Best Small Caravans

Hi, I’m Chris. About Me

Each year here at Horton Common caravan site, I get to see a wide range of caravans of all different shapes and sizes turn up. Sometimes a guest will discuss with me why they ended up choosing their particular make/model of caravan. It can be interesting to hear the different criteria that makes someone purchase a particular size and type of caravan. When it comes to small caravans, there will typically be a couple of different reasons for that choice. It could be they are a single tourer, and they just don’t need lots of space.

Best Small Caravans
What are the best small caravans currently on the market in the UK?: Original Image –

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Introduction To The Best Small Caravans

Below I will be referencing a couple of different makes and models of small caravans. However, please be aware this is not a ‘sponsored post’ or any such thing.

I’m also not endorsing one particular make and model of small caravan over another. My intention with this post is to speed up your research process to find the best small caravan to meet your needs and budget.

I should note below I’m purely discussing small caravans that you can walk into. If you want to go even smaller, check out my teardrop trailers article.

Best Small Caravans (Available In The UK)

I’ve ordered the list below of small caravans based on the starting price, with the cheapest/lowest cost options first, I’ll do my best to keep this article updated with the latest models/prices.

To review your options in even more detail, I would encourage you to have a play about with my New Caravan Database, where you can do custom searches and compare models against each other.

Hobby Beachy 360 – Starting from £12,513

The Beachy small caravans from Hobby, of which the 360 is the smallest model, are very low-cost small caravans, but they are also very light on features as well.

You will find an enclosed area for a toilet, but its not a wet room. Hence, there is no shower. Furthermore, while there is a sink, there is no hob/cooker.

The Beachy small caravans from Hobby are light on price but also light on features.

Hobby Beachy 360 Key Features:

  • 3 Beth layout
  • Unladen weights from 731 kg
  • MTPLM of 900 kg
  • Enclosed toilet but no shower
  • From £12,513

Freedom Caravans – Starting £13,995

These small caravans are actually manufactured in Poland and imported to the UK by Freedom Caravans.

They are available in a couple of different models/specs in either a 2 or 3-berth configuration in their ‘Classic’ range, with their latest Carpento range offering up to 6-berth configurations.

Its important to note Freedom Caravans are constructed as a single GRP (Glass Reinforced Fibre) shell. Hence, that provides excellent resistance to leaks. As such, Freedom Caravans provide a 25-year water ingress warranty for the body.

So you’re far less likely to be investigating around the caravan with a damp meter to find a leak.

The Google reviews for Freedom Caravan are very respectable the last time I checked. Below is a video that the Camping and Caravanning Club produced on Freedom Caravans back in 2019:

This is a review of the cheapest model of small caravan from Freedom Caravans, their Classic Range, priced at £14 to £20K

In reference to my comments below on the various considerations with small caravans, as you can see from the video above, Freedom Caravans do feature a separate/dedicated washroom with a shower.

As discussed, this is not a feature you will find in all small caravans. Therefore, make a note of it if its an important feature for your needs.

Freedom Caravans also have a new range called Carpento with a much more modern design with a large wrap-around from window which will let in a lot of natural light into the living space.

A quick review by Andrew Ditton on the Freedom Caravans Carpento 360

Freedom Caravans Classic Range Key Features:

  • 2 or 3 Beth layouts
  • Unladen weights from 580kg to 680kg
  • MTPLMs of 750kg (850kg – optional upgrade)
  • Stabiliser hitch included and 3-way fridge
  • Bathroom with Shower, Toilet and Sink
  • From £13,995 up to £19,295

Freedom Caravans Carpento Key Features:

  • 2 to 6 Berth layouts
  • Unladen weights from 620kg to 720kg
  • MTPLMs of 750kg up to 1,000 kg
  • Bathroom with Shower, Toilet and Sink
  • From £20,195 up to £22,595

Go-Pods – Starting £16,295

As with the Freedom Caravans referenced above Go-Pods are also made from a one-piece GRP shell. In this case, Go-Pods are made in Portugal.

However, while a Freedom Caravan has its door on the side of the caravan, its notable with a Go-Pod that the door is at the rear. Go-Pods have a pop-up roof to provide additional head height.

