Dealer Specials have been around for years, but those new to caravanning might be unaware that these are ranges (usually entry-level) from a manufacturer that are augmented by a higher spec, including items such as exclusive soft furnishings and a solar panel, among other things.
Most UK manufacturers make these specials to dealers’ requirements, adding those extras and giving them new names.
Over the next few pages, we’re taking a look at three such models. Two are based on Swift, but we kick off with the Elddis Supreme. Built for Preston Caravans and Motorhomes, in Lancashire, the Supreme is based on the popular Elddis Award. The 860 is one of the best-sellers in the range.
Pitch and set-up
The twin-axle, 8ft-wide 860 is built on an Al-Ko chassis and comes with heavy-duty corner steadies. Its smart exterior has grey sidewalls and exclusive graphics.
With ATC and an AKS stabiliser, the Supreme should be a very stable tow.
There’s a sunroof and a large front gas locker, and other extras include a nearside external locker with mains socket.
A welcome addition is the awning warmer, provided by the Whale blown-air heating system, and there’s an awning light, too, fitted above the water inlet and battery locker. All service points are on this side.
The glazed stable door is a traditional touch. You also get a Telco TV aerial, solar panel and drawbar light.
The Supreme has a very appealing lounge. Four can relax in comfort on the 6ft-long settees. This is enhanced by the upgraded upholstery and four scatter cushions.
Deep front windows let in lots of natural light, as does the sunroof. The 860 also benefits from a large, opening skylight with LED surround – a great feature usually only seen in the Elddis Affinity and above.
The central chest of drawers provides cupboard space underneath and a slide-out coffee table. Access flaps make the most of the underseat storage areas.
LED lighting is well placed and the radio and TV aerial are tucked neatly away in one of the overhead lockers.
There’s a mains socket in the front offside corner, and the control panel and heater controls are sensibly placed by the door. The lounge is roomy for four and if there’s just the two of you, really spacious.
The first thing you notice about the 860’s kitchen is the amount of storage space,, in cupboards, drawers and lockers.
The large sink is finished in black, and you get a Thetford oven with dual-fuel hob. The worktop is ample to begin with, but there’s a handy extension flap to provide even more space when needed.
The kitchen is well lit, with downlighters underneath the overhead lockers, and the Supreme has the added benefit of an extractor fan, rather than the roof vent that you might expect to see here.
The fridge has a separate freezer, while above this is the 800W microwave.
A key selling-point in the 860 is the rear bedroom, with a comfortable and spacious transverse bed that slides out to increase its length. The settees in the front lounge can be used as twin single beds if you are under 6ft tall; alternatively, they are easily converted into a generous double by using the pull-out slats.
The washroom in the Supreme straddles the centre of the van, with the toilet and handbasin on the offside and the moulded shower cubicle located just opposite.
The toilet is a Thetford electric-flush, the deep handbasin is a sensible size, and this whole area is kept comfortably warm via a well-placed blown-air heating vent.
There’s a roof vent to provide light and ventilation, although we reckon a small side window would not go amiss here. Storage is good, with space below the basin and in the mirrored cupboard. The shower cubicle opposite is well-lit and a good size.
The 860 offers excellent storage for four, with lots of overhead lockers, and space in the kitchen is particularly generous. There is a useful cupboard by the entrance, while the rear bedroom provides twin wardrobes, overhead lockers, a corner unit and a mirrored wall cabinet above. Last but by no means least, the front gas locker has plenty of room to stow those essential caravanning bits and bobs!
The Supreme has long proved that a dealer special can be a bargain buy. The 860 offers comfortable living space for four and with only two on board, it’s very comfortable indeed. The rear bedroom is a selling-point and the interior feels modern and bright. The extra kit adds to the 860’s appeal – you get a lot of tourer for the money and this is definitely one to add to your shortlist.
|Thumbs up: Great specification for the price. GRP sides. Excellent rear bedroom.|
Thumbs down: No washroom window
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The rear bedroom is a selling-point and the interior feels modern and bright
|Interior Length||6.39 m|
|Shipping Length||8.05 m|
|Spec list||Spare wheel, Whale heating, Fridge with separate freezer, TV aerial, Awning light, BBQ point, mains exterior socket, Solar panel, Microwave, USB, Tracker, ATC, Alloys, Skyview roof vent, Extractor fan, GRP sides, Heavy-duty corner steadies, Sunroof, Glazed stable door|