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★★☆☆☆

“A caravan that could have been great - but isn't.”

Written on: 24/01/2020 by Pikewx1974 (1 review written)

Conceptually, a lovely caravan. The reality is rather different, however. I have my doubts that the Elddis warranty is worth anything.

The 304 is a lightweight and very 'compact' caravan, nominally a 4-berth - if you define that as 2 adults and 2 children. It's fine for 2 adults, ideal for 1. The layout is quite clever, though with such a compact caravan most aspects have required compromise. Its not the practicality that I find dissatisfying though, its the build quality and Elddis' response to warranty claims.

Within the 18 months we have observed :

1) The shower curtain isn't long enough. It sticks to the outward-opening door, and dumps large quantities of shower water into the main cabin. We pointed this out to Elddis and commented that a 100mm deeper drop to the curtain would have solved this. Their response was that the couldn't source a curtain with a deeper drop. What they meant is they couldn't be bothered to order a 'special' from a manufacturer and would rather see new customers muck up their van than solve the problem. Pretty complacent thinking.

2) The factory fitted bike rack on the back of the caravan obscures the rear number plate on the van and is thus illegal. Elddis' response was 'no it doesn't' despite being set photographic evidence. I beg to differ; even a blind person could 'feel' this was a problem.

3) The Whale water heater had developed a fault on the thermistor and keeps tripping out. Not strictly an Elddis problem, but finding a local service centre who is prepared to do a warranty repair has proved impossible.

4) The (rear mounted) bike rack came away from the rear face of the van because the fitter over-drilled the pilot hole for a screw and then, rather than properly deal with the problem of his own making, filled the hole with silicon sealant and pushed the screw into that. The rail partially came away whilst on tow. Pretty negligent really, but what took the biscuit was Elddis then claiming that they didn't fit it, despite the fact that it was a factory fit item, and refused a warranty repair on it.

I also know of other Xplore 304 users who have had the rear corner mouldings on the tops of their caravans crack open and allow water ingress. Evidently a design fault.

The earlier models of Explore 304 also had problems with cracks developing in the shower basin floor where there was insufficient support around the shower drain hole, and people stepping into the shower tray (which you can't avoid doing) to get to the loo stressed the plastic until it cracked.

My conclusion is that I think Elddis' service is unacceptable and quality of workmanship poor. I wouldn't recommend them to others, and wouldn't buy another product from them - whether a caravan or motorhome. There must be other manufacturers out there that try harder, in all areas of design, manufacture and service.

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