Liz and Dave King report on The Caravan Industry Awards which were presented in October, during the International Caravan & Motorhome show 2009.
One of the categories judged is the Thetford Washroom of the Year Award, sponsored by Thetford, and is for the washrooms in touring caravans considered by the judges to have the best and most practical design and fittings. Exhibitors may only nominate one entry each and there is a winner and a runner-up.
There were seven entries in this class, all from UK manufacturers, and from two berths to six berth models. The winner was the Pastiche 520/4 by Coachman with the Lunar Clubman ES as runner up. Both are end washroom designs and we checked them out to see if we agreed with the judges’ findings.
Winner – Coachman Pastiche 520/4
The washroom in the Pastiche has been redesigned for 2010 season and is big enough to use as a dressing room too, so we liked that and the domestic style door. The round shower has an acrylic wrap-around door and there are four shelves for toiletries. The new model Thetford C250 cassette toilet has been fitted and has a cupboard above it. The blown air heating vent is right under the toilet roll holder, so gained nil points for that from us as we’d have preferred to see it nearer the towel ring.
The oval basin has a large mirror over it, with shelves to the left and a cupboard under the basin. Overall we thought the storage was good, although the shelves in the wardrobe may not be easily accessible if you hang up a lot of clothes.
Runner-up – Lunar Clubman ES
Brand new for 2010, the Lunar Clubman ES has a spacious washroom-cum-dressing room; we defy anybody to bang their elbows when towelling down! It has a luxurious feel to it with a sliding door, Alde heating, a large walk-in shower cubicle with plenty of space for toiletries, and it’s not short of shelves and storage either.
So what did the judges think? One judge said the winner was undoubtedly the best washroom he had ever seen in a touring caravan and he was mightily impressed. There were comments on how good the washrooms were overall particularly in light of the fact that a number of the supply companies had gone out of business during the year and manufacturers had to locate other suppliers at short notice. A number were recorded as “well” or “very well” thought out.
Some, though, lost marks for basics like lack of a towel rail and lack of shelving (particularly noted in more expensive models). “Solid doors” however, were praised.
Fact File: Coachman Pastiche 520/4
Insurance cost: £295*
*Caravan insurance cost based on 2010 Coachman Pastiche 520/4 valued at £17,365, fitted with hitchlock, wheelclamp, optional AL-KO axle wheel lock, and an alarm which is standard on this model. Kept on drive behind locked gates at HX2 7RZ. Caravanners over 30 years old, claim free for 3 years and a member of a caravanning club. Premium includes insurance premium tax at 5%, an online discount of 10% and is correct as of 26.01.10.
Fact File: Lunar Clubman ES
Insurance cost: £233*
*Caravan insurance cost based on 2010 Lunar Clubman ES valued at £18,285, fitted with hitchlock, wheelclamp, AL-KO axle wheel lock, ATC trailer control and a Phantom tracking system (standard on this model). Kept on drive behind locked gates at HX2 7RZ. Caravanners over 30 years old, claim free for 3 years and a member of a caravanning club. Premium includes insurance premium tax at 5%, an online discount of 10% and is correct as of 26.01.10.
Note: All details correct at time of publication but may be subject to change.