Step inside the new Lunar Lexon 470 and take off your shoes. That’s not an instruction respecting the pale cream shade of the carpet, even though it has stain-resistant properties. And it’s not simply because most caravanners observe a shoes-off rule anyway. It’s because there is a specific feature in the 470 that makes the shoes-off sequence easier than in almost any other caravan you can buy. To the right of the entrance a small door opens in the wall adjoining the shower room. When you open it you find a space just large enough for a couple of pairs of shoes. So the 470 is one caravan in which you don’t have to live with shoes on the doormat!
The 470’s two-berth, end shower room layout feels spacious everywhere. It's not just an impression, though. This caravan really does have a lot of floor space; we measured the central corridor between the kitchen and the dresser at 1.1m. Several features contribute to the spacious look. One is the mirror set into the dresser. Another is the pleasantly subdued fabric hues. And a third is the choice of wallboarding tor 2014. It’s palest cream, with a hint of texture. But there’s much more to this wallboarding than its influence on décor. For the 2014 model year Lunar – which, of course, has built its reputation on making lightweight caravans – has taken even more weight out of all its models by the introduction of a new thermoplastic material, replacing timber in wallboarding. It’s a honeycomb structure which literally traps air between bubbles of thermoplastic.
The 470 – in common with all Lexons – has the Alde central heating system, with a touch-screen control panel. Equipment now includes an alarm with PIR and tilt sensor, and a new-style radiator in the shower room…
We remarked on space earlier, in the centre of the caravan. That’s not the only area of the 470 where the amount of o space is remarkable. The shower room is a massive 1.12m deep, from its sliding door to its back wall. The shower, on the nearside, is 77cm wide and 65cm deep. Its single-piece clear acrylic door pivots on a hinge about 10cm inside the doorframe; the fact that this door is one unit, as distinct from the more familiar bi-fold shower doors, increases the look of space in the shower room. But, as in the rest of the caravan, it doesn't just look spacious here, it really is big, considering the body length of the caravan is a modest 4.63m long.
There are two wardrobes in the 470’s shower room. Each gives you 40cm of hanging width, so there’s no prospect of unfriendly negotiation about who gets which wardrobe on the grounds that one person is taking more clothing than the other on holiday! The 470 is clearly designed for caravanning harmony!
The wardrobe alongside the shower has three drawers and the other, in the offside corner, has three large shelves.
Lunar has introduced Alde’s latest heated towel rail to its Lexon range; in the 470 it’s on the forward wall of the shower room and there are two towel hooks, perfectly placed, high up above it. There’s also a towel loop, on the wall of the offside wardrobe. Two shelves and a cabinet under the sink create enough space for stuff you need. There is one aspect of this excellent shower room that may attract criticism from some people, though. The washbasin is smaller than many that we find in caravans.
Convert the lounge to twin beds or draw out the slatted base and make a double bed – the choice is yours. The 470’s traditional two-berth arrangement gives you single beds of 1.86m in length and 73cm wide when you remove the backrests.
In a two-berth caravan, where your lounge is also your bedroom, storage for bulky duvets, sleeping bags and pillows is far more important than in layouts with fixed beds. Which is why we like the drop-down doors that run the full length of the settees. The nearside under-settee space is totally clear, so all your bedding can go in here if you wish. Storage space on the offside is shared with the Alde heating unit, the main electricity box and some inevitable piping. But there’s certainly space for a couple of big pillows here.
Six top lockers surround the lounge; four of them have shelves. So far, storage capacity in the 470 has to be rated as enormous. And there’s more. The dresser is 94cm wide. It contains two cupboards, each with a shelf, and a drawer, plus five separate spaces in its top locker. In many caravans with dressers, you have to rely on the storage space here to augment that in the kitchen but in the 470 that’s not the case, as we detail later under ‘kitchen’.
At mealtimes you have the usual options. Extending the top of the front-central chest of drawers gives you a level table that’s 80cm long and 62cm wide. That’s enough space for most couples to set out plates and goblets or mugs. When you want more space you an extract the large table from its slot within the kitchen cabinet.
Substantial, curved front corner backrests invite feet-up relaxing. Television connections are on the dresser and also in the front offside corner, so you can watch TV with your shoulders nestling into either end of the settees. The 470 has good, deep backrests at the front of its settees, so when the view from the front window is the attraction, you can get comfortable facing the front. Four cushions are part of the kit, two small ones and two much larger.
We referred earlier to subdued fabric hues. For “subdued’, though, don’t read bland. The seat bases are plain fawn; the curtains are a plain ivory shade. The interest is in the backrests and the front edges of the seating, which is upholstered in a vaguely check design using greys and ivory. Two cushions in the check design and two more in black complete the look.
All the kitchen appliances are on the offside, as distinct from some caravans which have the microwave in a dresser opposite. And, as we noted earlier, most buyers of this model will find that there is no need to store kitchen stuff in the dresser because the lower cabinet is adequate in size, at 26cm wide and with two shelf spaces.
Top storage, to the right of the microwave, is hidden behind three doors with frosted white inserts. The larger cabinet contains racks for four mugs and 10 plates (that’s what we call excellent provision for the feed-time necessities). The smaller cabinet is divided into two shelf spaces. Everywhere you look in the 470, storage is well designed and plentiful.
Surface space is fine, with around 37cm of width to the left of the (circular) sink.
The black theme in the décor (cushions) is carried into the kitchen, with a shiny black base for the new-style angular chunky tap. The sink and hob are finished in black enamel and the glass hob cover is also black. Styling, in the 470, is most appealing. Even the wall of the kitchen makes a contribution. It's a shiny cream acrylic.
We had towed the 470 from the Lunar factory south of Preston to Little Orchard Caravan Park in the agricultural region called Fylde, 20 miles north, before we had observed its bantam-weight figure on the plate alongside the door. We were towing with our usual Sorento, of course. But we could have used our much lighter Volvo V40 for this one. Lunar has produced, in the new 470, an amazing caravan with spec extending to Alde heating, and with full oven and grill (all of which add to the weight) that’s light enough to be classed as ultra-lightweight. And AL-KO’s electronic stability system, ATC, is on board to aid safety.
So how did it perform on the M6 and along twisting lanes and around roundabouts? Perfectly is the word that springs to mind. And when we arrived at Little Orchard, the 470 is so light that we could have pushed it onto its pitch, just to prove we could (but we didn’t).