When we received the invitation from Elddis to the launch of their 2020 line up of vehicles it was an opportunity we couldn’t turn down, and we were excited to see what they had in store for next year!
Although they are based up north in Consett, the launch was conveniently timed to coincide with the return journey of our amazing 3000 mile road trip across to the Outer Hebrides. So, leaving our caravan on a nearby CS we headed to the Elddis factory to find out more.
If, like us, you don’t have a whole lot of knowledge on the variety of ranges that they offer, it may all seem a bit daunting at first. But there really is a model for everyone!
Let me try to give you a bit of an overview of the caravans they make.
This consists of four different layouts ranging from 2 to 6 berth. Fitted with a Whale blown air heating and hot water system. Being an entry-level caravan they are value for money, lightweight and compact.
Some of the new features for 2020 include:
• New Dometic midi Heki rooflight.
• Weathered metal effect laminate flooring to main living areas.
• Improved kitchen locker door design.
Under the Elddis umbrella comes the Affinity (consisting of four layouts), the Avante (consisting of seven layouts, three of which are 8ft wide) and the Crusader (consisting of five layouts). All of these can sleep between 2 and 6 people. The Avante has Whale’s new next generation heating system whilst the Affinity and the Crusader have the much loved Alde wet central heating. They come fitted with all the home comforts you need for an enjoyable trip while still being reasonably priced.
Some of the new features include:
• New Whale Chariot exterior sockets.
• Pet friendly/wipe clean upholstery.
• New locker door handles.
Much like Elddis, Compass umbrellas over three different ranges- the Capiro (consisting of four layouts), the Casita (consisting of seven layouts, three of which are 8ft wide) and the Camino (consisting of four layouts). They are very similar to the Elddis ranges in size, specification and price, with the Capiro fitted with Whale’s new next generation heating, and the Camino and Casita having Alde wet central heating. But the external graphics and interior design are where you will find the main differences, so if you don’t find the right Elddis for you, the chances are that a Compass dealer might have just the thing.
Some of the new features include:
• Concealed catches on kitchen locker doors.
• Improved wallboard tape.
This range comes in five different 8ft wide layouts and offers some of the most high-end caravans the UK has ever seen. Just some of the features ensuring you travel in luxury include Alde underfloor heating and an automatic self levelling system.
Some of the new features include:
• New LED lighting concept throughout, including low level strip lights.
• Removal of the two tier kitchen worktop.
• Skyview lighting now controlled separately from top locker lighting.
Whether it’s an entry-level caravan or top of the range, all of the models I mentioned above are built using a construction method called “SoLiD”. This means that all panels are chemically bonded together in the same way an aeroplane would be, ensuring that strains are spread evenly and chances of water getting in are limited. They are currently the only caravan and motorhome manufacturer using this unique method and are so confident in their construction system that they offer a 10 year water ingress and body integrity warranty. I’m no expert, but that sounds pretty good to me!
Now, back to the subject of this blog post- the launch!
We arrived at the Elddis factory mid morning, and after a short presentation we were able to roam freely amongst the huge number of shiny new caravans, motorhomes and campervans. There was so much to see that we didn’t know where to start, but wandered around taking in the variety of models on offer, each with unique qualities.
Although they likely wouldn’t suit our needs, we are always intrigued to see the budget option from manufacturers, so we made our way to the Xplore to “explore” a little more (I know, that was terrible). Externally, the turquoise/yellow hexagonal graphics contrast beautifully with the white body shell and give a funky and bright look that continues on the inside. At just 7.2ft wide you’d expect it to feel a little cosy, but with the light coloured upholstery and pale coloured wood you’d be surprised by how open and spacious it feels. The kitchen has plenty of worktop room and the bathroom, although basic, has everything you would need for a comfortable trip. We like that all models except for the 304 have separate showers, as the wet room style washrooms just aren’t to our taste. Having a separate shower also makes room for the tile-effect flooring, which I love!
