Caravanning in Britain needs a better reputation. It needs a rallying cry so the boys at Land Rover and Airstream thought they would provide one with bells on... sleigh bells.
Caravanning in Britain needs a better reputation. It needs a rallying cry (not necessarily a caravan rally in itself) to unite against the naysayers, who bleat along to the dull and predictable commands of cultural voices.
Caravanning needs something spectacular and impressive. It needs an Airstream being towed by a new Range Rover Sport Hybrid up to the far north of Sweden, along German autobahns, on snow-covered Danish race tracks, and through harsh and even-more-snow-covered vistas through Sweden. Fortunately, that’s exactly what I’m doing.
We set off a week ago, and have so far covered around 2000 miles, collecting the Range Rover Sport Hybrid from Land Rover’s factory in Gaydon, UK, before driving to Germany to pick up a winterised Airstream 684.
The Hybrid is new to Land Rover’s range, and combines Range Rover Sport looks and abilities with more performance and more economy. Typically, hybrids can struggle in the cold – but we’re taking this to where the big manufacturers, including Jaguar Land Rover, winter-test their cars, because it’s one of the coldest places on earth. So we’ll be fine there.
The other hurdle is that hybrids usually struggle to tow – but the Range Rover Sport Hybrid has a towing limit of 3000kg, which is comfortably enough to tow our winterised Airstream, which we estimate comes in at around 2500kg.
As for the Airstream itself, it’s almost standard – but it has a few extra anti-Arctic extras. All of its water pipes have heating coils around them, plus some insulation, to stop them freezing up. There’s an on-board generator, too, so that you can use it as normal even when there’s no mains hook-up.
On the Continent, you can also leave the gas flowing to heat the caravan on the move (there’s a special valve which shuts it off if there’s an impact). We’re even trying out a prototype gas bottle warmer – like an electric blanket, but for gas bottles. Apart from that, it’s all pretty much a normal Airstream – satellite TV, stereo system (with Bluetooth and USB connections, as well as having a CD player), on-board fresh and grey water tanks, high-quality build materials, leather upholstery, fixed double bed, darkened windows, iconic design – just the usual.
So that’s the plan. We’ll be back with updates as the adventure progresses. Meanwhile follow us on Twitter using #hybridadventure @landrover and #airstream_inc and @airstreamandco
We'll be offering a great competition to experience two nights first hand in an Airstream in somewhere a little more sedate... the Quiet Site in Ullswater. Watch out for details with our next blog installment from our intrepid explorers.
Read the boys' second blog instalment here.
Words: Peter Adams @MrPA
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