Can you improve on success? Back in 2017, the Explorer Group (as it then was) introduced the Avanté 866 as one of two new models in Elddis’s entry-level range that were eight feet wide – a larger width it had only introduced on its flagship Buccaneer brand just two years before.

The extra girth made sense at the larger end of the Avanté range – for twin-axle vans that were designed first and foremost for larger families. Nor was that the only nod to the needs of sprawling families: the 866 also included a small dinette at the back, specially designed for children where they could get away from their parents (perhaps to the latter’s relief).

Since then both ideas have been extensively copied. Other manufacturers have quickly wheeled out eight-foot wide caravans. And while Elddis may not have been first with the family dinette idea, others have produced versions of it, too.

For the 2018 season the eight-foot wide range has been expanded with the introduction of the transverse-island-bed 860. But a mark of the idea’s success is also the enthusiasm with which these models have been included in the many dealer specials that are based on the Avanté range and make up a significant part of Elddis’s production output. Pretty much all the Avanté-based dealer specials now include a version of the 866.

So do they improve on the original? To find out, we’ve chosen to look at what Warwickshire dealership Raymond James offers on its version.

This retailer has a novel way of naming its dealer specials. The family that owns Raymond James Caravans also used to produce touring caravans under the Avondale brand, and retains the intellectual property rights. So the Coachman Vision-based range is called Avocet, and the Avanté-based one is Osprey – Avocet and Osprey are former Avondale line-ups. It’s great to see these names live on, but does the current Osprey live up to its illustrious namesake?