Problems With Thetford Caravan Cookers

Are you experiencing issues with any of your caravan’s gas appliances? Specifically, problems with Thetford caravan cookers?

A growing number of caravanners on some UK’s best-known forums seem to have similar problems. Because of this, I thought it might be a good idea to highlight some of these issues and discuss any solutions found for them.

One owner was having a problem with a Thetford oven. The hob and grill worked perfectly, but the oven wouldn’t light. As the oven was working normally and this suddenly occurred, then it’s likely to be some fault with the gas flow to the oven.

Solutions To Problems With Thetford Caravan Cookers

Here are some solutions that might do the trick. A point to mention for your safety. Working on any gas appliances, being it maintenance, repairing or replacing parts should really only be carried out by a suitably qualified person. 

A caravan has a gas appliance isolator valve somewhere inside the caravan. Usually in a cupboard or sometimes under one of the beds. It’s quite possible the one for the oven has been accidentally switched off.

If it’s nothing to do with the gas appliance isolator, then it might be down to a cleaning issue. It’s quite easy for oven burners to become blocked by bits of food and grease from cooking.

Another thought is some random insect might have sneaked into your oven and clambered inside the Venturi tube. The width of the tube makes it a cheery home for an insect. 

Even something as tiny as a spider’s web is enough to cause a problem with the mixture of gas and air. Instead of it burning blue you’ll see a yellowish flame, as you would on a candle. 

There should be some instructions that came with the cooker detailing exactly how to clean the oven and burners. 

Still on the same issue with a Thetford oven. It might have something to do with a blocked jet. First, go to the back of the oven and remove the burner. Using a small pipe attached to a vacuum cleaner attempt to remove any obstruction. 

If none of these solutions provides the answer, then a call to the manufacturers or a trip to a service centre might be necessary.

Problem With A Thetford Cooker Grill

Sometimes the problem can occur with the grill on Thetford cookers. The oven and hob work perfectly well. If you’re having an issue keeping yours alight, then you should check the thermocouple. It could well do with a clean or you might need a new one.

Do you own a Thetford Aspire 2? If so, and the issue you’re having with the grill is it just won’t ‘grill’ very well, or it never seems to get hot enough to grill anything, this isn’t a fault. Most Thetford Aspire 2 grills reportedly are the same, they just grill nothing properly.


These are the most pressing issues at the moment. If more problems do crop up, then I’ll add them to this article.

Kampa Air Awning Problems

Kampa air awnings are a really great choice for caravanners. Especially those that don’t want the hassle of putting up rigid pole awnings.

Kampa air awnings offer a quick and easy solution to add an awning to your caravan. They are lightweight and pack down to a much smaller size than the traditional awning. A huge plus, because weight is always a factor a caravanner needs to take into consideration.

One of the major innovations that make Kampa such a popular choice is the single point inflation system. Many other air awnings require each AIRPole to be inflated individually.

Because of the single point inflation system, it means that putting a Kampa up is faster than other comparable systems. And with larger diameter AIRPoles, makes them more stable.

They don’t come cheap, so when you hear about Kampa air awning problems it must make you stop and think. Depending on the size and model they can start from around £300 and go up to over £1500, so as I say, not a cheap product.

One complaint I heard about was a rear pole exploding. This was a new, never used Kampa Air 390 Pro Plus.

As with all air awnings, setting up the Kampa with the correct air pressure is something to be careful about. Excessively hot days and the wrong air pressure don’t go well together.

Kampa Air Awning Air Pressures

When he approached Kampa, there was initially a minor problem with what the correct air pressure should be. The Kampa handbook states 9-11 psi and the gentleman had his set at 9 psi, so that shouldn’t have been the cause. However, Kampa now suggests reducing the pressure down to 7-9 psi, when the weather is tremendously hot.

Excessively hot days can be an issue with air awnings. But Kampa claims to test their awnings in the heat of Australia for almost 2 years. You would not expect the hottest days in the UK to come up to Australian temperatures, though.

The problem might have occurred because of a faulty seam, but there’s nothing specific to show that was the case. 

If this happens to you, you might find local stockists don’t carry replacement poles and they have to come directly from Kampa. This was the case here, but Kampa sent a replacement immediately. So good news from that point of view.