The premium version comes with a bespoke awning and solar panel. However, it should be noted that Go-Pods do not have a dedicated/separate toilet and shower area.

An interesting discussion on the reasons to buy a Go-Pod

Go-Pod Key Features

  • 2-Berth
  • Unladen weight of 540kg
  • MTPLM of 750kg
  • Offered with an optional awning/solar panel
  • No dedicated toilet/shower area
  • From £16,295

Trigano Silver Small Caravans – Starting £16,995

Trigano is a French small caravan manufacturer that offers a range of caravans under the Silver range, starting with the Mini Style 250 and moving up in price/size to the Trend 442.

The Trigano Silver Trend 350 sits in the middle of the range. It features a pop-up roof design which has a couple of benefits, including lower air resistance while towing, hence higher towing MPG figures.

A quick review of the Trigano Silver Trend 350

The smallest model, the Mini Freestyle 270, doesn’t get any dedicated space for toilet/shower facilities. While the Mini Freestyle 290 gets a dedicated enclosed toilet/sink area.

The larger models, the Trend 350, Trend 380 and the Trend 442, all get a dedicated washroom with a toilet sink and shower.

Trigano Silver Mini Freestyle 270 Key Features

  • 2-Berth
  • Unladen weight of 600kg
  • MTPLM of 750kg up to 1,200kg
  • No dedicated toilet/shower area
  • From £16,995

Trigano Silver Mini Freestyle 290 Key Features

  • 2-Berth
  • Unladen weight of 688kg
  • MTPLM of 750kg up to 1,200kg
  • Dedicated toilet/sink, but no shower
  • From £18,995

Trigano Silver Trend 350 Key Features

  • 2-Berth
  • Unladen weight of 800kg
  • MTPLM of 1,000kg
  • Bathroom with Shower, Toilet and Sink
  • From £20,495

Trigano Silver Trend 380 Key Features

  • 3-Berth
  • Unladen weight of 870kg
  • MTPLM of 1,000kg to 1,300kg
  • Bathroom with Shower, Toilet and Sink
  • From £21,995

Trigano Silver Trend 442 Key Features

  • 3-Berth
  • Unladen weight of 943kg
  • MTPLM of 1,200kg to 1,300kg
  • Bathroom with Shower, Toilet and Sink
  • From £22,995

Xplore 304 Small Caravan – Starting Price £19,299

The Xplore range of caravans is a brand under Elddis caravans, with the Xplore being their cheapest/budget option and also the smallest caravan they offer.

The notable feature of the Xplore 304, despite its small size, is that is actually a four-berth caravan where the rear seating area can convert into a bunk bed for kids/small adults.

A detailed walk around the Elddis Xplore 304, one of the smallest four-berth caravans on the market.

Elddis Xplore 304 Key Features

  • 4-Berth
  • Unladen weight of 886kg
  • MTPLM of 1,043kg
  • Dedicated washroom with toilet/shower
  • Starting price of £19,299

Bailey Discovery Small Caravan Range – Starting £19,999

After Swift launched the Basecamp in 2017, and it received acclaim and awards, another larger caravan manufacturer, Bailey, must have been thinking, ‘we need to get in on this!‘.

Therefore, Bailey has responded with the Discovery range. Now, I should point out that even the smallest Discovery, the D4-2 is large compared to some of the smallest/micro caravans listed above.

The Discover D4-4, with its fixed bed and rear washroom, is quite large for a ‘small’ caravan, but its still definitely a lightweight caravan.

A tour around the latest version of the Bailey Discovery D4-4

Unlike the Swift Basecamp, Bailey is sticking with a side instead of a rear door arrangement. However, just like Swift, Bailey is heavily targeting the Discovery range for ‘adventurers’.

Instead of bikes going into the caravan, the Discovery range has the option of an extended A-Frame with a bike rack.

Also, the wrap-around airframe awning is unique to the Bailey Discovery range. I will also point out that the Bailey Discovery D4-4 probably has the largest washroom with a toilet and shower you will find in any small caravan.

