Niall Hampton
Editor

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This season's most fashionable floorplan in an 8ft-wide caravan – the perfect combination? Join us inside the new Elddis Avanté 860 to see if it's a hit

Overview

The trend for wide caravans is alive and well in Consett, County Durham, as seen in the addition of two new models to the Erwin Hymer Group UK portfolio for 2018.

An 860 model has been introduced in two of EHG UK’s mid-market ranges this season, including the Elddis Avanté, on test here.

There’s nothing wrong with the other 860, but from an interior décor perspective, Practical Caravan’s scribes would take the Avanté over and above its Compass Casita 860 cousin.

Both vans are twin-axles and share the same on-trend floorplan: a rear transverse island bed and front parallel lounge, separated by an offside kitchen and a full-width midships washroom.

As with all EHG UK tourers, the Avanté 860 features a ‘SoLiD’ bonded (glued not screwed) bodyshell which carries a 10-year warranty as standard.

The one-piece aluminium sidewalls are married to a GRP underskin for extra body integrity.

And to see other Elddis caravans for sale, click here.

Pitching and setting up

Breaking the tape at just over 8m long and 2.45m wide, the new Elddis Avanté 860 is a serious proposition.

Stability under tow will be improved by the Al-Ko ATC anti-snaking system, fitted as standard to the Al-Ko galvanised steel chassis, which also features heavy duty corner steadies.

All connections are made on the offside, so there’ll be no untidy hook-up cable trail or services emptying into the awning.

Stepping inside through the two-piece entrance door, which has a half-length window, the Whale IC control panel is to your left and the mains consumer unit is easily accessed at the kitchen end of the offside lounge sofa.

Lounge

Avanté’s teaming of light-toned wood, beige sofas and grey curtains makes for a living area that feels bright and airy.

With 8ft of width to exploit, the lounge also feels very inviting. Daylight streams in through no fewer than seven windows, including a front skylight and rooflight.

Supporting these you’ll find four directional LED spotlights and the de rigeur over-locker ambient lighting.

Seat lengths of 1.88m make the Elddis Avanté 860’s lounge a great place to entertain in, and with two blown-air vents in the lounge, Whale’s 4.3kW dual-fuel space heating will make it comfortable all year round.

Kitchen

Creators of caravan cuisine will find much to keep them productive in the 860’s kitchen.

The kit list includes dual-fuel hotplates, a separate oven and grill, a microwave oven, a round sink with smart mixer tap and a generously proportioned 155-litre fridge. A pair of mains sockets is provided for the likes of coffee machines and toasters.

The decent amount of work surface can be boosted via the tip-up flap at the end of the kitchen unit – add the lowered cooker lid for even more.

Washroom

Full-width midships washrooms are such a wonderful thing, it’s surprising that no-one thought of bringing them to caravans before now.

And a van that’s 8ft wide, like the Avanté 860, certainly allows this particular layout aspect to be exploited to maximum effect.

Entering the washroom through the domestic-style door, you’re greeted with a spacious shower cubicle on the nearside, with a bi-fold door.

The wheel arch intrusion forms a handy step to sit on, assuming you’re intending to have a long session under the spray.

You’ll find the vanity unit and cassette toilet on the opposite side of the van. Thanks to its smart sculpted oval handbasin and swan neck mixer tap, this space has a contemporary vibe.

A half-length mirror and a heating vent make it an ideal dressing room, one that can be closed off from the rear bedroom by its sliding door.

Beds

The main draw of the Elddis Avanté 860 is, of course, its rear island bed, designed to allow both occupants to visit the washroom in the night without having to disturb each other.

Like other beds of its type on the market, the 860’s island bed is retractable, to enable daytime access to the wardrobe or corner vanity unit on the rear wall.

Deployed for sleeping, the bed measures 1.9 x 1.35m (6ft 3in x 4ft 5in). Up front, the parallel seats can be used as 6ft 2in-long single beds, or a 6ft 11in x 4ft 8in double.

Aside from sleeping provision, the rear bedroom also features two large overhead lockers and a pair of wardrobes, plus a corner vanity unit with power point that makes it into a handy hairdryer station.

The bedroom’s two windows have curtains that run on a metal rail, and there’s a rooflight for further illumination.

Provision of overlocker lighting and LED spotlights mirrors that in the front lounge.

Storage

With a 159kg user payload to distribute, the Elddis Avanté 860 offers a wide range of locations in which to deploy it.

Larger items will find good homes in the lounge seat boxes or in the gaping space under the island bed, which can also be accessed from outside the van. With a decent handle and gas struts, the bed is easily lifted.

Elsewhere, there are eight overhead lockers – four in the lounge, two in the kitchen and two in the bedroom – with other cupboard and shelf space to be found in the kitchen and washroom.

Highlights include the under-sink cupboard, with its generous headroom, and the three drawers to its left.

The TV stand to the right of the entrance door sits on top of a tall cupboard, while another tall unit with four small shelves and a space for the folding-leaf lounge table have been squeezed in on the other side of the fridge.

And we particularly applaud the slide-out counter above the shelves flanking the island bed.

Technical specs

Berth4
MiRO1536kg
Payload159kg
MTPLM1695kg
Interior length6.39m
Shipping length8.05m
Width2.45m
Awning size1090cm

Verdict

For those not intimidated by towing such a large caravan, the Elddis Avanté 860 has much going for it.

Two current must-haves – an island bed and full-width central washroom – feature in this floorplan, and the 8ft width brings out the best in the interior layout.

Buyers won’t really want for anything equipment-wise here, and the £22,559 price makes the 860 an affordable option for siting on a seasonal pitch.

Conclusion

Pros

  • It's well equipped
  • The layout has space to breathe thanks to the van's 8ft body width
  • Storage provision is particularly good
  • This is a sharp looking caravan

Cons

  • External access to the front seat boxes would be handy
  • You'll need a big tow car
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