Best Caravans For Couples in 2021 – Go For The Fixed Bed?


Hi, I’m Chris, I run Horton Common along with my father Robert.

While we do have a lot of families visit us here at Horton Common each year a significant number of our guests are couples. Hence, I’ve had several conversations with those guests over the years about why they chose a particular caravan size/layout which they felt best suited their needs. Now, every couple is different, with different budget requirements and layout/facility priorities. Therefore below I’ve provided multiple different options you could consider and at different budgets. For instance, there are layouts such as a fixed rear corner bed or transverse island bed layouts which are very popular with couples.

Best Couples Caravans
When it comes to a couples caravan you have to decide if a fixed bed and if so which type of fixed bed layout will suit you the best

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Introduction To The Best Couples Caravans

Any caravan is really suitable for couples being a two-berth at a minimum. However, there is obviously a big difference from a small two-berth teardrop caravan to a large twin axle caravan with a fixed rear island bed.

However, both of those options and many varients in between have appeal to some couples. Therefore, I’ll provide examples at three different price points for each option. I’ll give an example of a budget, mid-range and premium option for each type of couples caravan.

You can use the links below to quickly jump to the type of caravan layout that would suit you best as a couple:

Teardrops and The Smallest/Cheapest Couples Caravans

The entry point for any couples caravan is to consider if a teardrop caravan would be meet your requirements. A teardrop caravan is definitely the kindest option for your wallet/purse as its the cheapest option you could consider.

A teardrop caravan is obviously very limited on space and while they typically have a rear kitchen that’s it on the facilities front. There is obviously no dedicated space for a toilet and shower.

However, a teardrop due to its height also doesn’t provide enough space/height to use a porta-potty either. Hence, the only way to have such a facility with a teardrop caravan is to erect a toilet tent.

Teardrop Couples Caravan
The smallest and cheapest couples caravan option is a teardrop: Image – Pinterest.com

I’ve previously written an extensive article on teardrop caravans, therefore if you think this is an option that can work for you my article linked below is well worth a read. Next, we’ll discuss the next smallest couples caravans where you can actually stand up and have the space for onboard facilities.

Right then, so if we presume that a teardrop is not going to be suitable to meet your needs and you need a ‘proper’ caravan with onboard facilities what’s the next step up?

Well, you’ll be happy to know I’ve also written a separate dedicated article on those options as well which I’ve linked to below. Now, not all of the small caravans within that article have the space for a dedicated toilet/shower. However, all have the space inside to use a porta-potty.

Two of the most popular and recent entrants into the world of small couples caravans are the Swift Basecamp and the Bailey Discovery ranges. Both of these small couples caravans provide a dedicated washroom with a toilet and shower.

Swift & Bailey Couples Caravans
The Swift Basecamp (Left) and Bailey Discovery (Right) are two examples of the smallest couples caravans with dedicated washrooms. Images: Swiftbasecamp.co.uk & BaileyofBristol.co.uk

Couples Caravans With Fixed Beds

Right, so there are lots of options of two-berth couples caravans such as the Swift Basecamp and Bailey Discover above where you are converting the sleeping area each night into the bed.

However, now let’s look at the option of having a fixed bed in the caravan, hence your seating/dining area is separate and you are not having to make up the bed each evening. This also comes with practical benefits.

For instance, say one of you likes to go to sleep earlier or get up earlier than the other. Well, having a separate dedicated sleeping area can provide a much more usable space to suit more circumstances.

The question then becomes, which fixed bed layout is going to work best for you as a couple? As I’ve previously discussed in my article on caravan layouts there are quite a few fixed bed layouts to choose from.

Fix Bed and Single vs Twin Axle Caravans

Something to bear in mind if you are looking for a couples caravan with a fixed bed is the more premium options are typically found with twin axle caravans. There are many benefits to twin axle caravans, however, they also require a heavier and more powerful tow car combination.

You can indeed get large single axle caravans with a fixed bed layout, I’ve provided examples below. However, the problem with long single axle caravans is they are more prone to pitch and sway when towing at speed.

I discuss the pros and cons more in my article on single vs twin axle caravans and if you are set on choosing a couples caravan with a fixed bed layout such as those below I would very much encourage you to read it.

Fixed Rear Corner Bed Caravans

So this first fixed bed layout to consider its the fixed rear corner bed which has been a popular layout for many years. This layout is available on single and twin axle caravans and typically comes with a corner rear corner washroom.

