Small Caravans

Mar 29, 2021
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I keep returning to these, 2 berth caravans from Swift and the like.
Swift have the Base Camp, the 2 berth I believe has a small shower and a toilet, which tbh isn't a deal breaker but the price might be, wowser.

Any thoughts or experience of these size of caravan would be appreciated, possibly looking to keep the caravan at home next year, always been a dream but our drive isn't much longer than my A4 estate car, we did have our first van a Bailey Ranger 520?? I think, and that if we put the hitch upto the garage door didn't over hang too much and was almost acceptable
 
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Mar 23, 2021
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Hi Darren,

Have a look at the Eriba from Hymer. They are well made, intelligently designed and extremely compact. With a wowser-inducing 20 grand price tag, they’re definitely not cheap though...
 
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Oct 17, 2010
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How small do you want to go . I Have the Challenger 442 just over 19' long, not that much longer than my Insignia, fits nicely down the side of my garage. Bit of a dog leg to get it in, that's what the motor movers for.
I believe todays 448 is a shade longer, but not much.
Sorry about the snow.

Van Garage.jpg
Van Car.jpg
 
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How small do you want to go . I Have the Challenger 442 just over 19' long, not that much longer than my Insignia, fits nicely down the side of my garage. Bit of a dog leg to get it in, that's what the motor movers for.
I believe todays 448 is a shade longer, but not much.
Sorry about the snow.

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Thats brilliant thank you.
I have always driven Vauxhall apart from 2 indulgence cars, Insignia Sri was my last and will be my next, so those photos are super helpful. 👍
 
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Oct 17, 2010
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Thats brilliant thank you.
I have always driven Vauxhall apart from 2 indulgence cars, Insignia Sri was my last and will be my next, so those photos are super helpful. 👍
As you can see mines the Auto Sport Tourer Elite, Face lift so many toys, haven't found them all yet.
A very small disappointment is the towing limit of 1600kg. on a motor with a kerb weight of 1832. Mind I could still tow a smallish twin axle.
 

Mel

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We tour with an Xplore 302. Teeny tiny van; less than 5m in shipping length and MTPLM under 1000 kg. They don’t make them any more, but my point is that you can make a tiny van work for you very easily.
Only take away what you need and don’t take anything that you can’t stow. Think carefully about bedding and where you are going to store it. Consider the washroom. In Covid times we are using the 302’s wet room and bijou doesn’t begin to describe it: however it works perfectly well if you can live with a wash down rather than a full spa experience. If you have a dog, consider where it will sleep if floor space is at a premium. Also think about an awning. It was important to us to not have to rely on an awning to make the van work. We do have one, but can manage without it.
I am a massive fan of tiny vans. They force you to holiday more simply and more efficiently. I love our 302 and similar are being sold now for the same price, or more, that we paid over 3 years ago.
Mel
 
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Jan 3, 2012
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How small do you want to go . I Have the Challenger 442 just over 19' long, not that much longer than my Insignia, fits nicely down the side of my garage. Bit of a dog leg to get it in, that's what the motor movers for.
I believe todays 448 is a shade longer, but not much.
Sorry about the snow.

View attachment 1621
View attachment 1619
We look at a Swift Challenger sport 442 before we brought our present caravan we thought it was Fab
Nice outfit
 
Mar 29, 2021
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We tour with an Xplore 302. Teeny tiny van; less than 5m in shipping length and MTPLM under 1000 kg. They don’t make them any more, but my point is that you can make a tiny van work for you very easily.
Only take away what you need and don’t take anything that you can’t stow. Think carefully about bedding and where you are going to store it. Consider the washroom. In Covid times we are using the 302’s wet room and bijou doesn’t begin to describe it: however it works perfectly well if you can live with a wash down rather than a full spa experience. If you have a dog, consider where it will sleep if floor space is at a premium. Also think about an awning. It was important to us to not have to rely on an awning to make the van work. We do have one, but can manage without it.
I am a massive fan of tiny vans. They force you to holiday more simply and more efficiently. I love our 302 and similar are being sold now for the same price, or more, that we paid over 3 years ago.
Mel
Interesting points raised.