Bailey Discovery D4-2 Key Features

  • 2-Berth
  • Unladen weight of 887kg
  • MTPLM of 999kg
  • Dedicated washroom with toilet/shower
  • Starting price of £19,999

Bailey Discovery D4-4L Key Features

  • 4-Berth
  • Unladen weight of 949kg
  • MTPLM of 1,083kg
  • Dedicated washroom with toilet/shower
  • Starting price of £21,499

Bailey Discovery D4 Key Features

  • 4-Berth
  • Unladen weight of 1,102kg
  • MTPLM of 1,247kg
  • Dedicated large rear washroom with toilet/shower
  • Starting price of £21,499

Eriba Touring Small Caravans – Starting £22,740

As I discussed in my post on teardrop caravans, we once had a guest turn up at Horton Common in an Eriba Puck. The Puck is one of the smallest caravans I’ve seen in person.

However, its unfortunately not produced anymore though Eriba still makes a wide range of ‘smallish’ caravans.

They are high-quality/german engineered products, so you will never hear someone describe an Eriba as cheap. However, as they are not cheaply built, they hold their value.

A review of the Eriba Touring 320, the smallest Eriba caravan with a washroom

Guests of ours who own Eriba caravans have stated they will not even consider a caravan from another brand due to their faith in Eriba’s build quality. That brand loyalty appears to be pretty consistent with Eriba caravan owners.

There are actually lots of models in the Eriba Touring range, including the 310, 320, 430, 510, 540, 542, 550 and 560. Below I’ve just provided some quick specs on the smallest Eriba caravan.

Eriba Touring 320 Key Features

  • 2-Berth
  • Unladen weight 767kg
  • MTPLM of 900kg
  • Bathroom with Shower, Toilet and Sink
  • From £22,740

Swift Sprite Compact – Starting £20,695

While the Swift Basecamp gets most of the attention when it comes to small caravans from the Swift brand, there is actually a smaller caravan within their range, the Sprite Compact.

In fact, the Sprite Compact is the narrowest caravan from Swift at just 6.6 ft, compared to the closer to 7.5 ft width of the Swift Basecamp models.

The Swift Sprite Compact is one of the smallest caravans you can get with a dedicated toilet/shower.

As well as being narrower than the Swift Basecamp models below, the Sprite Compact is actually the cheapest small caravan from Swift, several thousand less than the cheapest Basecamp model.

Swift Sprite Compact Key Features

  • 2-Berth
  • MTPLM of 1,094kg
  • Dedicated washroom with toilet/shower
  • Starting price of £20,695

Swift Basecamp – Starting $23,995

The Swift Basecamp is a small caravan that I’ve seen appear many times over the years in the various caravan magazines etc.

I’ve not yet had a guest turn up with Swift Basecamp here at Horton Common, but if I do, I’ll be very interested to hear how the owners are getting on with it.

While based on a traditional touring caravan construction, the door is at the rear of the caravan like the Go-Pod. This helps with the practicality and utility of the caravan to store bikes and skis etc.

A detailed review of the latest Swift Basecamp 3

The build quality and price point of the Swift Basecamp are often cited as some of the key reasons its been winning awards.

Furthermore, with Swift being a large UK-based caravan manufacturer, servicing and getting parts for this small caravan is not going to be a problem.

There are currently three different versions of the Swift Basecamp, and I’ve provided key details below on the specifications of each version.

Swift Basecamp 2 Key Features

  • 2-Berth
  • MTPLM of 1,043kg
  • Dedicated washroom with toilet/shower
  • Starting price of £23,995

Swift Basecamp 3 Key Features

  • 3-Berth
  • MTPLM of 1,146kg
  • Dedicated washroom with toilet/shower
  • Starting price of £25,495

Swift Basecamp 4 Key Features

  • 4-Berth
  • MTPLM of 1,186kg
  • Dedicated washroom with toilet/shower
  • Starting price of £25,495

Adria Action 316LT – Starting £24,760

The Action 316LT is a smaller version of a traditional touring caravan in terms of layout (side entrance door) and bonded/fixed panel construction. Adria actually produces a range of Action models.

However, it appears for the UK market, the only model available is the 316LT. It does feature a full washroom with a toilet and shower, which is notable.

A detailed review of the Adria Action 361LT

I also do think Adria makes some good quality/lightweight caravans. However, as was noted by the Young Tourers in the video above, the location of the fridge is not ideal.

