Our Elddis Accordo 120

It's March 2018 and all change again in the Crowther motorhome stakes. We bought our first motorhome, an Auto Sleepers Warwick Duo (see here), back in 2010 and replaced it with a Bailey Approach Autograph 745 (see here) in July 2016.

When we bought the Bailey we were looking for a van with a fixed bed and four seats. Almost two years down the road we've realised that these criteria are not as important as the ability to go anywhere we want. Shortly into ownership of our first van, once initial trepidation had worn off, we realised it was the same size as the average delivery/courier van, which, as we all know, will pretty much go anywhere.

It's fair to say that, as soon as October 2016 came around, and our first month-long tour with the Bailey, we wondered if we'd done the right thing. The Bailey was so big to drive, mainly due to its width, and we had a couple of near misses with it around the Dales and the Lakes. To cut a long story short, after 20 months of ownership, we finally decided to go back to a smaller van. Our local dealer, Spinney Motorhomes in Cheshire (suppliers of both previous vans), offered us a good deal in exchange for an Elddis Accordo 120. Our friend David has an Accordo, albeit a different layout, and we've always been impressed with the compact size, neat appearance and build quality.

The Elddis is, in some ways, a halfway house between our two previous vans. It's a coachbuilt, but with broadly similar dimensions to a van conversion. So it's a smidgen under 6m long and the body is only 2.14m wide; significantly that's around 30cm narrower than the Bailey! There are a few coachbuilts available now with noticeably narrower bodies. An easy way to tell if it's one of the narrow ones is to look at the mirror arms. Most vans are built on the Peugeot Boxer/Fiat Ducato base and their standard vans have short arms on them, as do van conversion motorhomes. Most coachbuilt vans have long arm mirrors. Only coachbuilts with narrow bodies have the standard, short arm mirrors. Being a coachbuilt, it has more space in the overhead lockers than a van conversion, having vertical walls rather than the tumblehome effect of a van body, with curved top edges. I hope that's clear. So, we have a bit more space but in a modestly sized van. We've so missed being able to drive narrower lanes and stay in some of our favourite van-wild-camping spots due to the vast size of the Bailey. It's also important that coachbuilts are cheaper than van conversions due to substantially different build costs.


In addition to the standard spec, our Elddis has winterised water tanks with heaters and a microwave. Before delivery, the dealers have fitted an awning, a bike rack, a reversing camera, a USB socket and an alarm. They've also swapped our satellite dome TV system along with the Gaslow LPG system from the Bailey.

Like our original Auto Sleeper, it's a strictly two berth van. It has an end lounge, with two 6ft odd long sofas which can be used as two single beds or combined to make a big double. The washroom does double duty as shower and/or loo with washbasin and the kitchen has a sink plus three burner hob and a combination oven and grill (plus microwave of course).

Like Bailey, Elddis use a clever, modern body construction method ensuring solidity and, hopefully, a lack of potential for water ingress. They bond the bodywork with a sophisticated adhesive and give a 10 year warranty against leaks. Water leaks are a long term issue with coachbuilts, but I'm setting this against the potential for rust in the huge amount of steel in a van conversion. Swings and roundabouts.

As usual, as soon we got the van home we started the customisation process.

Both our previous vans had custom made covers for all the upholstery, which we could remove and wash in an effort to keep up with the effects of two big dogs. For a number of reasons (not least the cost) we were never completely happy with them. This time around we've gone with a less expensive option. I bought two, inexpensive waterproof nylon seat covers in royal blue for the front seats and we sourced some simple (and cheap) navy blue, cotton bedspreads to cover the sofas. Chrissie's gone to a lot of trouble, using her sewing skills, to fashion these into fitted covers. We also sourced some inexpensive seat back storage thingies from Halfords which seem useful. The front seats swivel, by the way.





As on the previous vans I've hard wired our satnav into the van's electrics and screwed it to the dash. Those suction things are, in my opinion, a pain in the arse.


I've added a couple of magazine storage nets and Fiamma storage pockets.



The washroom cabinet needed some shock cord and a couple of storage boxes, to fit more stuff in...


...and I took the hanging rail out of the wardrobe and replaced it with a shelf. There's enough space underneath for our rucsacs, right up to backpacking size, whilst clothing such as duvet jackets and fleeces just shove on the shelf. We don't wear the kinda clothes that need hanging.


I took the silly racks for crockery out of this kitchen cupboard and added a shelf to give much more crockery storage.


I also added a clock, fire extinguisher, waste bin, kitchen timer and kitchen roll holder.






These vital prompt cards remind us what needs doing when we pitch up and, most importantly, the stuff that needs checking before we drive off...


...while this one at the top of the windscreen, reminds us of the van's dimensions; vital for narrow openings and low bridges.


Our Helinox Camp Chairs store neatly against the bulkhead behind the front seats.




The kitchen is small, but there's everything you need, including workspace when you fold out the extra worktop.


