If you’re looking for the ultimate in caravan technology, Buccaneer has it in spades, with the automatic levelling system topping the list of impressive gizmos, completely removing a significant and potentially time-consuming on-site task.
If you want your next tourer to be opulent, just a shade apartment-like, and brimming with sophisticated equipment, the Buccaneer Commodore is one to consider.
The Buccaneer range gained a transverse bed layout for 2017, and it’s laden with gizmos including underfloor heating and an automatic levelling system
If you want your next tourer to be opulent, just a shade apartment-like, and brimming with sophisticated equipment, this is one to consider.
The Commodore, a new model for this year, has a transverse island bed at the rear, with the washing arrangements amidships; the door of that compartment closes across the caravan, dividing it into two rooms.
One feature which marks Buccaneers out as top-spec, superior caravans is the underfloor heating extension of the Alde heating system; you have to regard a warmed floor on cold mornings as the ultimate in caravan luxury!
Another is the electronic automatic levelling system which you can control from a handset or a panel by the door. Called simply Levelsystem, it operates by a system of jacks that level the axles and then lower the giant corner steadies; the whole process takes just two minutes. Impressive and incredibly easy! (Buccaneers were, until the 2017 model-year, the only caravans to have this system. Now there’s another; the new Alaria range, made by Lunar.)
Buccaneers are stacked with gadgetry, including a tracker system, an external cold water shower (ideal for washing dogs or welly boots!) and a device which monitors mains power load so that you can’t trip out your pitch’s supply.
The Commodore has a unique element to its storage capability. It’s an exterior locker, 37cm wide, 63cm deep and 78cm high; perfect for walking boots, of course. And also big enough to contain some folding chairs or even a small barbeque.
Space is made possible by the shape of the kitchen, which has an oval section jutting out into the centre of the caravan, creating a large working surface. Underneath, the forward sector contains shelving, rather like the design seen in some Bailey Unicorn kitchens. But where the Unicorns have gas compartments behind the shelving, the Buccaneer Commodore has a large, versatile locker space.
Everything about the Commodore is big. Buccaneers are 2.45m wide (that’s 15cm wider than Elddis Crusaders, for example). That means more floor space; it’s especially noticeable in the bedroom, where there is 83cm of space at the end of the bed (of which more later).
The fridge is big (it has a 155-litre capacity), and with a large freezer compartment which you can remove if chill space is more important to you than having a freezer. And the extra width compared with standard-width caravans makes the kitchen area feel impressively open-plan.
Open the piano-hinged door at the rear of the kitchen, and you find yourself in a two-part en suite arrangement, with the shower in a separate compartment from the basin and toilet. And what a shower!
The walls are “tiled”. (It’s plastic, of course, but these fawn "tiles" indeed look like the real thing). The feature is bijou caravanning in the extreme, and with a retractable towel rail which pulls out to reveal four towel bars, and then goes back against the wall unobtrusively; superb!
Opposite, there are a heated towel rail, a backlit mirror and three big LED cluster spotlights in the "room" that contains the toilet and washbasin.
Open the solid sliding door to the rear of the washing facilities, and you find yourself in a gorgeous bedroom, with ample daylight coming in through two windows, each with 'chrome café rod' curtain poles and a back-lit, thick headboard upholstered to match the curtains.
There’s a dressing table in a rear corner, and equal-sized wardrobes (each providing 29cm of hanging width) bordering the bed.
The key feature of the Commodore’s bedroom is the huge amount of floor space; that’s because the caravan is a full-fat 2.45m wide.
When the bed is pushed back to its daytime semi-retracted position, there is so much space at the foot of the bed that you do feel you're in a little hotel room rather than a caravan.
Even with the bed fully extended, there is adequate walking space around the foot, so it's questionable whether you need to retract it at all, though it’s nice to have the option.
Although this model finds most of its fans among couples, the idea of having the showering and washing arrangements amidships renders the Commodore ideal for use as a four-berth, because those sleeping in the lounge's double bed (or on the single settees) can get to the washing area without walking through the bedroom.
One to consider if you’re planning on inviting guests to stay oven, then.
In a caravan with dimensions of 2.45m x 8.14m (that’s longer than any other British-made caravan), you’d expect storage to be plentiful. And it is.
Four drawers in the central front unit, four deep head-height cabinets, good areas under the long settees plus, of course, full length opening lockers to get into them. And then there's the large hideaway space under the bed.
Although the water tank occupies some of this space, there's a vast amount of storage opportunity here, and the retracting mechanism interferes only slightly with the shape of the aperture, so putting folding chairs in here would be easy.
The freestanding table stores away in its slim cabinet just aft of the fridge. Perfect for when four are dining. But, when it’s just two, the pull-out extension of the chest of drawers is quite adequate in size.
This year’s Buccaneer fabric scheme features a light-reflecting pastel blue and fawn cushions and curtains, in a pattern that nicely pays homage to tradition without detracting from the overall modern look created by simple, two-tone fawn seating fabric. Importantly, that material is Aquaclean, treated to resist stains.
At 1.82m long, the Commodore’s lounge is capable of seating three on each side; worth bearing in mind if you’re looking for a caravan that’s suitable for entertaining.
There’s plenty of lighting by night and, by day, the new long “Stargazer” roof light, plus the panoramic sunroof above the windows, ensures it's very light during the daytime too.
The Commodore’s kitchen is an unusual shape, created by the exterior storage cabinet configuration we mentioned earlier. There’s a brilliant 94cm of depth and 55cm of surface width here; we love this arrangement, just to the left of the sink, meaning that the kitchen is L-shaped.
Practicality is impressive, and so is the styling. The splash-back sparkles in the light from the LED strip above it. And the polished granite effect of the sink looks lovely. It is high-end domesticity and so stylish.
Three drawers, each 57cm wide, alongside the oven, plus a two shelf cabinet and another cabinet, 22cm wide, opposite would be enough lower storage space, given careful planning. Upper storage consists of four cabinets plus one above the microwave, which sits houses on top of the fridge-freezer.
Two power points are in the kitchen, with two more on the dresser opposite. (There is a total of six in the Commodore; one in the lounge and one close to the dressing table.)
Buccaneers are on BPW chassis equipped with the iDC stability control system. They’re mighty four-wheel beasts that require equally powerful cars to pull them – and we can vouch for the fact that, on the road, Buccaneers are stable.
You don't notice the extra width compared to the majority of caravans. But you do see strong, exceptionally stable handling characteristics. And you’ll also appreciate the touch-of-a-button levelling system when you arrive on a pitch.
And with the arrival of this new transverse bed layout, there’s a Buccaneer with two very separate rooms. Elddis designed this super-luxury tourer for discerning buyers – and its bonded construction, called SoLiD, is backed by a 10-year water ingress warranty.
Leather seating, at £1279, though we love the fabric scheme!