Opting for a caravan with an island bed will provide you with a comfortable and relaxed sleeping experience when you’re on tour. If you’re picking one out, you’ll want to make sure you’re choosing the best island bed caravan for the job – that’s where this guide comes in.

There are three main island bed caravan arrangements. As tourers are wider than motorhomes, it’s common to see a caravan with a transverse island bed – this means it takes up less overall length. In this instance, you’ll normally see an end washroom caravan layout, which creates an airy feeling in the centre of the van, but can mean anyone sleeping at the front will disturb you if they need the toilet during the night.

A central washroom is another popular choice in this type of caravan. This means more privacy for those sleeping in the transverse island bed, as the washroom can normally be partitioned off. This arrangement also bring the heavy parts of a caravan (as central washrooms are usually next to central kitchens) together over the axle, where they need to be to make towing smoother. The trade off is that the centre of the tourer can end up feeling compact and dark.

Then there are caravans with in-line island beds, a look that’s normally seen in longer vans. In this setup, the island bed is at the back of the van, and there is a central washroom. While the beds are normally easy to walk around, it’s worth pointing out that, unlike the transverse bed option, the storage beneath is normally only accessible internally.

Here, we’re taking a look at the best island bed caravans, featuring tourers from brands such as Bailey, Swift, Coachman and more – you can find out about these different manufacturers in our guide to the best caravan makes. We’ve included models from the 2023 season, as well as tourers from previous years too, to help you find the right option for you.

  • Don’t forget, if you’re looking for a towing vehicle too, our best caravan tow car guide will help.

The best island bed caravans – our top picks:

The Bailey Alicanto Grande Evora
The Bailey Alicanto Grande Evora

Bailey Alicanto Grande Evora

  • Year: 2023
  • Price: £38,499
  • Berth: 4
  • MTPLM: 1855kg
  • MiRO: 1694kg
  • Payload: 160kg
  • Shipping length: 7.86m
  • Width: 2.45m

Reason to buy:

  • Bright bedroom with plenty of space

Reason to avoid:

  • Table is tricky to access

Arrangement: Transverse island bed, rear washroom

The Bailey Alicanto Grande Evora is an impressive tourer, as you may expect from a van that was a winner at the Practical Caravan Awards 2023.

This twin-axle tourer provides that bit of extra assurance you can sometimes want on the road, and ATC comes fitted as standard.

Inside, we like how you could easily have up to six in the lounge, and the large central window creates a bright space. Something we should highlight is that when the table is not in use, it resides under the transverse island bed, and this means it can be a bit difficult to get it out, as the bed doesn’t stay up on its own. However, once it’s in position, there’s plenty of space for at least four.

Before we come to the island bed, we have to focus on the end washroom. It really impressed us – coming with a ladder radiator, a big mirror and a large square basin, it’s more like what you’d expect to see in a hotel.

Then there’s the excellent shower cubicle, where you get LED lighting, a roof vent and a plastic rack, amongst other things – our only niggle is the single drainage hole.

The transverse island bed in the Bailey Alicanto Grande Evora
The transverse island bed in the Bailey Alicanto Grande Evora

The usual setup of wardrobes on either side of the bed has been done away with in this island bed caravan. Instead, there’s one in the offside corner – on the nearside, you get a dresser. You can roll the bed back to create a daybed, but even when it’s rolled forward, we found we could move around easily enough. The lounge settees are suitable either as singles for anyone under 6ft or can be made into a huge double.

We like the inclusion of external locker doors too, although lifting the bed can be an effort. The storage at the front of the van could be better, but this is due to the Alde heater in the offside underseat area.

If you want one of the best island bed caravans, and one that provides a large washroom and an airy feeling throughout, the Evora is worth considering.

Full review: Bailey Alicanto Grande Evora

The Compass Camino 650
The Compass Camino 650

Compass Camino 650

  • Year: 2023
  • Price: £39,899
  • Berth: 4
  • MTPLM: 1830kg
  • MIRO: 1671kg
  • Payload: 159kg
  • Shipping length: 8.19m
  • Width: 2.45m

Reason to buy:

  • Plenty of room if you’re touring as a two

Reason to avoid:

  • L-shaped settees don’t make the most comfortable beds

Our winner of the best caravan for couples at the Practical Caravan Awards 2023 is a very comfortable island bed tourer.

