Claudia Dowell
Features Editor

See other caravan reviews written by Claudia Dowell

Pitching and setting up

This van is based on a BPW chassis. Although this isn't as common as the AL-KO version, it is well equipped. The single lever hitchhead is easy to use and the button-free handbrake is a premium option on rival models.

This is one of the first UK vans with the new 13-pin electrics, so you may need a conversion lead depending on your towcar's electrics.

Steadies and drains are accessible, whether you're on a level or sloping pitch. A lack of gas struts on the front locker was the most obvious evidence of cost-cutting, but the GRP front panel will last well.

Lounge

Inside, the Xplore is bright and airy, and makes you feel like you are sitting in something considerably more upmarket than the price tag suggests.

Despite the compact proportions of the van, the facing sofas feel roomy and easily seat up to four people. The lounge seats are also comfy, with shaped knee rolls, and are certainly big enough for four to sit and eat comfortably.

The only thing that lets it down is the omission of a clock. A radio/CD player would be nice, but it's an understandable exclusion at this end of the market.

Kitchen

Entry-level vans used to mean skimpy equipment levels in the kitchen, but the Xplore has followed the lead of the Sprite and Bailey Ranger, offering a separate oven and grill, and a large fridge.

It also has a three-burner hob and recessed drainer. Both the hob and sink have heat and shatterproof glass, which increases the amount of usable worktop. Opposite the kitchen appliances is a large section of worktop where cooks can chop vegetables. However, it's set just below waist height, so is not particularly user-friendly.

Above this worksurface is a 240V socket for a kettle, and below is a handy cutlery drawer. For a small, budget caravan, the kitchen is extremely well appointed.

Washroom

The transverse end washroom is the main feature of this van. Considering the size and price of the 452, the washroom is superb.

There's plenty of room in the separate shower and around the Thetford, and there are three cupboards and three shelves for toiletries. The shower has a solid folding door, plenty of head and elbow room, and good lighting thanks to a spotlight and roof light.

The huge wardrobe has a hanging rail and a locker below, and it's big enough for the clothing storage needs of two people. There's even a heating duct below the wardrobe, so the end washroom stays as warm as the rest of the van.

Beds

There's just one bed in the 452, but it's perfectly comfortable and big enough for two people.

The lounge sofas convert into a big double bed using the traditional pull-out slats from below the central chest. The sofa bases are softwood strips, rather than sprung beech versions, but that's reasonable in a van of this price.

When assembled as a double, the bed is long enough to sleep six-footers, and is also wide enough to sleep a couple, giving both people plenty of space. Alternatively, the sofas can be used as singles, but people six feet tall or over will struggle to make themselves comfortable.

Wallboards at either end of the bed improve air circulation and help keep occupants warm at night. Overall, there is little for sleepers to complain about.

Storage

The huge wardrobe and locker below it in the end washroom deliver most of the clothes storage options. The six lockers in the lounge are shallow, but there are plenty of them for two people.

Underneath the sofas is plenty of room for bedding and other larger items. The central chest has two drawers, which are handy for storing items that you want to access regularly.

Kitchen storage is ample for two people's kit and provisions. There are two overhead lockers above the sink and hob, as well as another shallow one and two shelves on the opposite side of the van.

Below the extra kitchen work surface is another deep cupboard and the cutlery drawer. With space below the oven for pans, there is plenty of room for a couple's caravanning holiday.

Technical specs

Berth2
MiRO988kg
Payload177kg
MTPLM1165kg
Interior length4.54m
Shipping length6.03m
Width2.2m
Height2.73m
Awning size897cm

Verdict

Clean, modern exterior and comfortable, well-appointed interior with an upmarket feel.

Conclusion

Pros

  • Good looks
  • Enormous washroom, comfortable lounge and ergonomic kitchen
  • Ample storage.

Cons

  • Softwood bed/sofa bases
  • No clock
  • Carpet strip instead of shaped removable carpets.
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