Peter Baber
Reviews Editor

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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

Overview

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.

But Compass seems to think the idea can work just as well with caravans, if the design of the Capiro 530 – one of four models making up its new mid-market range – is anything to go by.

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 Capiro rides on an Al-Ko chassis. And although it’s only a mid-market range, it also comes with an Al-Ko AKS3004 stabiliser and ATC trailer control system fitted as standard, as well as an Al-Ko Euro overrun device with a two-way assisted handbrake and receivers for Al-Ko Secure wheel locks, should you want them.

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.

Lounge

Thanks to that rooflight at the front, a longer one down the middle of the ceiling and the mocha-and-cream tones of the interior upholstery, the front lounge is a light and airy place to while away an afternoon.

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.

Kitchen

The nearside kitchen in the Compass Capiro 530 includes such a large work surface that the far end of it could be yet another site for a TV, or at least some kind of digital player.

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.

Washroom

The end washroom should really be the Compass Capiro 530’s big selling point.

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.

Beds

The front double bed is easy to make up by pulling slats out from under the chest that seem stable and generous. They help to create a double that is long, but not especially wide.

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.

Storage

The external access doors make getting into the under-seat areas at the front of the Compass Capiro 530 simple, but there’s easy access from the inside, too.

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.

Technical specs

Berth3
MiRO1281kg
Payload140kg
MTPLM1421kg
Interior length5.51m
Shipping length7.12m
Width2.26m
Awning size1000cm

Verdict

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.

Conclusion

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • The front double bed is a little small
  • Some aspects of the kitchen need a little more thought
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