Caravans this small may only appeal to a niche market, but the conventional nature of this design (and the price) could attract a wider audience. You would just need to be prepared to put up an awning – whatever the weather – or perhaps not mind about having a rather more confined touring experience.
Narrow width on the road.
Very small space without an awning.
Kitchen has only minimal shelter.
Until quite recently, if you mentioned the term ‘mini-caravan’, a standard selection of models might spring to mind – little Eribas, a [email protected] teardrop, or perhaps a Go-Pod.
Now, with the switch to electric vehicles on the rise, and the relatively reduced towing capacity they currently offer, other people are getting in on the game.
First Wheelhome, an Essex firm that had specialised in small campers, brought out the Dashaway. Now Camperlands, a Manchester company with a long track record in trailer tents, awnings and other camping equipment, has brought out its first fully fledged caravan.
The Campmaster will be available in three spec levels, with a choice of specially designed awnings or a sun canopy to go with it. Even if you opt for the most expensive spec, you will still get a caravan and awning package for less than £10,000 including delivery.
Pitch and set-up
The Camperlands MiniCamp, introduced a couple of years ago, had just enough space to sleep one person. The new Campmaster provides room for two people to sleep, and to sit up for a meal, too. This part of the van is the same, whichever spec level you choose. The differences come largely in the services on-board, the type of awning or canopy, and what is fitted in the rear compartment.
LC1 will get you a basic shell, which means the rear compartment is empty; LC2 adds mains electrics, with a fuse box taking up some space in the compartment; LC3 adds mains and 12V, USB sockets, internal lighting, a radio with Bluetooth connectivity, and a kitchen unit in the rear compartment.
The Campmaster has polyester sidewalls with 30mm insulation all around. It also sits on a fully braked Knott chassis.
Pitching & Setting-up
Perhaps the biggest advantage comes when you get out on the road. Even if you go for the LC3, you get an unladen weight of just 424kg, so even with the awning on-board, this is a van that could be towed by a relatively small car, and yes, very probably an electric car.
It is only 1.42m wide, so should feel wieldy on the road. And don’t worry about lugging it around – I found that I could easily move it with just one hand.
Although headroom is restricted in the van, the awnings expand to a conventional height.
This is more of a cabin than a lounge, but whichever model you go for, you get two memory foam backrests positioned against the back wall. The folded top of the mattress forms the base cushion for these seats. You then fold up the bottom half and add a PVC cover, to form a kind of table.
The interior is lit by two large windows and a roof vent with a flyscreen. A portable heater (which could fit in one of the shelves behind the seats) is an optional extra.
Choose the LC3 and you also get a radio, and USB ports handily positioned next to it. There’s a mains socket in the top corner.
And don’t forget that awning. With an LC1, you get a poled canopy, with enough room for a couple of chairs and a table.
The other two come with an air awning, and in all three, an awning carpet, groundsheet and draught skirt are all included in the price.
The rear kitchen is optional on the LC3 only. It includes a one-burner hob, fed off a gas bottle in its own compartment on the left, a portable coolbox fridge and a sink with cold running water coming from two 10-litre containers. There is also a socket for a kettle.
The kitchen’s position at the rear of the van means that it is slightly cut off from the rest of the interior and any awning, and the chef might feel a bit unsheltered. The firm is now developing a second awning to fit over this area, as another optional extra.
There is no separate washroom, although if you choose the LC3, its awning includes a sectioned-off compartment in the tunnel, where you could position a Porta Potti.
With everything closed in for the night, the double bed feels very cosy. It’s a good size, too, stretching to well over 6ft long and taking up the full width of the caravan.
In such a small caravan, there isn’t going to be much in the way of dedicated storage areas – but you do get a couple of shelves up top behind the seats, along with one between the radio speakers. There are two storage pockets up front.
The absence of drawers in the kitchen means you can store large pans there, although cutlery could be tricky. But it’s worth remembering that this van has an MTPLM of 750kg, and therefore a payload of at least 326kg. So you could easily stow an awning, outdoor furniture and even a Porta Potti inside it before you set off.
|Interior Length||2.52 m|
|Shipping Length||3.68 m|