If you and your partner are looking to hit the road – what options are available to you? When it comes caravans, the answer is ‘many’! This is a key market and manufacturers and dealers put a lot of work into offering plenty of choice at competitive prices. If you want to buy the best caravan for a couple – here’s the place to look.
Best caravans for couples
Adria Altea Dart
- Price £20,195
- Berth 4
- MTPLM 1650/1800kg
- Shipping length 8.29m
- Width 2.3m
Adria’s revamped entry-level Altea Dart took Practical Caravan’s Best Caravan for Couples in its Tourer of the Year awards. Technically, it’s a four-berth van, but with a large – that’s a generous 6’4” x 4’8” – longitudinal island bed at the rear it’s going to appeal to couples. And if you’re holidaying with friends or putting another couple up for the night there’s a generous wraparound lounge up front with pull-out platforms rather than slats for making up a double bed.
The kitchen has Adria’s integrated stainless steel sink and in-line three-burner gas hob, plus a microwave, combi oven and grill and, opposite, a tall fridge/freezer. Midships, the washroom is split across the gangway with the loo and basin on the offside and the roomy shower with two doors on the nearside. A clever detail is the door to the loo also doubles as a door closing off the bedroom and washroom from the rest of the van.
A cool, unfussy interior makes this van very easy on the eye.
BUY IF… you want a lot of caravan at a reasonable price
A proper door separating the two parts of the van
A small front window
Access to corner steadies is a long way under the van
Read our full review of the Adria Altea Dart
Bailey Discovery D4-2
- Price £16,199
- Berths 2
- MTPLM 995kg
- Shipping length 5.615m / 18′5
- Width 2.228m / 7′4″
Bailey’s budget, entry-level range is compact, lightweight and designed to appeal to young caravanners who want to get out and explore. It sits on an Al-Ko chassis with an extra long A-frame that is designed to carry bikes or will take a storage box – don’t forget to keep an eye on your payload, which is 111kg, but an upgrade of weights is possible. The back of the van has curved corners with an awning rail that goes right around the back and this takes the especially designed Bailey Discovery Air Awning (£1,199), which covers three-quarters of the nearside of the van and the whole of the back and gives you bags more room to play with. At the front of the van is Bailey’s signature vertical picture window, which gives you full views from the inside whether you are standing up or sitting down.
Inside are two long parallel sofas that will convert into a large front double, or two long but narrow singles. Windows on the two opposing walls help light the area, while the spotlights for reading double as USB points for charging phones. The van has plenty of recessed ambient lighting around the overhead lockers.
Kitchen kit comprises a dual-fuel three-burner hob and combi oven and grill. The sink is set to the front of the worktop space with a small amount of space behind for electric appliances. The hob has a glass lid and there is more worktop space in the form of a flap to the side. The fridge sits against the nearside wall where there is more worktop and points for a TV.
In the offside corner is the wetroom-style washroom, with a swivel toilet, basin and shower, with the shower tray making up the floor.
It’s a neat little van with everything a couple could need. Add the awning and you have doubled your living and storage space and you could settle onto a pitch for a week or more.
Buy if… You want a lightweight, compact van for easy towing, but that covers all the basics
Comfy sofas convert into large double
Long A-frame for extra storage possibilities
Great especially designed accessories
Washroom is a wetroom
Read our full review of the Bailey Discovery D4-2
Bailey Unicorn Merida
- Price £23,299
- Berth 2
- MTPLM 1330kg
- Shipping length 6.190m / 20′4″
- Width 2.280m / 7′6″
This classic two-berth layout remains popular with couples who will forsake the luxury of a made-up bed in favour of a spacious lounge and large washroom within a relatively small unit. That front lounge also makes up into a generous-sized double bed, on slats rather than platforms, or two long, if narrow, singles. The slight L-shape to the kitchen makes it a good size, and with a wooden lid to the hob, food prep space is fairly plentiful. There’s still more workspace, albeit split level, on the opposite wall above the short fridge and the dresser. On the wall here you will find mains and aerial sockets for a TV. Next to the entrance door is a longish mirror, flanked by two coat hooks, while below is a useful set of narrow shelves and a locker – a kind of ‘mini hall’ where you can discard outer gear and keys as you come in.
