These days, budget caravans tend to look and feel anything but budget. This means that manufacturers contesting the lower end of the market have their work cut out for them.

Nowhere is this more relevant than within the giant Explorer Group, whose ever-popular Xplore caravan range faces stiff competition from Lunar (Venus), Swift (Sprite) and Bailey (Pursuit). 

The bad old days, when manufacturers built a basic tourer, skimped on kit and slapped on an eye-catchingly low price, are long gone. Today’s caravan-buying customers demand more and, if makers want their money, they have to come up with the goods.

As such, it’s no longer unusual to see a cheap tourer packing a trendy layout and surprisingly high levels of kit, without your having to break the bank to buy one. The latest addition to the Xplore ranks, the 434, certainly conforms to the latter requirement. As for the former, well, it seems to be rather a retrograde step.

Seriously, twin dinettes? Didn’t they go out with the Ark? Not at all. We may be living in an industry increasingly awash with caravans sporting fixed beds of some description, but families still crave lounging space as much as sleeping space, and a caravan with a pair of spacious lounges fits the bill perfectly.