Venus 490/4

By: Peta Stavelli, Photography by: Peta Stavelli and supplied


Venus 490/4 Venus 490/4
Venus 490/4 Venus 490/4
Venus 490/4 Venus 490/4
Venus 490/4 Venus 490/4
Venus 490/4 Venus 490/4

The first thing you notice about the Venus range of lightweight caravans is the nod to classic styling. The second is the price, Peta Stavelli writes.

Venus 490/4
Venus 490/4

Converts to caravanning will appreciate a great deal about the Venus range of lightweight caravans imported from the United Kingdom, which combine the classic and contemporary in a lighter, brighter vehicle — without sacrificing strength and endurance.

The ultra-lightweight design offers the buyer a wider choice of towing vehicle, and the caravans can be towed behind the average family car.

According to importer Dick Grey, from Cruiser Caravans in Christchurch, this is the main reason for the increasing popularity of the Venus range. "To own one of these, people don't have to trade up to a larger vehicle. They can be towed by a two-litre car and you wouldn't know it's behind you."

Dick proved the point as we negotiated contemporary Christchurch's dead-ends, narrow one-way roads and uneven surfaces that can provide a challenge for any driver. It was easy to completely forget we were towing a caravan. Until we encountered an unexpected cul de sac lined with cars, that is.

Yet here, in this challenging situation, the manoeuvrability of the single-axle, lightweight 'van was highlighted and we managed an unscathed U-turn in as few turns as it would take a light truck.

So, when it comes to the new range of caravans, does lightweight mean lacking in strength?

"Technology has moved on," says Dick. "The new generation of caravans produced since 2000, when the English introduced more strength into their chassis, makes them as good as anything you'll find anywhere in the world."

The secret, according to Dick is embedded in the aluminium framing and one-piece sides, together with the galvanised steel chassis. Even the seating and bed frames are constructed on aluminium frames. Awning rails are powder-coated aluminium.

Adding to the lightness of air surrounding the Venus is a blonde-oak interior combined with off-white patterned soft-furnishings for a contemporary and stylish finish. Every vehicle has at least four or five mini or midi Heki roof lights to suffuse a soft light into the interior.

Additional lighting is provided by LED lights (four in all) in convenient locations, including above the single beds in that model. Why single beds? These are increasingly popular with couples who can no longer sleep together, although the 490/4 has a double bed already made up, in addition to the two smaller singles.

To read the rest of this review, pick up a copy of the April issue of Motorhomes, Caravans & Destinations, on sale now!

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