The 585 layout, featuring an L-shaped rear lounge that turns into a double bed with a bunk on top, was new for 2022 in three Erwin Hymer UK ranges – Elddis Avanté, the Compass Casita, and Xplore.
But given that the Xplore is a five-berth van, aimed at budget-conscious families, the judges at the Practical Caravan Awards were particularly impressed with this model. We took a closer look at the NEC Caravan, Camping and Motorhome show.
Pitch and set-up
The funky Xplore graphics on the outside certainly give this caravan a cheerful look, but if you think that means lower quality, you would be wrong.
The caravan still sits on an Al-Ko chassis, with a water-resistant GRP underside to the floor, and sides and roof built using pretty much the same SoLiD system you will find on all other Erwin Hymer UK brands.
Unfortunately, you don’t get either an AKS stabiliser or the ATC system, which come as standard one range up in Avanté and Casita. These are available as optional extras, but will set you back £996; although the stabiliser comes as part of the £504 SE pack that includes alloys, a spare wheel carrier, wheel lock receptor and a radio. You can also take a look at our best caravan steps guide if you’re looking for a product to help you get in and out of your tourer.
An external barbecue point and mains socket (in its own external locker) are also extras, costing £108 and £144 respectively.
One feature you don’t get in Xplore, even as an optional extra, is a sunroof. Still, the front lounge is brightened by light Ashton cabinetry and Maluku upholstery.
The settees are just large enough for six. A well-lit interior is a trait that the best caravans all share, and the Xplore 585 is no different. The single front window may also be a sign that this is a budget caravan, but it does let in loads of light, and gives a superb view.
Two roof lights bring in more light, and although there is no ambient lighting, there are five LEDs in the roof, and two spots. There is a mains socket in the corner and sockets for a TV over the sideboard by the door. The TV bracket itself is a £42 extra.
So far, so good, and the rear lounge is a bonus for any family with children who want their own space. It has a second set of TV sockets and three spotlights.
One niggle is that Erwin Hymer UK has chosen to orient the ‘L’ shape of the settee so that it is in line with the curve of the washroom door. Sitting there can feel a bit like queuing for the toilet – especially as the washroom door opens towards you.
But another budget feature that could have plus points is the loose-fit carpet runner, a godsend to anyone with a dog.
Open the extension and the kitchen offers good worktop. It is well lit, with spots and the roof light. You only get a three-burner gas hob, and a combined oven and grill. But a 133-litre two-way opening fridge is included, and two mains sockets close to the extension. A microwave is a £228 extra.
Even in this budget model, Erwin Hymer UK includes a mirror outside the washroom door. The wheel arch does intrude into the shower cubicle, and it is quite a step into the shower itself. This is probably just as well, as there is only one drainage hole, so unless you are perfectly level, water could accumulate.
You get a salad bowl-style basin in front of a lit mirror, a toothbrush mug and a toilet roll holder, but no towel ring or robe hooks. The only roof vent is in the main section.
Beds in the Xplore 585
At 4ft 3in long, the front settees are only suitable as single beds for small children. It is easy to make them into a large double with slide-out slats, however.
It’s similarly easy with the beds at the rear. The only extra cushioning you need is a single mattress for the pull-out bunk. The double below, made with a platform, might be a tight squeeze for taller teens.
Storage in the Xplore 585
An external locker door giving you access to the area under the nearside settee is an £81 optional extra. But there is no internal access to either underseat area unless you lift the slats, and the base cushions are quite heavy. You do get four overhead lockers, however.
The bed platform makes access to the underseat areas in the rear more tricky, although there is some space. There are large overhead lockers here, too.
The wardrobe is a good size for the clothes of a family, even with the foldaway table stored in it. In the kitchen, storage is ample, with two overhead lockers, three drawers and the sideboard behind you. There’s a huge pan locker below the combined oven and grill.
The washroom also houses two large cupboards, one underneath the sink and the other up high.
We would prefer a different orientation in the rear lounge, and the Xplore 585 features all the stripping back to basics that you might expect in a budget van, but even standard spec is more than adequate, as you may expect in the tourer that won the best caravan under £20000 category at the Practical Caravan Awards 2022. It makes a bright and cheerful family caravan.
- Thumbs up: Really bright interior, good kitchen storage
- Thumbs down: Rear lounge orientation might be a bit cramped
Or how about these:
Bailey Pegasus Grande SE Ancona: this five berth is more expensive but has a very comfortable layout on a single axle.
Weinsberg CaraOne 400 LK: a lightweight and affordable family caravan that we thought was very well built.
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The funky Xplore graphics on the outside certainly give this caravan a cheerful look, but if you think that means lower quality, you would be wrong
|Al-Ko chassis with overrun device, GRP undersign to floor, aluminium one-piece sides, Fully-bonded roof, 4kW Whale heater with 8-litre water heater, Electric flush toilet, Fully-lined shower cubicle, Combined oven and grill, Dometic 10 Series two-way opening fridge, Three-burner gas hob, Teleco Teleplus X2/39U aerial, Two-part door with flatscreen