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We are considering getting our first caravan.  We are a family of four - two kids aged 5 and 2.  We need a layout that provides us with a good sleeping arrangement so the kids can go to sleep while we relax!  We also want a shower room that functions well (we don't want to rely on site facilities).  Wardrobe storage is also important and a kitchen which is practical.

 

We love the interior feel of the Adria and it is the Altea 552 DT Tamar that we are considering.  We haven't seen one yet as the dealer is quite a distance away.  If anyone has this van could you comment on the functionality of the bathroom - is the shower useable and how well does the drop down sink work?  Is there sufficient wardrobe space? I like the high level oven but the fridge is smaller than the others we are looking at (only 90l) . 

 

The other options are the Sprite Major 6 and the Bailey Phoenix 650.  We have seen both of these and the layouts work well but the contemporary feel of the Adria is much more suited to our taste.  But do the Sprite or Bailey provide a more useable family caravan than the Adria?

 

Any advice would be appreciated.  

 

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We had a very similar Adria Altea 552DK, but our bathroom was much smaller so cant really advise on that part for you. It was a 2009 van and the build and robust nature appealed to us.  We did get a look inside the DT that friends had (they had a family of four like you and choose it due to the larger bathroom as they had a teenage daughter (allowed her to dress etc in privacy)

We bought another Adria but this time with a fixed bed.(Adora 612DT 2012 I have a video on this if you can find it on uTube.)  

 

 

Have you had a look at uTube videos on both?

 

Most owners like their vans so may give you a slightly biased view. I love Adria!!

Edited by baddon
fix a spelling mistake
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We've got similar age kids to you and have a Sprite Major 6td. We like the separation of kids from adults and find we still eat at the second dinette so never have to put the main table up. It's got a proper shower too.

 

It sounds like you've got your priorities sorted so I'm sure you'll choose the right van.

 

Owners nearly always seem very happy with Adrias and the feel of them is very modern. We were only put off as the bunks were not so well separated from the lounge as in our layout and the size of the second dinette (a 2 seater). A flip up sink was also not liked. The bunks are nice and wide in the Adria so that might future proof your purchase. 

 

Good luck!

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Adria fixed bunks are more a standard bed size rather than most UK brands reduced size bunks. I used to catch a snooze the odd time in our bunks at the back of the 552DK. 

 

Please bear in mind I am talking about an older van if your looking new the differences may no longer be the same.

 

OH two negatives on the Adria

1 - the steadies leg winders are a pain to get at as they are quite a way under the van. If its wet it can mean a delicate balancing act OR a wet knee to locate the drill end to the bolt.

2- the waste pipes are a pair instead of a single outlet!! I have added a made up piece that brings them into a single outlet so its easier to feed a waste master OR soil pipe.

I understand these are still the case 10 years later as well.

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With respect to the OP, if you have two children of that age it suggests that you probably passed your driving test after 1/1/97. If so you are limited to towing a gross train weight (i.e. sum of gross weight of towing vehicle plus MTPLM of the caravan) of 3500Kg unless you take or have passed the necessary additional driving test to upgrade your licence from group B to group B+E.  Look here DVLA to check what your licence permits.

The MTPLM of the caravan (if it is new) will be found on a plate/label inside the gas locker*: the gross weight of the towing vehicle will be on a label often near the bottom of the front of the nearside B pillar (between front and back doors) or in some cases on the wide edge of a side door below the lock.  The gross weight of the towing vehicle is the upper (larger) weight of the top two, the maximum weight of the vehicle is the lower (smaller weight); subtract the smaller from the larger and you have the maximum weight the vehicle can tow. (The weights marked 1 and 2 are the maximum axle load for front and rear respectively.)

*Before anyone jumps in, the MTPLM shown on the label near the caravan door may be lower than that shown on the label in the gas locker. This is to entice buyers with lighter tow vehicles to consider the van. However from a legal standpoint it is the one in the gas locker that matters. If there is a reasonable difference between the two - say 50Kg or more - it may be worth considering having the MTPLM upgraded as such a mass increase can be very useful, assuming of course the towing vehicle can manage it. Some  manufacturers such as Bailey will charge you about £66 for the honour of supplying a new door label and updating their and the (CRiS) registration records even if the upgrade is ordered at the same time as the caravan. Other manufacturers (Swift?) will supply it f.o.c if it is contained in the order.

MTPLM = Maximum Technically Permissible Load Mass, also known as MAM - Maximum Allowed Mass or GVW - Gross Vehicle Weight.

