Reviewed: Hymer Nova SL 540
The Hymer Nova SL 540 fixed double is part of a range that has been changed in style and challenges preconceptions that caravan interiors are dull and dated.
Inside, the look is fresh and modern and the pale upholstery is deeply sprung and comfortable.
The front dinette makes into a bed and features an innovative pull out bed arrangement – half a slatted base pulls out from the right sofa, and half from the left, joining in the middle.
It’s a brilliant design and ensures that making it up at night and then putting it away again the following morning is a hassle-free process. The living area’s overhead lockers close with a satisfying clunk, demonstrating good build quality.
The caravan’s windows get fly screens and soft blue concertina blinds. There are halogen lamps over each corner and LED strip lights under the lockers.
The kitchen is stylish with dark gloss granite-effect work tops and a new, black, metallic-fronted Dometic fridge, which is fitted with sturdy wire racking.
It gets a large round sink with an extra plug, a three-burner hob with electric hot plate and a domestic-style extractor. Opposite the kitchen is a curved table work area next to the window and over a Trumatic heater.
Although a four-berth, it’s likely this caravan will mainly be used as a two. It gets a separate and cosy double bedroom with sliding door.
Perspex fronted cupboards include a swivel TV cabinet with a digital TV, tuner and DVD. Although the concept of having a TV that swivels so can be watched in the bedroom or the dinette is not unusual, this one differs in that it’s built as a cabinet that encloses all the wiring, adding to its neat appearance.
The downside to its good looks is the fact it’s not easy to remove for safe winter storage.
The fixed double corner bed lifts on gas struts revealing a cavernous under-bed storage area. It sits along the side of the caravan and has a sprung mattress.
The downside to this caravan is its tiny washroom that is squeezed into the left hand corner next to the bedroom.
Although the shower and toilet can be used it’s best to take this caravan to sites that offer decent shower facilities.
It does get a large mirror though and a row of shelves for toiletries. The shower area is to the front with a partition that protects the toilet area from getting a soaking. Shoulder room with the partition closed is compromised.
You pay a price premium for the Nova’s extra space and some of its competitors are lighter to tow.
But the SL 540 is a spectacular take on a popular layout and its flatscreen TV arrangement is elegant and the dark wood balanced with pale upholstery looks great.
And if you’re not too bothered about having a large washroom, this layout could be for you.