Andy Jenkinson

See other caravan reviews written by Andy Jenkinson

Elddis is launching a new layout for the Avanté 454, comprising a transverse fixed bed and L-shaped front lounge. And there's a lot to like.

Overview

Elddis has made few changes to its line-up for 2020, concentrating mainly on tweaks, but it has dropped the traditional two-berth layout in favour of a new fixed, transverse-bed design. This layout - with L-shaped lounge, and central kitchen and washroom - looks set to be a popular one for Elddis and sister brand Compass.

The Avanté range has upgrades for 2020, including Whale's next-generation heating system along with new soft furnishings, plus a Dometic midi-Heki roof vent and various furniture tweaks.

The 454 would sleep four if needed, but it is marketed as a serious tourer for couples and, on paper, it looks to be ideal for two. It also looks as though the L-shaped lounge design is making a slight comeback, as Elddis, Compass, Swift, Coachman and Lunar have all adopted this design more of late. In fact, Elddis was one of the last to stop using L-shaped layouts in the mid 2000s.

Pitching and setting up

The 454 is built on an Al-Ko chassis and comes with AKS hitch plus spare wheel and ATC as standard. Alloy wheels are fitted, as is a Telco TV aerial, and the Avanté also has the must-have sunroof.

New graphics for 2020 keep the Elddis looking fresh, while smooth, one-piece aluminium panels are used on the sides. The 'glacé-white' finish looks good and the aluminium is thicker than before, but still keeps things lightweight.

The front and rear panels are full-height moulded units that look well finished and add to the overall style of the Avanté profile. Using Solid construction - now truly tried-and-tested - the bodywork is guaranteed for 10 years. Elddis incorporates a large front gas locker as well as neat chrome grab handles, and we were pleased to see that a glazed stable door is preferred over the now seemingly standard non-stable design fitted by some makers. The 454 has only one nearside window, but that doesn't mean that it feels dark on the inside.

Lounge

That L-shaped lounge might be a deal-breaker for some, but with the Avanté being classed as a couple's tourer, the layout could suit more buyers than you would think. The nearside doesn't have a side window - it's a standard wall designed for a wall-mounted TV. It does have a shelf with storage below, and overhead roof lockers. The sunroof allows in plenty of light and the offside has a window, again with overhead lockers.

LED corner spots are fitted and the radio has its speakers in the front corner. Underseat storage is accessible thanks to flaps, while heating vents running off the 4kW Whale heating system are found here, too. The seating, which includes four scatter cushions, is thick and comfortable - and new for 2020. The lounge is a very sociable area and will seat four with ease.

Kitchen

The 454 offers a side-kitchen area that comes complete with all the appliances you need. A microwave is fitted neatly just above the dual-fuel hob/oven and grill. A 100-litre Dometic fridge features along with a black enamel sink. Two mains sockets are available here and two LED downlights make sure that cooks can see what they are doing.

The amount of worktop space isn't that great, but it's usable, and storage here relies on a cupboard below the oven, two overhead lockers and a drawer next to the entrance door. So you'll need to be frugal. Having the washroom directly opposite a side kitchen does create something of a corridor effect. And if someone is cooking it can be a squeeze for anyone else to walk through.

So, you have all you need, but space is at a premium.

Washroom

The washroom, opposite the kitchen and complete with Thetford electric-flush loo, offers a relatively compact size. A large mirror hangs on the side wall (no window is fitted) and a deep hand basin is practical. The spec includes a Halo shower head and moulded shower tray, and there's a blown-air outlet in the side wall. A roof vent offers natural light and ventilation.

There might not be a great deal of room, but two may find that it's fine to use on a site that has some washing facilities. Storage comes in the way of a wall-mounted cabinet fitted with shelves.

Beds

This is very much a two-berth caravan; at a push, the front L-shaped seating could be used as two single beds, but it's the transverse fixed bed that's the feature here. To make it longer for night use it can be pulled out a few extra inches, then pushed back again in the morning to enable full access around it. Once extended, it makes a comfortable sleeping place.

Storage

This is where the 454 really excels. Yes, it has those good roof lockers in the lounge and - although kitchen storage is tight - the rear bedroom comes with massive storage potential under that fixed bed. But there's more. Having a wall-mounted cupboard, two corner cupboards, two overhead lockers above the bed and twin wardrobes either side of it all adds up to a generous package.

The wardrobes offer great hanging space, as well as three drawers each and a cupboard. We'd simply say that, if you want to put much equipment behind the axle, just keep an eye on the weight of what you load.

Technical specs

Berth2
MiRO1182kg
Payload128kg
MTPLM1310kg
Interior length5.18m
Shipping length6.9m
Width2.26m
Awning size9750cm

Verdict

The L-shaped lounge will appeal to couples, while the rear bedroom feels as though it's out of a larger tourer. There's good spec, too, and the whole package looks to be good value. The washroom is far from spacious, but we still think Elddis is on to a winner.

Conclusion

Pros

  • Night lighting
  • Rear bedroom
  • Storage
  • Spec

Cons

  • Kitchen storage
  • Basic washroom
  • 'corridor effect'