A nice lounge can be found at the front of the van. The comfortable L-shaped seating arrangement creates a relaxed setting, and we like how sociable it is – the way it’s positioned makes it ideal for talking to anyone who is using the kitchen.

Plus, you get a clear and unobstructed view of your TV too (take a look at our best caravan TV guide for ideas if you’re on the hunt for one).

In the central washroom, you’ll find there’s enough room to get dressed in, as well as an impressive shower.

Then, at the rear of the tourer you’ll find an island bed that is incredibly comfortable and large – two important boxes ticked.

The Coachman Laser Xcel 855
The Coachman Laser Xcel 855

Coachman Laser Xcel 855

  • Year: 2023
  • Price: £47,086
  • Berth: 4
  • MTPLM: 1950kg
  • MiRO: 1790kg
  • Payload: 160kg
  • Shipping length: 7.90m
  • Width: 2.44m

Reason to buy:

  • Roomy kitchen and well-equipped bedroom

Reason to avoid:

  • Shower feels on the pokey side

There’s plenty to like about the Xcel 855. Externally, alloy wheels, silver side panels and 3D-effect graphics combine to create a stylish appearance.

Inside, you’ll find an L-shaped lounge with a 32-inch TV on the nearside wall. We like the sociable setup, with the main settee facing the door, letting you welcome people as they come in. The lack of a nearside window is no issue, with daylight flooding in through the windows and sunroof.

We were reminded of a motorhome when we saw what was on offer in the kitchen. Much of it is on the nearside, an unusual touch in a modern tourer. Here, you get an L-shaped unit with a circular sink and a cover, along with a four-burner dual-fuel hob that sits above a separate oven and grill.

Space isn’t an issue, and across the way, you get a two-way opening, 153-litre fridge and freezer, along with a sideboard with two USBs and a microwave – impressive.

We think the nearside shower is a bit disappointing in the central washroom, with no retainers for the shelves and no roof vent. The offside washroom offers a lot more, however.

Then there’s the rear bedroom. An impressive area, as you may expect from a model in our best island bed caravan guide. It’s a luxurious space, with the bed rolling back to create a comfortable daybed. There are also fittings for a second TV, a dresser in the rear nearside corner, and even a mirror and socket for a hairdryer.

The transverse island bed in the Coachman Laser Xcel 855
The transverse island bed in the Coachman Laser Xcel 855

It’s a nicely lit space, and we like the inclusion of the fabric pockets, which are ideal for storing books or magazines. A large double can be made up in the front lounge, and is easy to put together.

We’d say if you’re looking for an island bed caravan and want to use it for a seasonal pitch, this could be the best for you.

Full review: Coachman Laser Xcel 855

The Adria Altea Dart
The Adria Altea Dart

Adria Altea Dart

  • Year: 2023
  • Price: £27,175
  • Berth: 4
  • MTPLM: TBC
  • MiRO: TBC
  • Length: TBC
  • Width: TBC

Reason to buy:

  • Welcoming interior, good storage

Reason to avoid:

  • Basic shower

Arrangement: In-line island bed, central washroom

For the new season, the Dart has been updated, with sofa upholstery that now stretches down to the floor, a move that has been done to create a more cosy interior. It’s successful too – pastel fabrics really add to this vibe.

A fold-out shelf sitting in the middle of the ‘U’ is useful – it helps to offset the foldaway table’s storage position in the bedroom.

The kitchen comes with the usual Adria additions, including a pull-out extension and a three-burner hob. Other features include a Duplex oven, a slimline fridge and a microwave – the sink is small, but we like the useful baskets that come near the tap, ideal for storing products like a sponge.

While the shower errs on the the basic side, the offside washroom is a better space, providing an opaque window, a well-lit mirror and a towel rail.

The rear island bed is a space we’re big fans of. A large Heki and windows let the light stream in, and there’s a second set of TV sockets too, as well as a noticeboard. Moveable felt pockets are a useful inclusion, offering a handy place to store a phone, for instance, during the night.

