Rory White

See other caravan reviews written by Rory White

Space. That's what the Xplore is all about. A large lounge is complemented by plenty of sleeping space, most notably in the shape of two fixed bunks at the rear of the van. Large, young families looking for an affordable caravan should investigate the 546 before buying.

Pitching and setting up

A BPW chassis is the basis for the 546, and a buttonless handbrake makes positioning the van relatively manageable, particularly as it's on a single axle and doesn't weigh too much.

Accessing the steadies and waste pipes is easy, although the pipes are at the rear, which can be tricky on a sloping pitch. When it comes to considering extras, the Xplore is equipped with the new 13-pin electrical connector, so you will need to purchase an adaptor for your car electrics. The van's control panel is just inside the two-piece main door.

Lounge

Even a family of six will have room to stretch their legs in this van. The front lounge is large, there's a side dinette for useful extra seating, and an extending table top on the two-drawer central chest to complement the main table. The extendable surface on the Xplore's chest of drawers creates the extra elbow room around the free-standing dining table that a family of six needs.

A large, one-piece front window and a Heki rooflight ensure there's plenty of daylight in the lounge. In the evening, you can choose from a mains ceiling light and two adjustable halogen spotlights.

As you would expect, the spec in the lounge is not particularly high. You won't find a radio/CD player, speakers or a clock, but you will find two power points and two aerial sockets, so you won't have to go without your music. Even though this van is at the lower end of the price scale, the little things that make life easier are still included. That means you get fitted door-well mats, plus blinds, curtains and flyscreens on the windows. Fitted drop-in carpets are only available as a cost option, though, a carpet runner being the standard fare.

Kitchen

In keeping with the Xplore's brief to cater for large families, the fridge has a capacity of 108 litres, which should be ample. The grill is separate from the oven, and there's a three-burner hob, plus recessed sink and drainer.

What you don't get is a great deal of worktop space immediately to hand, although there is space on the cupboard opposite the kitchen. You'll need to be quite organised to cook efficiently, but this kitchen is more practical than many rivals at this price point, especially in terms of storage areas.

Washroom

The washroom is first and foremost functional and so eschews many home comforts, but using the toilet, brushing teeth and even rinsing off sand and salt after a trip to the beach will not be a hassle.

A solid, domestic-style door separates this area from the rest of the van, but once inside this wetroom, there's not much room to play with; the shower, basin and Thetford swivel toilet are all in one. You do, however, get a separate metal showerhead, a shelf above the toilet, a towel rail and a corner unit behind the mirror.

Beds

As you'd expect, the front lounge converts easily and quickly into a double bed for grown-ups, while the nearside dinette converts into a single, supported by slats, and a fold-down top bunk. If taller adults are using the front lounge as single beds, they might find the 183cm-long mattress fractionally shorter than they'd like.

A wooden ladder is fitted to each bunk, and the built-in guard rails make setting up a straightforward affair. The rear bunks have a separate curtain to close them off from the light, but no separate spotlights for each bed.

Storage

We reckon the 226kg payload is adequate for a family of six, and the storage provided under the front lounge, side dinette and rear bunk is considerable. The lids have slats for easy access and are supported when open (except under the rear bunk).

The lounge incorporates six lockers and two corner shelves, and there are another three lockers above the side dinette. A nice, big wardrobe completes the picture in this sector; one in which the Xplore excels.

Technical specs

Berth6
MiRO1109kg
Payload226kg
MTPLM1335kg
Interior length5.44m
Shipping length6.92m
Width2.2m
Height2.73m
Awning size984cm

Verdict

Elddis has managed to keep the price down and yet has produced a practical van that prioritises the needs of families without adding superfluous extras that push the price up.

Conclusion

Pros

  • Good spec in the kitchen and oodles of storage space make this well priced van family-friendly
  • It looks good, too.

Cons

  • Some components feel as though they've been made to a budget, particularly the carpet runner.
Share with friends

Follow us on