Explorer’s new great value range reviewed…
The new five-strong Xplore range of caravans enter the hotly-contested budget end which is currently dominated by Bailey’s Ranger and Swift Group’s Sprite range.
Prices start at under £9,995 and the five layouts on offer include a six-berth twin axle aggressively priced at under £12,500, six-berth single axle and a four-berth single axle versions.
The multi-berth models are proven family-friendly layouts – featuring either fixed rear bunks or separate front and rear lounges – very handy for giving kids their own space during the day and separate sleeping quarters from the grown-ups at night.
The 452/2 model tested here is best described as a capable, entry-level caravan for couples wanting a value for money end-washroom two berth.
Its exterior shares the same cheery graphics as the rest of the Explorer range and a light interior feel is helped by the roof locker design as well as the light wood finish.
The front dinette will seat six with relative ease. Twin blown air vents and mains socket and TV aerial point are placed here down below the seat bases. It offers an excellent floor area between the side dresser and the main kitchen unit.
Xplore caravans also have the heater and water heater controls placed at easy to reach points – the 452/2’s are ideally situated where the side dresser is along with another mains socket.
Kitchens in the Xplore range are well planned and the 452/2’s is no exception with sink and combined drainer. The fridge in the 452/2 is the 108-litre size and offers enough storage for food for two people on a long tour.
On all Xplores a three burner hob is fitted and you also get an oven. Kitchen storage is generally good with the two roof lockers one fitted out for crockery racks.
Xplore’s 452/2 though has a cracking end washroom for this price range of tourers. By far the best of the Xplore range, the end washroom comes with separate shower cubicle, and hand washbasin plus a decent wardrobe for two persons. Floor area is another plus here – the 452/2’s washroom makes for a good changing room too.
The Xplore range of five models cover the whole spectrum of the popular layouts that new and long term caravanners will have shortlisted. It’s a shame that the excellent end washroom is only to be enjoyed by those buying the 452/2.
The Xplore tourers are are well priced and light in weight. It’s some years since we have seen a more budget line up from Explorer Group, the last being the Crowns a few years ago. A welcome alternative to the Ranger and Sprite ranges for the new caravan buyer on a budget.
Insurance cost: £218*
*Caravan insurance quotes are based on a caravan owner over 30 years of age, caravanning for over 3 years whilst insured and claim free, and a member of a caravanning club. Caravans fitted with wheel clamp, hitchlock and a basic door alarm. Caravans stored at HX3 0AW behind locked gates. Prices quoted include Insurance Premium Tax at 5% and are correct as of 14/04/2008.