If you’re looking to buy a caravan, it’s worth doing your research and finding out what each of the caravan manufacturers offers. There are some excellent caravan brands out there, so have a look online, go to a show to see the products and meet the companies in person. Here’s our round up of the some of the major players. Whether you’re looking for a classic Swift caravan, an American Airstream or a smart Bailey caravan we’ve got you covered.
If you find the sheer number of caravans out there bewildering, fortunately help is at hand. There are UK shows you can visit where you can see a wide variety of caravans from many of the manufacturers covered here, and all in one place. The two biggest happen at Birmingham’s NEC, with the larger show in October when the season’s new models are launched, and a smaller one earlier in the year, which will be taking place between 21st-26th February in 2023.
A show is also held at Glasgow’s SECC at around the same time for those north of the border – in 2023, it will be held between 2nd-5th February. There is also a smaller show at EventCity in Manchester in January, which will be running from 12th-15th.
Our Owner Satisfaction Awards, held in conjunction with the Camping and Caravanning Club, offer another great way of identifying the best caravan brands out there. Our readers vote – as do members of the Camping and Caravanning Club – to give us an accurate picture of the market and identify the brands who are providing the best customer satisfaction and buying experience.
Our most recent set of stats came from the Owner Satisfaction Awards 2022. The results were announced in November 2021, and this time, we received 3,449 responses – an increase from the figure of 2,848 last time we hosted the Awards. This data has given us what we consider to be the most precise results to date, and with it, a valuable way of picking out the best caravan manufacturers out there.
We also run the Practical Caravan Awards, where our expert judging panel use our collective decades of experience within the industry to pick out the best caravan across a wide range of categories. In the process, we take a look at the latest releases from the best caravan makes and brands to make sure we’re selecting the top tourers on the market.
You’ll recognise many of these caravan brands from our best caravans for 2022 round-up too, where we’ve selected the top tourers on the market for the upcoming touring season.
Biggest and best caravan manufacturer brands
Drury Drive, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 1WH 01787 888980 www.adria.co.uk
The UK is Adria’s key market for the caravans it produces. The Slovenian company must be doing something right because it has a larger footprint in this country than any other continental manufacturer.
As a result, it wasn’t surprising to see Adria win the best new caravan manufacturer category at the recent Owner Satisfaction Awards 2022, achieving a score of 89.5%.
The Slovenian brand also performed well at the Practical Caravan Awards 2022, winning the best 4 berth caravan category through the Adria Adora Tiber, with smart design touches and features such as the well laid out washroom impressing us. The model was also shortlisted for two further categories.
As well as this, Adria was also represented in five other categories, with the Adria Altea Aire, Adria Alpina Colorado and Adria Alpina Mississippi all making a big impression on our judging panel.
Lowdham Road, Gunthorpe, Nottingham NG14 7GS 0115 966 3838 www.lowdhams.com
The famous American caravans with their silver exteriors have been through quite a few changes in distribution in the UK in recent years. They are now exclusively sold through Lowdhams.
South Liberty Lane, Bristol BS3 2SS 0117 966 5967 www.baileyofbristol.co.uk
Bailey is one of Britain’s biggest caravan manufacturers, with its Unicorn range in particular proving very popular – for the 2022 season, these models have been improved with even larger front windows. The previous season also saw the brand start to produce more 8ft-wide models.
Bailey was a gold award winner in the best pre-owned caravan manufacturer category at our Owner Satisfaction Awards, with a score of 86.9% highlighting the brand’s popularity with customers. There were also silver awards in the best overall caravan manufacturer and best new caravan manufacturer categories, with Bailey achieving totals of 83.3% and 81.8% respectively.
The brand was also the recipient of the best caravan for families at our Practical Caravan Awards 2022, through the Bailey Pegasus Grande SE Ancona, where a spacious parallel-seat front lounge was just one of the features that impressed us. The model also made it onto the shortlist for three other categories.
This UK manufacturer was shortlisted eight further times across the categories too.
Amsterdam Road, Sutton Fields Industrial Estate, Hull HU7 0XF www.coachman.co.uk
Until recently (early 2022) Coachman was the only UK manufacturer focusing solely on caravans, it has now launched a motorhome. It is the only brand to include Alde wet heating systems in all of its models.
Coachman has had a successful year, being crowned the best overall caravan manufacturer at our Owner Satisfaction Awards 2022, achieving a superb rating of 89.6%. The UK brand received a very impressive score of 93% as they topped the best pre-owned caravan manufacturer category.
As well as this, Coachman received a total of 87.9% in the best new caravans manufacturer category, finishing second.