The inline island bed in the Adria Altea Dart
The inline island bed in the Adria Altea Dart

There are two wardrobes in here, both on the slim side, with shelving below. You can also access the under bed area, which opens vertically.

Then there’s the front double; it’s made up with two metal rails that go along the top of the settees’ front panel to provide support for the slats.

Full review: Adria Altea Dart

The Sprite Super Major 4 SB
The Sprite Super Major 4 SB

Sprite Super Major 4 SB

  • Year: 2021
  • Berth: 4
  • MTPLM: 1442kg
  • MiRO: 1242kg
  • Payload: 201kg
  • Shipping length: 7.54m
  • Width: 2.25m

Reason to buy:

  • Bright lounge, plenty of work surface in the kitchen

Reason to avoid:

  • Front overhead lockers can’t be accessed externally

Arrangement: transverse bed, end washroom

If you’re looking for an island bed caravan, this 2021 Swift tourer is worth considering.

Thanks to its 8ft-width, you get a comfortable lounge, with more than enough space for four to sit. A sunroof and the windows ensure it’s nicely lit during the day, although lighting options could be better in the evening.

You still get a useful row of sockets along the rear of the front chest, including a mains socket and two USBs, while a TV bracket and socket can be found above the sideboard.

You’ll find plenty of workspace in the kitchen if you use the extension, but our one hesitation here is the lighting options. The window is only small, and the curved half-shelf may be handy for small electricals, but has the potential to cast a shadow at night, with the two LEDs sitting on the other side.

It’s well-equipped though, with a separate oven and grill, a microwave, a 100-litre half-height fridge, and a three-burner hob, along with a round sink.

The end washroom has an opaque window and rooflight, ensuring it’s well-lit when you’re using the basin.

We had no problem walking around the transverse island bed, thanks to the extra width, although it’s worth noting it doesn’t roll back. Here, you get a nicely sized dresser, a suitable shelf for a TV, a mains socket and a mirror.

The transverse island bed in the Sprite Super Major 4 SB
The transverse island bed in the Sprite Super Major 4 SB

While you don’t get any external doors for the underseat lockers, you do get large internal access flaps. We also like that the slats will stay up when lifted, but do note that some cushions need removing to do so.

The rear wardrobes are nothing out of the ordinary, but the front one has two doors, with one on each side of the concertina partition. This means anyone sleeping in the front can access the wardrobe without disturbing anyone at the back.

Full review: Sprite Super Major 4 SB

The Coachman Lusso
The Coachman Lusso

Coachman Lusso

  • Year: 2021
  • Berth: 4
  • MTPLM: 1960kg
  • MiRO: 1800kg
  • Payload: 160kg
  • Shipping length: 7.90m
  • Width: 2.44m

Reason to buy:

  • Comfortable rear bedroom, good kitchen and lounge

Reason to avoid:

  • Underseat storage could be easier to access

Arrangement:

This 2021 tourer comes with Al-Ko’s ATC trailer control system as well as an AKS 3004 stabiliser as standard, along with Al-Ko’s automatic adjustment brake.

Inside, you get a C-shaped seating arrangement, accompanied by a telescopic pedestal table. In fact, we thought the space was akin to a luxury motorhome. The table can seat six at least and can be moved with ease. This is a very comfortable area – sprung upholstery includes higher backrests and corner headrests, while a front sill provides a wireless phone charger and two USBs.

The kitchen is L-shaped, and generously sized; the big sink and window are accompanied by a dual-fuel four-burner hob, an extractor fan, a separate oven and grill, a microwave and a two-way opening Dometic fridge.

The island bed in the Coachman Lusso
The island bed in the Coachman Lusso

We’re impressed by the washroom too, a well-lit area with the shower reminding us of one you’d find at home.

The front bed is made by lowering the table and using two backrests to fill the gap; at over 2m, it’s a generous size.

Then there’s the very comfortable rear island bed. In this space, you get a well-lit mirror, a small dresser, a backlit headboard and raised bedside tables.

