Caravan holidays offer a wonderful chance to explore the great outdoors, but what do you do to keep your van clean? Practical Caravan’s experts tested nine new portable vacuum cleaners to see which one performed best and lasted longest.

Along with testing suction and battery life, we’ve considered the cleaning attachments supplied, whether it can cope with wet use, how often the unit needs emptying during use, and whether the filter can be washed or needs replacing once choked. Value for money is also high on our judging agenda.

The group test of portable vacuum cleaners features: Hitachi Koki R18DSL, Sealey CPV144, Hoover Jovis Turbo Power SJ120CB, Argos 406/4815, Dyson DC44, Ryobi CHV182M, Halfords 12v Car Vacuum Cleaner, Makita BCL180Z, Draper 75033. Each one is listed as a separate accessory review.

Sealey CPV144

Several vacs in our group test use power-tool battery packs, and all have impressed us. But most are expensive to buy unless you already have suitable batteries and chargers from another tool in the same range. And that’s where Sealey plays its trump card: for around £50 you get the vac, battery, and charger.

The charger takes more than an hour to refresh the battery, which is old-fashioned NiCd technology rather than Li-ione. However, the Sealey CPV144 portable vac has more suction than most domestic portables, the charge lasts 23 minutes, it’ll handle wet and dry work, and it has a washable filter.

The only gripe is that the vac needs emptying frequently during use.

The price quoted, £51, comes from (March 2014 price)