No New Vans with Lounge Front and Rear?

Feb 10, 2020
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Hi All,

we bought our Lunar Quasar 556 back in February and absolutely love the front and rear lounge areas as they allow a lot of light into the van and provide a seperate area for the kids to play. Now, in case the wife is reading this ;), we're not looking to buy a replacement van already but I have been looking to see what layouts are available in new vans. Whilst there are some lovely new vans available, one question has come to mind. Why does nobody seem to make a new van with a lounge front and rear? Are they really that unpopular?

Thanks,
/Phil.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Hi All,

we bought our Lunar Quasar 556 back in February and absolutely love the front and rear lounge areas as they allow a lot of light into the van and provide a seperate area for the kids to play. Now, in case the wife is reading this ;), we're not looking to buy a replacement van already but I have been looking to see what layouts are available in new vans. Whilst there are some lovely new vans available, one question has come to mind. Why does nobody seem to make a new van with a lounge front and rear? Are they really that unpopular?

Thanks,
/Phil.
We like our bijou Sprite with front and rear dinette but I guess the fact that no one makes vans with front and rear lounges says it all.
 
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Sep 26, 2018
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...but instead they've introduced the "stupid" L shaped lounge sofa, which wastes the corner...
 
Nov 11, 2009
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...but instead they've introduced the "stupid" L shaped lounge sofa, which wastes the corner...
Back in 2005 we were deliberating buying one of the new Bailey S5 Pageant caravans and short listed the Bordeaux with its conventional front lounge and fixed rear bed aligned fore- aft, or the Vendee with its L-shaped lounge and transverse bed at the back. Ideally a hybrid was the answer, one that had conventional lounge and transverse rear bed. But we went with the Bordeaux on account of its conventIonal lounge. Just couldn’t see the L shaped lounge working for us.
 
May 7, 2012
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We had two five berth caravans and one four berth with this layout and it works very well. The fact that the various makers dropped it can only mean it was not selling. As a layout it does work well provided the children are a single sex and that may be where it falls down.
Adria did make them up until the last model change so there might be one still in a dealers showroom if you check the various internet sites and Bailey have a three berth one in the new Discovery range if you can live with that.
As for L shaped lounges, we have had two, and found them far better than the conventional ones. I think though a lot depends on your personal preferences and it is what suits you.
 
Feb 9, 2009
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We had two five berth caravans and one four berth with this layout and it works very well. The fact that the various makers dropped it can only mean it was not selling. As a layout it does work well provided the children are a single sex and that may be where it falls down.
Adria did make them up until the last model change so there might be one still in a dealers showroom if you check the various internet sites and Bailey have a three berth one in the new Discovery range if you can live with that.
As for L shaped lounges, we have had two, and found them far better than the conventional ones. I think though a lot depends on your personal preferences and it is what suits you.
We have a 2010 Lunar Ultima TL { Lunar Lexon} T/A and with 4 adults and 4 small dogs love it for its flexibility. we can have a combination of single or double beds at each end and we also have 2 Pullman beds so we can sleep 6.
Swift did a Sprite twin lounge but seem to have discontinued it this year.
At the NEC show in February this year I was talking to a salesman who almost said if I wanted to part exchange it I could name my own price as he was always being asked for this layout .
We have tried a fixed bed but found we lost the use of half the caravan during the day and did not like a van we had with an L shape front so will keep the Lunar until it falls to bits
 
May 7, 2012
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When we traded in the last caravan with the L shaped front lounge I did ask if the very different front end was good or bad when selling. The dealer was quite clear that caravans with a layout that is different are far easier to sell as they stand out from the rest, which are all very similar.
 
Jan 3, 2012
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We owned a Elddis Crusader Super Sirocco Twin Axle L shaped front Lounge i found it great with me been disabled there was plenty of room i am very tall 6ft 5ins when it come to selling we had no problem
 
Jan 3, 2012
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...but instead they've introduced the "stupid" L shaped lounge sofa, which wastes the corner...
Actually i think it depends on your circumstances but with me been disabled i find the front bunk fantastic because i am 6ft 5ins tall and my wife like hers .
 

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May 7, 2012
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This layout does appear to be available on the Weinsburg Cara 1 and Cara 2. They are very basic, but presumably you can add what is missing if you need it.
 
