Eterniti caravans were inspired by American design but very much built to British standards – in Britain.
There are two ranges, Genesis and Chronicle. Both family layouts and those designed to appeal to couples are within the six-model range. All have slide-out sides, which expand the living space by about 50cm.
Our test example is the IB4, with a fixed bed; both the bed and kitchen area are expanded by the slide-out side.
The construction method is called Thermashield, and uses Styrofoam insulation between two layers of board and an outer layer of polyester. The roof is ‘domed’ for extra internal headroom (2.08m) and also to enhance rain water run-off. The outer layer is a TPO membrane made from ethylene propylene rubber. Eterniti told us that this combination is light in weight, durable, and algae-resistant and has flexibility to allow for the movement of the caravan.
It adheres to sealants extremely well; it is tucked over the side walls to provide additional security against water ingress.
Front and rear panels are both made from White ABS plastic.
The chassis is made by BPW, and shares a long drawbar characteristic with continental-manufactured caravans.
The Genesis has two doors, one leading into the lounge and other opening into the shower room at the rear. Both have keyless locks; you tap in a number on a keypad and the door unlocks.
There are two heating systems, Alde central heating plus a Dometic air conditioning unit that pumps out hot air as an alternative to cooling the caravan.
A sliding door leads from the bedroom area to the full-width shower room. The shower is enormous by caravan standards, at 1.05m long and 62cm wide. The toilet is ceramic. The washbasin is white plastic and sits up on its cabinet, rather than being recessed into it. When you turn on the tap, it automatically turns on a brilliant blue light at the tip of the faucet. Shelving and cabinet space is ample, as is floor space. And of course there’s a feature here that’s like no other shower room – an exterior door. So you can come in straight from the beach to shower off the sand!
The IB4, as its name suggests, is an island-bed four-berth. A double bed base draws out from under each of the settees to meet in the centre.
But the main bed interest is just to the rear of the centre of the caravan, where the pillow end of the transverse bed nestles cosily into the slide-out-section, with lockers above, a window on one side (in the slide-out section) and a recess with a light and power point on the other side. You can charge your phone here (especially ideal if it’s also your alarm clock) or pop your coffee mug and book here.
At the foot of the bed, on the other side of the corridor that leads to the shower room, is a domestic-style dressing table, with cabinets on each side and lockers above. The dressing table surface has a circular aperture (with a removable cover) through which you can feed aerial and power leads from a TV to the connection points below.
Our test caravan was equipped with the ”bedroom pack”. It adds £399 to the cost and gives you two pillows, two bolsters, three cushions, a sash in a tactile velour fabric in brown edged in cream, and a satin fitted bedcover. You also get two dressing gowns, in towelling fabric and embroidered with the Eterniti emblem. It's a well-designed pack, of quality fabrics that seems to us to be good value for £400. We love the fitted cover that goes on top of your duvet and is shaped to fit the contours of the bed; the result is far neater than a duvet on its own.
The mattress is memory foam – and is much softer than some memory foam mattresses we have tested.
Storage for garments in the over-bed and dressing table suite of drawers and cabinets is generous. The wardrobe, which forms a divider between the bedroom and the kitchen, contains two shelves above the hanging space.
Storage in the front of the IB4 consists for four head-height lockers. Those above the front windows are 40 cm deep – and we found during our test day that it was difficult to avoid hitting our heads on them as we got up from sitting at the forward ends of the settees. People of shorter stature would have no problem, though.
Under-settee storage is accessed through the top; the bases are easy to lift and are supported on gas-filled struts.
The freestanding dining table stores away in a cabinet that’s part of the wardrobe unit. You’d have to use this for every meal because, unlike the majority of British caravans, the front central drawer unit doesn’t offer you a table for two. The top is just 26cm deep; a surface does pull out beneath it but this is only 11cm deep and doesn’t come out level. We raised this query with Eterniti. It’s something the designers are working on; they are looking t the possibility of making the extension bigger (around 20cm).
Wrap around seating is standard; the chest in our test caravan is an option at £199.
Eternity gives you several fabric options. There’s a choice of five fabrics, five part-leather upgrade choices and two full leather upgrade choices, at £1999. This is the option fitted to our test example. It’s a combination of brown and cream, with big bolster armrests and four scatter cushions with button-style detail and the Eterniti symbol embroidered onto one corner.
The caravan comes with a television, mounted on a bracket that slides out of a cabinet on the forward end of the wardrobe.
Eterniti kitchens are unlike any other range of caravans. In the Genesis IB4, the cooker is on the nearside, with the rest of the kitchen on the offside.
The main part of the kitchen is in the slide-out section. It's L-shaped, with the (steel) sink and drainer facing the front of the caravan. The square working surface (72cm wide and deep) is within the slide-out section, with the microwave and a cabinet above. Below is a complexity of storage arrangements – three drawers, a slide-out cabinet containing two shelves (9cm wide and ideal for small items) and a cabinet under the sink. The lower portion of this cabinet is 34cm wide and access to it is easy. The top shelf area, though, reaches a long way to the right, within the cabinet; getting stuff out from here means kneeling down and reaching around into an area into which you can’t see.
There’s a delightfully practical and stylish feature of Genesis kitchens – a raised area, 60cm long and 19cm deep, and slightly curved. During our test day we used it to pop goblets and mugs, and cutlery in transit to the dining table. Even if you never use it, this shelf is a style feature that looks utterly stunning, standing on two chunky burnished steel supports that are angled slightly towards the lounge. A second one of these amazing shelves sits to the right of the cooker; here, it's ideal for cooking utensils.
The fridge and separate freezer have a capacity of 190 litres.
The working surface is more than adequate for serious cooking but for occasions when you need more, an additional section can be hinged out from alongside the sink. Even though it comes into the central corridor of the caravan you can still easily walk around it.
With twin-axle stability and the long drawbar that always increases stability even further, the Genesis is well designed for easy towing. The BPW chassis manufacturer’s electronic stability system, iDC, is an option, at £549; even though this adds a chunk of money to your total bill, we’d say go for it, even considering the greater stability that twin axles gives you. Anything that enhances tow safety is priceless.
Our test tow was a brief one – and in conditions which did more to test the efficiency of low ratio four-wheel drive than any of the Genesis’ geometry. Deep snow covered Cheshire on our test day – but undeterred, the Genesis went out on the road, and impressed us with predictability; it was just as easy as towing any other twin-axle caravan.