Alastair ClementsSee other News articles filed in ‘Caravans’ written by Alastair Clements
There are big changes over at the Explorer Group for the 2017 season – and when we say big, we mean it quite literally. A couple of seasons ago the Buccaneer range was moved into an 8ft-wide bodyshell, and it has been such a success that it has now been rolled out in several more affordable ranges, with a focus on providing space for families on their caravan holidays.
Key among these new models are the twin-axle Elddis Avanté 866 and 840, the former with fixed bunks and the latter with a fixed double at the rear. They are joined by the new single-axle six-berth 586, while the 566 and 576 make way, and the range’s commitment to families is reinforced by the adoption of practical Aquaclean upholstery.
All island-bed models in the Explorer Group portfolio get a new bed that retracts a full 400mm to give more space in the daytime, and extends to 6ft or a generous 6ft 3in with an infill cushion. There are new washroom vanity units with pop-up plugs in their bowl sinks, and stylish kitchen splashbacks to complement new fabrics and graphics across the board.
The entry-level Xplore loses the 402 and 435 layouts, but gains the hugely popular transverse-island-bed, end-washroom floorplan in the 554. It also gains Whale’s 4Kw underslung heater to boost storage space.
Slotting in above the Avanté, the Affinity range of Elddis caravans continues largely unchanged. Only the 540 has been dropped, and there are no new models, but it’s an appealing range with uprated interior fittings and fresh lighting options.
The top-spec Elddis Crusader has an all-new front panel, with new windows and gas locker door, and the Supersirocco has been dropped to make way for the twin-axle Zephyr with a super-fashionable central split washroom and a transverse island bed at the rear.
Perhaps even bigger news than the 8ft models is the relaunch of Compass. Reintroduced four years ago, it has now had a major revamp with the old Corona and Rallye lines making way for three all-new ranges that tally more closely in terms of spec with their Elddis counterparts. The six-model Casita provides an entry point to the Compass range, with underfloor Whale heating and two 8ft models, while the four-strong, mid-spec Capiro introduces luxury spec items such as Alde heating and a ‘Stargazer’ rooflight. All feature an attractive new blue exterior theme, but by far the most dramatic interpretation of this comes from the upmarket Camino line, with its stunning metallic blue sidewalls and front panel. There are four Camino models that closely follow the Elddis Crusader, with the same new front panel design and luxurious specification.
But for real luxury it has to be the Buccaneer, and this flagship brand has also had a makeover for 2017 with that new front panel, glitzy silver sidewalls replacing last year’s grey and two new twin-axle layouts arriving to replace the departing Cutter. The Commodore features a centre washroom and a transverse island bed, while the six-berth Galera breaks with Buccaneer tradition by offering a true family layout in this most luxurious of tourer ranges.
The 2017-season Explorer Group caravans at a glance
- Xplore 304 – £12,849
- Xplore 526 – £15,599
- NEW! Xplore 554 – £15,599
- Xplore 574 – £15,099
- Xplore 586 – £15,899
- Elddis Avanté 482 – £16,749
- Elddis Avanté 550 – £18,199
- Elddis Avanté 554 – £18,199
- Elddis Avanté 574 – £17,999
- NEW! Elddis Avanté 586 – £18,499
- Elddis Avanté 636 – £20,049
- NEW! Elddis Avanté 840 – £21,499
- NEW! Elddis Avanté 866 – £21,499
- Elddis Affinity 482 – £19,399
- Elddis Affinity 530 – £20,599
- Elddis Affinity 550 – £20,899
- Elddis Affinity 554 – £20,899
- Elddis Affinity 574 – £20,899
- Elddis Crusader Aurora – £23,399
- Elddis Crusader Mistral – £23,399
- Elddis Crusader Storm – £26,299
- Elddis Crusader Supercyclone – £26,299
- Elddis Crusader Tempest EB – £26,299
- NEW! Elddis Crusader Zephyr – £26,299
- NEW! Compass Casita 550 – £18,199
- NEW! Compass Casita 554 – £18,199
- NEW! Compass Casita 574 – £17,999
- NEW! Compass Casita 586 – £18,499
- NEW! Compass Casita 840 – £21,499
- NEW! Compass Casita 866 – £21,499
- NEW! Compass Capiro 482 – £19,399
- NEW! Compass Capiro 530 – £20,599
- NEW! Compass Capiro 550 – £20,899
- NEW! Compass Capiro 554 – £20,899
- NEW! Compass Camino 550 – £23,399
- NEW! Compass Camino 554 – £23,399
- NEW! Compass Camino 644 – £26,299
- NEW! Compass Camino 660 – £26,299
- Buccaneer Clipper – £31,699
- NEW! Buccaneer Commodore – £31,699
- Buccaneer Cruiser – £31,699
- NEW! Buccaneer Galera – £31,699
- Buccaneer Schooner – £31,699