, Coachman, Elddis.

Marquis Motorhomes (Berkshire)


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RG20 8RU
http://www.marquisleisure.co.uk
sales@marquismotorhomes.co.uk
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Marquis Motorhomes (Northants)


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Northamptonshire
NN3 9EX
http://www.marquisleisure.co.uk
sales@marquismotorhomes.co.uk
Auto-Sleepers, Auto-Trail, Benimar, Elddis, Majestic, and Mobilvetta new motorhomes. AS Caravans, Buccaneer, Lifestyle, Majestic, Coachman, Elddis.

Marquis Motorhomes (Durham)


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Chester-le-Street
Co Durham
DH3 2QZ
http://www.marquisleisure.co.uk
sales@marquismotorhomes.co.uk
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Ipswich
Suffolk
IP1 5AP
http://www.marquisleisure.co.uk
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Marquis Motorhomes (South Yorkshire)

2
Rotherham Road
Sheffield
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S25 3RF
http://www.marquisleisure.co.uk
sales@marquismotorhomes.co.uk
Auto-Sleepers, Auto-Trail, Benimar, Elddis, Lunar, Majestic, and Mobilvetta new motorhomes.