Peter BaberSee other caravan reviews written by Peter Baber
New from Compass caravans for 2017, the mid-market Capiro's three-berth 530 model gives touring couples greater flexibility – find out more in our review
It is a common theme among motorhome designers to provide an extra third berth for those moments when grandma and grandpa are off on their travels and decide to invite one of their grandchildren along with them. How often such a scenario actually takes place is open to question.
Along with a double bed you make partly out of the two front settees, the caravan also has a central nearside kitchen with a dinette opposite, which can be converted into a single bed – or for £310 extra you can have a fold-up bunk here, too.
What’s probably most likely to attract people, however, is the larger-than-average washroom across the back.
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Pitching and setting up
The caravan certainly looks the part, with decals curling round over the side windows at the front to match the sweep of the blackened rooflight and front window panel.
The four corner steadies are easy to reach. Close to the front on the nearside there is a hatch giving you easy access to the large under-seat storage area inside.
Sadly, the hatch for the toilet is on the nearside, which means you will have to put up with removing the toilet from inside the awning, should you fit one.
The two settees in the Compass Capiro 530 are comfortable and supported by a collection of bolsters and scatter cushions. You could probably still seat six in here without having to remove anything.
The chest of drawers between the settees includes a pull-out flap that, once extended, creates a flat and almost uninterrupted surface that is easily large enough to accommodate a tea tray or a board game.
If games aren’t your thing, everything is set up here for other kinds of diversions, because in the nearside corner you will find a mains 12V and TV socket and two USB connections. There are also two built-in speakers and a standard stereo unit.
If you’d prefer to have a television more centrally mounted, there is a sideboard aft of the settee on the offside that would easily take a television. And above the microwave there’s a cupboard that usefully includes not just a plug for said microwave, but also two more mains sockets, a 12V socket and a second TV socket, while there is already a cut-out to pass the cable through.
Come night-time you won’t be in the dark either, because once you’ve pulled across the concertina blinds and drawn the real curtains here, you’ll find a combination of LED lights and directional spotlights which create a warm ambience.
You’ll be snug inside here, too, because the Capiro range comes with Alde wet central heating.
The side dinette, with a pullman layout, is a space that is really comfiest for two. It would be the perfect place for one of you to read the papers over a morning brew while the other takes advantage of a lie-in in bed.
Should one child be coming with you on your caravan holidays, three around the table would be just about all right, but four would be a bit of a squeeze.
There are no sockets here.
There’s no TV point this time, but there are two more mains sockets, along with a USB charging point and a socket for an immobiliser. This tourer is certainly very well equipped electronically.
As for actual cooking equipment, you get a four-ring hob featuring three gas burners and one mains hot plate, and a Thetford Aspire 2 oven and grill. At the other end of the unit there’s a 101-litre Dometic three-way fridge.
Between this and the oven is a large cupboard that is partly taken up by the wheelarch, as well as two drawers. There is also a pan locker under the oven, and a larger slimmer drawer under the work surface just above the fridge.
Up above, working from right to left, there is a plastic cocktail cabinet, a single cupboard with mug and dish holders inside, a double-shelved cupboard and, immediately above the hob, some small shelving.
The freestanding table storage is to the right of the fridge, as close as possible to where it is needed. Two spotlights give you illumination.
It is all very impressive – it’s just a shame that the granite-effect sink looks a touch dated.
Over on the other side of the aisle, the sideboard includes a large shelved double cupboard along with a shallow drawer immediately below the work surface.
The Daewoo microwave is mounted over this, but not immediately above. Compass has cleverly included another drawer between the work surface and the microwave so you don’t have to clear all plates and detritus off the work surface before you open the microwave door.
Even with all those sockets and cables, the cupboard above the microwave has plenty of space for food storage.
Along with a domestic-sized shower and a perfectly adequate washbasin, there’s enough space for two people to move around in here easily. So if you were taking a small child who couldn’t dress by themselves, or a frail parent in the same situation, privacy should be no problem.
Best of all is the large wardrobe with hanging rails and, in the nearside front corner, a full airing cupboard. So you can still have fluffy towels on your caravan holidays!
You also get a heated towel rail. It’s just a shame that, having gone to all the trouble to fit that, Compass hasn’t followed through with a hanging clothes drier as well.
However, thanks to the use of Ozio cushions, which you turn over to sleep on, it is supremely flat and comfortable. Spotlights make it easy to read, and there is plenty of room to sit up in bed.
The second bed takes a little longer to assemble, but at least you don’t have to worry about infill cushions. The bed is 1.80m (5ft 11in) long and 0.85m (2ft 9in) wide at its narrowest, rising to a 1.00m (3ft 3in) maximum. This single bed gets a spotlight for reading, too.
Our test model wasn’t fitted with the optional bunk, but there seems to be plenty of room for it. A privacy curtain surrounds the dinette.
The offside area is partly taken up with the fuse box, but the nearside one is clear, as is the space under the chest, which you can only access internally.
The four overhead lockers here and the three over the side dinette have positive-locking catches.
One of the front lockers and two of the side dinette lockers are shelved, but all of the internal partitions have scooped-out holes to save weight.
The Compass Capiro 530 has a layout and an internal length (5.51m) that is only directly matched in the mid-market by Compass’s sister brand Elddis.
The designers have really made the most of the extra length this caravan includes to provide you with a washroom that will make you feel right at home.
Comfortable and well lit, the Capiro is great as a two-berth, and even as a two-plus-one-berth. Any more than that, though, and you might feel cramped.
- The large washroom will find favour with anyone who likes their home comforts
- The décor is tastefully neutral
- The kitchen has lots of worktop and storage space
- The front double bed is a little small
- Some aspects of the kitchen need a little more thought