Caravan basics: The interior
If you’re new to caravanning or haven’t stepped in one for a few years, things are very different indeed, and you’re in for a treat. Gone are the stereotypes and, instead, you’re faced with a number of features that wouldn’t look out of place in a modern, swanky flat.
If you are in need to an introduction to modern caravans, a good place to start is inside them. After all, it's where you'll be spending a lot of time on your caravan holidays and you need the layout to suit your every need.
Caravan layouts have become more innovative, too. If anything, now you’ve an even more difficult decision to make because there will be so many different options that work for you.
Below, you'll get an idea of the main areas to think about when buying a new caravan for sale, whether it's straight from the manufacturer forecourt, or you're buying a used caravan that's new to you.
Your main choice here is whether you want a fixed bed (one that you don’t have to fold out every night) or not. If you do, there are a host of single and double options that are made permanently for your comfort. If you’d rather have more space to use in the day, you can choose from the most popular option of a double bed that’s made up at the front of the van, or a tourer with bunk beds for the kids, for example.
You don’t want to be on top of yourself or shrouded in shade while you’re cooking up a storm. Ensure that cooking areas have plenty of worktop space for your needs, and are well lit from windows, rooflights or interior illumination.
Need a microwave? Is it perfectly placed for you or is it too high to reach yesterday’s reheated leftover meal without spilling it and scalding yourself? Does the hob have enough gas rings? Is the fridge big enough? The answer to that last one is probably yes… There are some huge ones available these days!
If you’ve got four people holidaying together, you’re going to need room to sit around a table together. Some caravans have permanent dining areas that will make this more comfortable. Even with the ones that don’t, a simple fold-out table may suit your needs perfectly. Or maybe you prefer to eat at restaurants while you’re away so this aspect isn’t high on your list of needs.
Easily overlooked, if your living space isn’t comfy enough for how you enjoy putting your feet up when you’ve got a few minutes to yourself, your caravan isn’t likely to feel like home while you’re away. Think about how many people may need to be in one space at any one time, where you enjoy lounging the most (sofa, bed, etc) and what you need in terms of facilities to hand while you’re relaxing. Got enough plugs nearby? That smartphone isn’t going to charge itself.
It may be that you want to use site facilities and would rather use washroom space to enhance other areas of the caravan, but if you’re a fan of a long shower with plenty of room, the size and placement of the washroom will be vital to your purchase decisions.
Remember that, if you have kids, you’ll more than likely need room in the washing area for child and parent. Also, think about what kind of washroom you want – luxury carpeted full-width room, or smaller, corner wet room?
What’s suitable for each couple or family in terms of storage varies from tourer to tourer. It’s easy to forget how important it is to have spaces to keep things like cutlery, places to temporarily store your phone or magazines, or cupboards with enough height to them to store cereal boxes, for example.
Think about the biggest things you need to keep in your tourer, and make sure your potential purchase has the capacity to keep them when it comes to height, width and depth.