Adria Altea 552PK Sport: Review
Any family on a budget will delight in the quality features and easy towing ability of Adria's new Altea 552PK Sport.
It’s not unusual for manufacturers like Adria, in conjunction with their Australian distributors, to develop ‘Australianised’ versions of some of their van models. Our Adria Altea 552PK review van fits into this category and also comes with the interestingly-named ‘Sport Upgrade’.
DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION
Adria’s Sport Upgrade includes a raised chassis to give about 300mm (12in) ground clearance, a larger water tank (130L instead of 100L), 16in wheels instead of 14in and decorative aluminium checkerplate on the lower side walls (now a ubiquitous inclusion on caravans, it seems!), along with a ‘sporty’ silver ABS trim.
The Altea 552PK is a single-axle caravan with an external length of 6.31m (20ft 8in) and the Sport Upgrade model has a Tare weight of 1440kg and an ATM of 1800kg. That gives a load capacity of 360kg, which is 40kg less than the standard 552PK, but 60kg better off than many single-axle caravans I’ve seen.
All the windows are standard Dometic acrylic double-glazed, but the entry door is the stable door-style with split upper and lower panels. It’s different to what you normally see on Aussie vans and I don’t mind it, except that the insect screen can’t be used with the lower half closed because of the moulded garbage bin that’s fitted to it. Although there’s no security door, it’s a bit moot anyway because of the van’s large and relatively low windows.
The external storage capacity isn’t excessive. There’s a front boot, which already contains the spare wheel and a couple of gas cylinders, and a front offside door that gives external access to the under-bed area.
Under the body, all the chassis and related fittings – coupling, corner stabilisers and IRS independent suspension – are Al-Ko supplied. Corner stabilisers don’t usually get much airtime but these ones are a little different from the quick-release variety we’ve become accustomed to – they have quite big ‘feet’ and require more hand winding than usual.
The Adria 552PK is actually a family van, which is something of a feat to achieve in a 6.31m (20ft 8in) caravan. The layout features a front east-west bed, a mid-offside cafe dinette, a mid-nearside kitchen bench and a bedroom/ensuite area in the rear that consists of two bunk beds in the offside corner and a full bathroom opposite.
With all this fitted in, you might expect a somewhat cramped interior but, on the space-perception scale, it’s actually not bad. The feeling of spaciousness is helped somewhat by a light interior colour scheme and large windows. Even the curtains, which are certainly more Euro-chic decorative than practical, add to the effect.
In the kitchen, Adria utilises a neat, space-saving sink and three-burner cooktop combo unit, which is designed in an L-shape to minimise the benchtop space taken and allow for a bit of preparation space in front of the cooktop. Underneath the cooktop is a grill/oven unit, which leaves space for two large drawers and two floor lockers under the bench. Additional kitchen storage is supplied by two overhead lockers.
Instead of using the locker space for a switch panel, the voltmeter, main 12V switch and various light switches are on the door frame by the kitchen bench. A 240V powerpoint is fitted on the underside of the overhead lockers.
A decent-sized 190L fridge with a microwave above is fitted between the bathroom and the kitchen bench. The fridge capacity is a point of note here as sometimes the fridge size in family vans is less than in a two-berth van.
THE WRAP UP
Undoubtedly, the best features in the Sport Upgrade are the increased ground clearance and the larger water tank. And the extra water capacity is a particularly useful addition for a family van.
Even with the Sport Upgrade, the Altea 552PK, at $40,990 as reviewed, represents good value for a family on a budget.
HITS AND MISSES
- Relatively light weight with good load capacity
- The length of the main bed
- Easy towing
- Practical bathroom size
- Light and bright interior
- Wind-down corner stabilisers
- Small kitchen
- Limited external storage
- Awkward TV viewing angle from front dinette seat
- No security door
ADRIA ALTEA 552PK SPORT SPECS
Weights and measures
- Overall length 7.61m (25ft)
- External body length 6.31m (20ft 8in)
- External body width 2.36m (7ft 9in)
- Travel height 2.68m (8ft 9in)
- Internal height 1.95m (6ft 5in)
- Tare 1440kg
- ATM 1800kg
- Ball weight 120kg
- Frame n/a
- Cladding Fibreglass panel composite
- Chassis Al-Ko hot-dipped galvanised
- Suspension Al-Ko Independent Rubber Suspension (IRS)
- Brakes Al-Ko over-run
- Wheels 16in
- Water 130L
- Battery 1x100Ah
- Solar No (Optional)
- Air-conditioner Truma Saphir
- Gas 2x4.5kg
- Sway Control Al-Ko ESC
- Cooking Dometic three-burner
- Fridge Dometic RM8551 190L
- Microwave Camec
- Toilet Thetford cassette
- Shower Separate cubicle
- Lighting 12V LED
- Hot water Truma 14L
Price as shown
- $40,990 (on-road, Qld)
The full test appears in Caravan World #554 October 2016. Subscribe today for the latest caravan reviews and news every month!