The 586 is a welcome addition to the Avanté range, and it shows every sign of being designed with families in mind. But this is a crowded market, and only time will tell whether the 586 has enough to make it stand out from the pack.
ATC, AKS and sunroof all standard
Some might find the washroom a little cramped
There is a battle going on between the major caravan brands for the family market.
Last year, Swift’s revamped Sprite Major 6 – bunks in the rear next to a corner bathroom, and a second small dinette that turns into bunks – won our Tourer of the Year award.
Having been so bolstered by its success, when Swift launched the twin-axle 8ft-wide Sprite Super range earlier this year, one of the layouts – the Sprite Super Quattro DB – was the same as the Major 6, just widened out.
Elddis already boasted a layout to match the Sprite Super in the form of the Avanté 886 and that continues into 2019 relatively unchanged. But it was clearly felt improvements were needed on the van most closely resembling the standard Major 6, because this is one of the two models to have been reworked this year.
The 586 now comes with a redesigned rear washroom. So does it work better for families?
Pitching & Setting-up
The Avanté is standard width, but as a six-berth, it’s a hefty van, and only a single axle, so it’s good to know that all Avantés include ATC and an AKS hitch stabiliser.
The sunroof at the front of the van is also standard fit. On many competitors at this price level, this is an optional extra. Avantés also get new graphics this year, although nothing too radical.
The new ‘Charleston’ upholstery inside the Avantés this year is made with Aquaclean fabric. The colour scheme is still the warm beige and yellow that has been such a success in the past.
The front lounge should easily provide comfortable seating for six. Apart from the sun roof, there is only a standard Heki beyond it, although there is still enough light coming in to make this a pleasant place to while away a few hours relaxing.
Come night-time, there are four spotlights here, in addition to the central overhead lighting, and – new for this season – all of them are LEDs.
The second dinette has a further two spotlights, and while it can only seat two people, this area is neatly separated from the main dinette by a sideboard unit, which is also where the table is stored.
Too often in caravans with this layout, the two dinettes look rather flung together, as if they were in a furniture store. This sideboard also comes with a TV socket by it, providing a second place, besides the front chest and sill, to position a TV.
The central kitchen butts up to the bunks at one end and the door on the other, but there is good separation from the door, where there is a windbreak.
The dual-fuel four-burner hob comes with a cover that partly blocks the window, but because it is only partially tinted, this isn’t too big an issue. In any case, the large worktop is well-lit artificially, and has two mains sockets close by.
Elddis is including the new Thetford K1520 oven in all Avantés this season, with a separate oven and grill. It has a large, relatively clear pan locker below. The 110-litre Dometic fridge is topped by a new design of cutlery tray, while there are two large drawers in the middle here and another clear pan locker.
Elddis’s designers often make a point of differentiating the look of the kitchen overhead cupboards, and here they are set off with white fronts. There is a crockery and mug rack in one of these, and next to them, a branded microwave. A family chef should feel fairly satisfied.
To make way for the more capacious wardrobe, the washroom has been squeezed into a rectangle in the corner. Bit it is not poky inside.
The oval handbasin, for example, is on the large side for such a ‘salad bowl’ style, and has a cupboard below and a lit mirror above. The area is illuminated by an opaque window by the door.
There is no rooflight in the average-sized shower cubicle at the end, but you do get an LED light and a soap dish.
The settees at the front easily make up a comfortable and roomy double. The fixed bunks at the back, however, are slightly different from the norm, in having a fitted ladder.
This restricts the opening into the bottom bunk, but has its plus points, too – you don’t have to worry about the ladder coming loose while you are towing, or disengaging at odd moments.
Each bunk occupant gets their own window and light. The beds are really only big enough for medium-sized children, but they shouldn’t feel cooped up. In fact, there is almost no separation between the top bunk and the kitchen. The side dinette makes up into two more bunks, but only the top one has spotlights.
With six overhead lockers, a nearside underseat area that is completely clear, and an offside one where you only have a fuse box to contend with, storage up front is already impressive. The sideboard unit between the dinettes makes it even better.
There are three more overhead lockers over the side dinette, two of which are shelved. You don’t get access flaps to the underseat areas here, but you can move the slats away above them, and they are relatively clear.
Along with the area under the lower fixed bunk, the rear bedroom also benefits from the improved wardrobe, which is well-designed, with a full-height hanging area – large enough for the whole family – on one side and shelving on the other. The wardrobe door is furnished with a mirror, but the lighting back here is not overly generous.
|Shipping Length||7.35 m|