With the weather looking clear and bright, we decided to head off to Loch Lomond for our first trip in the Elddis Avanté 866, which we’ve taken custody of for a year. We being Lucie and David Johnston, and our children Abi and Tom.

Hitching up was easy, and we set off from home in Perthshire. However, this caravan is a lot bigger than we’re used to, and manoeuvring out of our driveway needed a bit more thought.

In came the PowrTouch motor mover, which made light work of getting us out of a slightly tricky situation.

Towing an eight-foot-wide caravan was a bit daunting at first, but the twin-axle tourer was actually very stable on the motorway. The competition was called ‘Go Big or Go Home’ and the Elddis definitely is big – let’s hope it is also a great home-from-home.

Made it!

Arriving at Lomond Woods Holiday Park well after sunset to set up for the first time wasn’t quite what we had planned, but there’s nothing quite like a challenge!

Pointing our car’s headlights towards the van, we soon had the corner steadies down, although the 866’s extra width made these a little awkward to access.

By the time we had hooked up the electricity and water, we were ready to get warmed up. And this is where the Elddis really began to come into its own.

The option of using gas and electric together for the heating had the van quickly warming up from zero to 17°C.

Getting to know the Avanté

The 866 is incredibly spacious. When we’d finished packing there were several cupboards that we hadn’t even opened, let alone filled!

The extra width gives enough space to allow for a proper dinette with space for four adults to sit comfortably – this was useful when the grandparents came for a visit!

Perhaps the one thing we’d add is more hanging options. There’s only one hook by the door, and the single towel hoop in the bathroom is too high for the children to reach.

And this is just the beginning!

At night the kids were asleep very quickly in their bunks, and the front double bed felt very big.

It was a little tricky to make up, though, and the knee rolls on the cushions were comfortable for sitting on, but made the bed feel pretty lumpy. Elddis tells us that it is redesigning the bed, so we’ll get some additional cushion parts.

So, our impressions from our first ‘sleepover’: the Elddis Avanté 866 is a very comfortable and cleverly designed family caravan.

And we can’t wait to continue our caravanning adventures in it – we will let you know how we get on!