Full review: Coachman Lusso

The Bailey Unicorn Black Edition Vigo
The Bailey Unicorn Black Edition Vigo

Bailey Unicorn Black Edition Vigo

  • Year: 2020
  • Berth: 4
  • MTPLM: 1499kg
  • MiRO: 1344kg
  • Shipping length: 7.36m
  • Width: 2.28m

Reason to buy:

  • Good kitchen

Reason to avoid:

  • Front double requires slats

Arrangement: transverse island bed, rear washroom

The smart Vigo is a 4 berth caravan that provides a comfortable lounge, even if we thought a kneeroll on the facing settee is perhaps more noticeable than it is on others that we have reviewed. During the day, light spills into the room through the large central window and rooflight, while in the evening, ambient lighting, two LEDs and four spotlights keep things bright.

In the kitchen, there’s a 134-litre slimline Dometic fridge, a Perspex splashback, a microwave and a Thetford Caprice Mk III oven and grill.

We liked the washroom too, with a huge lit mirror creating the illusion that it’s bigger than it is. Providing room to move around in and a reasonably sized nearside shower, we think this is a good space.

The transverse island bed in the The Bailey Unicorn Black Edition Vigo
The transverse island bed in the The Bailey Unicorn Black Edition Vigo

When it comes to the caravan’s island bed, we thought the end was a bit close to the wall when pulled out – however, it’s still incredibly comfortable. A unit sits on the offside as a sort of dresser – it’s not the biggest, but it still comes with shelves and a mirror, as well as a cupboard below.

There’s a nice accessible space beneath this bed, as well as two overhead lockers – storage at the front is a bit more limited, however.

Full review: Bailey Unicorn Black Edition Vigo

The Swift Challenger 560
The Swift Challenger 560

Swift Challenger 560

  • Year: 2020
  • Berth: 4
  • MTPLM: 1424kg
  • MiRO: 1397kg
  • Payload: 127kg
  • Shipping length: 6.66m
  • Width: 2.23m

Reason to buy:

  • Great storage, good option for couples

Reason to avoid:

  • No washroom window or heavy-duty corner steadies

Arrangement: in-line island bed, central washroom

The 560 is a Swift van from 2020 that comes with a stylish lounge, one which is well-suited to seating four despite it’s modest length of 5ft. In here, there’s a handy central chest of drawers, as well as a pull-out extension flap.

You get some useful overhead lockers in here, while access flaps to the seat bases mean the settees won’t need lifting up each night if you’re storing bedding in them.

When it comes to the kitchen, you’ll find it’s well-equipped – it had what was at the time the latest Thetford oven fitted, as well as a dual-fuel hob. A microwave, Dometic fridge/freezer and a stainless steel sink are also included, and again, storage is good.

The inline island bed in the Swift Challenger 560
The island bed in the Swift Challenger 560

Moving into the washroom, we thought the central space was nicely kitted out; it includes a nicely sized handbasin and mirror, with cupboard space found below. To the left sits a Thetford electric-flush toilet, while a moulded shower cubicle with an eco showerhead is on the right. We should point out there’s no window on either side of the washroom though.

At the rear of the tourer is the island bed, with a Duvalay mattress making sure you get a very comfortable sleep.

Storage is excellent throughout the tourer too – overhead lockers, twin wardrobes and two side cabinets provide plenty of options for you when you’re on tour. That’s before taking the underbed space into consideration as well.

Full review: Swift Challenger 560

How we pick the best island bed caravans

We’re strongly positioned to be picking out the best island bed caravans. Our expert team have decades of experience between us in the industry, and we know what it is that separates a good tourer from the very standout caravans.

When we were compiling this guide, we considered factors such as the practicalities of the layout, the ease of using the washroom and the kitchen, and more.

We regularly test and review the latest tourers, with more than 400 available to see in our caravan reviews section. We make sure every review is honest, highlighting the pros and the cons of every model – head to our About Us page to find out more about our testing process.

Alongside this, we hold our yearly Owner Satisfaction Awards, where our readers vote to tell us how they have got on when buying a van.

Putting this together leaves us in a strong position to be selecting the standout options on the market.


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