Below is a video review from Practical Motorhome on the Doubleback VW T5 Camper. Now you would be forgiven for not knowing what a ‘Doubleback’ is because to be honest I didn’t know until I found this video. The base vehical is the popular T5 VW camper with the elevating roof, however this vechical has a new trick. When you open the back door you find a lot of storage space, so much you are thinking where is living space of the camper?
When the reviewer opens the sliding door you can see the kitchen units are pushed up right against the driver and passenger seats. However with the touch of a button electric motors push an internal shell out of the back of the camper for 2 meters. This means in total that the T5 camper becomes 7.2 meters long! Once fully extended two support legs then drop down to support the rear pod, and they also self level. The weight of the pod is only 130 kg, so during transit you can still load a lot of weight into the back of the T5 camper. Once fully extended and with the legs down it can support 600 kg. The tailgate can still be opened once extended which is a useful feature, especially when visiting scenic sites like ours you could look at the view while sitting in bed.
You get a typical two burner hob and sink with some storage space in the living space with seating and table. A key benefit of the Doubleback being its the only camper where you can go to bed and not have to rearrange the living space. The only downside (other that the increased price) of the Doubleback is that you can only take one passenger as standard, but they can also fit another passenger seat. However that is still one down on the four passengers the standard VW T5 can take, but there has to be some compromise for the benefits of the Doubleback.
Hopefully you enjoy the video, it was definitely a new idea I’ve not seen before, but it offers an interesting alternative to the standard camper.
There are quite a few videos around the web trying to provide some helpful information for new caravan owners. Below is one of the most watched and liked videos currently online.
It appears to be associated with promotion for the second generation Nissan X-Trail. As owners of the first generation X-Trail we can confirm it is a very good tow car, and the second generation improved on the tow capacity increasing it from 2 tonnes to 2.2 tonnes.
The first topic the video discusses is weight distribution of the caravan. A very important topic and can make a significant difference in terms of how the van feels during towing. The video suggests keeping heavy items like the awning in the middle of the van over the axel which is good advice, otherwise load them in the back of the car instead if possible. Nose weight is another important part of the weight distribution, the X-Trail in the video can take a nose weight of 100kg which is very good for its class. Ideally get a specific tool to check the nose weight or a piece of wood and some bathroom scales can also be used.
I do agree that until you have done the process of hitching and unhitching so many times you can do it in your sleep a check list comes in handy. One common thing to forget is to raise the jockey wheel fully or not to secure it probably in the raised position. If the jockey wheel drops down during transit you should be able to hear it, and hopefully can get to it before it takes any significant damage.
Breaking is another important change you need to make to your driving style when towing a caravan. Avoid late breaking and breaking in corners and generally try to drive as smoothly as possible to keep the van nice and stable.
Reversing the caravan is something that concerns most people, for instance if they were driving down a single track road and needed to reverse. There are quite a few good courses you can go on to improve your skills. In terms of moving the van on site, you can also get the motorised caravan movers. We do have one on our Bailey caravan and I can say that it makes moving the van into tight spaces and into exactly where you want it a much easier task. You do need to remember however it does use quite a bit of battery power so always keep the battery well charged and in good condition.
Hopefully you find the video useful, if you have any tips or hints you would like to share please comment below.
I think one of the most interesting motorhomes to be released recently is the Lunar Landstar RL. Most of you like my self will be familiar with Lunar in terms of a caravan manufacturer but in terms of the motorhome market this is only their second attempt at a van conversion. However I must say in my opinion its a very impressive offering at a very competitive price. Below are some video reviews by Practical Motorhome.
The base vehicle for the Lunar Landstar RL is the Mercedes Sprinter with a long wheel base and rear wheel drive. This already separates Lunar’s product away from the competition, particularly with the rear wheel drive which can have some real benefits for a motorhome, for instance reducing wheel slip. It makes it even more impressive that with a more expensive base vehicle the Lunar Landstar RL is still under £50,000. Now as stated in the review videos that’s still a lot of money to most of us but its more than cost competitive to the relative competition.
The Lunar Landstar RL has a rear longe layout, which for me and I believe many people think this is the best way to build a van conversion motorhome. You get both options of either large singles or a double bed and a large seating area next to the rear doors. So for instance when you are visiting a campsite like ours with scenic views, on a nice day you can sit in the lounge with the doors wide open and just relax.
In terms of the kitchen you also get quite a lot of space and features. The fridge is a good size and there is a nice three burner hob. The sink is also a good practical size with a flashy mixer tap.
The bathroom is another area where the Landstar shines. In most van conversions due to limited space you have to put up with a combined shower, toilet area. In those circumstances the whole bathroom gets wet if you have a shower, and obviously no one can use the toilet while your having a shower if their desperate. With the Lunar however you get a separate shower due to the benefits of the long wheelbase of the Mercedes Sprinter base vehicle.
The final video below is of an on the road review by Rona Bromley at Which Motorhome. As Rona points out, little features like separate TV points show that Luna has put some real thought into how the owners will use the van. There is also a lot of storage, which should be sufficient for two people.
Hopefully you enjoy the videos and if you have any thoughts or opinions on the Lunar Landstar RL please post a comment below.
Within this section of the website I’m going to put up some posts about interesting information I find about caravans and motorhomes. This will include reviews, hint and tips etc.
You will be able to comment at the bottom of the posts so please post your opinions 🙂