The beauty of this layout is the large washroom at the rear, which also houses the wardrobe, a laundry basket and the freestanding table. Behind the solid, domestic-style door there is plenty of space for dressing.
BUY IF… you’d rather have living space and a good-sized washroom than a made-up bed
Shelves and coat hooks at the entrance
A small fridge/freezer
Slats rather than platforms to make up the double bed
Read our full review of the Bailey Unicorn Merida
Elddis Avanté 454 / Elddis Compass Casita 454
- Price £20,194
- Berth 2
- MTPLM 1310kg
- Shipping length 6.89m / 22’7”
- Width 2.26m / 7’5”
This looks like a four-berth but really is a couple’s van with the luxury of a fixed bed and no option to make up a further double.
From the outside the 454 (in both the Avanté and Compass format) is a bit of an oddball. The nearside has only one small window, which is over the kitchen. Inside, you discover why the exterior looks different from the norm. The lounge has an L-shaped sofa set against the offside and front walls below the usual windows; the nearside wall is blank with a wide shelf and TV points.
That L-shaped sofa doesn’t open out into a double bed, at a push you could use it as two singles.
Washroom and kitchen are both at the centre of the van, with the weight of the associated kit over the axle. The nearside kitchen has a large circular sink, dual-fuel four-burner hob, separate oven and grill and a microwave oven.
The offside washroom has the swivel toilet raised above the shower tray floor, which may make the loo a little high for some to use comfortably.
A transverse island bed set against the nearside wall has lockers above and a wardrobe either side, with drawers beneath. A nice detail is that the top ‘drawer’ is in fact a pull-out bedside table. The bed can be pushed back during the day, gaining 40cm of space around the foot of the bed to access the vanity unit at the back of the van.
BUY IF… you want a comfortable, uncompromising couple’s van at a reasonable price
ATC is standard
Cramped washroom with high set toilet
Microwave is set too high
Read our full review of the Elddis Avante 454
Coachman Acadia 470
- Price £22,340
- Berths 2
- MTPLM 1343kg
- Shipping length 6.33m / 20′ 9 “
- Overall width 2.26m / 7′ 5″
Coachman’s new Acadia range replaces its Vision and Pastiche line-ups with 10 layouts, six of which would make great couple’s vans. Three of those have no fixed beds, indicating that a fixed bed is no longer considered a must-have.
The 470 is one of the smallest in the line-up, with no fixed bed but an L-shaped lounge, which makes up into a 1.86m x 1.3m (6′ 1″ x 4′ 3″) double bed at night by pulling out a platform and rearranging the cushions. On the nearside wall is a wide shelf where a TV might go and, unlike in the Elddis 454s, Coachman retains the window here rather than having a blank wall.
The nearside kitchen has a dual-fuel four burner hob, separate oven and grill, microwave and stainless steel sink, while the 115-litre fridge is fitted beneath the half-height wardrobe next to the offside dinette. That dinette means you can leave the double bed made up if you want.
The spacious end washroom has an Alde radiator to warm your towels, a good-sized shower and deep basin.
Buy if… You’re looking for a well-made, comfortable two-berth with the convenience of a dinette
Comfortable L-shaped lounge
Exterior mains socket and gas barbecue point
ATC is an option rather than standard
Read our full review of the Coachman Acadia 470
Swift Elegance Grande 850
- Price £34,905
- Berth 4
- MTPLM 1900kg
- Shipping length 7.98m (26’2”)
- Width 2.45m (8’)
You’ll need a substantial tow car to haul Swift’s 8-foot wide luxury touring caravan, but leave it on your favourite site for the season and you’ll have a home from home with all the comforts you could want.
Introduced last season, the Elegance Grande has been improved with the inclusion of the new Series 10 two-way fridge from Dometic. And because it is now built on the Swift’s latest SMART 3 construction system, including a composite floor with a dual density foam core, Swift has started offering a lifetime water ingress warranty on the range.
The range comprises three twin-axle models, all starting at the same price and all four-berths. The 850 has a longitudinal island bed with a midships washroom. It’s the 8ft width that makes the layout of this van flow so well.
Up front is the increasingly popular L-shaped lounge, with a wide shelf and cupboard beneath on the nearside wall, which will serve as a TV station. The area is brightly lit by the three-piece front window, the two side windows, the skylight and rooflight.
