The new sunroof and layout are just part of the Cyclone’s story. The redesigned décor and innovative SoLiD body construction make the new Elddis Crusader Cyclone an attractive buy.
It looks good inside and out
It provides ample storage space for four
There’s a great spec
It has a lovely sunroof
It’s a popular layout
It’s no lightweight
Why is there no heated towel rail?
The lounge is too short for single beds
It isn’t ideal for young families, due to the pale upholstery
The sunroof is undeniably the top design trend sweeping the caravan market, and Elddis joins in for 2014 – when, it also marks its 50th anniversary. Almost as long-lived is the model name, Cyclone, and tourers bearing it have changed plenty since the first one in 1968.
Aside from getting a sunroof, the latest version of the rear-island-bed twin-axle has been reworked in the middle. Instead of 2013’s nearside kitchen and offside washroom, the kitchen is on the offside, and the washroom is split into two sections. We got inside to see how well the revamp works.
It's the first Elddis range with a sunroof – and what it steals in space it more than makes up for with extra light
Pitching & Setting-up
The upmarket Crusader Cyclone rides on a BPW chassis, with a Winterhoff hitch and IDC trailer-control system in front, and alloy wheels. The large front locker can hold two BP Gas Light cylinders and more besides.
The specification also boasts a wet locker, external gas and mains points, a high-gain aerial, clear Seitz windows, a 40-litre on-board water tank, a tracking system, a wheel lock and a jack. The only letdowns are its plastic, chrome-effect grabhandles, which look less than substantial.
The Cyclone’s lounge comprises parallel seats and a five-drawer central chest with an extendable tabletop. The surface is ideal for a cuppa but you’ll need the free-standing table at mealtimes – it is stored in an adjacent cupboard.
Bolster and scatter cushions add to the already considerable comfort of the beech-slatted parallel seats. The rose-tinted, tweedy upholstery, though, is not ideal for young families.
Overhead lockers along the sides are deeper than before but, unlike in the 2013 Cyclone, there are none in front. That’s to make room for the fashionable sunroof, which features in an Elddis model for the first time. What it steals in space it more than makes up for with extra light. It and the adjacent rooflight let light flood in, while LEDs in its surround add to the illumination from corner spotlamps and lights over the lockers.
For entertainment, fit a TV to the bracket provided or switch on the radio/CD player. The Alde heating controls are fitted here.
The first things you notice in the kitchen are its ample work and storage space. The sink and hob are finished in black enamel, and the removable drainer matches them. A dual-fuel hob, and separate oven and grill on the offside face the 155-litre fridge and the microwave just above it.
Four downlights illuminate the worktop, while a window and Omnivent provide light and ventilation. Three drawers, a cupboard and four overhead roof lockers provide all the space you need for food, pans and crockery.
What has the Cyclone gained by dropping last year’s cramped washroom in favour of separate toilet and shower cubicles? Plenty. This is a more efficient use of space, letting you use the whole bedroom to dry and dress after a shower.
Flanking the entrance to the rear bedroom are the two components: on the offside is moulded circular cubicle (roomy, with smart chrome fittings) and opposite is the toilet with an electric-flush Thetford as well as a handbasin. The latter lacks the heated towel rail often found with Alde systems, but it has heat vents, as well as a window and a rooflight.
The Cyclone’s stock in trade seems to be extra-roomy beds, starting with the 1.88m x 1.4m (6’2″ x 4’6″) island bed, which is topped by a very comfortable mattress. The arrangement allows easy access to either side. There’s the extra bonus of a vanity unit, with a mirror and an overhead light.
Up front, meanwhile, the lounge can be converted into a double bed measuring 2.08m x 1.6m (5’3″ x 6’10”) using slats that slide from the central chest. The seats are too short to be used as twin singles, except by young children.
The Cyclone has excellent storage throughout. Starting in the lounge, you get deep overhead lockers and front-access flaps to the seat boxes. The centre chest has five drawers rather than the usual three.
At the rear, the fixed bed’s base raises to reveal a massive area, accessible from both sides, while twin wardrobes and roof lockers provide generous amounts of space to tidy away clothing.
The kitchen is among the best we’ve seen for storage, including three large drawers and four roof lockers. The nearside toilet room pitches in with a large cupboard beneath the basin and a wall-mounted cupboard.
There’s not just enough storage for a couple – it’s ample for four people’s kit.