Aiming for the stars
Five-star luxury, is the promise from Elddis for its six-model Crusader line-up for this season. It’s hard to disagree with a premise like that.
The Aurora here is a new model, with its rear island bed likely to be its biggest attraction. There’s something of a schism in the market at the moment too – those who want nothing less than Alde programmable central heating system and those who are happier with the “lesser” systems from Truma and (to a smaller degree) Whale – both of which, admittedly, seem to need less in terms of regular care. Certainly, Truma doesn’t mind – it also owns the Alde brand now. And that’s what you get here. A full, “wet” central heating and hot water system, just like you have at home – a system of pipework and radiators that provides a particular quality of regulated heat that’s also fully programmable.
Champagne sides hint at the lifestyle here. It gets the latest sunroof-incorporated front end design too. Extending right over the lounge area to let in as much daylight as possible, and the front gas locker lid might look black but in fact it’s a dark bronze.
The main bodywork is, of course, Elddis’s latest SoLiD construction featuring full bonding and aluminium sides, plus GRP underskin, all with the reassurance of a 10-year warranty as far as the dreaded water ingress is concerned.
So much for the practicalities. The luxury continues as soon as you go inside. At the doorway, there’s a rather convenient drinks locker with Perspex-fronted door.
Across the way, the kitchen has a commendably large, rectangular black granite-style sink served by a swan neck tap. Overall kit count includes an extractor fan over the kitchen area, Dometic 110-litre fridge/freezer, Daewoo microwave and Thetford Aspire 2 cooker with dual-fuel hob. That sink is to its left, leaving the only worktop, in turn, to its left.
Aft of the axle, it’s all about the bedroom and its en-suite facilities. As soon as you get out of bed you can step directly into the toilet room or shower – to your left and right, respectively. The toilet area also has space for a heated towel rail and a fixed basin as well as swivel-bowl toilet, but there’s no window (just a rooflight overhead) – and do note the exterior hatch for the holding tank will be in your awning.
The same toilet room door acts to close off the bedroom from the rest of the living quarters. Its island bed is 1.90m x 1.35m and, of course, with walk-around space to all three sides you don’t get the hemmed-in feeling you might experience with other bed types. There’s also the comfort of an Ozio Coolsoft breathable mattress.
There’s corner shelving but otherwise a lack of the kind of ledges that come in so handy near a bed. What you do get though, are his and hers wardrobes, with drawers. Plus, if you wish, the bed can be retracted during the day to give a bit more floor space.
For those who like to watch TV in bed, there are TV points and a mains socket (the washroom wall will take a TV bracket), although there’s also a ledge if the lounge is your preferred TV watching area.
There are also USB sockets at the front of the lounge, Aquaclean upholstery finish, all-levels LED lighting, a programmable electrical monitor (to prevent overloading), and more. Details, maybe, but typical of the thought that has gone into this premium tourer.
Verdict: Elddis ups it in the luxury stakes
Plus: Full end bedroom
Minus: No washroom window, toilet cassette hatch location
In-a-nutshell: Further recommendation for the island life
There’s more information on the Crusader range on the Elddis website. To find out more about insuring this or your caravan visit the caravan insurance discounts page
Alternatives: Coachman VIP 545, Compass Rallye 550, Sterling Elite 560, Swift Conqueror 560
Elddis Crusader Aurora factfile
|Model||Elddis Crusader Aurora|
|Dimensions||6.26m L, 2.30m W, 2.65m H|
|RRP||from £23,094 on-the-road|
|Safety & security||ATC, Al-Ko AKS 3004 hitch stabiliser, Al-Ko Diamond wheel lock, Tracker Retrieve (with 12 month subscription), smoke alarm, carbon monoxide detector, spare wheel and carrier|
|Key options||Alternative upholsteries (£249), wrap-around front seating (£199), bike rack (£349), bed covers kit (249), extra locker shelving kit (£39), satellite TV dish (£1,499), air conditioning (£1,299)|
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Note: All details correct at time of publication but may be subject to change.
*Caravan insurance cost based on Elddis Crusader Aurora caravan retailing at £23,094 fitted with hitchlock, Al-Ko diamond wheel lock, Tracker Retrieve Thatcham Cat 7 approved tracking device, ATC trailer stability control system, and Al-Ko hitch stabiliser. Kept on drive at HX4 0BE. Caravanners over 30 years old, claim free for 3 years and a member of a caravanning club. £100 excess. 180 days European cover and up to £75 per day for up to 15 days emergency accommodation cover included. Legal expenses cover, extended European cover and other emergency accommodation expenses cover options are available at extra cost. Quote includes 10% online discount and 9.5% Insurance Premium Tax and is correct as of 16.3.16.