The Compass brand returned to the UK caravan market at the start of September 2013. Elddis, the Consett-based caravan and motorhome manufacturer – which also builds Buccaneer and Xplore models – launched three Compass ranges: entry-level Corona, mid-priced Omega, and luxury Rallye.

Each of the Compass ranges comprises four models, based on the best-selling floorplans from the equivalent Elddis sister range – that is, Corona borrows its floorplans from Avante, Omega from Affinity, and Rallye from Crusader.

Why was it time to relaunch the brand? Elddis felt there wasn’t enough choice in the market, and this would be addressed by increasing the number of brands and models to choose from.

It’s a welcome return for a brand that was discontinued in 2009 after more than 30 years of continuous production, when the as it was then known Explorer Group rationalised its line-up to focus on its Elddis and Buccaneer ranges. At launch, Elddis was at pains to explain the new Compass tourers wouldn’t simply be badge-engineered versions of their Elddis equivalents, which they were when deleted from the line-up.

As well as different furniture board and upholstery treatments, there are specification changes – more about these later. But as with all Elddis’s other tourers, Compass Caravans are built using the SoLiD construction method (which stands for strong, light and dry), that makes use of adhesives to bond the walls to each other. It replaces hundreds of screws with a proven, water-repellent adhesive, which makes for a stronger, more rigid bodyshell but does so without placing restrictions on exterior design.

All Compass tourers also get the same 10-year body integrity warranty against leaking. They’re not sold through Elddis retailers — instead, a dealer network was built from scratch, allowing Compass to grow a discrete market share from Elddis.

We take a look at the two berth 462 from the Corona lead-in range, a bread-and-butter Clubman style layout, to see how well differentiated it is from its Avante sibling, and whether it truly offers buyers a real alternative.