28/03/2011 Share this review   Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon

Sterling Eccles Solitaire

5767f797-9b42-427a-81d7-238393984617

Key Features

  • Model Year : 2011
  • Class : Single Axle
  • MTPLM (kg) : 1605
  • Internal Length (m) : 5.60
  • External Height (m) : 2.62
  • Berths : 4
  • MRO (kg) : 1441
  • Max Width (m) : 2.31
  • Shipping Length (m) : 7.32

Swift Sterling View more details about the manufacturer of this vehicle over in our manufacturers section.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION

Model Year
2011
Manufacturer
Swift Sterling
Class
Single Axle
Range
Eccles
MTPLM (kg)
1605
Caravan Test Date
External Height (m)
2.62
End Kitchen
No
Berths
4
Island Double
No
Fixed Singles/Bunks
Yes
MRO (kg)
1441
Price From (£)
17336
Max Width (m)
2.31
Caravan Buyer Test Date
Back & Front Dinette
No
Side Dinette
No
Shipping Length (m)
7.32
End Washroom
Yes
Triple Bunks
No

DETAILED REVIEW

TWIN beds are rare in caravans. Yet the concept is very sound – because many couples use the lounges of classic two-berths as single beds and never bother to make up the double. So why not choose a caravan with fixed twin beds?

The best bit about the twin-bed concept, compared with traditional two-berths, is that there are beds for four – so if other family members join you, there are sleeping options. Grandchildren in the twin beds, grandparents in the front lounge double, perhaps. Or Grandparents on the twin beds and children – if they’re tiny – sleeping on the lounge settees as single beds…

The Sterling Eccles Solitaire has one bed about 10cm shorter than the other, so that’s the deciding factor in the his’n’hers debate – unless you’re the same height, of course.

But the his’n’hers bed idea doesn’t extend to wardrobe space; there is only one small wardrobe in the bedroom area – and it’s over the foot of the shorter bed. Look further and you’ll find the answer to this puzzle.

A cabinet on the offside wall of the full-width washroom contains a hanging rail.

It’s only half the size of the one in the main wardrobe over the bed. And it runs from front to back, which means that extracting items from the back is a bit of a fiddle.

There are three useful shelves in here and a little space for shoes at the bottom. Whether this far-from-twin wardrobe arrangement suits you needs careful thought.

sterling caravan sunroof sterling eccles caravan interior
sterling eccles caravan view sterling eccles caravan kitchen

The Go Caravan team decided shoe and boot storage would be a challenge and would probably have to claim part of the under-bed areas.

The nearside bed rises to about 45 degrees, so accessing the contents is easy. But the nearside bed doesn’t rise quite as far because the mattress hits the underside of the wardrobe, so getting at contents under here would necessitate removing the mattress.

That’s hard work, we discovered! This offside under-bed area would have been a lot more useful had there been an exterior locker.

During our storage deliberations debate turned to the huge amount of daylight that comes into this bed area through the two enormous windows. Too pleasant a place to be a mere night-time domain, we decided.

In the front of the caravan two cupboards offer a surprising amount of capacity, reaching right into the front line of the caravan. Here, you reap the benefit of Swift’s new, more upright front panels.

We love the twin recesses at the front of the lounge, designed for phone charging. The Solitaire has two sockets, and TV connections, on the nearside of this unit.

Two more sockets are on the left side of the kitchen; there’s another near the top of the dresser – and yet another mounted into the base of the offside bed.

But there the praise for the high socket count (seven!) runs out. If you want to use a hairdryer near the only mirror (in the washroom at the rear), you have to stretch its cable from the socket at the forward end of the offside bed.

Had that socket been put at the head end of the bed, it would have been so much more useful.

Our verdict
:

Will twin beds catch on and rival the double-bed concept for couples’ layouts? Lunar, Elddis and Adria all now include one twin-bed model in their ranges. They all give you full-width single beds and deep-mattress comfort – and they all provide daytime feet-up opportunity.

The difference is in the detail – and if there is one area in which the Solitaire with the £500 option sun roof zooms ahead of the rest it’s right up at the front, above the lounge windows. In all weathers and all light conditions, the sun roof is simply a superb asset.
 

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