Rory WhiteSee other caravan reviews written by Rory White
Pitching and setting up
This is the easiest caravan to live with you could imagine. On Tarmac, one person can tug it about with ease, although strangely, those small dimensions make it a real handful to reverse with a car. As with the rest of the Xplore line-up, equipment levels are pretty basic so there is no stabiliser or spare wheel as standard. However, the optional SE Pack (£399) is very good value. This adds alloy wheels, door flyscreen, Winterhoff stabiliser and the spare wheel.
The stunning lounge is this caravan’s selling point. The way this open interior has been achieved is with the installation of Whale’s blown-air heating system, which is bolted underneath the floor of the caravan. With no Truma heater to accommodate, the fridge slides under the wardrobe and valuable space is reclaimed. Seating is comfortable and very generous for two. The only downside for taller caravanners is the relative lack of headroom when sat in the transverse sofa, particularly when the blinds are down. The large offside picture window is great too.
The kitchen is small but aside from the lack of a microwave oven, is equipped pretty well. The big compromise is a combined oven and grill, rather than separate ones, but the extra storage space this frees up is adequate compensation. Finding space for an electric kettle is tough due to a lack of worktop. We'd suggest using the dining table when serving up a meal. There is no microwave option.
The small corner washroom is best employed for late-night toilet visits and a quick freshen-up rather than a daily shower. Space is a bit tight but the storage is pretty good, thanks to a mirrored cabinet and small shelf on the back wall. Despite the size, there is a separate shower control and a proper shower head, rather than a pull-out sink one. A shower curtain pulls across to protect the toilet. For short weekend breaks or visits to sites with good washblock facilities, the 302's washroom arrangements are fine.
If you are away on your own, you can use the seating as a single bed without doing anything at all. The L-shaped bed is simple enough to assemble, although to get optimum comfort, the cushions need to be shuffled into position and arranged to get the gaps between them in the best places. In common with a lot of entry-level caravans, a mattress topper will improve comfort if you are sleeping on the bed for more than a couple of nights at a time.
The small dimensions put storage space at something of a premium, but the external access door to the shower cubicle (look under the sink) offers the sort of flexibility usually reserved for larger tourers. Other than that, space under the seat lockers is mainly usable, aside from the area given over to the water heater in the front offside corner. The wardrobe is a compromise, being only half-height, but unless you are in the habit of taking ballgowns on tour, it hardly matters.
The 302 could equally be called the Tardis, such is feel of this tiny tourer’s interior. A wide open floor area set around a large L-shaped lounge mark this out as the cleverest bit of caravan packaging we’ve seen in years.
- Tiny dimensions but a cracking lounge, good storage and usable kitchen
- It is a caravan anyone can tow.
- Lounge headroom is limited with the blinds closed
- Washroom is cramped
- Price crept over the £10,000 mark for 2011.