400mm…That might not sound much. But, that’s the extra floor space you get at the end of the transverse island bed here in the all-new Compass Corona 554 when it’s fully retracted. It’s an action that’s commendably easy to perform, and it’s just one reason to investigate further.
Sure, it’s a four-berth, but you can’t help feeling it’s couples who will keep the appeal of a keenly priced four-berth with a transverse island bed and a full-width end washroom floorplan like this to themselves.
Parent company Elddis has also moved its Compass Corona models very gently but very noticeably more upmarket, thanks especially to a full Alde central heating and hot water system. Colours are different for this year too, with the introduction of new woodwork and soft furnishings that add a touch of light blue to the proceedings.
Despite the apparent lack of windows, plenty of natural light comes in for the lounge area. That’s thanks not just to the standard three-windowed front end and side windows but also, overhead, an opening sunroof set longitudinally in a panel that also houses LED lighting.
It’s also an arrangement that allows a couple of decent-sized lockers at the very front over the windows.
Keeping the lounge short allows space for the other main cooking, sleeping and washing areas. The kitchen is mid-‘van offside, with a centrally located 8-series Dometic fridge. Set above this is a circular sink and monoblock lever mixer tap set and a decent amount of worktop to its left. To the right, it’s a Thetford Aspire 2 full cooker with dual-fuel hob and separate oven and grill. Kitchen storage comes in the form of two drawers and a large, unshelved cupboard to the left of the fridge, two lockers overhead (again, unshelved, but with crockery racking in the right-hand one).
Across the galley, the cupboard unit houses a Daewoo microwave oven, also offering a lower level ledge that’s ideal for siting a TV, with a drawer and locker beneath.
Next to this, the wardrobe sits over two drawers and a floor locker. From here, it’s easy to walk into the bedroom (although there is a concertina divider for privacy). This, the main wardrobe, is home to the lounge’s free-standing table as well as the Alde’s header tank.
There’s a second wardrobe (his maybe?) on the opposite side of the bed. The bed itself only has two small corner shelves for putting things on at night (such as a glass of water or spectacles), although there are two lockers overhead. The mattress is an Ozio Coolsoft, from specialist caravan upholstery supplier, Leisure Furnishings – it’s a triple layer polyester fibre construction that’s particularly comfortable as well as being some 30 per cent lighter than traditional sprung-interior mattressing.
Lift up the bed’s metal-framed base, however, and there’s an extensive, uncluttered area of storage, also with an exterior access hatch.
Beyond this bedroom, there’s sliding door access to a generous washroom. Here, you get a properly lined shower cubicle with a deep tray and single plughole, central sink with Caraflo mixer lever, and a swivel-bowl toilet with overhead locker.
As you can see from the list below, the Corona 554 has no shortage of rivals from every other UK manufacturer and more. That even includes the Elddis Avante 554, although this elects to go with Whale heating and hot water supplies.
For more information on the Corona range the Elddis website elddis.co.uk/elddis
To find out more about how you can lower the cost of insuring this caravan, visit our caravan insurance discounts page.
Verdict: Corona heads up the mainstream
Plus: Retracting island bed, Alde heating as standard
Minus: Lacks a bit of sparkle
In-a-nutshell: Worthy and warm
Alternatives: Adria Isonzo, Bailey Pegasus Brindisi, Coachman Vision 575, Elddis Avante 554, Lunar Quasar 574, Sterling Eccles 580, Swift Challenger 580
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