This month we take a look at two of the top-end Conway folding camper models on the market.
Conway Crusader Deluxe – Price: £10,995
Conway now calls its upmarket folding campers ‘convertible caravans’. It’s an interesting way of describing these vehicles, suggesting parallels with the wind-in-the-hair appeal of an open-top sports car.
The lower profile of a folding camper on the road is certainly a little more racy than the typical touring caravan and they will also slot under even the lowest garage door, but need at least a double garage if the family car is going to remain under cover as well.
Fully laden, the Crusader Deluxe tips the scales at 1000kg, meaning it can comfortably be towed by all but the smallest towcars, yet it takes just 15 minutes and only a modicum of muscle to get it set up on site.
With the acrylic roof in place, the Crusader Deluxe offers beds for six, a kitchen that rivals that of a touring caravan, a washroom and toilet, electrics, lighting and a heater. The living space on offer rivals that of a large twin-axle tourer, but with the optional awning attached, this virtually doubles, although the set-up time also increases to around 45 minutes.
Conway Crusader – Price: £10,995
Luxury folding campers like this are about as close as you can get to a caravan and for summer use alone, offer some distinct practical advantages when it comes to towability and storage.
Identical to the Conway Crusader Deluxe model except for the lounge layout, the standard Crusader represents an interesting alternative to a full-blown tourer. In price terms, it’s more expensive than many basic lightweight tourers and you probably wouldn’t want to use it outside the spring and summer months. But it will sleep six, can be comfortably towed by a Ford Focus and can be stored in a standard garage over the winter months.
The longitudinal layout sees the main double beds located in distinct compartments at either end of the lounge, offering maximum separation and a degree of privacy to those on board.
The standard Crusader’s lounge set-up, isn’t quite as comfortable as the U-shaped seating layout in the Deluxe, but it’s probably more practical for dining around the free-standing table when the awning isn’t in place.
Our Choice… The Conway Crusader Deluxe
These are both top-end folding campers with a fair amount of luxury, but we think the Crusader Deluxe’s wrap-around U-shaped seating arrangement – rather than the standard Crusader’s opposing settees – offers a comfier seating solution for four people or more.
Insurance premiums for both models start from around £173*
* Folding camper insurance premiums based on 2010 Conway Crusader and Conway Crusader Deluxe both valued at £10,995. Fitted with a hitchlock and wheel clamp and kept in a locked garage at HX4 0BE. Trailer tent owners over 30 years old, camping for over 3 years claim free and members of a camping club. Premium includes 10% online discount where applicable and Insurance Premium Tax at 5%. Correct as of 18.08.10.
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Note: All details correct at time of publication but may be subject to change.