2016 Sterling Eccles 580 AL caravan review

By: James Heremaia


2016 Sterling Eccles 580 AL caravan review 2016 Sterling Eccles 580 AL caravan review
2016 Sterling Eccles 580 AL caravan review 2016 Sterling Eccles 580 AL caravan review
2016 Sterling Eccles 580 AL caravan review 2016 Sterling Eccles 580 AL caravan review
2016 Sterling Eccles 580 AL caravan review 2016 Sterling Eccles 580 AL caravan review
2016 Sterling Eccles 580 AL caravan review 2016 Sterling Eccles 580 AL caravan review

The 'upgraded' 2016 Sterling Eccles 580 AL has an eye-catching new profile and a very stylish interior.

During November the rhododendrons, in full bloom along the edges of Lake Mangamahoe draw dozens of local walkers, runners and cyclists – but not today. An intruder upstages the large flower heads that define Taranaki in spring, the 2016 Sterling Eccles 580 AL, carefully parked up within this exceptional landscape.

Clean horizontal lines with its red graphic across the entry door made a spectacular first impression as it appeared from the tree-lined access road to the reserve opposite the first car park at the southern end of the lake.

The words ‘new’ and ‘stylish’ occur frequently in the brochure for this British made caravan as well as ‘upgraded’ and ‘enhanced’ thrown in for variety.

At almost six metres long, the Eccles 580 looks much bigger than it is – the graphics scheme and horizontal lines adding to the illusion. But despite this, it is easily towable by most family cars. A new hail resistant GRP roof, a panoramic sunroof, a one-piece exterior door with interior moulded liner incorporating a narrow window with blind and a dustpan bin and new LED light clusters and side marker running lights complete just a few of the exterior details I noticed. I’m sure there were more but I was gagging to get inside.

There’s no denying the manufacturer has gone to great lengths in redesigning and updating the interiors of the Sterling Eccles range of caravans. It was almost like walking into someone’s lounge in a new house. Light, airy and understated; the home decor influence had an immediate calming effect and provided the perfect palette to support, rather than clash with, the reserve landscapes framed in the windows.

Soft hessian-effect furniture combines well with matt white locker doors. The upper locker doors are given a new luxurious touch with gloss smoked oak inlay and simple modern chrome effect cabinet hardware. New ‘Guetta’ soft furnishings include a woven earthy brown seat fabric, bronze soft sheen cushions with companion cushions in a neutral beige suede effect, all tied together with complementary leaf pattern beige curtains with ties made from the same fabric as the seating furniture.

The flooring is decked in French oak vinyl that can be fully or partially exposed by sectioned removable carpet, a definite plus to avoid that damp musty smell of wet carpet during winter use. Adding to the ambience was a generous supply of directional, fixed, spotlight and strip LED lighting.

An easy slide concertina door separates the bedroom from the living area. The double bed is mounted on a plinth in an east/west configuration with a fixed headboard and overhead lockers. At the rear is the toilet and vanity unit with a separate enclosed shower cubicle. There are so many extra details and new improvements to both the interior and exterior not covered here but suffice to say it will be an ongoing source of discovery.

Thumbs up

  • Interior design has a modern home décor feel
  • LED DVD TV with Freeview, Satellite dish, carbon monoxide and smoke alarms
  • No extra on-road costs

Thumbs down

  • Absolutely nothing

Read the full review in issue #136 of Motorhomes Caravans & Destinations magazine (on sale now!). Subscribe here.

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