With the fridge being so high up with the open latch close to the ceiling, that is going to be a problem for quite a few people. That’s not ideal in quite an expensive small caravan.

Adria Action 316LT Key Features

  • 2-Berth
  • Unladen weight of 985kg
  • MTPLM of 1100 / 1300kg
  • Dedicated toilet/shower area
  • Starting price of £24,760

KNAUS Sport & Fun – Starting £27,540

Here we have another small caravan aimed at those looking to take part in activities/adventures. The KNAUS Sport & Fun features a large garage to store bikes etc.

A detailed look around the KNAUS Sport & Fun small caravan

KNAUS Sport & Fun Key Features

  • 4-Berth
  • MTPLM of 1,300kg
  • Dedicated toilet/shower area
  • Starting price of £27,540

Barefoot Small Caravans – Starting £33,000

Barefoot caravans are made and designed in the UK to order. The benefit being there are lots of customization options, but the price and lead times can be pretty high.

The construction of the Barefoot caravan is a one-piece single GRP mould. Hence, its far less likely to leak and therefore, it should have a very long usable life without any damp problems.

A detailed look at the features of the Barefoot small caravan

The layout of the Barefoot is an end washroom/wet room. Hence there is no separate shower. However, evening having a shower in such a small caravan is pretty unique.

Barefoot Caravan Key Features

  • 2-Berth
  • Length of 5.80m
  • MTPLM of 1,100kg
  • Combined toilet/shower area
  • Starting price of £33,000

Airstream Basecamp Small Caravans – Starting £36,000

If you are looking for a premium small caravan and you’re prepared for the price tag to match, you may be interested in the new upcoming offering to the UK from Airstream.

Their Basecamp comes in two versions the Basecamp 16 and the Basecamp 20. The Basecamp 16 is a two-berth layout with an end kitchen. The Basecamp 20 is a longer four-berth layout.

While these Basecamp models are definitely ‘small caravans’ in terms of their length, they are not actually that lightweight, with MTPLM figures of 1,590 kg and 1,954 kg.

A walk-through of the Airstream 20, the larger of the two small Airstream caravans.

Airstream has designed their Basecamp models to be more rugged than a standard caravan, and more suited to going off the beaten path or ‘adventure camping’ as Airstream likes to say.

While these Airstream Basecamp models have been available in the US for quite a few years now they are yet to reach the UK, but they are coming, apparently.

UK pricing has not as yet been confirmed, so I’ve based the pricing below on what US customers are currently paying and yes, like all Airstream models, these are a premium product with a price tag to match.

Airstream Basecamp 16 Key Features

  • 2-Berth
  • Length of 4.27m
  • MTPLM of 1,590kg
  • Combined toilet/shower area
  • Estimated price of £36,000

Airstream Basecamp 20 Key Features

  • 4-Berth
  • Length of 6.09m
  • MTPLM of 1,954kg
  • Combined toilet/shower area
  • Estimated price of £44,000

Things To Consider When Looking For A Small Caravan

The first thing you need to appreciate is ‘small’ is a subjective term. What I perceive to be a small caravan, someone else might not consider that to be the case.

However, I think it would be generally agreed that its highly unlikely any twin axle caravan would be regarded as small. Therefore, there are no twin-axle caravans referenced above.

Furthermore, while I’m generally using the term small to describe the caravans above, some might also refer to them as ‘mini’, ‘micro’ or ‘compact’ caravans.

What I also want to point out is that I’ve not included teardrop caravans above.

Teardrop caravans are definitely small. However, as I’ve already written a post on them (linked above), I don’t want to reference them again.

The small caravans shown above generally resemble the common visual appearance of most touring caravans seen on UK roads today. They are just, well, small.

What Do I Mean By The Best ‘Small’ Caravan

Now, in the future, I might write some posts to highlight caravans up to a certain MTPLM.

However, for this post on the best small caravans, while I will reference the MTPLM figures, I’m not personally using it as a defining criterion. Why? Well, the term ‘small’ is a definition of physical size.

You can get some caravans that have quite a large physical size but have a relatively low MTPLM figure. Lunar/Adria caravans are typical examples.

