2019 New tourers preview: part two
Thinking of splashing out on a new van in the coming season? Peter Baber continues his look at the class of 2019
This month it’s the turn of Alaria, Lunar and Venus, plus Caravelair and Knaus
A substantially upgraded spec on the entry-level Venus range is the big news from Lunar for the 2019 season, while the Quasar line-up is due to get its first 8ft-wide model and 2019 Alarias come with a different self-levelling system. The Preston firm says that with the market not as buoyant as a year ago, 2019 is set to be a year of consolidation. But the Venus range has still been given a considerable boost in spec, with a new radio/mp3 player, dual-fuel hob, Thetford K series oven and grill, and Sharp microwave all being included as standard on the inside, while an AKS stabiliser, alloy wheels, a spare wheel and carrier and an external locker door are standard outside. The new Venus also features a graphite gas bottle locker at the front, along with new skirts, wheel arches, a full A-frame, and a skyview rooflight down the central aisle. All this has not come cheap, however. Single-axle Venus models have all gone up in price by over 8%, and now start at £17,699, while the twin-axle 620/6 is up 7.2% to £19,299 – still keeping the whole range south of £20,000.
In contrast, all other Lunar models have gone up by no more than £700, with most rising by £500. That has kept the whole Lunar range within the sub-£30,000 market, with Deltas costing £29,399. The Ariva/quasar line-up gets a new 8ft-wide model, the 686. This replaces the 586 and will include a side dinette with a rear fixed corner bed next to a corner washroom. The model was still being worked on at launch, with fresh changes likely in the type of shelving between the fixed bed and the washroom, and the type of table used in the side dinette. The completed model should make its debut at the Lawns show in September. The range as a whole gets redesigned locker doors, and
the same new Thetford oven and Sharp microwave as the Venus models. Soft furnishings, however, have moved slightly away from last season’s Joules-inspired floral patterns and now come in ‘Vienna’, while corner lockers are in ‘Montana Oak’ and locker doors in ‘Matt Magnolia’. The control panel is now flush with the caravan wall, while the satellite TV finder has been moved to a more easily accessible location. The Stellar/lexon range has had the same internal improvements as the Quasar, with soft furnishings in ‘Verezzi’. Clubmans and Deltas, meanwhile, come with new graphics and new white gas bottle locker doors, while their front lounges, with ‘Loano’ soft furnishings and locker doors in ‘Ivory’, have been enhanced with DAB radio and new spotlights with USB sockets. Kitchens in this range have been improved with the same new oven and microwave, but also with posi-locks on the overhead locker doors and a better securing mechanism for the sliding baskets. The Alde heating system in these models is now controlled by a ‘Lunar Assist’ touchscreen control panel. One layout, the Delta RI, has been dropped for this season only, while Lunar looks at ways of improving the arrangement of its transverse island bed. The big change in the firm’s upmarket Alaria brand, meanwhile, has been the choice of levelling system. Alarias were the first Lunarmanufactured caravans to be eight feet wide, and last year they were produced with an E&P levelling system.
This year, however, they come out on a system that Lippert Components has been working on with Lunar for over a year. This attaches directly to the undercarriage – thus requiring the installation of a superstrength floor – and is said to drain less power from the battery and require less calibration than the old system. There could be a difference in price, too, because although 2019 Alarias now also come with the same new USB reading lights and DAB radio as the Lexon, the same new oven and microwave and the same new ‘Lunar Assist’ control panel, prices for all three of these models have only gone up by £200 to £33,799. As with the Delta range, the Alaria RI has been deleted this year for the same reasons. Overall, Lunar has also spent the past year taking a wider look at its construction processes. For all of their ranges, this has involved a decrease in the number of visible screw-cap fittings and a reduction in knock-in edging.
There’s a departure for Hobby in 2019, as the Landhaus, the firm’s instantly recognisable largest model, is discontinued. The six other ranges are all continuing, however, and three are getting new layouts. The 13-strong Deluxe now includes the 515 UHL, a six-berth with two double bunks at the back and fixed singles in front.
The slightly more upmarket Excellent range has lost one layout, the 540UFE, but gained another in the 540FU, which is a 7.27m-long caravan with a U-shaped lounge at the front, a rear corner fixed double bed, and a rear corner washroom. That same deletion and new layout are included in the even more exclusive Prestige range, and in addition, this gets a second layout, in the shape of the 9.03m-long 720WLC. The latter includes a C-shaped lounge in the front, a spacious central kitchen, fixed single beds and a washroom spread across the rear of the van. The whole range also benefits from a new rear panel this season. In terms of spec, Hobby vans sold in the UK often differ from what you see on the Continent. All ranges, except the budget On Tour, include ovens and carpets as standard. But you have to get up to the Excellent before you get USB sockets as standard. And for the first time, Alde heating is included at the very top of the products range, as an option in the Prestige and standard in the Premiums. These two also have a larger oven, a microwave and Hobby Connect, to control on-board services remotely via an app. All officially imported Hobby vans now come with a special window sticker with a QR code that lets you know where your nearest Hobby dealer is, if you have a problem on the move.
The SI, with an end washroom and a rear transverse island bed, was the best selling Lunar Clubman model last season Clubmans now come with new graphics and new white gas bottle locker doors. Inside there’s DAB radio and USB sockets The Alaria comes with a new levelling system which Lunar and Lippert Components have jointly developed
Deltas now have ‘Ivory’ locker doors Delta TI A sunroof helps to brighten up the Alaria’s L-shaped lounge The footstool can be tucked away under the front settee when you are on the move or to make more space Alaria TI Alarias come with Lunar’s large kitchen cupboards
Spec for the whole Venus range, including the 550/4, has been given a boost Upgrades in the Lunar Quasar 462 include redesigned locker doors
Simple lines and light fabrics enhance seating Hobby Deluxe 515 UHL The drop-down double creates four beds in the lounge
Hobby Prestige 495