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Rear lounge campervan layout guide


  Complete campervan layouts guide

Campervans with a rear lounge are popular in the UK, due to our not-always-quite-so-clement climate. This layout majors on relaxation space and great views out through windows on three sides. Here, we take a look in detail at the benefits of a rear lounge campervan layout.

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Introduction to rear lounge campervans

The alternative to a campervan with fixed beds (double or twin singles), is one that features a rear (or front) lounge. Come bedtime, the lounge seats convert to make up beds, either a double or two singles. 

Why a rear lounge layout?

In losing fixed beds in the campervan, this allows for much more room inside for other things. You might get separate shower and loo cubicles, and you'll certainly get a spacious lounge in the rear.

Cab seats swivel, too, and there's usually a small table, or even a half-dinette, in the front. This space is ideal for enjoying a morning cuppa if one of you gets up before the other. 

These sorts of campervans are typically true two-berths, so many models won't suit if you need more than two travel seats. However, some will have a two-seater travel bench up front with sleeping arrangements consisting of a third berth made up in the dinette, or there might be a roof bed in a pop-top. 

Living arrangements

Lounge settee lengths vary, with larger lounges converting into either single or double beds (lengthways), shorter sofas making just a transverse double. Larger lounges that make single beds will also have plenty of room to put your feet up in the daytime.

Many campervans feature a wrap-around U-shaped seating lounge, which will accommodate more people. However, more popular today is not to have seating across the back doors so that these can be thrown open on a hot day, to let in a breeze and admire the views.

A typical rear lounge campervan layout:
Front lounge layout campervan
Storage considerations

Ahead of the lounge, kitchens tend to span part of the side sliding door’s opening, so are smaller, with less storage and work surface as a result. Opposite the kitchen is where you’ll usually find the washroom and wardrobe.

Disadvantages of this type of layout include a rather enclosed feeling up front between washroom and galley. Also, with the washroom often directly behind the driver, check that the seat moves far enough back to achieve a comfortable driving position.

Rear lounges with two facing sofas maintain access though the rear doors, allowing for loading taller items like bikes or kayaks. U-shaped lounges usually have storage lockers underneath.

Since your bedding (and any infill cushions to make a double bed) will need to be put away each morning, check carefully for where this can be stored. Some campervan designs are better in this regard than others. Typically, the sofas will lift to reveal storage space below, which is ideal for bedding, but check that the space is not taken up largely with heaters, tanks, etc. 

Why choose a rear lounge campervan layout?

Rear lounge designs provide lots of relaxation space and great views out of the back. They are great for entertaining and a removable table usually goes in the middle. At night, settees may convert to two single beds or a double. Swivelling cab seats and a coffee table provide another seating area if you get up at different times.

Choose because:

  •   We want plenty of space to relax indoors

  •   We want lots of room to chill out with friends and family

  •   We only need two travel seats

  •   We don't mind making beds up every night

  •   We get up and go to bed at different times

Our top tips for buying a rear lounge layout campervan

Have a go at making the beds up and putting them away again to see how easy this is. They can vary quite a lot, with some needing many more cushions than others. Also check where your bedding will stow during the day, and any infill cushions required to make a double bed. Check that storage space below the seats isn't all taken up with heaters, tanks, etc.

Our top picks of front lounge layout campervans

There's lots of choice from UK brands, so compare established names. Popular campervans include the Auto-Trail Expedition 66, Auto-Trail V-Line 540 SE  and Auto-Trail Adventure 65. From Auto-Sleepers, see the Auto-Sleeper Fairford, Auto-Sleeper Fairford Plus and Auto-Sleeper Warwick Duo. Test drive Hillside’s Hopton based on the VW Crafter, which is a delight to drive. The Elddis Autoquest CV20 and Elddis Autoquest CV80 both offer good value for money. For something a little different, check out the Mercedes Sprinter-based RP Explorer 2.

Rear lounge layout campervan videos

Here are some of our Campervan magazine videos featuring rear lounge layouts. We hope you enjoy watching them as much as we enjoyed making them. It you like them and want to support the making of more videos like these, then don't forget to 'Like' or 'Subscribe' as it really helps us - thank you!

RP Overlander Rebel campervan review

WildAx Europa campervan review

Auto-Trail V-Line 634 SE campervan review

Reviews of rear lounge layout campervans

Here are some of our Campervan magazine reviews of some popular rear lounge layout campervans.

Benimar Benivan 122 Campervan Review

Benimar Benivan 122 campervan review

The Benivan comes only in white, but being built in Britain means that it has its sliding door on the UK nearside. There are two models (there’s also a shorter Benivan 120 without rear travel seats), and the 122 adopts what is reckoned to be the UK’s most popular layout for larger van conversions.

View full review
Consort Wave Campervan Review

Consort Wave campervan review

The Consort range has been developed by Scot Naylor, who previously founded Vantage Motorhomes in 2007. Once again, the theme is rear lounge, two-berth campervans based on the Fiat Ducato but there are some neat new ideas and plenty of practical touches from Scot, who practises what he preaches and is a keen campervanner.

View full review
swift Select 184 Campervan Review

Swift Select 184 campervan review

If you pack reasonably light, the Select 184 makes a practical four-berth with relatively few real rivals. Its washroom and, especially, the kitchen are both highlights. The new overcab sunroof makes for a much more spacious feeling in the forward lounge, too, but we’d like a taller wardrobe and larger water tanks.

View full review

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Finished reading?

Find out more about campervan layouts with our complete campervan layouts guide.

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