A caravan displaying the exterior attributes of a static, but with lodge-like interiors!
Carnaby Caravans call their Helmsley range a lodge and, even though from the outside it resembles many of the values that go to make a static caravan, the interior is very much in the ‘lodge’ category. We reviewed the 37ft x 13ft three bedroomed model – the second in the line-up that runs from 37ft x 13ft 2-bed right up to the 39ft x 13ft 3-bed model.
From the outside, the Carnaby Helmsley demonstrates the classic static caravan aspect of a rectangular shape with pitched, steel pantile clad roof, French doors to the front elevation with floor to ceiling side windows and a side access door with external light. There’s a large range of cladding options available from standard aluminium to plastic, real timber and the ever-popular Canexel in a range of colours. Our review model was in standard aluminium in a medium shade of cream.
There are four large windows down each side, along with a fully glazed ‘front’ door and uPVC is available as an optional extra, as are frames. On the review model, frames and bargeboards were in black which gave a nice contrast to the lighter coloured cladding. The Helmsley has a fusion galvanised chassis with galvanised legs as standard and an NGPH galvanised chassis is available if needed.
The usual insulation is provided in walls (25mm), roof (120mm) and underfloor (25mm) but Carnaby also offers a beefed up package of insulation they call Ultrawarm which, for the extra money, seems worthwhile, especially if you want to get the best value from your investment by using it 12 months of the year. This package also extends to a wet system radiator network with thermostatic valves throughout the caravan and Floortherm underfloor insulation with permeable thermal membranes.
Entering the lounge your immediate impression is wow! What’s going on here? The usual layout of a static caravan has been transformed, with high grade free standing furniture – a sofa and two different types of armchair, plus a coffee table and free standing corner unit for the television and digibox. There’s a nicely proportioned, classically styled fireplace with a flame effect electric fire, and mirror above. The front of the Helmsley is pretty much all glazed and, allowing the maximum amount of natural light to flood in. Add to this the light coloured walls and pitched ceiling and you have a light, airy and spacious lounge.
Curtains are in a brown beige and there are accent red vertical blinds to the front windows. The lounge area has a fitted carpet and is a very comfortable and relaxing room. The link with the kitchen is a small, half height bulkhead wall to one side, which means a good half of the caravan is open-plan. Unlike many statics, the dining area has a moveable, large dining table with four upholstered chairs (also in red) which can be positioned anywhere in front of the kitchen. The floor is an easy clean vinyl in a brown tile effect.
The kitchen can be described as wrap-around and features elegant, high-gloss worktops in a brown marble effect. There are plenty of oak cupboards both below the worktops and on the walls and all have big brushed steel handles and soft close mechanisms. To the right, on the wall, is a tall cupboard housing the fridge/freezer with storage cupboards to the left and a built-in microwave oven.
There’s a double stainless steel sink and drainer with single mixer tap under the window and to its left is the four-burner cooker with oven and grill which has a black glass splashback and a steel and glass extractor hood above. The final ‘arm’ of the kitchen also houses storage below the worktop and could stand in as a breakfast bar. It has three open shelves at one end.
The whole kitchen looks really smart and has a high-spec, quality feel to it with those glossy worktops and the domestic standard appliances. It’s certainly an area to complement the rest of the lounge in terms of quality and overall effect.
The central access corridor which leads to the bedrooms and bathrooms is, for a nice change, well lit with integrated downlighters. Once again the light coloured walls and light oak doors add to the feeling of light and space. A useful touch is a set of coat hooks on one side of the corridor as well as a radiator.
The main family bathroom is first on the right and is a well-appointed room with contemporary fixtures and fittings. There’s a large shower with sliding glass door, a square handbasin and double flush toilet with lots of useful cupboard and shelf storage – something sadly lacking in a lot of caravan bathrooms, and an extractor fan! A good-sized mirror with a glass shelf sits above the wash basin and a cupboard hides the lodge’s combi boiler. The room does not feel cramped, which is another plus point.
Opposite the bathroom is the first of the two twin bedded rooms. Although small, Carnaby have managed to fit in two beds, a full height wardrobe and a central bedside table and still have enough room to walk freely between the beds. Décor is low key, yet attractive with tree patterns to the walls and an accent colour of lime green on the bedding and headboards. Special bedding sets are available for all the bedrooms as optional extras and you can also opt for extra comfy ‘Tufftained’ mattresses!
Backing onto the main bathroom is a small en-suite which offers the option of an extra toilet and washing facilities for all bedrooms and would also be useful when the Helmsley has a full compliment of people staying.
The master bedroom is at the back and features a big double bed with a gas strut lift-up mechanism for extra bedding storage as standard. The décor and trim is the same as in the twin rooms but also includes two wall-mounted reading lights and twin bedside tables. There’s a double wardrobe and a small vanity area with a big mirror, power socket, shelf, and a radiator below. If you opt to have a Helmsley with a single twin room, the en-suite would be located with direct access from the master bedroom and you would also gain more storage units and wardrobe space. This would definitely be something to think about if there were only two of you or you had two small children, as the extra space would be very welcome.
Carnaby Caravans has gone the extra mile to present a holiday caravan that looks and feels so much more expensive than it really is! The clever use of space, colours and a light, open-plan interior give it an edge over similarly priced caravans. We can see why they’ve used the word lodge in their description of the Helmsley; it’s quite apt.
Striking lounge with top quality, luxurious feel.
Well-designed wrap-around kitchen with high-spec appliances.
Large, contemporary bathroom (and en-suite).
Fantastic value for money – you really do get a lot of bang for your buck!
The colour scheme in the lounge and kitchen may not be to everyone’s taste.
Carnaby’s Helmsley Lodge really offers excellent value for money with its up-market, quality design, fixtures and fittings. The stylish looks and luxury touches make this caravan lodge stand out from the crowd.
Size: 37ft x 13ft
Build Standard: EN 1647.
Berths: 6, in three bedrooms (two twin and one double).
Other layouts Available: 37ft x 13ft -2 bed; 39ft x 13ft 2 – 2 bed; 39ft x 13ft – 3 bed.
Key optional extras: Plastic, timber or Canexel cladding; environmental colours; fully galvanised chassis; uPVC double glazing; Ultrawarm package; pull-out sofa bed in lounge; integrated dishwasher; Bluetooth lounge ceiling speakers; tufftained mattress; bedding sets.
Ex works price: £37,290.43 inc VAT*
*Additional charges will be made by park operators, and/or distributors for transport, siting and annual maintenance. Please check the price carefully before you commit to purchase, as prices vary considerably dependent, amongst other factors, on the geographical location of your chosen park.