HITTING THE SPOT
Downlighters offer more concentrated light in the kitchen than the Corona’s striplight, and it has an Omnivent
and the VIP’S awning warmer and exterior mains socket put it a few points ahead. The awning light can also be activated by the VIP’S key fob. Heavy-duty corner steadies are fitted to the VIP, while both have a hitch stabiliser; both models should tow well. Exteriors are in good order in both, with no real damage. The Corona is fitted with an extra security lock on the door, which is a good plus point. However, overall, both equalled up and scored the same points.
The pair have very comfortable lounges, but the VIP’S more sumptuous upholstery puts it in the lead here. Both also have mains lighting in the front lounge area, as well as 12V spots and ceiling lights. In each, the radio/cd player is fitted in one of the overhead lockers – the VIP’S benefits from a multi-changing unit. Underseat storage is easily reached via the handy access flaps. There are mains sockets in both lounges, and each has two outlets for the blown-air heating system. The central chest of drawers provides a slide-out worktop extension, and both have a Heki roof vent above the lounge. When it comes to storage, the VIP’S front overhead locker beats the Corona’s shelf. As well as being a bit less supportive, the Corona’s seating is a bit faded. So the VIP wins in this department.
Although most folk who go for this type of layout will be catering only for themselves, there are times when they’ll want to use the lounge seating to make up a second double bed – so which of these two is the best? Both are made up using slats that slide out from the base of the central chest of drawers, with the cushions forming the sleeping surface. We reckoned both would prove equally comfortable, so they were neck and neck at this stage. But how about the fixed beds? Both are virtually the same size, with supportive mattresses that still have years left in them. The VIP’S mattress was in slightly better condition, just nudging it past the Corona.
Neither of these tourers could be called a spring chicken, but the condition in both has so far proved to be very good. The kitchen in the Corona is larger than the VIP’S, if you take into consideration the massive side dresser, which offers stacks of useful worktop. Neither kitchen has a microwave, and although the Corona has an oven, its hob is only a three burner. The VIP has a full oven, a hob with four burners, and an extractor fan, too. The fridges are the same size in both models. Both kitchens are in superb condition; the VIP’S cream ceramic sink looked like new. We thought that night-time illumination would be better in the VIP, which is fitted with dedicated downlighters, as opposed to the striplight provided in the Corona. Overall, the VIP’S overhead locker storage capacity is better, although the Corona’s side dresser does provide great storage and that extra work surface. But we’re awarding a few more points to the VIP in this section, making it the winner here.
Corner washrooms do mean you have less floor area, and both of these caravans suffer a bit from that. In each, the handbasin is located in the bedroom area. However, both are fitted with a shower, and both have a side window for light and ventilation. There is also some storage space, although it’s not very generous. The Corona has a manual-flush toilet, while the VIP’S is electric. Space-wise, both are in the same league. So they come in level-pegging here.
This section gave us a bit of a dilemma, because overall both have great storage. The Corona has that massive side dresser, but the VIP has more storage in the front lounge, and its wardrobe is larger than the one you’ll find in the Corona. The overhead lockers in the Corona are also a bit smaller, and the VIP has more storage capacity over the fixed bed. The VIP’S big double wardrobe should provide enough space for most users, but that sizeable side dresser is also a great plus in the Corona. So we decided that it’s a draw on the scoreboard in this section.
This was a close-run thing. Here we have two tourers that are in almost equally good condition – although the VIP is two years older, it doesn’t look it. Both exteriors have a few marks, but no dents or damaged trim. The Corona is the newer and dearer of the two, by a relatively narrow margin. But the VIP is a little more upmarket, with smarter looks, aircraft-style overhead lockers and generally, a better spec. The overhead lockers in the Corona are smaller, look rather dated and don’t have quite the same quality as the VIP’S. So although both of these tourers have their attractions, we’d rate the VIP as a good solid model, in really excellent condition for the cash. If we were buying our first tourer as a try-out, the VIP would be our choice, making it our winner.