Peter BaberSee other caravan reviews written by Peter Baber
Get understated luxury, 2017's must-have layout and a generous spec with the Elddis Crusader Zephyr – read on to find out if it's a winning combination
It was a bold move, and it paid off: one of these new-look models, the upmarket Camino 660, was named our Tourer of the Year.
But this particular model didn’t just appear as a Compass.
Although the layout – with a transverse island bed and a central washroom you can close off – was new to the Explorer Group, Compass was revamped so that the three ranges would more closely resemble the lines of its sister brand Elddis.
With the awards behind us, it’s worth seeing what you get with the same tourer in the Elddis format.
And to see other Elddis caravans for sale, click here.
Pitching and setting up
The Zephyr, in contrast, looks much more traditional in ‘Champagne’. However, you get the same stable door as the Compass and the external lockers.
We like the small light sited on the A-frame behind the hitch stabiliser. Designed to light up the brand badge, it is also a help if you ever need to gain access to the front gas locker when it is already dark.
The burnt orange, white and beige of the Sahara upholstery feels warm without any hint of chintz.
Together with the honey tone of the Marone woodwork, it’s a contrast to the cooler Compass.
The front lounge immediately looks welcoming, too, with its chunky armrests, a draught excluder near the door, and a central chest that pulls out flat for afternoon tea.
If you want something more substantial, the table, stowed in the large kitchen cupboard, will do for four – although on our test model it became rather easily jammed in its housing.
The area is well lit, too, with a sunroof and Stargazer window that includes eight LED lights within its surround for when night draws in.
The concertina blinds are unusually elegant, while the curtains feel opulent.
There are two speakers at the front for the stereo, a mains socket and two USB sockets in the corner, and four directional spotlights.
There’s a set place for the TV, too – on the shelf next to the door, where it would be near the required mains sockets and aerial connection, and where it’s immediately underneath the cocktail cabinet for your regular evening tipple.
It’s a shame that the main entrance door itself looks a little low-rent, with only a roller blind in its plastic moulding. In its top-notch range, could Elddis not have included a more robust handle you can grab hold of to slam the door shut?
The large worktop on the left comes with two mains sockets, and is well lit with two LED lights.
You also get a four-burner dual-fuel hob, and a rectangular sink furnished with a designer tap.
Underneath there is a Thetford Aspire 2 oven and grill, and a pan locker beneath that.
There is a sensible range of drawers in the middle – two larger ones for big pans and smaller ones on top, all of them made with dovetail jointing. That huge cupboard with the table inside is to the left of this.
On the other side of the aisle you find a 190-litre AES Dometic fridge with a removable freezer, plus a microwave above it, and above that a locker that is just about accessible.
Then under the TV shelf next to this unit there is a small drawer and a cupboard that would hold table furnishings.
But you are well served with an EcoCamel showerhead on a funky-looking riser with a rack for shampoos and shower gels.
The washroom across the way includes a salad-bowl washbasin, a circular loo, a heated towel rail and two large cupboards.
Curiously enough, while there is no rooflight in the shower there is one both here and in the central section.
This area can be completely sealed off with two partition doors to create a dressing room – though those in our test model were sticking.
It does without the speakers that some other caravans with this layout include at this point – but some people might think that is just as well.
There is a mains socket and a TV socket in the corner so you could include another set in here, although there is no bracket.
In the far corner there is a small dressing table unit lit by LEDs. It comes with another 230V point and two USB sockets.
Each side of the bed is also graced with a medium-sized wardrobe and a three-drawer bedside table – no dovetail joints this time. The whole room is flooded with daylight thanks to the large rooflight overhead.
Up at the front, the two settees can be joined together easily to make a 2.00m x 1.43m double by just pulling out slats under the chest. Or you can keep them as two short (1.80m x 0.70m) singles.
Both front under-seat areas can be reached through external doors, too, although while the nearside area is clear, the offside has a fuse box to contend with.
This is still a van really designed for two, however, because while there are two wardrobes (along with two overhead lockers) in the rear bedroom, there is no hanging space outside it.
Those using the front bed will have to make use of the four overhead lockers and the chest in the middle.
Thankfully this chest contains four drawers, including two unusually positioned below where the slats rest.
The Elddis Crusader Zephyr is the Camino’s more traditional cousin – and there’s nothing wrong with being that.
It’s roomy and comfortable, with a high-spec kitchen and a keen price, too, compared with the competition.
We’d just like to see a more upmarket door and a less obstructed shower.
- It has a comfy lounge
- The kitchen is well equipped
- Luxury abounds in the rear bedroom
- There's loads of storage space
- There is no real handle on the inside of the door
- The shower tray is a bit tight for space