With Eriba caravans which I reference above, I believe they would generally be regarded as having a small physical size. However, the Eriba MPTLM figures can often be higher than several physically larger caravans.

So I just wanted to make it clear this is not a post on the best lightweight caravans. Though obviously, many small caravans will also be relatively lightweight.

Things To Consider With A Small Caravan

There could be many reasons why you are considering a small/micro caravan. Perhaps you only have a small/lightweight tow car or small campervan, and you are looking for a caravan to match.

You may even want to use an electric tow car. Perhaps you want to store the caravan on your driveway, but you only have a small area to fit the caravan.

It could be that you want to be adventurous and take your small caravan to locations that a larger touring caravan simply couldn’t or shouldn’t go.

With a small caravan, its much easier to move/manoeuvre. Therefore it can be more practical for single tourers. Whatever the reason, you need to note a couple of key considerations.

Small Payload Allowances

By their very nature, small caravans are going to typically offer lower user payloads.

Above, I’ve provided the unladen weights and maxium permissible weights for various small caravans. The difference between the two figures is the user payload.

However, please bear in mind adding additional features/optional extras will reduce the remaining payload allowance.

Now, for these small caravans, its unlikely you would need to opt for a motor mover as you can easily push these caravans.

Additional features, such as solar panels and adding bikes etc, need to be deducted from the payload. And with some small caravans, they don’t have a lot of payload allowance to start with.

Limited Layout Options

With a small caravan, the internal living space is obviously restricted. Really, they all follow similar layouts due to necessity.

The comments I’m about to make are generalisations and may not be true in all cases. But in general, you will not have a fixed bed option in a small caravan.

The bed will be converting the lounge area every evening. While teardrop caravans don’t have onboard caravan cassette toilets, all of the small caravans above do.

While all of the small caravans below have sufficient space to store a Porta Potti, whether they have a dedicated private space to use them varies: Image –

However, some do not have space for a private/enclosed separate bathroom, so that’s something to think about. Furthermore, whether a small caravan features a shower is another variable.

Now, this doesnt mean a shower set-up is impossible.

When I was a child, our shower was a 12V DC pump running from a 20-litre hot water container in the caravan awning while I stud in a paddling pool.

My point is, always keep the limitations of a small caravan in mind when considering your options.

Reduced Awning Options

Due to the limited physical size of a small caravan, in many instances, an awning is used to increase available living space.

I would generally encourage anyone seriously considering a small caravan to equally consider your awning options.

The problem with small caravans is due to their size, typical ‘off the shelf’ awning options are unlikely to fit. As small caravans are generally much shorter in both height and width than a standard touring caravan, most awnings won’t fit.

Even a standard porch awning may not be suitable for many small caravans due to their reduced height: Image –

Therefore, you will be restricted to purchasing an awning produced by the same manufacturer of the small caravan.

As a result, your choice of air vs pole awnings or different types of awning fabrics will likely be very limited.

So while I think an awning is even more important with a small caravan than a standard-sized caravan, it can be potentially trickier to find an awning that best suits your needs and budget.

I have a post on the best caravan awnings, which covers the different types and sizes etc.

Conclusions On The Best Small Caravans

So after reviewing the options above, how are you going to pick the best small caravan to meet your needs?

Well, first off, with regards to budget, an Eriba & Airstream are definitely at the ‘premium’ end of the market and your most costly option.

However, an Eriba will also likely hold its value better than any other small caravan listed above.

Obviously, a key consideration is going to be facilities. In other words, do you need/want an onboard toilet and shower? If you don’t, that opens up options for the cheapest small caravans.

However, you would also be unable to visit caravan sites like ours here at Horton Common, which is unable to provide on-site toilet/shower facilities.

Something else to bear in mind with some of the smaller/niche brands of small caravans is parts and service support.

In other words, if the manufacturer was to go out of business, getting parts to repair and service your caravan may be tricky.

Anyway, thanks for reading. Any of the small caravans above can also serve as a good couple’s caravan.

I hope after reading the above and watching the associated videos, you have come across the best small caravan to meet your needs and budget.

I also hope in the near future, you come and visit us here at Horton Common caravan site to experience our fully serviced pitches.

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