When Caravelair’s Antares 406 rolled into CARLIGHT HQ last month, we were pretty keen to unpack the features of what could be one of the sharpest, entry-level caravans we’ve come across. Like all six layouts in the Antares range, the 406 emphasises comfortable living and stylish finishes in a compact, lightweight, easy-to-tow form.
Overall Length: 5.51m
Unladen Weight: 930kg
Max Weight: 1230kg
Overall Height: 2.58m
Internal Height: 1.95m
Overall Width: 2.1m
Internal Width: 1.95m
What we like
The 406 is small and light enough to be towed by small and medium sized vehicles, which means you can hit the road without upgrading to a more powerful car. It’s heavier than its 2-berth sister by only 100kg, so you get the flexibility of a 4-berth without hauling significant extra weight.
Who it’s for
With sleeping capacity for four and generous payload, the Antares 406 is positioned as a compact touring caravan especially suited to families who are new to caravanning. A comfortable and well-equipped layout with top notch finishes and a quality build make it ideal for long term travel as well as shorter escapes.
Caravelair started out as an aviation company, and its aeronautical roots are arguably most evident in the 406’s innovative GRP construction, which is characterised by bodyshell materials of low weight, high resilience, enhanced insulation and simple maintenance.
Just as you’d expect from a rig built specifically for Australian conditions, this combination of qualities promises to keep you comfy during both hot and cold extremes, while resisting storm and environmental damage with ease.
The insulation properties of the exterior also play a key role in absorbing outside noise, allowing you to sleep undisturbed through heavy rain or hissing possums, for example.
Flexibility was pivotal in creating a compact caravan that doesn’t compromise liveability. This shows in the exclusive custom layout which has been freshly revamped in 2018. The savvy use of space is highlighted in two bench seats which fold into a double bed. Two bunks are situated at the rear along with dining nook and combined bathroom, while the central kitchen anchors the space and creates a natural, contemporary flow.
Finishes & appliances
The modern influence on the layout is mirrored in every detail. From energy-efficient LED lighting and textural two-tone upholstery, to laminate floors and stainless steel circular sinks, the 406 strikes a balance between good looks and practicality.
The well equipped kitchen (including Dometic fridge) and bathroom mean you can drive out of the dealership and be on your way, however add-ons are available that would truly complete this mini home. These include air conditioning, solar mats and TV/DVD/antenna package. If you prefer to go without, the 406 comes pre-wired for easy installation of these appliances down the track.
‘Easy to tow’ overwhelms the feedback on this model and while weight and size play a huge part in that, the AL-KO AKS 3004 Stabiliser is worth a shout out for its contribution to safe and confident towing. Apart from a slightly smaller 75 x 30 external storage access, the 406 enjoys all the same features outside as the larger layouts in the Antares range.
The Antares range is marketed as bang-for-buck, which shows in the starting price for the 406, which is just shy of $42K. We find this to be a surprisingly affordable price tag for a new buy with quality trimmings, and without the need to upgrade your tow vehicle – as is often the case with bigger ‘vans – it’s clear to us that good things really do come in small packages.
Named after one of the brightest stars in the Milky Way, the Antares 406 certainly illuminates what’s most important in a touring caravan, and if nothing else, will help put your ‘must-haves’ and ‘nice-to-haves’ into perspective. Liveable spaces, easy towing, a good whack of style and a price that won’t make your eyes water – if you want much more than that, you might as well buy a house.
About Caravelair and CARLIGHT
Caravelair is a market-leading French motorhome brand with manufacturing facilities in the Rhone Valley in France. Together with CARLIGHT, the sole distributor in Australia, Caravelair supplies caravans that are specifically designed and approved for the Australian market. For more info on the Antares 406, click here.