Nigel HutsonSee other caravan reviews written by Nigel Hutson
Well-specced, with a side-dinette, end-washroom layout, the Elddis Affinity 530 is well worth a look for touring couples – read Practical Caravan's review
The Affinity sits in the middle of the Explorer Group’s Elddis range, but boasts a specification to rival many up-market offerings. Manufactured using Explorer’s SoLiD construction methods which include a GRP underskin to the floor, these caravans should be durable.
For the 2016 season, the emphasis has been on evolution rather than revolution, concentrating on making an already great range of caravans even better. Despite adding more kit, somehow Explorer has managed to shave weight (in the 530’s case, 23kg off the MiRO) across the range, and all Affinity caravans weigh in at under 1500kg MTPLM.
One of the most notable additions for 2016 is the 'Stargazer' rooflight (measuring 1.4m x 0.44m), which replaces last year’s Heki. Here we look at the 530, which although marketed as a three-berth tourer, is probably aimed more at couples. And to see other Elddis caravans for sale, click here.
Pitching and setting up
The Elddis Affinity 530 is a really good looking caravan, with its smart new graphics, grey trim panels, shaped windows and 'Tardis' alloy wheels. However, there’s much more than just good looks.
Add to the equation an external barbecue point, under-bunk external access (with a mains socket just inside), a satellite TV connection, sensibly placed waste water drains and a battery/mains locker located near the axle for better weight distribution, and you’ll see that much thought has gone into the 530. Everything is easy to access, including the electrical controls which are just inside the entrance door.
As is usual with this layout, the lounge is very spacious indeed. That feeling of spaciousness is helped by not only the 'Sky-scape' front sunroof, but 2016’s addition of the 'Stargazer' rooflight, both of which flood the area with natural light. When it’s dark, numerous LED lights (including several in the rooflight’s surround) ensure there are no dark corners.
TV points on the front shelf and a second with hidden electrics in a cupboard show further attention to detail. And while the side-dinette may be wide enough for four, we think it’s more likely to be used as a spacious dining area for two.
The microwave is built into the unit opposite the kitchen, and is a safe 1.06m from the floor. There’s a small shelf just below it on which to put hot food. An illuminated drinks cabinet is neatly integrated into the overhead lockers next to the entrance door, and a Thetford Aspire 2 dual-fuel hob, separate oven and grill, and a Dometic fridge/freezer complete the kitchen appliances.
As with the lounge, there’s plenty of both natural and artificial lighting. Although there’s no extractor, there is a mini-Heki in the kitchen area.
Only a chef is missing!
On the offside, there’s a fully lined shower cubicle with an EcoCamel Orbit Halo showerhead and a full height wardrobe with two hanging rails (one near the ceiling, and another at half-height).
To the nearside is a full-height cupboard with vented shelves and an Alde heating pipe passing through the bottom, making it perfect for storing towels. In the nearside corner there’s a Thetford electric flush toilet, a narrow cupboard above and a heated towel rail. A good-sized washbasin with a mirror above and a cupboard below sits on the back wall.
An opaque window on the nearside and a rooflight let in plenty of natural light, and LED down-lighters take care of things when it’s dark.
If we start with the side-dinette, it will convert into a really good sized (1.80m x 1.00m) single bed using the table as a base.
At the front, there’s the option of twin single beds (measuring 1.87m x 0.68m each), or a double (1.99m x 1.50m) using pull-out slats. The seat cushions that are very comfortable during daytime use would need to be turned around to make a comfortable bed though, owing to the pronounced knee-rolls.
With the beds made up, each occupant gets their own reading light, whatever the arrangement. And with its blind left open, that 'Stargazer' rooflight might just live up to its name too!
Elsewhere, there are two drawers and a small locker at the bottom in the front chest, seven overhead lockers (three of which are shelved) and storage space under the front nearside bunk, which has external access. The front offside bunk is occupied by water and electrical systems, though.
Both the side-dinette seat bases are totally dedicated to storage too. Then, of course, there’s all that storage in the washroom.
If you’re a couple looking for a classy, side-dinette end-washroom, high specification caravan, then the Elddis Affinity 530 should be on your shortlist. And we have no doubt that it would work well for a family of three (or four if the extra bunk was fitted), too.
It’s very clear that a lot of thought has been put into designing the Affinity 530 to be as user-friendly as possible, and given the exceptional amount of storage space, you’d have to be careful not to overload it.
This layout always feels spacious, but the exceptional natural lighting here really does add to that feeling. The only slight negative is having to traipse through any awning with a full toilet cassette as it’s on the nearside.
A brilliant execution of a popular layout.
- There's a spacious and well-lit lounge
- The kitchen impressed, being practical and well-equipped
- It has a super, well-specced washroom
- Storage provision throughout is excellent
- Toilet cassette access is on the nearside