When Buccaneer took on a new profile last season, it was inevitable that the revamp would follow through to the other Erwin Hymer Group UK caravan makes. And this is indeed what has happened, with Compass and Elddis receiving the new shell in the luxury Crusader and Camino.
This also means that the one-time 7ft 6in Crusader has stretched to 8ft wide, which might not appeal to all tastes.
As for the Tempest model itself: some years ago, Elddis launched the big twin-axle family tourer in its Crusader line-up. Offering a superb spec for all-year touring, it was in production for more than seven years.
For 2023, it is back, although not in its original layout. The latest version offers a fixed rear-corner double bed with fixed bunks opposite, a central washroom and kitchen, and a large front lounge. But with the price tag hovering around the £40,000 mark, will this six berth caravan still attract family buyers?
Pitch and set-up
The new Crusaders come on the Al-Ko chassis with an extended drawbar, a feature that you would probably normally associate more with Continental brands. This adds to stability when towing, although you still get an AKS hitch fitted, as well as ATC.
Heavy-duty corner steadies are provided, while a wet locker and external BBQ point and mains socket are also part of the spec.
Up front is a capacious gas locker and a pair of sturdy grab handles, while the side windows are tinted. The decals and external mouldings are all high quality.
You also get a Teleco TV aerial and an onboard 40-litre water tank, but the solar panel is a £612 option.
Lounge in the Elddis Crusader Tempest
The Crusader’s lounge is roomy. It provides twin single settees, which allow plenty of seating for up to six, and the extra width does make a big difference here.
The seating is protected with Active Care treatment, designed to make stains easy to clean. There are bolster cushions and four large scatter cushions, too, making this a very comfortable lounge indeed.
The windows offer excellent views and it is good to see Elddis still using proper curtains for the side windows, rather than mock drapes or padded panels.
The sunroof and skylight, both large, make the lounge bright and airy. LED lighting is well placed throughout, with four corner spots. There is a Pioneer radio fitted in one of the lockers, with speakers underneath the front lockers.
Kitchen in the Elddis Crusader Tempest
The side kitchen offers the latest Thetford oven and grill, along with a dual-fuel hob, and there’s a microwave opposite, above the Dometic fridge and separate freezer. The sizeable drawers are dovetail jointed, which harks back to the era of handbuilt luxury. The worktop is solid and has an extension flap. Two power sockets are placed to the left of the sink, ideal if you want to plug in something like a kettle (see our best caravan kettle guide if you’re looking for one).
The kitchen is well lit, with four downlighters, and you also get an extractor fan.
Beds in the Elddis Crusader Tempest
The fixed bed opposite is not large, but should still be comfortable. Up front, you can use the settees as singles, or a large double bed using pull-out slats.
Washroom in the Elddis Crusader Tempest
The washroom has a shower cubicle on one side and the toilet and handbasin in a room opposite. There is a cupboard, a mirror and a roof vent, but no window. The smart grey radiator is part of the Alde heating system. Lighting is good, with well-placed LEDs.
The shower cubicle, a one-piece moulded ABS unit, is a generous size, ideal for family use, and benefits from the aforementioned 40-litre onboard water tank.
Storage in the Elddis Crusader Tempest
The Tempest has deep overhead lockers and plenty of storage under the beds and bunks, much of which can be accessed via flaps. There is ample storage in the lounge and the bedroom, where there is also a small wardrobe. Next to the fridge is another wardrobe, with drawers beneath.
The kitchen has a large cupboard and drawers, while the washroom also has cupboard space. With the front chest of drawers inside and the gas locker and wet locker outside, the Elddis isn’t short of space.
Verdict on the Elddis Crusader Tempest
The Crusader looks very smart, with its bold graphics and new profile. Upgraded fit and finish provide a really solid feel.
The bright, comfortable lounge offers lots of room for family living. The kitchen is excellent, although some might prefer to see a little more worktop.
Having the rear bunks opposite the fixed double bed might not appeal to all, but this is, of course, a matter of personal choice.
Overall, the Tempest has a superb spec, although the omission of a solar panel as standard is a little puzzling – these days, most caravanners expect to use them.
Or you could try…
- Swift Challenger Grande 560L: this four-berth has been revamped both inside and out for the new season.
- Freedom Carpento 410: this five-berth is lightweight and versatile.
- Price: £39,899, plus £750 delivery
- Berths: 6
- MiRO: 1701kg
- Payload: 179kg
- MTPLM: 1880kg
- Shipping length: 8.18m
- Interior length: 6.39m
- Overall width: 2.45m
- Extended drawbar
- Heavy-duty steadies
- Alloy wheels
- Teleco TV aerial • External BBQ point and mains socket
- Awning light
- Alde heating
- Thetford oven
- Dometic fridge/freezer
- Al-Ko receiver
- Extractor fan
- Spare wheel
- 40-litre onboard water tank
- Separate shower cubicle
- Rear double bed: 1.25 x 1.89m
- Front double: 1.44 x 2.12m
- Front singles: 0.72 x 1.81m
- Rear fixed bunks: 0.61 x 1.91m
Photos: Andrew Jenkinson
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|Interior Length||6.39 m|
|Shipping Length||8.18 m|