A large number of Australian caravan manufacturers fit slide-outs to at least some of their vans these days. But slide-outs have not been available in any of the caravans that are imported from Britain or mainland Europe – until now.
Slovenian-built Adria caravans have been available in Australia for several years but, in something of a first, Adria importer Apollo Motorhome Holidays introduced the 612PT van complete with offside slide-out at this year’s Queensland caravan show. This particular model is currently only available in Australia but, having looked over the caravan, I suspect that situation may well change in the future.
I haven’t really seen a slide-out design from Europe before, at least not close up, so it was interesting to note how unobtrusive it was from the outside. Sure, there’s a definite outline but it is almost totally flush with the body work and is very neatly finished. Apart from looking good, it probably also reduces the risk of water and dust getting in. The slide-out matches very well with the composite structure of the entire body, which is made up of ply timber on both sides of an insulation layer and an outer coating of polyester. Because of their shape, moulded fibreglass is used for the front and back walls. Like the rest of the Adria range, the body structure is designed to make a contribution to the overall strength.
LAYOUT & DESIGN
Many European-sourced caravans have a fairly distinctive layout, often with sideways-facing lounges at the front of the van. However, this particular arrangement has a front island bed, full-width rear bathroom and both the dinette and kitchen in the middle. What defines this 612PT design, though, is the offside slide-out encompassing the L-shaped lounge.
Looking at the general decor, you can tell this is a caravan that originates in Europe, with everything fitting together in a very stylish way. All the windows have integrated blind and insect screens, as well as net curtains (except for the kitchen and bathroom). In the love ‘em or hate ‘em category are the ‘pseudo’ curtains, which are for decorative purposes only. LED lighting is, of course, used throughout, with some of it quite subtle and semi-concealed. Most of the main and subsidiary light switches are fitted to a panel adjoining the entry door.
BEDROOM & STORAGE
The island bed measures 1.9x1.45m (6ft 3in x 4ft 8in) and has large windows on either side, as well as a large roof hatch above. The mattress corners are rounded, to give more walk-around space. The mattress has posture slatted bed bases – that being plural because there is one on either side – and being separate, they have to be lifted from the side to gain access to the storage area underneath. Much of the nearside storage space is taken up by the Truma Saphir air-conditioner unit.
The bedhead looks rather stylish and has the usual array of side wardrobes, bedside cabinets and overhead lockers. In addition, there are not one but two shelves behind the bed. In the nearside corner at the foot of the bed is a neat little cabinet with three good-sized drawers, a mounting for a flatscreen TV and an overhead locker. The TV is well-positioned so that it can be seen from either the bed or dinette.
The kitchen is not particularly large but does come with a few good features – one being the storage, with two large drawers and a wire basket slide-out pantry, and the other being the stainless steel combo cooktop and sink. This combo has been designed for Adria in an L-shape, so the burners are set along the back of the benchtop, leaving bench space to the side and across the front, which is also where the detachable drainer fits. Between the end of the kitchen bench and the bedroom is the two-door 189L fridge with a microwave above.
The L-shaped dinette oozes comfort for two. It comes with a single pole-mounted table and a little surprise – a small ottoman which is good for an extra seat or for putting the feet up. Behind the dinette, a large window gives a good view outside. The dinette folds down into a small double bed, which is quite common in Euro vans. Between the dinette and the bathroom sits a good-sized wardrobe, with hanging space up top and a Truma Combi water and space heater in the lower compartment.
Except for the decor, the rear bathroom looks like many others I have seen, with a nearside shower cubicle, offside cassette toilet, and a vanity cabinet with a clear wash basin in the middle. The decor is quite swish and the noticeable feature is the shower cubicle, which is finished off in the same way as the rest of the bathroom. A fan hatch above the shower and a large-ish window behind the toilet supply the necessary ventilation.
THE BOTTOM LINE
All of the above results in a van with a Tare weight of just 1650kg and an ATM of 2000kg. That results in a comfortable van to tow and a comfortable van to live in, especially with the additional living space provided by the slide-out.
That, along with the fact that the Adria 612PT is designed with the current layout of choice – a front bedroom and full-width rear bathroom – makes this van a very attractive proposition, and one that does not require an overly large tow vehicle.
- Well-fitted slide-out
- Relatively lightweight caravan
- Easy towing propsect
- In heavy rain, the slide-out remained watertight
- Spacious bedroom and bathroom
- Comfortable dinette
I would have liked…
- Smallish kitchen
- Slide-out operation slow
- ‘Pseudo’ curtains
- No radio/CD player
- A very rainy day for photos!
The full test appears in Caravan World #541 September 2015.