The smart, comfortable four-berth Sterling Eccles SE Moonstone is a popular used buy, says Andrew Jenkinson.

Back in 2009, Swift's Sterling brands were considered the more contemporary arm of the whole group.

The Europa and the Eccles were offering new, trend-setting interiors for the UK market. Customers could now buy a tourer with a more modern interior than ever before.

Eccles went for this in a big way, but by the 2014 season, the Eccles Sport had been replaced by the SE range. Although short-lived, this was viewed as a very well-specified tourer for the money.

The Sterling range had also undergone new construction, giving it a smart exterior that really looked the business. Its aerodynamic profile and grey front panel looked the part.

The line-up of eight layouts meant that there was also plenty of choice, for couples and families.

The four-berth Moonstone came with a front lounge, side dinette, end washroom and side kitchen. They were an excellent buy when new, but six years down the line, how are they doing in the pre-owned sector?

Model history

As part of the Eccles line-up, the Moonstone has been on the market in various layouts since the early 1960s.

As a range, the SE Eccles became available for the 2013 model year, with the Swift Challenger SE soon following suit. The original idea was to have a lightweight, modern range of tourers, which would include good spec, such as Alde heating, a BBQ point, exterior mains socket, ATC, solar panel and much more. In fact, the SE was good value for money.

The SE was placed between the less well-specified Sports and the higher-priced Elite. The SE was to last only to the 2015 season, so you won't find many coming up for grabs.

Those modern interiors, however, still look good six years on and these tourers are usually snapped up when they appear on the forecourts.

The Moonstone we saw was generally in very good order, although the front panel had seen some paint flake.

Alternatives

If you are looking for this kind of layout, you could try the following as an alternative.

The 2014 Compass Vision 520/4 is a well-built tourer, but does lack some of the spec of the Eccles. You can pick one up for around £13,495.

Otherwise, you might check out a Compass Rallye 530, which has Alde heating and the same layout as both the Moonstone and the Vision. A 2015 version will set you back around £15,995.

Price Checker

Our Moonstone was priced at £11,995. Looking around, we found similar models at £14,995 and £13,995, so this one is very well priced. That said, we would want to see repair work being done on the front panel.

Verdict

The Sterling Eccles SE range is pretty good in terms of style and spec. Yes, there are some concerns in the faults list, but if you find a good example, such as the one we viewed here, you'll have an excellent tourer.

Many will appreciate the Alde heating, the alarm, and the neat touches, such as the illuminated splashback in the kitchen.

Apart from that front panel, it is hard to fault this tourer; elsewhere, the bodywork is fine. The interior is in excellent condition, with seating that remains firm and supportive.

Check for

  • Creaking anywhere in floor
  • Damp in the interior
  • Difficult-to-use blinds
  • Cracking in the roof
  • Cracked rear panel

Tech specs

  • Price £12,995
  • Berths 4
  • MiRO 1336kg
  • Payload 150kg
  • MTPLM 1480kg
  • Internal length 5.29m
  • Width 2.24m

If you liked this, read our other Used Caravan Buyer's Guides, including the Coachman Laser 640 and the Lunar Clubman CK. Alternatively, anyone in the market for a used tow car will find our guide to choosing a tow car useful, and we've got used tow car guides, too, including the Land Rover Discovery and the Volvo V90

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