We would utilise vacuum bags for the bedding and chuck it in the cars top box!
At the moment the Elddis 2 Berth can't remember the number has caught my eye because you can upgrade the weight plate, (god help us 😁) and it looks like you gain 300 kg payload!!!!

Also the Swift base camp 2 berth, pay load is rubbish, bit of cheek because on the blurb they show pushbikes strapped inside with "Anchoring Points" not much point having the points if the van hasn't the capacity to use the things! But we have seen these on site with rear custom fit awning, very very nice, pity about the lack of loading capability

Then there are Tear Drop style, not sure about those but did see an absolute beauty of an outfit almost colour matched, little Fiat 500, dinky caravan, awning attached to the rear, look awesome.

Then the Eruba need a long hard look
 
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Jan 19, 2002
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Have you considered the bailey Discovery D4-2 shipping length 18'5" width 12'8" MTPLM 995 MIRO 884 for about 17 grand? It does have the huge dedicated wrap around awning, but i presume you can fit a more standard porch through the rail? The magazine had this review although of the 4 berth
Bailey Discovery D4-4: In-depth test - Practical Caravan
and of the 2 berth
Bailey Discovery D4-2 - Practical Caravan
We have an Elddis Breeze based on the Xplore 462 same layout as a Sprite Alpine 2, but this layout is no loner in the Xplore line-up, although the Alpine is still produced.
 
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Sam Vimes

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We bought an Elddis Xplore 304 last year but have only got around to using it for real just recently and returned yesterday from our second trip away in it. A few snags but that seems to be common with all new vans.

The 304 is supposed to be a 4 birth. You could sleep 3 adults and a small child but it would be 'cosy' to say the least. We bought a Sunncamp 260 air awning with an inner tent and in about 10 days we're about to really put it to the test when our daughter and grandson come away with us - I'm relegated to the inner tent.

For the two of us it works very well. One of the main reasons for considering this was that our Qashqai is limited to 1200kg and the 304 fits confortably in this range. Its reasonably laid out in side and as Mel says the bathroom is 'bijou' meaning a little on the small side - but it works.

We're somewhat minimalists anyway.

Storage areas aren't abundant with the areas under the bench seats mostly taken up by equipment - water heater, fuse box etc. I removed the matress from the bunk bed and we store our duvet on that - it just folds up to the wall. Pillows will go under a seat as will one matress topper but its more convenient to just put the toppers in the boot of the car for the day.

Best fridge we've ever had in terms of storage space and being able to open the door fully. Hob and cooker more than adequate and the microwave a novelty as we don't have one at home.

Double bed makes up easy but due to poor design I made another leg to put under the centre of the slats for more support.

It tows easily and follows the car like a faithfull dog. Our Qashqai is only a 1.5dCi but on a straight road I have to watch that my speed doesn't run away - the Qashqai has a speed limiter which I find useful. It pants a bit going through some of the Highland roads.

All in all happy so far.
 
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Having looked at all caravans mentioned, the Bailey D4-2 looks a beautiful thing inside and out, right length too.
And tbh a holiday for us wouldnt be the same without an awning, think it stems back to our camping days and the awning although looks heavy is a stunner too, together a real piece of caravan design.
 
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May 24, 2014
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We dropped down to a smaller caravan a couple of vans back, and regretted it, but for different reasons. Firstly though, I have your situation with the length of the drive as we keep our caravan at home. We can just about fit our 530 on without touching the wall and overhanging the pavement at the other end, so we thought the smaller van would be better. We have room also for three cars as well, loads of width, no length of drive.

Although smaller, our caravan was still a four berth and had the fixed bed. Firstly, we hated the fixed bed, and secondly being a short van, it made the front benches shorter than normal and they didnt have the room to stretch out on without your legs over hanging, very uncomfortable. Without the fixed bed though the caravan would have ample room and we could have lived with it. Then came the grandsons, and back to square one.

We now have a different issue, we have always preferreed a 4 berth, with side dinette and bunks there, with rear bathroom. Caravans of that layout have become as rare as hens teeth, and nearly all have fixed beds, consequently that manufafacurers are throwing together (reluctant to say building) ever longer and wider caravans. This means that our next caravan will either have to be a two berth, or we use storage away from home.