The brand performed well at the Practical Caravan Awards 2022 too, where our judging panel awarded the best caravan over £30,000 category to the Coachman Lusso II, with the model oozing quality, thanks to its comfortable and spacey interior.
The best caravan for couples also went to the UK manufacturer, courtesy of the Coachman VIP 540 Xtra, where features such as a dressing table help to create an environment that is ideal for touring in.
The caravan brand was also shortlisted for seven other categories.
Holzstrasse 19, D-88339 Bad Waldsee, Germany www.eriba.com/en
Famous for its miniature caravans with pop-up roofs, Eriba, which is Hymer’s caravan brand, also produces very luxurious (and heavy) conventional caravans.
ERWIN HYMER UK
Delves Lane, Consett, County Durham 0371 964 2113 www.elddis.co.uk
The name for the company that produces Elddis, Compass, Xplore and Buccaneer caravans. Now part of the huge Erwin Hymer Group, it offers plenty of dealer specials too.
The company had a successful Practical Caravan Awards. Xplore was awarded the best caravan under £20,000, as our judging panel picked out the Xplore 585 as a model that would appeal to newcomers to caravanning, as well as highlighting the good value it provides. The Buccaneer Bermuda was another winner, taking home the best caravan for seasonal pitches category, thanks to the high kit level on offer, as well as other features including a comfortable island bed.
Seven Elddis caravans were also shortlisted across six categories.
The brand also received a gold award in the best pre-owned caravan manufacturer category at our Owner Satisfaction Awards with a score of 85.3%, as well as a silver award in best new caravan manufacturer and best overall caravan manufacturer.
Main Road, Little Haywood, Stafford. Staffordshire ST18 0TR 01889 883088 www.freedomcaravans.com
A niche operation, Freedom has been selling ultra-lightweight and budget Polish-built caravans for some decades. It recently branched out with new Spanish-built models too.
The Freedom Jetstream Twin Sport sufficiently impressed our experts at the Practical Caravan Awards, with the model shortlisted for three categories. The two-berth has a U-shaped lounge that combines with a MiRO of only 700kg to create a very attractive option for couples.
Helmut-Knaus-Strasse 1, D-94118, Jandelsbrunn, Geremany 00 49 08583 211 www.knaus.com/en-uk
German brand Knaus has been gaining some publicity with highly innovative caravans like the Sport & Fun and the Travelino. It was therefore not surprising to see the Knaus Sport 500UF ePower shortlisted for the best caravan for innovation at the Practical Caravan Awards 2022, with the ‘van offering the chance to go all-electric.
The Knaus Sudwind 580 QS 60 was another shortlisted model that impressed us, with features including a Dometic loo and stylish interior standing out.
The manufacturer also produces more conventional models too, through, its Starclass range.
Dunswell Road, Cottingham, East Yorkshire HU16 4JX 01482 875740 www.swiftgroup.co.uk
Over the years, the mighty Swift Group has acquired a range of other brands, including Eccles, which celebrated its centenary last year, and Sprite which remains a highly popular budget brand within the extensive Swift stable.
Look out too for the Basecamp, aimed at active outdoor types. The Swift Basecamp was deemed the best 6-berth caravan by our judges at the Practical Caravan Awards 2022, with the good spec found throughout helping to secure the win.
The caravan manufacturer also won the best 2 berth caravan, with our judging panel very impressed by the spacious and modern-looking interior of the Swift Conqueror 480. We also awarded the best caravan under £30,000 to the Swift Challenger X 860, with the comfortable soft furnishings of the 4-berth combining with features such as a well-equipped washroom to impress us.
Swift was well-represented throughout the Awards too, with seven models shortlisted across the categories.
The caravan maker also proved popular at the Owner Satisfaction Awards, where Swift finished second in the best caravan manufacturer category, with a score of 85.5%. The UK brand also came second in best pre-owned caravan manufacturer, with a very impressive total of 90.1%.
Swift has decided not to exhibit at this year’s February NEC show.
Helmut-Knaus-Strasse 1, D-94118, Jandelsbrunn, Germany 00 49 08583 211 www.weinsberg.com
Weinsberg is Knaus’s budget brand, with a strong focus on family layouts and family-friendly interiors.
It’s subsequently not surprising to have seen the brand top the best caravan under £15,000 category at the Practical Caravan Awards 2022, with the Weinsberg Caracito 390QD offering good specs and definite value for money.
Read more about the best caravan manufacturers in our caravan reviews section, where we provide impartial reviews of the latest releases.
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Whether you’re looking for a classic Swift caravan, an American Airstream or a smart Bailey caravan we’ve got you covered