Of course, it wouldn't be our van without the addition of these slightly pretentious decals, which I couldn't resist...again.


And that's about it so far, save for a few hooks here and there.

We're just back from a brief inaugural trip into the Dales including a night camping wild and a couple on our favourite Caravan and Motorhome Club site at Hawes. We have a problem with the water heater but Spinney have a new one on order and it's scheduled to be fitted next week, along with the reversing camera, which somehow was overlooked pre delivery.









Unlike our previous van's there's a good view out of that rear window when driving but we still feel the need for a camera for parking.

With no real effort on my part to drive as frugally as possible, this first journey was accomplished with an average fuel consumption of just 31.9 mpg. Pretty impressive for a motorhome which isn't yet run in. It has the latest Euro 6 spec, Peugeot turbo diesel engine and the use of Adblue helps with emissions and fuel efficiency. We've high hopes this modest little van will suit our needs for many years to come. Bring on the adventures.

And do ask for any further information.

Cheers and thanks for visiting.


20 comments:

  1. That is quite a nice looking van Geoff. May you all have many years of travel in her.

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  2. Great write up Geoff. Looking forward to inspecting it and comparing the layout with my 105. No hanging rail in the wardrobe? Please don't tell me you screw your Dinner Jacket up when you've finished eating. Hope the new van works for you.

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    1. David, my dinner jacket is by Rohan and stores, neatly rolled into a package the size of a Coke can 🙄
      See you soon.

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  3. Looks great look forward to meeting up
    Corrina

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    1. Thanks Corrina. Yes, look forward to seeing you soon. Thanks for visiting.

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  4. I did wonder when you mentioned “new van” if you would be down-sizing? Your Eldis sounds like an excellent compromise between size and features. A couple of years back I was given a tour around the Eldis factory - very interesting.

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    1. Yeah, with hindsight the Bailey was a mistake But hey ho. We've had two short trips with the Elldis and we really like it.

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    2. Sometimes you have to try these things to find out - our first caravan was a mistake - fixed bed took up loads of space, was a nightmare to make, and the person on the inside (me!) had to do a short course in scrambling to get out in the middle of the night!

      Am now loving our campervan, same layout as your AutoSleeper, with all the same lack-of-storage issues.

      How do you find not having opening rear doors? Childishly I think that is the thing I like most about a van conversion :-)

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    3. The absence of rear doors means more locker space for us since most van conversions don't have them across the back. Plus we rarely used them because of the dogs. Glad you like yours though. In reality, we could only afford the very cheapest van conversion this time around so this one was a better buy for us. Also, being a lighter van it has a bigger payload than our Auto Sleeper.
      And we're back to being very inventive with storage solutions. To be honest we enjoy the challenge 😊

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    4. Which van do you have Jayne?

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    5. A Devon Aztec on a Peugeot Boxer van. Absolutely ~love~ it. Small family-owned company, don't turn out the quantity that Bailey, Swift, et al, can produce but build quality is fabulous. When I telephoned with a query about the solar panel & leisure battery charging and the chap who answered the phone said "hang on a minute ....." and I was passed to the electrician who had fitted it :-) Which is lovely, old-fashioned excellent service.

      Not getting commission, but they're at http://devonconversions.co.uk.

      We took the option of a 12-month old van with a brand new habitation conversion. Worked out very well cost-wise.

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    6. re: "inventive storage", yep, we do the same! This afternoon we finally got round to relocating the fire extinguisher, the smoke alarm and CO detector . . .

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    7. Nice vans those. Looked at one before we bought the Warwick.
      We just bought two Helinox Camp Chairs because of their small packed size.
      Minimalism Rules 😂
      Have fun 👍

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  5. Hi
    Great to read this - I have a provisional order on one. I have been advised that I should get a second hand one instead as all the teething problems should have been already rectified. Did you have anymore problems with your one? thanks

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    1. Apart from minor stuff to do with things Spinney fitted, just the water heater really.

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  6. Thank you for this great post. I am soon to pick up a new 120and wonder how you organise your overhead lockers and where you keep your cookware. Thanks. Mo

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    1. Hi Mo, we keep a folding kettle, a nesting set of pans and the grill pan in the cupboard below the oven. We wrap stuff in towels to prevent any damage to the pump etc but there's been no problem so far.
      We use left side and one rear locker for food and cooking utensils, all stored in cheap plastic baskets so nothing can fall out. The others we share for clothes which are in Eagle Creek packing cubes. Our satellite dome controller is in the front right locker.
      I removed the racks from the cupboard above the sink. We store plastic crockery stacked in there Much more space without the racks.
      Ask if you need any other info.
      Cheers and thanks for visiting.

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  7. Hi. Thank you so much for taking the time to reply. Most helpful. I am keeping this post of yours in a safe place for when we pick up our 120 on 7 March. All the best. Mo

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