Kitchen kit comprises a tall fridge, separate oven and grill, dual-fuel hob and integrated microwave oven. A proper door leads into the washroom, which goes across the width of the van and from here two exits, one on either side of the basin/vanity unit, take you into the bedroom area, where the wardrobes flanking the longitudinal bed can be easily accessed on either side.
Buy if… You are looking for a well-built van with luxurious living space
Smart, luxurious interior
Great central washroom
Space on either side of the island bed
You’ll need a big tow car
Routes to sites will require careful planning with an 8ft wide van
Read our full review of the Swift Elegance Grande 850
Coachman Laser Xcel 850
- Price £35,400
- Berth 4
- MTPLM 1927kg
- Shipping length 7.89m / 25′ 11″
- Width 2.44m / 8′ 0″
The winner of the luxury category in our Tourer of the Year Awards has plenty of pizzazz, including an E&P levelling system fitted as standard. The 860 is effectively an eight-foot-wide version of the Laser 650, giving you extra room around that transverse island bed at the rear of the van. This is flanked by bedside cabinets rather than wardrobes giving a greater feeling of space. The wardrobe is located in the washroom.
The central washroom goes across the width of the van, with a proper door completely separating it and the bedroom from the rest of the van. The layout has one entrance from the washroom to the bedroom, which also helps give the washroom a much roomier feel.
It’s listed as a four berth, but the lounge isn’t huge, with the parallel sofas only five foot long, although they do make up into a good sized double bed. But this isn’t intended for families, it’s for couples who want to wallow in their own luxurious space.
Other kit includes Al-Ko’s ATC and an AKS 3004 stabiliser, a barbecue outlet , a mobile charging pad (for newer phones), and a tall fridge/freezer.
Buy if … you want to wallow in luxury on a seasonal pitch
Read our full review of the Coachman Laser Xcel 850
Swift Basecamp 2SE
- Price £17,525
- Berths 2
- MTPLM 1013kg (Plus Pack +25kg)
- Overall length 5.10m / 16’9″
- Width 2.28m / 7’6″
The compact, lightweight, easy to tow and fun to use Swift Basecamp is designed to appeal to those who like outdoor activities, and to those who want to upgrade from canvas. It manages to combine practicality with comfort by clever design and not scrimping on the important stuff.
Its truncated shape has you entering through a glazed door at the back of the van, which is wide enough for you to pass bikes through. It does have a metal sill to protect it from those bike wheels. To the left is the kitchen, to the right, the wetroom.
At the front of the van the 6’6’’ long sofas lift easily and are strapped back to access anchor points for bikes. At 2’3” wide they can easily be used as single beds at night, or use the pull-out platforms to create a massive double. Store your clothes in the removable canvas holdalls instead of lockers and there’s a full height, if narrow wardrobe, if you want to hang up a wetsuit.
Kit includes a grill and three-burner hob, an 85-litre fridge with removable freezer compartment, a power stack in the kitchen worktop, a TV point plus mounting unit, 12V point, two more mains points, USB points and a DAB radio. Heating, water, lighting and the fridge are all controlled from Swift’s Command system and with an app for your smartphone you can control the essentials remotely. The Swift Command tracker system deals with security.
This year’s models are built using Swift’s third generation SMART construction, meaning the van is completely timberless.
Add the Plus pack (£715) to gain a barbecue point, external power point, cold water shower point, separate oven and grill, solar panel and TV aerial – it’s worth doing. Add the Vango airbeam awning (£925) to double your living space or choose an airbeam porch awning at £725.
Buy if… you are looking for a lightweight, comfortable van with personality
You can choose from eight exterior graphics
Swift Command system
Swift Smart construction
Wardrobe is narrow
Plus pack and awning will push up price considerably
Knaus Sport and Fun Black Selection
- Price £22,599
- Berths 4
- MTPLM 1400kg
- Overall length 6.25m
- Width 2.32m
Moving over to the dark side, the colourful Sport and Fun has gone all moody for 2020 with a limited edition Black Selection. Black exterior trims and grey stripe upholstery say goodbye to the cheerful blues of previous incarnations. It may have adopted a more sophisticated look but it is still geared towards those couples who love a touring holiday with adventure at its centre.
