OVER THE LAST two years, the Xplore range has grown into a clever range that outpoints the aging Sprite line-up and offers a more conventional take on the entry level than Bailey’s voguish Orion.
For 2012, the line-up drops from six to five floor plans, with the end-washroom 452 being deleted. Externally, a switch to white awning rails and rubbing strakes , along with a new low-rise rear panel and new awning light sharpen up the looks.
One major change across all models, and that is the adoption of the Whale underfloor blown air heating system. Dropping the standard Truma heater has allowed a redesign of all layouts, making use of the extra space on offer. The 302 and 304 models already had Whale heating and as such see little change in their layout design. There is a switch to the all-new lightweight Whale water heater though, which is lower capacity but offers rapid reheating to compensate.
The 540 nearside fixed-bed end-washroom model has been renamed the 504 and now has the wardrobe adjacent to the entrance door and a vanity unit opposite the foot of the bed. This does away with the narrow ‘pinch-point’ in the centre of the van. The double dinette 495 is renamed the 405 and gets a host of detail improvements to the layout.
Finally, the family friendly 596 gets the name 506. Across the range, weights are down and prices are up between £200 and £350 depending on the model.
Practical Caravan Verdict
Firmly in place as the pick of the entry-level market. An appealing range with sensible weights, good kit and great layouts