On-going proof that you don’t have to have a heavy tourer continues to come from the budget-friendly Xplore range from Elddis (these days part of the Erwin Hymer Group).
Light entertainer for two
It’s a four-strong line-up that’s kept its price and weight promises from its introduction back in 2008, with the 422 here joining the pack in 2018.
It’s a classic two-berth formula – offering a lounge with settees long enough to make single beds (or, more preferable, a double) and an L-shaped kitchen across the back.
Today’s maximum weight of 1,110kg puts it in hitching-up reach of a massive number of towing vehicles. Even the free-of-charge maximum weight upgrade – to 1,200kg – will only seem worthwhile if you’re in danger of exceeding the initial 140kg payload.
There have been developments along the way, of course. 2024 versions see not just new graphics but the sides are GRP with a shiny finish and, like its Elddis and Buccaneer stablemates, benefiting from fully-bonded bodywork that’s backed by a 10-year integrity warranty. There are also three years’ manufacturing cover for the rest of the caravan.
Defining features of the Xplore 422 caravan start with the single front window and single-doored front locker. The stable door might lack a window, but the interior is light and airy – thanks not just to the furniture and soft furnishings schemes but also to features like the Midi Heki rooflight over the lounge.
Seating here is twin settees that are some 1.96m (6ft 5in) long – perfect not just for sprawling out on for the two of you, or having guests in.
The chest of drawers includes a pull-out tabletop and there’s also a free-standing table that stows in the wardrobe for travel.
These settees are also of sufficient size to be almost instant single beds, although there’s not a lot of extra effort involved in flipping over the seat cushions and pulling out slatted extensions to make a very generous (1.99m x 1.50m) transverse double.
Aft of the lounge, on the nearside, the furniture is designed to allow a TV to sit at a convenient height for watching from settee or bed.
The open-plan layout of the Xplore 422 caravan makes it easy to walk from the lounge to the kitchen and washroom. The former extends across the back and along the nearside, its L-shape giving it lots of storage space, although permanent worktop is restricted.
There’s a Thetford Triplex cooker with three gas rings and a space-saving oven and grill combination next to which is a sink in a black enamel finish. There are also a couple of mains sockets nearby. A microwave oven is optional but will, of course, eat into your storage space.
Opening windows to two sides, complete with roller blinds and flyscreens, means there’s plenty of daylight here as well as ventilation when needed. Storage – which includes overhead lockers, drawers, two floor lockers, and a large slim cupboard – is excellent considering the confines.
Completing the Xplore 422’s kitchen, the fridge is a step away, under the wardrobe, on the other side of the washroom.
There’s another pleasant surprise in the washroom itself. Open its solid door and you’ll see the designers have managed to incorporate a separate shower cubicle in here – fully lined and with a one-piece door – as well as the usual swivel-bowl toilet and handbasin, the latter a circular countertop model with chrome swan-neck mixer tap.
Of the optional extras, the SE Pack continues to be the most desirable. It brings alloy wheels, a steel spare wheel with a spare wheel carrier, a radio with MP3 connectivity, a hitch stabilizer and an Al-Ko Wheel Lock receptor.
Perhaps unsurprisingly in a lightweight tourer that keeps its costs down, some safety and security items are relegated to the options list – if you do want them, at least you can offset some of those charges for a reduction in your caravan insurance premium.
To find out more about insuring an Xplore 422 or your current caravan visit our caravan insurance discounts page.
Verdict: Low-cost caravanning for two
Plus: Light on weight as well as price, separate shower cubicle
Minus: Should the SE Pack be standard?
In-a-nutshell: Go lightly
Alternatives: Adria Altea 362 LH Forth, Sprite Compact
Xplore 422 factfile
|5.88m L, 2.18m W, 2.65m H
|1,110kg (upgradable to 1,200kg)
|Safety & security
|Smoke alarm, carbon monoxide detector, GRP underskin, CRiS
|SE Pack (£685), wrap-around front seating (£283), 230V external socket (£149), gas barbecue point (£113), external locker door (£81), Al-Ko Secure Wheel Lock (£311), tracking system (£332), bike rack (£495), Al-Ko ATC (£608), alarm system (£389), Omnivent (£255)