The Pennine Apollo is the next model up from the baby of the Pennine family, the Pennine Aztec, and was produced for 10 years, from 1993 to 2003. The Apollo, however, has a much more modern look to it, and it was, in fact, the first of the Pennine range to feature the moulded plastic front locker and trim. Being so small, the Apollo is easier to tow and store than most other models in the range, and, hence, is a popular choice with first time users, especially those who are making the move from traditional tents and camping.
The Apollo is a four berth folding camper, with basic kitchen facilities, including a cold water fed sink, 2 burner hob and grill, with loads of storage space, comfortable seating and two large beds (one a double and the other a king size). The overall setup time is between 10 and 15 minutes, for the camper on its own, with a further 20 – 30 minutes for the optional awning.
It can be used with the two double beds permanently made up, or with one permanent bed, and one large settee. Retaining straps hold the bedding in place, so the bed(s) can even be left made up whilst in transit / storage. There is also a small bench type seat opposite the main settee, which can be utilised to facilitate dining for all four people.
With a gross laden weight of 700 kg, the Apollo is 250 kg heavier than the Aztec but does offer a superior level of equipment and accommodation. The full length, including draw bar is 337 cm, and, when folded, the camper is 184 cm wide, and 120 cm high, yet it opens out into a very spacious 4 berth accommodation. The Apollo is both light enough to move around comfortably, and compact enough to fit into the smallest of garages.
The camper includes, as standard, a gas fueled 2 burner hob and grill, and a sink, with small drainer, with a cold water faucet, fed by a manual foot pump, plus 12V and 240V electrical systems.
If you want to check out any more technical details on the model, or to obtain a copy of the manual or sales brochure, take a look at the Pennine Apollo Model Summary.
Review / Appraisal
The Apollo is a 4 berth camper, which sleeps 4 in total comfort. Like many of the range, though, its maximum berth potential is best realised when used in conjunction with the optional awning. This is, largely due to the fact that, whilst it has two good sized double / king size beds, one of those is utilised in the making up of the settee. Also, once it is made up, whilst it will seat 4 people, they would need to be pretty close.
When dining, the main settee can be used in conjuction with the small bench seat opposite, to give adequate seating for all four occupants. The only minor down side with this arrangement is that the internal footprint of the camper is surprisingly wide, and, when the standard table is set up for dining, it’s a little bit of a stretch to reach the table, from either side.
Personally, I tend to think of the Apollo as a really comfortable 2 berth, with the potential for a permanently made up king size bed, coupled with a large, comfortable settee, with plenty of storage space behind. In this configuration, the Apollo can be used, on its own, without the optional awning, for the shorter break, whilst having the option of the awning for longer stays / larger parties. That said, another very popular configuration with families is to have both beds permanently set up, whilst using the awning for living / dining. Again, all down to personal preference. The level of equipment is not as comprehensive as most other models, with the most noticeable omission being a fridge. Also, there is no lighting in the camper, but it does come with full 12V and 240V electric sockets, ensuring that fridges, TVs, microwaves etc are all viable additions to the camping experience.
The Apollo is a great introduction to the world of the folding camper. whilst, admittedly, quite a bit larger than the entry level Aztec, it is still smaller and lighter than most other models in the range. They can be found for the same sort of cost as a more basic trailer tent, or little more than a decent tent. They can be set up in a fraction of the time of an ordinary tent, and yet offer far greater levels of comfort and equipment. Whilst not as well equipped as the larger models, the Apollo is, for many, a far less daunting prospect to tow, whilst being even easier to store, and manouver. For many, it’s the ideal way to put a toe into the water and give it a go.
For a quick video tour of a 2002 Apollo, c/w awning, click on the image below;