Back in the early 2000s, a new caravan dealer was formed – Discover Leisure.

The company bought several large dealerships, mainly in the north of England, with the intention of having a series of depots around the UK, selling large volumes of tourers and providing feedback on what customers wanted the caravan manufacturers to produce.

Things didn’t go according to that original plan, but the firm did bring out several very popular dealer specials, from Swift and Elddis.

Upgraded exterior provided more generous seating

Although the Compass name didn’t appear on an entry-level tourer, Discover decided to opt for an Elddis Xplore line-up, with some added spec, and put the Compass badge on this.

Named Venture, the range comprised four models, aimed at first-time buyers. All offered good spec for the price. From two berths to six, the line-up was chosen for the popularity of the specific layouts.

Model history

You do get a fridge, spark ignition oven and a handy extension to the worktop

The Compass Venture was originally launched for the 2010 offering, even though it was midway through that season by then.

The upgraded spec was to include external mains socket, barbecue point, Status TV aerial, CD/radio, carpet, alloys, spare wheel, hitch stabiliser, oven and an additional mains socket in the kitchen.

The venture’s exterior was very much Elddis Xplore in appearance, as was the interior cabinetry and woodwork.

The Venture carried on into 2011 with an upgraded interior, but October of that year saw the demise of the firm, which went into administration.

The Venture 495 – with its double dinette, five-berth layout – was originally launched as an Explore in 2008. It was selected for the dealer special line-up mainly because of its family-friendly layout.

Rear dinette makes into a double with fold-up bunk – the 495 comes with good roof locker storage, too

The range was quite popular and used examples are still to be found, so with the extras in this dealer special, are they good value? Well, sold new, the 495 was priced at £12,765 and it was just £4000 less on the forecourt 10 years later!

Alternatives

If you’re in the market for a high-quality, lightweight tourer with a double dinette, there are plenty to choose from. For example, check out a Bailey Olympus 525 from 2010,, which comes with very good kit and is priced at around £8495. Or try a more upmarket lightweight model, such as a Lunar Quasar 525 from 2008, with a window sticker of £8495.

Price checker

Looking at costs for the 2010 495, we found £8795 was being asked by most dealers, which seemed a fair price. If you were to go private, you could expect to pay around the £7995 mark for a model in good order.

Verdict

Kitchen is well equipped, but there’s no microwave

The Venture was and still is great value. Lightweight and with great spec, these tourers provide better soft furnishings and more general comfort.

For 2010, only four layouts were available, but they are definitely worth looking out for. The family-sized models will go pretty quickly.

Keep an eye out for the usual problems and make all of the checks, and these caravans make a good alternative to an Xplore, even a dealer special version. Our example was in great overall condition, with no signs of having a hard life over the years. As a first-timer’s choice, the Venture line-up is well worth considering.

Check for

  • Damp in rear panel
  • Floor delaminating in kitchen and lounge area
  • Front window leaks
  • Cracks in rear ABS panels
  • Loose fixtures on furniture
  • Cracks in front panel

Technical specs for model viewed:

  • Price £8795
  • Berths Five
  • MiRO 1117kg
  • Payload 139kg
  • MTPLM 1320kg
  • Internal length 5.03m
  • Width 2.14m
  • Seen at Leisuresales, Brereton Green, Holmes Chapel Rd, Sandbach, Cheshire, CW11 1SD
  • Web www.leisuresales.co.uk
  • Tel 01477 535 264

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Used Buying Advice


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