Clubman is Lunar’s long-established top-spec range; together with the twin-axle Deltas, they get more bells and whistles than most caravans, yet for their length, they are lighter than most.
The Clubman SI is a glowing example of this. At less than 1500kg, it’s definitely in the lightweight category.
Its amount of equipment, though, and its lovely open-plan, transverse-bed layout, puts it equally definitely into the luxury class.
It has Alde heating to keep you evenly toasty in all weathers. It has ATC to enhance your safety margin by controlling the first indications of snaking, by applying the caravan brakes automatically before the sway has chance to develop into a problem. The toilet has a ceramic bowl. There’s an external shower connection point complete with hose and showerhead. Phantom Tracker with a year’s subscription comes as part of the kit, as does an alarm with PIR and tilt sensors. And new, robust “snake cut” keys enhance security. The long list of standard equipment also gives you small refinements including an LED light inside the wardrobe; it comes on automatically when you open the door.
The stamp of Clubman finesse continues even in the smart chrome grab handles; behind them are bright white “courtesy” lights that are brilliantly useful (literally) when you are getting water and doing other necessitous outside tasks. The switch is at the fore end of the kitchen. There’s an unusual little light inside the caravan, too. It’s vibrant blue, just under the cooker, and it’s just bright enough to illuminate your first footfall inside the caravan when you return to it after dark. All these features combine to create the Clubman classy character.
The SI, though, has something that other Clubmans don’t. Its transverse bed layout is amazing,in that the bed base is shorter than the mattress and the frame it sits on. That means there is more floor area in the corridor that leads to the shower room at the rear of the caravan. And in the shower room you find another impressive feature…
… It’s the radiator, part of the Alde heating system. This new-style radiator is about twice the size of those usually found in caravans.
The shower is large, at 80cm deep and 65cm wide. Its door is a clear single piece unit, hinged slightly inwards from the door to enable a door of this large size to open without colliding with the washbasin. There’s a rail running the length of the shower, so that you can hang garments to dry here.
The shower room isn’t the largest you’ll find in a caravan, but it’s spacious enough to avoid feeling cramped. The important factor here, given that the caravan’s body length is a modest 5.76m, is that as much space as possible has been given to the bedroom and lounge.
This is where the SI is a real star. The lovely big island bed, with minimal rounding at the corners, measures 1.83m x 1.34m. There are wardrobes on each side of the bed, with drawers and cabinets beneath. A large mirror in an upholstered, padded frame, hangs on the rear wall; it’s a pleasant bedroom which really does feel like a separate room, and with lots of light from a large roof light and big window on the offside.
The under-bed storage area is uninterrupted by framework, so items of all dimensions are easy to load in here. The frame is easy to raise, on two substantial gas-filled struts.
In addition to the wardrobes, large over-bed lockers give ample accommodation for bulky items of clothing. (One wardrobe is 54cm wide, the other is 25cm, so there will be debates about who has which wardrobe!)
The storage areas under the lounge seating have full-length front doors. Four top lockers line the lounge. The sides ones have shelves and the front two are capacious, following the curve of the roof.
The dining table is stored in its own section inside the kitchen cabinet. Sliding it in and out is easy; a retaining strap with a press-stud and a plastic turn-button keep it in position when you tow.
The smaller dining option, the pull-out extension of the top of the chest of drawers, gives you a level surface of 80cm deep. It’s 62cm wide at its narrowest point and slightly wider over the drawers. When just two are dining (which is most of the time, as this caravan’s greatest appeal is to couples) this pull-out table is more than adequate.
There are lots of style points to notice as you sit back into the deeply curved corner pieces of the settees. The four bright LED spotlights (new for 2014) are cylindrical, part brushed steel, part frosted white plastic. They’re pretty, in a neat, modern sort of way. The corner lights are big and bold, the same depth as the lockers around them. Strips of LEDs run along the lower edges of all the lockers.
Fabrics are in two shades of cream, with a tactile raised pattern in pale cream on a base of a slightly darker cream. The armrests on the rear ends of the settees have two sections; the top one is plain and the other area matches the fabrics of the seating. Curtains and two of the four cushions are plain brown, with a feature horizontal prominent weave. The SI’s combination of simplicity of fabric colours and lovely lounge lighting is gorgeous.
The surface from the hob to the front of the kitchen measures 96cm, interrupted only by the sink. That’s plenty enough for making meals for two or four without struggling and juggling. And, for 2014, the SI’s kitchen gets a worktop extension, giving you an extra 35cm to hinge up when you need it. We love the practicality of the black enamel hob base, and the smart black glass top that covers it.
The microwave is in the dresser on the nearside; it’s at a lower height than is often found, so is ideal for caravanners of not-so-tall stature. Kitchen storage is generous, keeping in mind the length of the caravan. Three shelves, each 21cm wide, and a cutlery drawer, pull out from the cabinet forward of the fridge. A cabinet (58cm wide and 46cm deep) is in the dresser, with an additional, double-doored cabinet above the microwave.
With that clever bit of gadgetry called ATC in place to detect if your SI attempts to sway out of line, you can relax in the knowledge that the speedy antics of enthusiastic overtaking by large vehicles is unlikely to upset the caravan’s stability. Indeed, shortly after I joined the M6, en route from Lunar’s factory at Lostock Hall, and before I’d got anywhere near up to 60mph, a towering and lengthy lorry sped past rather closer to the nearside edge of the middle lane than was desirable, creating just enough wind current to make the SI twitch momentarily before the ATC took control and snapped it back into alignment. It’s not often a driver is aware of the ATC box of tricks taking care of you, so this rare instance is worthy of comment. It’s reassuring to know that technology is taking care of your precious SI!
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