Peter Baber
Reviews Editor

See other News articles filed in ‘Caravans’ written by Peter Baber
   
Bold changes across the Explorer Group portfolio means there's plenty to get stuck into in our 2018-season launch report – so, what are you waiting for?

The 2018 season from the company that produces Elddis, Compass, Xplore and Buccaneer caravans is the last it will be producing while still under full UK control.

The Explorer Group was bought by the Erwin Hymer Group in February but, as Managing Director Rob Quine pointed out at this year’s launch, it had already finished its decision-making on the new season by mid-December, so there are no signs of German input yet.

In such circumstances, the company has shown little sign of being cautious, as it has brought out a new or altered layout in every range it produces!

Price promise

Explorer Group has already established 2018 prices, too – and is promising to stick to them throughout the season.

Prices range from £13,249 (excluding a £495 OTR charge) for the Xplore 304, the smallest van in the range, to £32,999 for a Buccaneer Barracuda – one of two new layouts in the upmarket range.

That represents an above-inflation price increase of between 3% and 5% (with the sharpest rises seemingly in the mid-market Affinity range, and the lowest in Buccaneer), although given the turbulence with sterling it is not altogether surprising.

Daring to be different

Layout-wise, the Explorer Group is also bucking the trend by sticking with two berths and end kitchens.

A new 462 model, featuring an extended front lounge, an L-shaped end kitchen and a corner washroom at just over 4.5m in length, has made its way into both the Elddis Avanté and Affinity ranges, and their equivalents in Compass – the Casita and Capiro.

The end kitchens in the two more upmarket ranges benefit from the new more domestic-looking rectangular, stainless-steel sink that is also a feature on the Crusader and Camino ranges this year.

The budget Xplore range gets a similar layout in the 422.

But fixed single beds are also popular, as a new 574 model featuring them with a central washroom and front lounge also turns up in the Elddis Avanté and Affinity ranges, and in the Compass Capiro and more upmarket Camino ranges.

More new layouts

In terms of other new layouts, Avanté and Casita also get a new 8ft-wide, rear transverse island layout in the 860, while over in the Crusader range, the Supercyclone has its washroom moved from the end to the centre.

The new Buccaneer Barracuda features an L-shaped front lounge, a central washroom and an L-shaped kitchen, with a transverse island bed at the rear.

Elsewhere in the range, the Clipper has its fixed single beds moved from being transverse to being in-line.

The Avanté, Affinity, Casita and Capiro line-ups all feature new ABS front and rear panels this season, with a new gas locker door and grabhandles. Crusaders come with new silver sides, too.

Inside, the Buccaneer, Crusader and Camino ranges all feature, as an option, special pet-friendly upholstery. This has a tiny thread to prevent your pet causing damage by scratching, and anti-bacterial properties to keep smells and other nasties away.

2018 Explorer Group caravans at-a-glance*

Xplore:

  • Xplore 304 – 4 berths, end dinette and washroom, £13,744
  • NEW! Xplore 422 – 2 berths, end kitchen, £14,744
  • Xplore 554 – 4 berths, rear transverse island bed, end washroom, £16,644
  • Xplore 586 – 6 berths, rear bunks, £16,994
      

Elddis:

  • NEW! Elddis Avanté 462 – 2 berths, end kitchen, £18,044
  • Elddis Avanté 550 – 4 berths, rear in-line island bed, £19,594
  • Elddis Avanté 554 – 4 berths, rear transverse island bed, end washroom, £19,594
  • NEW! Elddis Avanté 574 – 4 berths, central washroom, fixed single beds, £19,594
  • Elddis Avanté 586 – 6 berths, rear bunks, £19,894
  • Elddis Avanté 840 – 6 berths, rear nearside fixed bed, 8ft wide, twin-axle, £23,054
  • NEW! Elddis Avanté 860 – 4 berths, central washroom, rear transverse island bed, 8ft wide, twin-axle, £23,054
  • Elddis Avanté 866 – 6 berths, side dinette, rear bunks, 8ft wide, twin-axle, £23,054
      
  • NEW! Elddis Affinity 462 – 2 berths, end kitchen, £20,894
  • Elddis Affinity 550 – 4 berths, rear in-line island bed, £22,444
  • Elddis Affinity 554 – 4 berths, rear transverse island bed, end washroom, £22,444
  • NEW! Elddis Affinity 574 – 4 berths, central washroom, fixed single beds, £22,444
      
  • Elddis Crusader Aurora – 4 berths, central washroom, rear in-line island bed, £24,794
  • Elddis Crusader Mistral – 4 berths, rear transverse island bed, end washroom, £24,794
  • Elddis Crusader Storm – 4 berths, rear transverse island bed, end washroom, twin-axle, £24,894
  • NEW! Elddis Crusader Supercyclone – 4 berths, central washroom, rear fixed single beds, twin axle, £24,894
  • Elddis Crusader Zephyr – 4 berths, central washroom, rear transverse island bed, twin-axle, £24,894
      

Compass:

  • NEW! Compass Casita 462 – 2 berths, end kitchen, £18,044
  • Compass Casita 550 – 4 berths, rear in-line island bed, £19,594
  • Compass Casita 554 – 4 berths, rear transverse island bed, end washroom, £19,594
  • Compass Casita 586 – 6 berths, rear bunks, £19,894
  • Compass Casita 840 – 6 berths, rear nearside fixed bed, 8ft wide, twin-axle, £23,054
  • NEW! Compass Casita 860 – 4 berths, central washroom, rear transverse island bed, 8ft wide, twin-axle, £23,054
  • Compass Casita 866 – 6 berths, side dinette, rear bunks, 8ft wide, twin-axle, £23,054
      
  • NEW! Compass Capiro 462 – 2 berths, end kitchen, £20,894
  • Compass Capiro 550 – 4 berths, rear in-line island bed, £22,444
  • Compass Capiro 554 – 4 berths, rear transverse island bed, end washroom, £22,444
  • NEW! Compass Capiro 574 – 4 berths, central washroom, fixed single beds, £22,444
      
  • Compass Camino 550 – 4 berths, central washroom, rear in-line island bed, £24,794
  • Compass Camino 554 – 4 berths, rear transverse island bed, end washroom, £24,794
  • Compass Camino 660 – 4 berths, central washroom, rear transverse island bed, twin-axle, £24,894
  • NEW! Compass Camino 674 – 4 berths, central washroom, rear fixed single beds, twin-axle, £24,894
      

Buccaneer:

  • NEW! Buccaneer Clipper – 4 berths, central washroom, fixed single beds, twin-axle, £33,194
  • Buccaneer Commodore – 4 berths, central washroom, rear transverse island bed, twin-axle, £33,194
  • Buccaneer Cruiser – 4 berths, rear transverse island bed, end washroom, twin-axle, £33,194
  • Buccaneer Galera – 6 berths, rear bunks and end washroom, twin-axle, £33,194
  • NEW! Buccaneer Barracuda – 4 berths, L-shaped front lounge, central washroom, rear transverse island bed, twin-axle, £33,494
      

*All prices include a £495 delivery charge.

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