Dealer specials can mean top value for money – read Practical Motorhome's Richard Baldwin Musketeer Athos review to learn more about this Elddis based 'van

Overview

Halifax-based dealership Richard Baldwin Motorhomes holds franchises for Auto-Trail, Autocruise, Elddis, Romahome and Tribute. It’s an established business with a well-equipped premises that includes an indoor showroom and accessory shop.

It also retails a five-strong dealer special edition range, Musketeer, which is based on the Elddis Autoquest and has been very successful.

The Athos, reviewed here, is based on the Elddis Autoquest 155 but contains several distinctive equipment variations from the original.

Richard Baldwin Motorhomes is based in Copley, Halifax, West Yorkshire. Sales director Gary Morgan is the man behind the Musketeer special edition motorhomes, joining forces with Elddis in 2011 to make it happen. The Musketeer line-up has been a big hit with RBM customers, who find they’re getting an enhanced specification for an attractive price.

“We wanted something that was special to us so that we didn’t have to compete with every other Elddis dealer when we went to shows,” explains Gary.

“The big thing was to listen to what customers wanted – that’s why we ended up with the safety items. We managed to get an exclusive on ESP [electronic stability protection] on the base vehicle for a year, before it became more widely available. And we introduced a Driver’s Pack – yellow vest, spare bulbs and warning triangle – as it’s what our customers wanted. You need it when you’re touring on the Continent.

“And because of how well it’s gone for us – a small dealership – I think we’ve got it right. Our Elddis sales have gone up and up every year since we’ve been doing the special editions.” It’s not all about the equipment, though. Interior ambience is very important, so Gary and his team have tried hard to get it right.

“You have to go for an inoffensive fabrics scheme. Customers don’t have to fall in love with it – they just mustn’t dislike it.”

Gary believes the highly regarded SoLiD bodyshell plays a part, too: “We haven’t had any damp issues in any of the new SoLiD vehicles. It’s only been out for a couple of years and you’d expect to have seen a couple by now, but nothing yet.”

“I believe there’s always a market for a good quality basic motorhome. So we’ve taken a basic ’van and have made it more desirable.

“That’s why the Musketeer range has been so successful for us. It does what it says on the tin and it’s great value for money.”

Design

The Richard Baldwin Motorhomes Musketeer range based on Elddis motorhomes features metallic gold cabs, which certainly makes them stand out on the road. The gold colour is picked up on the side stripes, which run from the cab right up to the rear window. It’s a racy look. The ‘value-added’ proposition continues inside, with walnut-effect infills on the dashboard and around the heating vents.

Dual-fuel hobs also make an appearance in the Musketeer Athos. They’re a practical addition and offer extra flexibility. The Musketeer range stays closer to the fabrics scheme used in the Elddis Autoquest. The brown curtains are a Richard Baldwin Motorhomes addition, though.

Lounging & dining

Bright and airy, with plenty of natural light flooding in, the Richard Baldwin Musketeer Athos is a pleasant place to spend time. Daylight floods in through a panoramic skylight above the cab and lounge. It is one of the additional features provided in the dealer special packages.

Kitchen

In the kitchen of this Elddis Autoquest based motorhome the extras are a microwave, fitted in the kitchen’s left-hand overhead locker, and the aforementioned dual-fuel hobs.

Equipment

You also get a 'Driver’s Pack' including spare bulbs, a hi-vis vest and a breathalyser for touring in France.

Technical specs

Sleeps4
Travel seats4
MTPLM3500kg
Payload520kg
Length7.2m23′7″
Width2.2m7′3″
Height3m9′10″
Waste water90L
External Options
Aluminium sidewalls, Integral awning, Awning light
Kitchen Equipment
Dometic Fridge, 3-burner gas with electric hot plate, Combined Oven/Grill, Microwave
Heating
Whale water heater, Whale blown air space heater

Verdict

The Elddis Autoquest is a popular base among dealers that create special editions. This version of the 155 has been a big success for Richard Baldwin Motorhomes, a well established Halifax dealership. All in all, the Richard Baldwin Musketeer Athos offers great value for money.

Conclusion

Pros

  • You get more kit for your cash
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