De Waard Albatros
Well we have finally done it, we are now the proud owners of a brand new De Waard Albatros with the superb VarioLuifel.
It has taken many months of “should we / shouldn’t we” but in the end we decided to at least go and take a proper look at one. Now the only way to do this is to go to Holland, so we contacted De Waard and checked that they had one setup that we could go and see. We dealt with the Vrijbuiter store in Gouda and they were absolutely fantastic. Gouda is only about 40 mins from the ferry terminal in Rotterdam and the De Waard showroom is actually a ‘shop within a shop’ in the huge Vrijbuiter camping superstore.
When we arrived it was awesome to walk through the store and head into the De Waard area with the full range on display. The Albatros was looking stunning. We had a thorough look around and the staff were extremely helpful, no pressure just loads of good information and advice.
The quality of the tent was superb and size was perfect. It was good to be able to take our time and check out all the features. One of our decisions was whether or not we needed the Binnentent (inner tent). While it was a fabulous item we decided we probably don’t need it, plus it was nice to save €600 and just go with the internal curtains. Perhaps we will add it later for some cold climate camping.
The Varioluifel (awning) was an absolute must have. It really makes the tent complete and provides a great open living space. I suspect it will take a few months to figure out all of the pitching permutations for it though. We also added the Windscherm (zip on sides) and the Opbergschort (hanging pockets).
The next big decision was choosing a colour. The De Waard team had very kindly ensured that all variations and accessories were reserved for us so that we had the full choice. We selected the lovely deep red colour which should look great in France this year. With a healthy selection of accessories we had a very full trolley. Frans then talked us through all the tips and tricks of pitching and packing, and even rolled out our tent to highlight various items. His help was invaluable and he is a real credit to De Waard. The final treat was a bottle of De Waard champagne!
Seeing the trolley with our little pile of goodies was very satisfying, although it was a bit of a concern piling it into the car as it is pretty heavy. Good thing we use the Land Rover for camping trips.
In the end deciding to invest in such a beautiful tent wasn’t a very hard decision. Yes it is expensive but it should last us for many years and provide a huge amount of enjoyment. The team at De Waard could not have been more helpful and we would certainly recommend heading over to see the tents before taking the plunge.
Now all we need is some sunshine so we can practice pitching before our first public performance.