Practical Caravan's experts give their verdict in this review of the 2010 Sterling Eccles Moonstone, an impressive mid-range four-berth caravan

Overview

Sterling is one of the caravan brands owned by the Swift Group, based in Hull. Swift was founded in 1965 and the firm bought Sprite Leisure in 1994, renaming it Sterling the following year. So Sterling's family tree goes right back to Sprite, the first caravan created in 1949 by Sam Alper. Swift relaunched the Sprite Caravans range, marketed alongside the popular Sterling brand in 2004.

The 2010 Sterling Eccles Moonstone is a good looking caravan, with thoughtful design features, but it is heavy to tow. This caravan needs a 4x4 or an executive class estate as a tow car, which seems surprising for a mid-range four-berth. 

Pitching and setting up

The Sterling is a great-looking van from every angle and everything about setting up is very straightforward. The 12V control panel is on the left as you enter the van and most other controls are grouped at the end of the kitchen area. Having the power switches for the mains water and space heating under the front offside seat is a bit of a bind, but otherwise, everything falls to hand.

Exterior specification includes a gas barbecue point and mains socket inside the wet locker. A spare wheel and carrier are standard but most other chassis extras, such as Al-Ko Secure, ATC and a wheel-changing kit are costly optional extras. Combined with a disappointing MTPLM figure of 1580kg, there is room for improvement.

Lounge

The lounge is comfortable and benefits from two TV points, access to five mains sockets and a CD/radio and bottle clips are housed in the large cupboard above the kitchen worktop.

Headroom through most of the Swift is excellent, although it drops to around 1.85m in the lounge under the rooflight. The lighting is mostly LED based. Flush-mounted twin spots directly over the centre chest help make up for the directional nature of the LED spot lamps in each corner of the lounge. All these LEDs are great news for battery life, although there are mains lights in the corners of the lounge.

The upholstery is busy but with the dark counter tops and light woodwork the effect is very stylish. The standard centre chest is big enough for a light lunch, but when the table is needed, it is light and easy to handle.

Kitchen

The kitchen has been thoughtfully designed. The 107-litre digital control fridge is a good size, while the dedicated cutlery drawer, large pedestal unit on the offside and under-counter cupboard provide ample storage.

The mains-powered electric hotplate is a Swift Group standard fit, meaning there are three gas burners, oven and grill and a swish-looking Sanyo digital control microwave. This is installed in a roof-level unit.

The limited lighting is the main downside of an otherwise good set-up, but given that it was launched at nearly £16,000, the lack of extractor fan is a bit stingy.

Washroom

Initially, the washroom looks claustrophobic, but once inside, you realise every square centimetre has been used thoughtfully. It works well. The wardrobe is divided up with two drawers below, shelves inside but still with enough hanging space for most.

The shower cubicle is large and there is dedicated light inside. Storage is excellent, too, with a wall cupboard behind the Thetford C-250, a shelf along the back wall and two shelves in the vanity unit locker. The carpet is split and can be removed easily.

Beds

Pull-out slats make up the front double bed, which is comfortable and flat. The LED spotlamps make good reading lights, whichever way around you sleep. The side bunk also uses slats, which are stored under the bunk by day. They are a little fiddly, but otherwise the side bunks set up easily.

The chunky aluminium ladder and plastic mounting brackets feel substantial and the clip-in guards around the top bunk wrap around the end to stop the pillows falling off in the night. The privacy curtain is stowed in a locker mounted at the back of the dinette by day. It’s a neat solution.

Storage

The front seat lockers provide the bulk of the storage, accessed through either the drop-down fronts or the self-supporting locker lids. The side-dinette storage areas have lift-up lids but there are no supports.

It’s a shame that there aren’t shelves in more of the overhead lockers and that makes the space less usable, but generally, there is little to complain about.

Technical specs

Berth4
MiRO1580kg
Payload212kg
MTPLM1368kg
Interior length5.5m
Shipping length7.18m
Width2.29m
Height2.61m
Awning size987cm

Verdict

The 2010 Sterling Eccles Moonstone is a touch heavier than ideal, and lighter on kit than rivals, but it's a very impressive and desirable tourer nonetheless.

Overall we give it 8/10

Conclusion

Pros

  • Bags of showroom appeal
  • It looks great inside and out
  • Design is thoughtful, particularly in the kitchen and washroom
  • It balances contemporary looks with traditional appeal

Cons

  • Equipment is not generous for the price
  • It needs an executive class estate or small 4x4 to tow it
  • It’s too heavy for a single-axle tourer
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