Feb 10, 2020
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We have tried a fixed bed but found we lost the use of half the caravan during the day and did not like a van we had with an L shape front so will keep the Lunar until it falls to bits
I think we'll be keeping ours until it falls apart too. I just can't see any other layout working for us.
 
Jun 20, 2005
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Similar to Clive, back in 2005 we bought a S5 vendee. L lounge but a massive transverse rear fixed bed. Two things, I didn’t like , the centre bathroom nor the L lounge. Our 1987 Elddis Avante 505 did have two lounges. Great for a family but again mid bathroom. The rear lounge remained a permanent bed for us. Clearly personal needs dictate your preferred layout as indeed does market demands.
 
May 7, 2012
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I accept the lounge layout is a personal one. As far as a centre toilet is concerned they do tend to be smaller, so it is just a case of can you live with it but with the layout looked at here centre toilets are inevitable. It is that difference that makes life more interesting.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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... Why does nobody seem to make a new van with a lounge front and rear? Are they really that unpopular?

Thanks,
/Phil.
Hello Phil,
I think only the manufacturers themselves can answer that one, but they would probably say they find the number of customers choosing that layout is very small and therefore not worth them producing them - but I'd bet they wouldn't substantiate it with sales figures to prove it.

It does seem the manufacturers are locked into a mindset of "we must provide something different for the new season" which in my view is change for the sake of change, rather than a need for a change to meet some technical of functional problem.

I know that 20 or more years ago some manufacturers did run "hall trials" to garner customers opinions about new model proposals, but I believe these often only offered the new models rather than allowing participants to compare old and new. Consequently new features were often introduced which the public had not really asked or had a need for them.

There was also the typical industry catch up game of matching or trying to exceed their competitors offerings.
 
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May 7, 2012
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To be fair to the caravan builders I do think that it was lack of sales that was the problem. The various UK firms dropped it one by one until only Lunar built and if people wanted it then Lunar would have had a hit on their hands and would have kept it going.
Adria dropped it for this year as the last of the major firms making it for sale here which suggests they were not selling enough to justify continuing although they may have needed continental sales to support the UK special. Basically the UK models are different mainly in the location of the door.
The layout did work for us, but somehow the model when in the showroom does not look as good as other layouts in my mind, which could put people off if they agreed.
The use of a double bed and a bunk over that you reach by climbing over the bed has its own limitations in use. We were lucky in having three girls (or so my wife tells me) but mixed sex families might not want it.
Sad to see it almost disappear but things do come and go. Getting length down to help reduce weight, might bring it back one day. What goes around comes around.
 
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Jun 20, 2005
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Following on the Prof’s theme in 2006 Bailey brought out the S6 Pageant Vendee. The lounge was in the rear and the fixed Transverse bed at the front. It didn’t last long.
 
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Following on the Prof’s theme in 2006 Bailey brought out the S6 Pageant Vendee. The lounge was in the rear and the fixed Transverse bed at the front. It didn’t last long.
Must have thought that copying German van layout might have been beneficial for business.
 
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May 7, 2012
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I have never understood the idea of the bed at the front, as we like to see what is going on and a front bed means in most cases you lose this unless you turn the caravan round on the pitch.
 
Feb 10, 2020
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All interesting stuff, thanks. So I guess, ultimately, it comes down to a combination of what people want, what manufacturers think people want and what manufacturers want people to want.

Maybe, when it comes to the time for us to upgrade. caravan design will have gone full circle and we'll find that all manufacturers are making a revolutionary new layout with two lounges! :D

Thanks for all your thoughts on this.

Regards,
/Phil.
 
Nov 16, 2015
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For us it is always a fixed bed, I could not be bothered with the fafe of making up a bed at the end of a caravan, at the end of the evening, but then again we have a larger caravan.
 
Feb 10, 2020
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For us it is always a fixed bed, I could not be bothered with the fafe of making up a bed at the end of a caravan, at the end of the evening, but then again we have a larger caravan.
Yeah, I get that. When we don't have to take the kids with us we'll probably do the same. Having the larger caravan than needed I can also agree with. Having a 6 berth for four of us means that if I do manage to sneak a drink or two during the evening and dare to maybe snore a little then the wife can potentailly find an alternative sleeping arrangement that doeesn't involve me being in the awning :)
 
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