Stunning in silver? It’s a £1,770 optional extra – the GT bit of the name, in fact, that doesn’t just give you the silver exterior finish, but also alloy wheels, exterior-access locker and more – but few would dispute it really does this tiny tourer full justice. Indeed, somewhat ironically, it might look up-to-the-minute but the design goes back some 70 or so years.
If the outside look has merely needed the occasional tweak over that time, the method of construction has barely changed. Uniquely, Eriba’s Touring portfolio still uses a metal framework for the bodywork, which is attached to a chassis that is also largely Eriba’s own, although some of the additions here aren’t – the slide-out step at the door, Al-Ko hitch stabiliser, BPW corner steadies, shock absorbers etc.
It tops it all off with a rising roof with canvas sides that include ventilation panels. One thing’s for sure, it tows like a little angel. The lower height for travel and narrower width certainly help, as does the V-shaped front. Plus, when you get it on site, you’ll find it’s so well-balanced it’s easy enough to manhandle, although the super-strong, solid metal grab handles help here, too, of course.
There’s certainly plenty of quality on the inside, too, in a floorplan that puts two long settees-cum-single beds at the back and a dinette at the very front that can convert to a third sleeping berth if required.
There’s actually a choice of main sleeping arrangement – rather than two singles, it doesn’t take a lot of extra effort to make up a transverse double bed some 1.97m x 1.60m (6ft 5in x 5ft 3in), a generous enough size by any caravan standards.
Washroom and kitchen take up the centre of the vehicle, the latter on the UK offside. Here, it’s a two-ring hob (with spark ignition). There’s no grill, but arguably bringing along a microwave oven is feasible. There’s a circular sink next to the hob, and the fridge is a 70-litre Dometic RM5330.
Across from the kitchen, the washroom is next to a wardrobe that sites over a Truma space heater. The “wee room” facilities extend to a bench toilet and a fixed basin. There’s also a shower but space is getting a bit tight, so it’s probably best for emergency use only, although there’s no denying the superior quality of the shower tray moulding.
If you want a single example of how well this little Eriba works, have a closer look at its free-standing table. Light yet strong and steady, there’s also an exterior rail for using it outside when the weather allows.
You’ll want to check out the storage provisions for yourselves, too, but it’s fair to say every possible inch has been considered here and there’s a huge array of lockers, pockets, shelves, coat hooks and more.
Nobody’s ever going to claim these Eribas come cheap, but they’re practically modern-day classics, almost cast-iron guaranteed to hold their value better than almost any others. Which is not bad for a sturdy little unit that seems to be getting ever stronger – and better looking – at a time when most of us would be happily accepting retirement!
Verdict: Quality, in a small package
Plus: Superior build, excellent towing credentials, strong residual values
Minus: Options rack up the price
In-a-nutshell: Perky pop-top at a premium. Also available in white!
Cost to insure: £376*
- Eriba Touring 540 GT
- Dimensions 5.76m L, 2.10m W, m H
- Internal length 4.66m
- Berths 3
- MTPLM 1300kg
- MIRO 980kg
- Payload 320kg
- Key options: GT pack (£1,770), 12V charger/leisure battery (£450), Stanley upholstery (£205)
Recommended retail price (model shown): £21,665**
There’s more information on the Eriba range on the Hymer website and to find out more about our low-cost premiums visit the caravan insurance discounts page.
Would you consider switching to the Eriba pop up – it’s compact and lightweight but is its price too hefty?
Alternatives: Adria Adora Loire, Freedom Sunseeker, Sterckeman Starlett
*Caravan insurance is based on 2014 Eriba Touring 540 GT caravan retailing at £21,665. Fitted with hitchlock and alarm. 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 07/02/2014
**On-the-road, including VAT at 20%