MRO which you might find is Mass (in) Running Order - effectively the weight of the caravan with supplied fittings ex factory. This is supposed to include such as an EHU cable, jack and handle if supplied, spare wheel and carrier if supplied, gas bottle,  water in the tank/heating system and some water in the toilet cistern. It  does NOT include the battery (dealer fitted), motor movers, and solar panel even if the latter is factory fitted and is part of the design. Some manufacturers exclude all liquids (other than that contained in a wet heating system) from the MRO. If in doubt ask the dealer to put it in writing.

Good luck.

 

 

2018 Passat B8 Estate 150GT TDi150 towing a 2018 Bailey Unicorn S4 Seville

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Another Adria DK owner here, we sacrificed the large bathroom for a kid's room at the back. I can fit easily on the lower bunk F5'10 ours is a 2014, they changed the shape by the 2016 MY of the DT so the bathroom was down the side and not across the back so would have probably gone for that as ours is too small to shower, saying that we brought it knowing that and we only go to sites with facilities. 

Had a few niggles but it has stood up well to the abuse the kids give it. It is a good family layout. 

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I haven’t got any direct experience of any of the vans.  Though I do like the looks of Adria’s I have seen.  But my advice is go took look at one.  The old saying is time spent in  reconnaissance is seldom wasted. 

 

Look at the liveability of any caravan imagine a wet week at Easter rather than a gloriously sunny fortnight in the summer.  Something as simple as a hanging rail in shower, somewhere to hang wet coats,  can make a lot of difference.  How easy are the beds to make up and how comfor table do the have fill in pieces that take up half the wardrobe.  Look in the dark corners it will give you an idea how carefully it has been screwed together.    This has been  endlessly argued about  but the official payloads are a joke.  If your licence(s) and your car are upto it get it upgraded to the maximum.  Consider taking a towing course I wish I had!  Will it fit in your storage space.  Finally and most controversially do you really want a caravan?   It’s an awful lot of money tied up to spend 10 nights a year in it. 

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I've never had a flip up sink, are they stable or can the kiddies tip them up, just a thought . 

To start at the beginning , check licence, weight of tow car, budget. Layout, brand, gadgets......

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Had one in old van which kids could tip up but then it just goes to waste. A few people have had issues with water running down behind the sink in the first Adria's with this but some had poorly fitted waste. I would check this when looking as it could be tipping away too fast sloshes water over the back of the unit. 

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  • 2 months later...

We have just bought a new 552DT TAMAR. 

We spent several weekends looking at the two layouts ( SEVERN and TAMAR) it was already decided we were getting an ADRIA. 

The shower is perfect both myself and wife use it with no issues.  

The drop down sink is absolutely fine, easy to use and no issues. 

We have 7 children and they don’t always go away with us all together but generally a minimum of 5 of us in the van and it has never felt cramped ( that was also part of the decision on the TAMAR). 

We find the fridge plenty big enough. 

Wardrobe is ok, fairly standard in size but if you include storage under the bottom bunk kids clothes in baskets there is plenty of storage! 

We absolutely love the van and as far as we are concerned there is nothing else currently that would suit us any better in style and functionality. 

Mark. 

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I've been to a show most years since we have owned ours and still can't find anything that tops ours for layout whilst the kids are coming with us, it would be another story if the kids were older but we can't have a fixed double just yet!!

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9 hours ago, MarkWard10 said:

We have just bought a new 552DT TAMAR

 

I'd "like" your post but can't for some reason!

 

Glad you are settled. It sounds like you're a good test of the van as you're using all the facilities. If we ever swap Adria will be high up the list for sure.

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One other thought to the OPs: if you are tall do check the sizes of the beds. There are few caravans that can accommodate anyone 6ft tall, and even fewer anyone over about 6ft 2in. Equally even transverse beds that will provide the leg length do generally seem to be rather narrow - 4ft 2in width is not uncommon (where a domestic 'normal' double (sometimes called a Queen size) is 4ft 6in.)

2018 Passat B8 Estate 150GT TDi150 towing a 2018 Bailey Unicorn S4 Seville

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I would be interested to hear from anyone who has swapped an older Adria for a newer one - post 2014/15 redesign (ours is 2012 Rhine) in 2014 they updated it and changed the fixed sink to the flip up. As a family this would not suit us due to currently being able to get kids doing toilet and teeth brush in turn BUT in newer version this would not be the case.

 

Newer version - bigger fridge more room in bedroom, looks miles more modern with more light (but less storage)

Older version (ours) - separate sink outside bathroom, fixed sliding door to bedroom (little more privacy for mum and dad and a few seconds more warning of interruption... Larger larder at outer door.

Then as i assume it was not a big seller.....2018 stopped making it. DAMN

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