Andy Jenkinson

See other Advice articles filed in ‘Caravans for sale – buying guides’ written by Andy Jenkinson
   
The Crusader range remains a very popular pre-owned buy, says Andy Jenkinson, as long as you check the condition carefully.

By 2014, Elddis caravans had been well established for 50 years, and all models for that year had a special '50th' badge added by the entrance door.

Over the years, the company developed from manufacturing a handful of tourers per day, to become one of the UK's largest producers of caravans and motorhomes.

By 1976, it was part of ABI Caravans and had launched into the luxury market with a new two-model range, the Crusaders.

Fast forward to 2013 and Elddis has now launched its innovative new construction system, in a joint venture with German company the Henkel Group, where use of new adhesives means less need for screws, so cutting the risk of water ingress.

Known as SoLiD, this was a significant step forward in caravan construction. So after the first year of the SoLiD system in production, what do the 2014 Crusaders look like as a used buy?

We found a Super Cyclone at Cumbria dealership Bardsea Leisure, and we decided to put this well-equipped twin-bed model under the microscope.

Model history

The Cyclone name was first used back in 1968! Since then, it has had many layouts and specification changes - the twin-bed, end-washroom-layout Super Cyclone reached the forecourts in 2007. Over the years, it would become one of the best-sellers in the Crusader twin-axle range.

Along with the front lounge, the layout provides a kitchen placed on the offside, with separate fridge and freezer opposite, plus a microwave fitted above.

Twin single beds take you through to the end washroom, which is spacious and well up to Crusader luxury standards. The spec for 2014 included a solar panel and Alde heating, plus full oven and Avtex TV aerial. Seven layouts were available, four being new for that model year. There were soft furnishing options, too.

In 2014, all Elddis tourers were built on BPW chassis, and IDC stability control was provided as standard on the Crusaders.

Buyer's checklist

  • Check locker door handles not broken/missing
  • Check front locker lid has no cracks
  • Check for TV reception - Avtex stick aerial gave patchy performance
  • Check mattress on fixed beds
  • Check for interior wall board finishing tape coming away
  • Check for any signs of damp in front end and cracked panels
  • Check kitchen sink for scratched enamel

What to pay

We had a good look around to see what prices were like for this super twin-axle, and we found a few fine examples. Our model had a mover, a worthy addition. Prices can vary, rising to £16,995, and ours was the cheapest we saw, at £15,495.

Verdict

The Crusader range from 2014 are super tourers, but they do have a few pitfalls to watch for. The spec is great, but check prices before you commit. Our example was in reasonable condition, but the sink needed replacing and several locker door handles had broken. Check for repairs on front and rear panels, too. But these remain a popular pre-owned buy and owners love the space and storage.

Factfile

2014 Elddis Crusader Super Cyclone

  • Price: £15,495
  • Berths: 4
  • MIRO: 1692kg
  • Payload: 160kg
  • MTPLM: 1852kg
  • Internal length: 6.34m
  • Width: 2.30m

Alternatives

If you want luxury twin-bed layouts, check these two out:

The 2014 Coachman VIP 565/4 has blown-air heating and no solar panel, and is a single-axle, but is a cracking used tourer at £16,895.

Or try the lighter-weight Lunar Lexon 640 twin, with good spec and the same layout as the Super Cyclone, at £15,995.