What a change. For the better, it should be added – mainly. The name might remain the same, but it’s pretty much all-new everywhere else for this six-berth touring caravan in 2015 guise.
Adria celebrates its 50th anniversary as a caravan manufacturer next year (it’s also 40 years since the first Adria was sold in the UK). So, all models will be designated Golden Edition, with each of its Altea base range getting AKS stabiliser, Truma Ultraheat (main electric operation as well as gas for the heating system), and a kitchen sink drainer/cover as part of the package.
Part of a four-model Altea caravan range line-up going into next year, Tamar sleeps six as standard, but there’s now an option to add a seventh berth via an extra bunk bed. As ever, Adria builds specifically for the UK, with entrance door on the right side for us, and with NCC (National Caravan Council, the UK trade body) approval.
The exterior has been smartened up, for sure. There’s still just a single front window (looking a bit smaller than before, if anything), and a sunroof over the lounge is yet to figure, even among the options.
Inside, however, it’s as if a slightly peculiar game of musical chairs has been interrupted. Compared to the outgoing model, New Tamar sees the centre dinette and kitchen switching sides and the washroom moving around to the nearside rear corner (even the main entrance door has moved, it’s now forward of the axle). Fixed bunk beds continue to occupy the rear offside corner while the lounge remains as a U-shaped seating area, ready to convert into a double bed at night.
Any “wood look” is minimal. Furniture is flat-fronted, but that complements the family appeal and keeps a certain sense of individual style. It’s a rather crisp, modern look, which probably won’t appeal to traditionalists – but arguably that’s not the Altea aim. It certainly continues to feel spacious.
Weight is up, though. Officially, that’s to give more payload but, as you’ll see from the data panel below, there’s still only 125kg to play with – not a lot for a full family, especially once you have, say, a suitable awning and a few more items on board.
The kitchen certainly makes the most of its new location. Its two full-size drawers and floor locker, plus single large overhead locker, offer great storage, while cooking and washing facilities start with a Dometic combined three-ring hob and rectangular sink in an L-shaped arrangement that also puts some worktop directly in front of the hob.
To the left of this kitchen unit there’s a Thetford 105-litre fridge with freezer compartment, over which is the Thetford Duplex oven/grill – at a very convenient height. There’s also additional storage here thanks to two lockers (top and bottom), both with curved front doors in back to match the appliances.
If the kitchen marks a step up, the washroom gets a rather more mixed reception. It now provides a separate shower cubicle as well as a Thetford bench toilet (so much easier to clean around than a swivel-bowl). And what looks like just a wall of mirrors behind the toilet is actually home to a clever flip-down sink (but is it deep enough?) as well as a more than generous shelved cupboard. This washroom also has a window as well as a permanent vent in the ceiling.
As for sleeping, the permanent bunks at the back are likely to be first choice for the kids – only the lower one here has a slatted base. The mid-‘van dinette converts to another two bunks, the traditional way. Mum and Dad are likely to end up in the front double – where bare ply bases and plastic hinges rather let things down.
The wardrobe on the back wall is deep, but might have its work cut out catering for a family of six.
Features like roller blinds/flyscreens, and the stable door with no window, also give the game away regarding pricing.
All change, then. And it has to be said, mostly for the better. Here’s a well-built yet highly competitively priced six-berth that may have gained a bit of weight but still offers a lot.
Verdict: Only the name’s the same
Plus: Individual styling, GRP-clad bodywork with ten-year water ingress warranty, full six-berth capabilities
Minus: Higher weight/ restrictive payload, crowded washroom
Cost to insure: £229*
- Adria Altea 552DT Tamar
- Dimensions 7.59m L, 2.30m W, 2.58m H
- Internal length 5.36m
- Berths 6
- MTPLM 1,400kg
- MIRO 1,275kg
- Payload 125kg
- Key options: Extra bunk (£295)
Recommended retail price from £14,935**
There’s more information on the Adora range on the Adria website and to find out more about our low-cost premiums visit the caravan insurance discounts page.
Alternatives: Bailey Pursuit 560-5, Sprite Major 6 TD
*Caravan insurance cost based on Adria Altea 552DT Tamar retailing at £14,935 fitted with hitchlock. Kept on drive at HX4 0BE. Caravanners over 30 years old, claim free for 3 years and a member of a caravanning club. £100 excess. 180 days European cover and up to £75 per day for up to 15 days emergency accommodation cover included. Legal expenses cover, extended European cover and other emergency accommodation expenses cover options are available at extra cost. Quote includes 10% online discount and 6% Insurance Premium Tax and is correct as of 13/08/2014 .
**On-the-road, including VAT at 20%