For couples, the 2012 Elddis Avanté 372 offers home comforts in a caravan that's light and easy to tow, as Practical Caravan's expert reviewers discover

Overview

The Elddis Avanté 372 takes its layout from elsewhere in the brand’s ranges – it has an L-shaped lounge with a generous kitchen and rear corner washroom.

This floorplan takes advantage of the absence of furniture required to house a space heater, thanks to the use of an underfloor heating system which delivers hot hair through ducts in the furniture. This arrangement also contributes to the caravan’s low weight, which makes it appealing to downsizers or to new caravanners who don’t want to have to fork out for a bigger car to tow with.

Pitching and setting up

The 2012 Avanté 372 sits on a BPW Swing V-Tec chassis with a Winterhoff WS3000 stabiliser, so towing it should be nice and steady.

The handbrake is button-free and the steadies wear plastic ‘shoes’ to prevent them from sinking into soft ground.

Access to the rear steadies is made easier with tubes to guide the winder to the nuts. The gas locker is wide, allowing plenty of room for gas bottles and other items, and two gas struts support the lid. Mains switches are located just inside the door.

Lounge

Step inside the van and you’ll be impressed by how spacious it seems. The long vertical window at the front offside contributes to the bright and airy feel – the neutral upholstery also helps. There’s a locker underneath it which also serves as a shelf and a useful place for a book or a cuppa.

The sofas, which are at right-angles to each other, are large and easily accommodate four people; for two, space is positively luxurious. Two corner lights provide the main night-time illumination and are supplemented by two spotlights in the lounge.

The radio/CD/MP3 player is housed in one of the roof lockers. To the left of the door is a chest of four drawers with a locker below and two sockets plus an aerial socket, an obvious place to put the TV.

Kitchen

The kitchen area is impressively large for such a small van. Above the acres of worktop, circular stainless-steel sink and four-burner gas hob are two large roof lockers and a handy set of shelves. Illumination is provided by two LED lights and a window.

Controls for the hob are on the right-hand side rather than at the front, which means they may not suit left-handed chefs. The hob has a glass lid and the drainer is detachable, so there is plenty of room for food preparation and to stand a kettle. Below the hob are the separate oven and grill, and to the right is the fridge.

There’s a microwave, too, but this is positioned below the worktop rather than at eye-level, which doesn’t seem particularly practical.

Washroom

The end washroom shares the width of the van with the large wardrobe. Space is tight, though there are some quirky details which try to overcome this. The domestic-style door opens straight into the shower tray, and the electric-flush Thetford toilet occupies the remaining floor area to the left.

A plastic-moulded cupboard sits in the offside corner behind the toilet, and the moulding comprises a basin that swings out over the toilet. This is tiny and will cope with hand-washing and teeth-brushing but little else.

Separating the shower from the toilet area is a bi-fold door. There is nowhere to put your shampoo or soap while showering, so these have to go on the floor, and you’ll have to bob down to reach them, because there’s too little room to bend over. There’s also nowhere to hang a towel or face cloth.

Beds

Slats pull out from the sofa at the front of the van and rest on the shelf under the window, so the bed is roomy but not enormous. Once in place to act as a mattress, the cushions are sprung and supportive so the bed is comfortable none the less.

Storage

Kitchen storage is excellent. One of two cupboards above the worktop has racking for crockery, while two lipped shelves above the hob will take condiments. A large cupboard under the microwave will cope with bulkier items, though this is slightly compromised by the wheel arch and by the drainer, which is stored here.

The van has a large wardrobe, and there are six generous lockers in the lounge, but storage below the seats is compromised with service items such as the water heater and battery box. It would be difficult to store bedding under either sofa, so this will have to go in bottom of the wardrobe.

Technical specs

Berth2
MiRO957kg
Payload133kg
MTPLM1090kg
Interior length3.73m
Width2.23m
Awning size796cm

Verdict

Couples who like to socialise will appreciate the spacious lounge and generous kitchen, and the Avanté 372’s low weight means these features can be enjoyed by those with smaller tow cars.

Conclusion

Pros

  • Spacious lounge
  • Good specification
  • Generous, practical kitchen
  • Low weight of 1090kg MTPLM

Cons

  • Under-seat storage used by fixtures and fitting
  • Washroom layout not very practical
  • No towel hook in washroom
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