A large garage area under the fixed double bed at the front of the van will carry bikes and other paraphernalia. Carry canoes and skis on the roof via the black ladder and upgrade your load capacity to 1700kg to carry a motorbike with an easy access ramp through the wide rear garage door and lashing eyelets in the floor to hold the vehicle in place while in transit.
The brilliant interior layout is all about curves and storage, including a storage box under the tall fridge, which doubles as a stool, and a good sized wardrobe above the Truma heater, warming your togs in winter. In the kitchen here’s a hob but no oven or grill – but those using this fan will most likely be barbecuing in the evening. In one of the cupboards you’ll find a pull-out bracket for a TV. The washroom is a good size, but there’s no shower – that’s an option.
This really is a party van, and if you’ve got overnight guests, put them up by lowering the occasional table and adding some infill cushions to make a small double bed.
Buy if… You love to take part in sports and adventures while on tour
Great design makes the most of a small floorplan
Plenty of storage
Can upgrade weight capacity
No oven or grill
Shower is an optional extra
For a full review of an earlier model see here
Eriba Touring Troll 530
- Price From £23,995
- Berths 3
- MTPLM 1300 – 1400kg
- Overall length 5.79m
- Width 2.10m
The iconic Eriba Tourer has been around for more than 60 years and still turns heads on campsites. Its steel frame construction owes its origins to aircraft design, while the streamlined profile and low height give good towing characteristics on the road. Low MTPLMs mean Eribas can be towed by a wide range of smaller cars.
This compact little caravan has some great features, such as a bay window at the front, a wrap-around awning rail, a pull-out entrance step and a shelf hinge above the wheel so that you can fit your inside table outside. The gas locker door’s scissor-action opening takes it right out of the way when accessing the two gas bottles. Grab handles are in stainless steel, with that at the back stretching the full width of the van. There’s also an external locker giving access to storage space under the seating at the back of the van.
The entrance door itself has two storage compartments as well as a wasted bin and a steel grab handle across the interior width of the door. And just inside the entrance is a shoe compartment in the front dinette seating.
With the roof popped up you have 6’5” of headroom. In the kitchen you get a two-burner gas hob, but no oven or grill, a large sink, and a small fridge. Worktop surface is limited but there is an extension flap The parallel sofas at the back turn into a good-sized double bed and the single dinette at the front easily turns into a single. The doors to the roof lockers open downwards rather than upwards.
The washroom has a bench seat toilet, a basin with tap, which also double as a shower, and plenty of storage. A nice touch is that the mirror rises with the pop top.
Options include a 30-litre on board fresh water tank and a spare wheel. And, with the roof lowered, it could fit into some garages.
Buy if… you appreciate superb engineering and iconic styling
Outstanding build quality
Easy to tow
Can upgrade payload
Can store in a garage
No oven or grill
Price, for a small van it’s relatively expensive
Read our full review of the Eriba Touring Troll 530 here
Sprite Super Quattro EB
- Price £22,440
- Berths 4
- MTPLM 1705kg
- Overall length 7.98m
- Width 2.46m
The overall winner of the Practical Caravan Tourer of the Year appeared in the Budget and Seasonal categories and makes an ideal couple’s caravan. This 8-foot wide van, which comes in at a very reasonable price, offers a roomy interior, with a midships washroom and fixed transverse bed. It also doesn’t look particularly budget with three windows at the front, warm and comfortable upholstery in golds and browns, and a spec level that includes Swift’s Command Control system.
This is a big van so if you’re planning on towing it fairly often you will want to invest in the £610 Diamond Pack, which will gain you the AKS 3004 stabiliser, but not the ATC trailer control system. The Diamond Pack also includes a spare wheel and bracket, microwave and DAB radio. You do get USB sockets, a three-burner gas hob and a separate oven and grill.
A sliding partition door closes off the rear bedroom, which feels really spacious; with bedside tables either side of the double bed, rather than full wardrobes, it doesn’t feel hemmed in,
Buy if … you’re looking for lots of space with not too much outlay
Spacious washroom and bedroom
Doesn’t look budget
You need the Diamond Pack for the stabiliser
Fridge is small
Read our full review of the Sprite Super Quattro EB here
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This is a key market and manufacturers and dealers put a lot of work into offering plenty of choice at competitive prices.