Long twin fixed beds, a low weight and Alde central heating scored points for the Elddis Affinity 574 in this review by the Practical Caravan team

Overview

Could the Elddis Affinity 574 be the right home-from-home for your caravan holidays? Find out in the Practical Caravan review.

There are three types of fixed beds: side double beds, ‘island’ doubles and twin beds. The first, though hugely popular, restricts access for one occupant and the second is space-hungry. So you’d expect twin beds to have a healthy market share, and that has happened, although it took a while. On the Continent, twin beds have long been popular and UK manufacturers exported them before demand grew here. 

In 2009, manufacturers started making single-axle vans with 5.8m-long interiors, enough to accommodate a walk-through twin bedroom and end washroom. The layout works as a luxury two-berth or for families whose children are too big for bunks. It’s now among the best-sellers.

The Elddis Affinity 574 is built using the SoLiD construction method and has Alde central heating. The range replaces the Odyssey, offering plenty of showroom appeal, a keen price and MTPLMs under 1500kg. 

Pitching and setting up

The Affinity is built using the new Elddis SoLiD construction system, using adhesive to join body panels and attach exterior fittings. This promises greater integrity and fewer paths for water ingress, and cuts weight by up to 40kg.

A GRP skin under the floor is bonded and bolted to the BPW chassis. For towing safety, BPW’s Swing V-Tec self-centring axle and IDC control system are fitted. A wide door affords good access to the gas locker and its continuous hinge should keep the inside dry. The exterior is smart, but lacks the wow factor of some rivals.

Lounge

Elddis has fitted the Alde central heating system to this Affinity 574, although it is slower to warm up from cold than Truma systems. However, the radiators heat the caravan evenly without draughts and control the temperature better.

The Affinity’s conventional lounge, with dark pear-wood-effect furniture and a big front locker, feels enclosed. The light-coloured fabrics help, though. Elddis says it hasn’t fitted a front sunroof, because many customers prefer front lockers – why isn’t it an option, though? A large Heki rooflight, instead of the cheaper Midi that’s fitted, would help.

Lights above the lockers, two front corner lights and two adjustable reading lights keep things bright with energy-efficient LEDs. By the entrance door there is a TV stand and a 230V socket is on the front shelf.

Kitchen

Despite restrictions on the amount of worktop space, the Elddis Affinity 574 overcomes this with a removable drainer that doubles as the sink cover. There are two well-placed 230V sockets and a 40cm x 40cm rooflight for ventilation and sun.

The equipment is all in smart black, except the stainless-steel dual-fuel hob. Thetford’s latest fridge features, but in a humble spec, with push-button control of the energy source. The microwave is welcome, but it leaves little room for storage.

Washroom

Our examination of the washroom started badly – where was the light switch?! We finally found it – irritatingly, at the other end of the bedroom. The lack of a window was a surprise, too; only the rooflight lets in sunshine.

The shower in the Elddis Affinity 574 is a spacious 80cm x 63cm, and the big, stylish washbasin has plenty of space around it, but there’s scant surface to place toiletries. A towel rail above the radiator is a nice touch.

Beds

The twin beds in this Elddis caravan are good lengths (at 1.92m and 1.87m, respectively) and comfortable. There is a cut-away in the front panel of each bed box where you can grip the base and lift it easily, while the gas struts can support a fully made bed. The space between the beds is a little narrow.

The room lights are above the roof lockers and each twin bed has a reading light. They also get handy bedside shelves but there are no overhead shelves. A TV can be set up here for evening viewing.

The lounge converts into a double bed with pull-out slats. It’s 2.03m long, but only 1.08m wide.

Storage

Electrical and heating equipment is under both front seats in this caravan, but there’s still space for storage and it’s easily accessed through full-length front flaps, lids supported by gas struts and an external door on the nearside. There’s no front access under the twin beds, but that’s unimportant because top access is so easy and an external door can take big items, also on the nearside.

The lounge has six roof lockers and the bedroom six, four with shelves. Their doors have positive catches but they’re tricky to use. Together with a good-size wardrobe, four drawers and two washroom cupboards, there’s ample space for four people’s touring kit.

Kitchen storage is limited, so there is a cutlery drawer in (of all places!) the wardrobe.

Technical specs

Berth4
MiRO1339kg
Payload157kg
MTPLM1496kg
Interior length5.7m
Shipping length7.4m
Width2.24m
Height2.72m
Awning size1010cm

Verdict

The Elddis Affinity 574 is an attractive and practical caravan from a reputable manufacturer. Elddis’ determination to hit price and weight targets costs the Affinity marks for its dark lounge. It also loses marks for its washroom with no window and the misplaced light switch.

Otherwise, it is a well executed caravan and many will be attracted by the Alde heating. It represents great value for money and the SoLiD construction system shaves kilos from the Affinity’s MiRO and makes the sub-1500kg MTPLM within the capabilities of a wide range of tow cars.

Conclusion

Pros

  • SoLiD construction promises durability and water resistance
  • Alde heating, long beds and thoughtful storage add to the Affinity’s appeal

Cons

  • Elddis offers no option of a sunroof, so a larger rooflight should have been fitted
  • There’s no washroom window and the light switch is far away
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