Fixed Rear Corner Bed Couples Caravan Layout
A typical example of a fixed rear corner bed layout: Image – SwiftGroup.co.uk

Now, as you can see with the example above, this fixed bed layout does come with some compromises. The bed itself is not what you would describe as a ‘normal’ shape. The side of the bed closest to the wall is shorter and the other side of the bed is cut off to allow access to the washroom.

Hence, this is not a layout that is going to work for a tall couple and there is also another downside. Whoever is sleeping on the side closest to the wall would have to climb over the other person to get out of bed. In fact, neither person has great access to get in and out of bed.

Fixed Corner Bed Examples

A quick review of the Bailey Phonix 440, the budget option for a fixed corner bed

Fixed Rear Central Island Bed Layout

As I’ve discussed above, the fixed rear corner bed layout does have its comprises not only with the size and shape of the bed but also the access in and out of the bed. Therefore, a layout that provides better access in and out of bed is the fixed rear central island bed layout.

Typically a fixed rear central island bed layout will provide two separate wardrobes on either side of the bed and come with a centrally located split washroom with the toilet/sink on one side of the van and the shower on the other.

Fixed Rear Central Island Bed Layout For Couples
One of the more premium couples caravan layouts is the fixed rear central island bed layout: Image – SwiftGroup.co.uk

In the image caption above I’ve referred to this layout as a ‘premium’ layout. The reason being providing that amount of space around the bed for access naturally means a larger/heavier caravan and therefore also commonly a twin axle caravan.

However, two of the example options I’ve provided below are single axle caravans. The Elddis which I’ve also provided a video review of has a slightly different layout with a rear transverse island bed.

Fixed Rear Central Island Bed Examples

A quick review of the Elddis Avante 454, a budget option for a fixed rear island bed layout

Mid Transverse Island Bed Layout

With the fixed rear island bed layout above what that means as a result is the facilities (toilet/shower) have to be placed in the middle of the van and separated to provide access through the van to the bed at the rear.

Well, what if you want a layout with a full-width rear washroom that contains both the toilet and the shower? In that scenario, with a fixed bed the result is the mid transverse island bed layout.

Mid Transverse Island Bed Layout For Couples
The mid transverse island bed layout is quickly becoming one of the most popular options for couples: Image – BaileyofBristol.co.uk

I personally like a rear full washroom layout and having all the facilities within one enclosed space. However, it obviously has a compromise (as all layouts do) that you have to get past the bed to get to the bathroom.

Therefore, with this layout, if one person is asleep there is more chance of disturbing them going to the bathroom. However, even with that compromise, I’ve noticed this layout becoming very popular with our guests here at Horton Common.

Mid Transverse Island Bed Examples

A quick overview of a budget option example with a transverse island bed the Bailey Phoenix+ 644

Fixed Single Bed Caravans

The final option that may suit your needs best is a twin single fixed bed layout. If you and your partner typically go to sleep and wake up at different times then a twin fixed single bed layout may be something you want to consider.

Perhaps a twin single fixed bed layout would suit you best as a couple?: Image – Lunarcaravans.com

While not the most obvious layout for a couples caravan but it does provide the flexibility for each person to go to sleep, rise and get to the bathroom without disturbing the other person.

Mid Transverse Island Bed Examples

A quick overview of the mid-range fixed single bed option the Adria Alpina Colorado: Video – CaravanGuard.co.uk

Conclusions On The Best Caravans For Couples

Hopefully, the various fixed bed layout options and examples I have given have provided you with a better idea of what’s going to work best you for as a couples caravan and fit within your budget.

While teardrops and small caravans are the cheapest options and can serve perfectly well as couples caravans they definitely appeal more to younger couples and those looking to go on adventures where you would not take a typical touring caravan.

The next step up budget-wise is the typical type of touring caravan with full onboard facilities and a dining/seating area that is converted into a bed each evening. However, if you want a caravan with a fixed bed, you then have quite a few options to consider.

While you could consider a rear corner fixed bed layout it does have its compromises with the odd shape and size of the bed and access issues. I know several of our guests who have now moved to caravans with fixed rear island bed and transverse island bed layouts which they find much more practical.

That’s it! Thanks for reading, if you want to keep you’re budget down you may also want to check out my article on the best cheap caravans. Alternatively, if you decide a motorhome may be your better option, I have an article on the best motorhomes for couples. Anyway, I hope you found the above useful and once you are set up with your caravan why not come and spend a weekend break here at Horton Common 🙂

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Chris - Site Manager

Hi, I’m Chris, along with my father Robert we operate and maintain Horton Common Caravan Site. Located in the Staffordshire Moorlands Horton Common benefits from expansive views over the Peak District National Park. Horton Common features five hard standing fully serviced pitches for caravans and motorhomes.

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