THE BIG NEWS FOR ELDDIS’S 2014-SEASON MOTORHOME LINE-UP is the introduction of a new, compact range of coachbuilts – the Accordo.
The Accordo will be able to go where larger motorhomes fear to tread. And with fuel costs such a big issue for many motorcaravanners, downsizing is very much a trend at the moment.
But although compact coachbuilts are popular in Germany in particular, other than the short-lived Bentley Motorhomes, they’re still quite new to the UK.
ACCORDO HAS TWO MODELS
There are two models in the Accordo range, and both measure less than six metres. And with their narrow 6’6” interior body widths, they’re really no bigger than many panel van conversions, so should fit into most car-sized parking bays.
CHEAPER THAN A HIGH-TOP VAN CONVERSION
What’s more, with both of the models in the range priced at a shade over £36,000, they’re cheaper than most new high-top conversions on the market today, whilst benefitting from the kind of improved insulation coachbuilt motorhomes offer over panel van conversions.
From the outside, Elddis has got the looks just right. It’s based on the low-line Peugeot Boxer medium wheelbase chassis cab.
The low-line roof mould neatly follows the rake of the cab windscreen, while the caravan body is only a shade wider than the cab body. And the silver GRP sidewalls really set off the whole appearance. The rear wheel arches do sit very high above the wheels, though.
The cab is well specified as standard, with cab air conditioning, cruise control, driver and passenger airbags, and pleated windscreen and side window blinds. There’s also an opening sunroof above it.
NO SLOUCH ON THE ROAD
The Boxer is powered by Peugeot’s excellent 2.2-litre 130 bhp turbodiesel engine – that’s more than enough muscle for such compact coachbuilts.
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We’ve had a good look at the three-berth 125 model. On board it replicates the hugely popular van conversion layout: that is, half dinette up front, central kitchen and washroom, plus a transverse double bed across the rear of the van. There are belted seats for four people, and sleeping berths for three.
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UNIQUE BOOT SPACE
The unique thing about the 125 is that rear locker door, or boot space. It opens to give you great access to the storage space beneath the rear double bed.
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STORAGE UNDER THE BED
Although the rear bed’s mattress is in two parts, and the base is hinged at either end so it can be raised and clipped in a vertical, storage position, it’s not quite as versatile as the same floorplan in a van conversion.
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STORAGE FOR BIKES & SPORTS GEAR
Open the rear double doors of an Adria Twin SP or Autocruise Accent, for example, lift the base and you could store bikes. But in the Accordo, the locker height and bed cross-member stops you loading taller items, although there are fixing points for a rear mounted bike rack.
Nonetheless, with removable sections in the bed box you can easily use this space for skis or fishing gear.
CHILD-SIZED FRONT BERTH
The front sleeping berth – which makes use of the table and cab seat – is really only suitable for a child.
COMPACT: WASHING AND COOKING
The washroom, which is sited midships on the driver’s side, is compact but useable, while on the nearside there’s a tiny kitchen, with a combined oven and grill and a 95-litre fridge, and a neat slide-out workspace extension.
In summary, the Accordo’s compact proportions mean it could realistically be used as an every day drive, and it offers a real alternative to high-top conversions.
It’s not as flexible as a panel van, but it’s roomier and should stand up to four-season camping better. This is a great first attempt at something new by Elddis.
PLUS: NEW AUTOQUEST & ASPIRE MODELS
In other Elddis motorhome news, there’s a new low-line Autoquest, the 195, which has a rear lounge, while the range-topping Aspire gets two new layouts: the sub-6m 205 (midships double bed, end washroom) and the 275 (midships double bed, end washroom).
Reporting from the Elddis 2014-season press preview
17 July 2013