CHOOSING THE IDEAL caravan means weighing up a seemingly endless series of compromises until you end up with a list of what you’d like and what you need. And this is certainly true when shopping for a van for couples. With no other family members to worry about, four-berth fixed-bed layouts are a sensible option, offering discrete places to relax and sleep.
But if you don’t mind making up the bed every night, then a two-berth layout will be ideal, and you get the bonus of a larger kitchen or washroom area, thanks to the lack of a fixed bed. Weight is also a factor: a two-berth will generally be lighter than a four-berth, meaning you don’t need to use a large car for towing.
With plenty of variables to consider, we’ve whittled down our choices to the following caravans, each representing a popular version of the couples’ van layout.
Lunar Clubman SB
Coachman Amara 450/2
Elddis Xplore 452
Sterling Elite Amber
Winner, Best Caravan for Couples: Bailey Unicorn Valencia
Taking its cue from potential customers who liked the Pegasus but weren’t thrilled by its interior, Bailey responded by launching the Unicorn range. The four-berth Valencia utilises the company’s new Alu-tech construction method and features a rear fixed-bed with front lounge layout.
This caravan bulges with equipment. There’s a 115-litre fridge with removable freezer compartment, a four-burner hob, grill, oven, microwave, deep kitchen sink and good cutlery and provisions storage. The lounge has comfortable seating and a combination of LED strip- and spotlights. The fixed bed offers good access to the end washroom, which includes a long mirror, heated towel rail, Belfast sink and laundry basket.
The Alde wet central heating system keeps the van warm throughout, while large rooflights – one in the lounge and one above the fixed bed – flood the caravan with light. Forgotten to turn the lights off in the lounge after you’ve gone to bed? A kill switch under the bed turns off all the van’s lights in a touch.
Granted, there are some places where the trim finish could be improved (where cabinetwork meets the lounge walls, for example), but the Unicorn has every conceivable bit of kit a couple will need – and those two extra berths will come in useful for when grandchildren or another couple want to stay. There’s excellent storage space under the fixed bed, as well as two separate wet lockers at the front of the van.
Underpinnings include the Al-Ko ATC system, Al-Ko Secure wheel lock and CRiS ID number, and there are eye-catching LED lights on the grab handles. With a weight just over 1500kg, this van can be towed easily with the average family car.
Price £17,995 MTPLM 1565kg MiRO 1409kg
Find out more about the Bailey Unicorn Valencia here