Nigel Donnelly

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Overview

We love caravans, but we’d be hard pushed to call them beautiful. The new Sterling Elite gets close, however. Striking silver sides, sharp, detailed graphics and a plunging roofline mean this is a tourer that stands out from the crowd. But is it all show and no go? For that, we had to have a proper look.

Pitching and setting up

The distinctive bodyshell hides some very clever work. Walls and floor thicknesses are increased to improve cold weather performance and the dark roof panel hides the show-stopping roof window. A gutter over the windows is designed to channel rain water away and minimise opportunities for damp or black streaks to take hold.
The huge front locker has great access and acres of space for storing caravan essentials. External gas and mains sockets are fitted on the nearside. The only big omissions are a tracking system and Al-Ko ATC. Rival vans at this level have both.

Lounge

The cool interior of the Sterling line-up isn’t for everyone, but we like it. The huge front lounge is very comfortable and with the optional ‘Impala’ fabric (pictured), it is a sumptuous place to sit. There are four LED spotlights over the lounge and a single central light in place of two corner ones. Concealed lighting at roof level adds a degree of cosiness in the evenings.
The side dinette seats are fine for breakfast or for the kids, but the supportive lounge seating is the only place to perch.

Kitchen

A big fridge, separate oven and grill and three-burner hob with a separate mains electric hotplate are what you’d expect to see in a caravan of this class and that’s what you get. We like the stylish sink although it is quite shallow. The built-in drainer is fine for a cup or two, but the clip-on drainer is needed for bigger washes. LED kitchen lighting is very effective and in this side-dinette model, there is plenty of worktop and storage.

Washroom

The huge washroom area uses available space really well. The large granite-effect sink is a lovely size although it may not be to everyone’s taste. The C250 electric flush toilet and good-quality shower cubicle finish the space off with a flourish.

Beds

No more drop-out slats as they now fit into clever runners on the seat bases. This makes setting up the main double bed pretty straightforward. The seat cushions are quite flat too, so the bed is made comfortable without too much cushion twirling. The side-dinette beds are fine for kids and are simple to set up once you get the hang of it.

Storage

Alde heating means there is more storage than you might expect. The kitchen benefits most. It has a huge amount of storage space. Moving the fuse box and trip switches to a roof-level locker frees up space in the bed boxes, and the lack of roof-level lockers at the front is made up for by the ones at the side. The trinket tray under the front windows is ideal for charging mobiles, storing keys and other small items.

Technical specs

Berth4
MiRO1487kg
Payload163kg
MTPLM1650kg
Interior length5.5m
Shipping length7.22m
Width2.31m
Height2.62m
Awning size988cm

Verdict

Will prospective owners forgive a few missing items of kit here and there to get hold of a caravan this special? Probably. Not perfect, but not far off.

Conclusion

Pros

  • Cutting-edge style with a traditionally appealing layout
  • Works very well

Cons

  • Rivals get a tracking system and ATC
  • Budget for fitting as aftermarket options
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