Eight-foot width, a hydraulic self-levelling system, an L-shaped lounge, and a central shower room that divides the caravan into two rooms.
The super-luxury Buccaneer range of five twin-axle caravans includes two with L-shaped lounges; these are the Bermuda and the Barracuda. They are the same price, and the MTPLM figures are very similar. And they both have bedrooms at the rear.
The differences between the two are the orientation of the bed and the lounge. The Bermuda’s bed is aligned across the caravan; the Barracuda’s bedhead is against the rear wall. And, in the Bermuda, the television wall is on the nearside, with the sofas on the offside and across the front. In the Barracuda, the lounge is reversed, with the television wall on the offside.
Which to choose? It’s a close call, as we discovered at Preston Caravans and Motorhomes.
Buccaneers are generally regarded as trendsetters. The brand was among the first to introduce the eight-foot-wide concept. It was also among the first to fit the E&P automatic self-levelling system as standard.
This amazing hydraulic system levels the caravan at the touch of a handset button. First, two substantial jacks, attached to the axles, lower to level the caravan laterally.
Then the heavy-duty mechanised corner steadies lower in turn, to level the caravan from front to back. It’s an impressive system to see in action – and it’s super convenient; the caravan is level in around two minutes.
Buccaneers, with Alde underfloor and domestic-style central heating, and a high standard of comfort, are synonymous with luxury – and nowhere is this more evident than in the sumptuously comfortable lounge.
And the Barracuda comes complete with a 32in television, which fixes to a backlit panel. Below the panel are three long shelves; two have curved edges and are also backlit.
A contactless charger is set into the top shelf. When you push it to raise it up, two USB ports are also revealed.
L-shaped lounges always attract praise for the amount of floor space they provide – and, in eight-foot-wide caravans, this is obviously amplified.
The long Sky-Scape skylight brings in oodles of light – and, after dark, the six spotlights set into its frame, along with the rest of the Barracuda’s lighting design, provides stylish and functional illumination.
The Barracuda’s lounge has an elegant, modern-house feel and, at the same time, it’s very cosy.
The Akoya sofa fabric has stain protection and is pet friendly, making it easier to keep that factory-fresh feel. The sumptuous seats are enhanced by six coordinated scatter cushions, along with armrests where needed.
And here, you’ll notice the backrests set away from the wall slightly - inset boards allow for a more even heat distribution from that Alde system.
Dark Palisander wood furniture complements the whole look.
Everything about the Barracuda is supersized, including the kitchen surface. It’s slightly L-shaped.
The rectangular sink is generously proportioned, too, at 50cm by 30cm. Beneath it are three 43cm-wide drawers, and alongside is a cabinet containing two deep metal basket-style drawers, with a shelf above.
In between the two is a slim cabinet for the table. The two double-doored wall cabinets are each 80cm wide. Storage, so far, is first rate.
The large fridge/freezer is opposite, with a cabinet below it. There’s also a cabinet alongside the door, containing two 38cm-wide shelves, plus an open shelf alongside. We envisage this unit as somewhere to put shoes away as you step inside but, of course, it could augment kitchen storage space should you need it.
Two bright spotlights set into the underside of the top cabinets and two more set into the ceiling ensure the kitchen surface is amply illuminated.
A centrally located shower room en suite to the bedroom is now an extremely popular arrangement that appears in most manufacturers’ ranges – because it works so well.
In the Barracuda, the door to the toilet/washbasin area opens across the caravan, to completely close off the showering and sleeping zone from the kitchen/lounge.
And there’s a sliding door to the rear of the shower room to divide it from the bedroom. So, if you want to convert the lounge into a bedroom, those sleeping there can get into the toilet/shower area while having privacy from those in the rear bedroom.
The shower has a hinge-down, ceiling-mounted towel rail; a simply constructed device but one that is so useful.
In the washbasin room opposite, the wall cabinet – with two mirrored doors and two finished in white – contains four shelves. The 60cm-wide lower cabinet gives you two shelves, although the lower one is slightly compromised by the wheelarch. Altogether, washroom stow-away accommodation is generous.
The keynote of the Barracuda’s bedroom is that there is plenty of space around the bed. Even when the base is extended to its 1.9m night-time length, there is a 23cm-wide corridor along the foot of the bed. That increases to 68cm when the bed is pushed back to increase floor space during the day. (The pillow end of the mattress folds upwards to shorten the mattress length when the base is pushed back.)
The wardrobes are nicely spacious, at 40cm wide. Beneath each are two 45cm-wide drawers and a third that’s slightly narrower.
Plus, there are cabinets below and above the dressing table in the front nearside corner of the room. USB sockets are located alongside the dressing table.
Lighting design enhances the refined feel of the bedroom. A strip of light outlines the top of the wall cabinet; the headboard has concealed lighting above its top edge, and there is floor-level concealed lighting in both sides of the bedroom.
Lifting the bed to get to the storage space beneath is super easy, and its metal frame is well-designed to create a 1.16m by 1m aperture; plenty large enough to put in folding chairs and an outside table.
Caravans that have doors dividing them into two rooms are as close to domestic abodes as anything on wheels can provide, and this feature makes the Barracuda superbly practical. The L-shaped lounge seating injects a house-like feel and the amount of kitchen surface and storage space is up there with the best.
Value? There’s a good choice at the top end of the market and the brilliant Barracuda easily stands up to its competition.
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