As for quality, the small caravan will match the range it was encompassed in, there should be no difference in quality between the two berth and six berth twin axle.
 
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May 7, 2012
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Personally I think the Basecamp layout is very clever and the Adria Action loses too much space with the fixed bed and it is possibly best for surfers who can use the space below but this is personal as with all layouts and the price might be too much. For the best made, and for retaining value, the Eriba has to be the best, but I find them a bit dark inside so again it is a personal thing. If you are looking at second hand a Lunar Ariva is possibly worth a look.
 
Jan 3, 2012
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Personally I think the Basecamp layout is very clever and the Adria Action loses too much space with the fixed bed and it is possibly best for surfers who can use the space below but this is personal as with all layouts and the price might be too much. For the best made, and for retaining value, the Eriba has to be the best, but I find them a bit dark inside so again it is a personal thing. If you are looking at second hand a Lunar Ariva is possibly worth a look.
The Adria Action has 2 singles and you can make a fixed bed if you want .
 
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Nov 11, 2009
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In 2014 we gave up caravanning and sold everything including the Towcar. But I’m late 2016?we had the romantic notion of once again wandering off to far off lands and warm holidays. So heart over head we bought a small caravan. Eribas were extortionately expensive so we bought a Trigano Silver 420 a pop top. We had a weekend (wet wet wet) in Brecon and quickly decided that the pop top wasn’t for us. You required a calendar and appointment book to schedule movements within the van. So we traded it for something a bit more conventional. I would check out the recommendations for small ie short conventional caravans, although the Basecamp looks interesting.
WP_20160916_12_33_50_Pro copy.jpg
 
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I am taken with the base camp, its just the payload is rubbish for what in essence is no bigger than a box trailer, its a shame they didnt use a higher rated axle, bit of an own goal.
The Bailey Discovery 2 I think looks stunning, I wish those who revue these lighter vans would find another term than budget, I for one could live without most of the extra bells we have on the Coachman Pastiche.
Lightweight or Minimalist caravans would be a better term, really hate the term budget, it brings a certain snobbish car type attitude to caravans
 
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The
I am taken with the base camp, its just the payload is rubbish for what in essence is no bigger than a box trailer, its a shame they didnt use a higher rated axle, bit of an own goal.
The Bailey Discovery 2 I think looks stunning, I wish those who revue these lighter vans would find another term than budget, I for one could live without most of the extra bells we have on the Coachman Pastiche.
Lightweight or Minimalist caravans would be a better term, really hate the term budget, it brings a certain snobbish car type attitude to caravans
Trigano and Eriba have good payloads
My Trigano should have had 240 kg with a MTPLM of 1000 kg. On route to Brecon I took it to a public weighbridge just outside of Brecon. Shock horror it came out weighing around 1230 kg. My equipment weight spreadsheet was accurate but the vans payload had mostly been used up by it being a hybrid bridging a model upgrade, the importers extras and mover etc. Fortunately they tyres I had had fitted were Kendo trailer tyres rated above the vans loaded weight. But the axle was still 1000 kg.
Not my finest moment admittedly.
 
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Jan 3, 2012
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In 2014 we gave up caravanning and sold everything including the Towcar. But I’m late 2016?we had the romantic notion of once again wandering off to far off lands and warm holidays. So heart over head we bought a small caravan. Eribas were extortionately expensive so we bought a Trigano Silver 420 a pop top. We had a weekend (wet wet wet) in Brecon and quickly decided that the pop top wasn’t for us. You required a calendar and appointment book to schedule movements within the van. So we traded it for something a bit more conventional. I would check out the recommendations for small ie short conventional caravans, although the Basecamp looks interesting.
View attachment 1629
Lovely outfit
 
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We use to own one like this a Kip Kompakt 300 caravan and for a small car no problem
 

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At the other end of the spectrum and maybe having come full circle how about one of these hybrid Trailer tents. Had my Nimrod for two years back in the early 80s. We had a separate toilet tent with a Porta Potti 55.
 

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When my parents were alive family holiday were spent in wales in something like a Trailer tent my mother use to sleep in car ,
 

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