Andy JenkinsonSee 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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Night lighting
- Rear bedroom
- Kitchen storage
- Basic washroom
- 'corridor effect'