Overall, we think it’s a simple, modern, compact and lightweight range of caravans that demonstrates extremely good value for money (starting at £14,794 OTR).
Having checked out the entry-level range we headed to the all-singing, all-dancing Buccaneers for a bit of contrast, and at first glance you can instantly see the difference. From the outside, the huge 8ft wide body shells, all on twin axle chassis, have deep maroon graphics creating a statement against the silver sides, and inside, the large size is noticeable once again with the great amount of floor space available. I love the understated colouring of the sofas and the fact that they are a “wipe clean” fabric yet still look and feel homely. The dark wood adds to the high-end atmosphere, however, I personally prefer lighter wood colours as I think it opens up a caravan that little bit more- not that the Buccaneer needs that! Moving back towards the washroom you might lose your bearings and think you’ve wandered into a fancy hotel, fear not, you haven’t, it really is a caravan washroom. As with the rest of the caravan it has a very luxurious feel, which is aided by the beige tile-effect on the shower cubicle walls and the heated towel rail.
Although it does all come at a bit of a cost (starting at £34,994 OTR), and you will need a hefty towcar to pull it, the Buccaneer range is equipped with almost every piece of kit you can get on a caravan, and is bound to ensure you always travel in luxury.
And now on to the absolute highlight for us…
As much as we liked everything I mentioned above, when inside the Elddis Crusader Storm we had an unexpected Goldilocks moment where virtually everything was “juuust right”. We sat down on the comfortable sofas and instantly it felt like “our” caravan- a difficult emotion to describe, but when you feel it you just know.
Looking at the space around us it was hard to believe it wasn’t 8ft wide, but at 7.7ft it was only 1 inch wider than our current caravan. I’m not sure if it was because of the layout and the fact that it’s on a twin axle, or because the combination of neutral coloured furnishings and huge windows let in lots of light, including the long stargazer rooflight (which I love!)- but it just felt so light and spacious! This was added to by the modern aircraft-style strip lights above the lockers and spotlights around the skylights.
Being a transverse island bed layout it’s a little bit different to the French bed that we’re used to, but despite it not being 8ft wide there is still adequate room to get around, even when the bed is fully extended. The kitchen, again, is spacious, with lots of drawers, cupboards and worktop space, including a fold out section to create even more room for food preparation. We would, however, have preferred to see the sink slightly to the left with space between that and the hob, and a wipe-clean blind to compliment the beautiful new pearlescent splashback. All things considered though, it looks like a great kitchen to prepare meals in.
Going back to the washroom the modern-yet-homely feel continued with a separate, fully lined shower and a backlit mirror, and again, plenty of light and lots of storage. For us, it would be a very functional caravan, but there’s also lots of cosmetic things that we really liked. Just the little touches like low level lighting, the glass reading lights over the bed and the sofas, and the fact that the bedroom curtain is on a proper pole really adds to the overall finish.
We reluctantly managed to peel ourselves out and were glad to discover that not only does it have an awning light on the near side, but on the offside too, great for Stephen who has a habit of filling up the Aquaroll in the dark. We couldn’t help but notice as well, that the Champagne Gold sides were almost a perfect match to our Wheat Beige coloured tow car (although “Champagne Gold” definitely sounds nicer)! We like the new style graphics for 2020 and the tinted windows offer privacy without impacting the view from the inside.
In summary, we love it, and it certainly went down a “storm” with us! Isn’t it funny how we weren’t even looking, yet stumbled upon an extremely strong contender for our next adventure-mobile?!
We had a fantastic day at the launch learning about next years exciting ranges and meeting lots of lovely people. We arrived not knowing what to expect but left dangerously tempted by what we saw. It just goes to show that whether it be an Xplore, an Elddis, a Compass or a Buccaneer, they really do make a caravan for everyone!
If you’d like to be one of the first to view the 2020 models then Elddis are holding an open weekend on 21st-22nd of September at their factory in Consett. CLICK HERE to book your place.