Scoring an island bed bull’s eye
Looking to build on substantial growth in its own UK caravan sales in 2019 against a backdrop of a declining market overall for new caravans generally. 2020 also sees the Slovenia manufacturer going into its 51st consecutive season here in the UK. A growing presence, then?
Adria might say its Altea (it’s pronounced al-tay-a) caravans represent its “entry-level” line, but there’s not a lot of stinting to be seen on the four-model line-up for 2020 season.
The Slovenian manufacturer has announced what it calls a “completely different” treatment for the latest versions, but rest assured certain qualities remain. Dart is one of two four-berth offerings (the other is Tyne). It features an island bed at the back and a U-shaped lounge at the front.
Adria has long pioneered the use of a more substantial GRP for its main bodywork, for example. Also, it’s the things you don’t see – like the use of dowels where other manufacturers use staples. Whisper it quietly, too, but Adrias don’t seem to suffer from the water ingress that’s the bane of most caravan manufacturers’ products – for what it’s worth, every Adria caravan has a 10-year warranty against such things.
The latest four-berth, island bed Dart caravan sports an all-ABS front panel that’s just a bit more streamlined than before. The windowless stable door and single front window might hint at its budget roots, but other exterior features like the flush-fitting side windows, sturdiest of grab handles, heavy-duty corner steadies and an opening sunroof certainly don’t. And Adria must be doing something right as the Altea Dart was crowned “Best Tourer for Couples” at the recent Practical Caravan Tourer of the Year Awards 2020.
There’s also the promise of better payloads, although that’s yet to be confirmed at the time of writing this caravan review.
Inside the Dart, the theme of modernity continues with particularly sharp lines to the whole of the interior. Flat-fronted upper lockers with concealed catches contribute to a clean-cut look.
Adria says it’s been listening to UK customers, hence items like grills/ovens, microwaves, carpet overlays and TV aerials are now standard across the whole of its caravan portfolio.
Better lighting and storage are also among the improvements on the evidence of this one model. It’s the permanent island bed at the back that will be most folks’ key reason to buy. The bed is set at a lower-than-average level, which should make access all the easier, while the flat floor to either side also helps getting in and out (without disturbing your sleeping partner). Most will find it easy enough to sit fully upright in bed, too.
Comfort is key, of course, and the Dart sports the latest Luxe mattress sections, with zipped cover for easy removal for cleaning, as well as offering natural protection against bacteria, odours and static.
The bedroom is completed by his and hers wardrobes. Those are rather tiny reading lamps, but they seem effective enough. The only possible gripe is the lack of any handy ledges for putting a glass of water, spectacles etc.
Adria also promises a new “modular” kitchen. This translates as a compact unit along the offside, with an unusual, but actually rather practical, hob and sink combination.
It’s L-shaped, with the hob featuring three different sized gas rings in a row, allowing some valuable worktop in front.
Spinflo’s Duplex provides the grill-oven, while the microwave oven is directly over the sink.
Kitchen storage is mainly drawers, with other practical details extending to alloy hooks on a rail, plus a mini shelf. A 142-litre Thetford narrow-bodied fridge is directly opposite, set off floor level for easier access.
There’s a toilet room on the offside, where you’ll find a long thin basin, opaque window, narrowest of vanity units, and also a cupboard under the basin.
Across the corridor, there’s a fully-lined shower room with roof light. The catches for the folding doors are, again, sturdier than most. The shower is only fixed height, however.
There are plenty of other details to set this Altea caravan apart from others – everything from the latest soft furnishings including what, these todays, counts as a rather radical blue, to improved curtains, new main control panel and, just inside the door, a rather nifty hook board with clips and elasticated cords.
In this video, we take a look inside the 2020 two-berth Adria Altea 492 DT Aire caravan, on display at the Motorhome and Caravan Show 2019.
Verdict: Thoroughly refreshed for 2020 makes for a smart Dart
Plus: Modern styling and build quality to match, lots of welcome upgrades
Minus: Kitchen would benefit from a worktop extension, bedroom lacks a bit of detail
In-a-nutshell: Hits the target!
There’s more information on the Altea range on the Adria website. To find out more about insuring this or your current caravan visit our caravan insurance discounts page.
Alternatives: Bailey Phoenix 460, Elddis Avante 550
Adria Altea Dart 62 DP factfile
|Model||Adria Altea Dart 62 DP|
|Dimensions||6.19m L, 2.30m W, 2.58m H|
|RRP||from £20,195 on the road|
|Safety & security||Al-Ko stabiliser, smoke alarm, carbon monoxide detector, CRiS, reinforced corner steadies|