This might well be the ultimate ‘live-in’ test of a new caravan. Could the Elegance 570 be our home for a month and also stand up to what promised to be a pretty arduous trip through the land of ice and fire, some of it on unmade roads…and what would we think of it at the end?
Our 2000 mile trip around most of the perimeter of Iceland and to the Faroe Islands was as a participant on a guided tour by the Camping and Caravanning Club; this meant that we were free to choose our own routes in order to take in the sights so long as we ended up at the pre-booked campsite, with the (excellent) tour guides having secured pitches for us. Our plan was to visit as many places as possible on route and, where we were staying at a site for more than one night, to use the Touareg (a 4x4 of course) to explore the more challenging locations. There were fourteen other units on the trip, mostly in motorhomes, so, if the Elegance could cope with the terrain and I could manage to slot it into the car parks en route, we reckoned the ability to roam off in the Touareg would give us a bit of an advantage.
We're used to towing a large twin axle and we expected the single axle Elegance 570 to produce a much more unsettled ride but we were very pleasantly surprised in this respect. The real forte of this van is its stability, however. In severe winds, we can say, unequivocally, that this is by far and away the most stable van we have towed in our 30 years of caravanning. To be fair, the Touareg is a big beast and this gave a towing ratio not far above 70%. Even so, the results were quite remarkable. Road 1 is almost all single track and quite narrow, so that approaching lorries travelling at above 80km/h pass very close indeed but failed to produce any reaction at all in the outfit. By the end of the trip we were quite happy to continue without reducing speed in these situations.