Lizzie Pope
Digital Editor

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Join us on The Caravan Channel for the first of our Summer Specials, where we're looking at budget vans and cheap holiday ideas, to help you tour for less

You’ll not want to miss our brand new TV show on The Caravan Channel. It is the first of our Summer Special episodes and this time our theme is touring on a budget.

With that in mind, Practical Caravan’s Alastair Clements reviews the Xplore 504. This entry-level four-berth costs less than £15,000, and has a 6ft 3in fixed French bed and an end washroom. Meanwhile, the central kitchen features a three-burner gas hob, a combined oven and grill, a large fridge, decent worktop space and lots of storage. In the master suite, there’s a welcoming, spacious and very comfortable fixed double bed, and in the washroom there’s a huge, fully lined shower cubicle. A budget van? Look at the price tag and you’d say so, but we’re pleased to report it doesn’t feel like it. Tune in for our full review.

You can see this and all our TV shows on The Caravan Channel. Watch on Sky 192, on Freesat 402 or live online on the Information TV website. Each episode is shown 10 times across a two-week period (please see below for the broadcast schedule), so you’ve plenty of opportunities to catch it.

Next in our Summer Special, we look back at our review of another budget star, the Venus 540/4, brought to you by Practical Caravan’s Stacie Pardoe. Like the Xplore it is an entry-level model with a fixed double bed and a full width end washroom. In fact, kit-wise this van shares much with the Xplore 504. Step inside the Venus with its smart, modern ambience and you’ll also find a three-burner gas hob in the kitchen, together with a combined oven and grill, and good storage and worktop space. In the washroom, the shower isn’t fully lined, but it’s a stylish space.

Then, Alastair Clements is back and, yes, you’ve guessed it, he’s checking out another option for budget caravanning – this time, with a difference. As part of our Summer Special, he’s back in the Mogo Freedom. And to find out more about this unusual, super lightweight van, he speaks to the company’s founder Matjaz Korosec. Tune in to our TV show on The Caravan Channel to find out more – we’re online, on Freesat 402 and on Sky 192.

Still pondering your budget van options? Don’t forget about the transverse island bed Sprite Major 4 SB, which costs from £14,500. The ‘SB’ stands for sliding bed, and that island bed does indeed slide, to improve access to the washroom during the day and to give a little extra sleeping space at night. Like the Venus and the Xplore, this Sprite has an end washroom and a good-sized central kitchen.

Following four fab vans for couples on a budget, after the break we look at an affordable family tourer – remember the Bailey Pursuit 560-5? This family-focused van has a light lounge, which can become a spacious dining area or a generous double bed, plus a well specced kitchen, although it might feel a little cramped when cooking or washing up. While the kid-friendly rear lounge can, come bedtime, be used as two singles or a second double bed, and there’s a bunk, giving you five berths in total.

So, we’ve shown you five fantastic budget vans, now for that tour on a shoestring. Tune in to our TV show and join Nigel Donnelly on his travels around Ireland. They say the best things in life are free and when you see some of the breathtaking views he enjoys whilst towing his affordable outfit, we’re sure you will agree and be inspired.

Finally, if you’re tempted by the idea of a used caravan, we’ve expert buying advice from John Wickersham.

With so much packed into our show, we hope you’ll be able to tune in. We’re on The Caravan Channel, which is on Sky 192, Freesat 402 and live online on the Information TV website. You can catch this episode from Monday 22 June until Sunday 5 July 2015, at these times, on these days:

  • Monday at 8pm
  • Wednesday at 5pm
  • Thursday at 5.30am
  • Saturday at 10.30am
  • Sunday at 10.30am

We hope you enjoy our first Summer Special!

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