Any Other Kampa Air Awning Problems?

Yes, there seem to be some issues with condensation. In fact, one user had to buy an aftermarket roof liner to help solve the problem. 

Other owners have similar complaints to this one. Buying a roof liner helps, but of course, it’s an additional expense. One owner left a 1kw fan heater on overnight, and that reduced the levels of condensation. However, not a really suitable solution.


While there have been some reported Kampa Air Awning Problems, the company reacts positively and responsibly to any complaint. Replacing any parts that have somehow malfunctioned.

Kampa has introduced a Dual Pitch Roof System. This gives more headroom and much-improved weather protection. The innovation deflects wind, preventing water from pooling on the roof of the awning.


What Is The Best Used Touring Caravan To Buy?

It’s reasonable to claim that most people would prefer to buy new rather than used. Wouldn’t you agree? But while it might be true, it’s just not possible all the time. This is especially true with sizable purchases.

A caravan would definitely come under that heading. And it might make perfect sense to buy a used touring caravan if this is your first time venturing into caravanning.

So, if you determine a used tourer is for you, a question you might like an answer to, is what’s the best used touring caravan to buy?

It’s a brilliant question to ask, but the answer is not so easy. Everyone has their own ideas of what ‘best’ really means. You need to have a think about what’s important to you. For example, how many people will use it at one time, so you need to know how many berths? What facilities do you need to have in the caravan, and of course what’s your budget?

Here are a few choices of used touring caravans for you to think about. 

2-Berth – Bailey Pegasus 462

Originally built in 2010, it’s a very practical touring caravan. The Bailey’s strength and lightness come from its Alu-Tech construction.

Bailey intended this style of construction to reduce external joints and fixing points by 90%. So reducing the number of water access points. Because of this, they offered a 10-year integrity guarantee.

A conventional design sees the washroom at the rear end, a mid-area kitchen and the lounge in the front end.

It’s designed for a two-person family but will take an awning, so you can extend the accommodation.

With such excellent amenities, it makes a nice all year round caravan.


  • Alu-Tech construction
  • Improved insulation
  • Al-Ko ATC and AKS 3004 hitch stabiliser
  • Al-Ko chassis
  • Double-glazed windows throughout
  • Truma Ultratherm blown air system
  • LED-lit front and rear grab handles
  • Walk-in shower cubicle
  • Thetford C-250 cassette toilet


  • Bed slats may fall off runners
  • A frosted washroom window would be practical
  • Narrow wardrobes

4-Berth – Swift Challenger 570

There’s a lot going on in the 570, so Swift can make room for a really gorgeous washroom. But space has to come from somewhere and they have taken it from the kitchen area. There’s not much cupboard space and there is barely enough kitchen work-tops.

But if you’re more likely to use the campsite facilities for cleaning the dishes, probably won’t be an issue for you. But Swift put grey granite-look sinks in their vans, which are more practical than stainless steel.

The accommodation comes in the form of two single beds in the front lounge (can also make into a double) and a fixed double bed to the rear. Plenty of storage space onboard, especially under the fixed bed.

The washroom is the jewel of the caravan. Lots of space and a good-sized walk-in shower, with a plastic-lined shower unit and a plain plastic door. A useful size mock granite work surface offers storage space above.

Towing the caravan will be fine if you have a medium to large size car. It doesn’t require a four-wheel drive.


  • Several power points
  • Fixed rear French double bed
  • Granite effect kitchen sink
  • The end washroom has a spacious shower cubicle, toilet and a washbasin
  • Walk-in shower, plastic-lined
  • Truma ultra blown heating system
  • Concertina blinds to all windows
  • AL-KO Secure Wheel Locks
  • Three gas burner cooker and a mains hotplate


  • Small kitchen space
  • The blown air system is a little weak

6-Berth – Bailey Senator Series 6

There are several caravans in the Bailey Senator Series, the one we’ll be looking at is the largest one – the Carolina.

The Bailey Carolina is a very high specification, 6 berths, large twin axle caravan. It has all the extras you would expect from such a high-spec van. The Carolina is the perfect caravan for the entire family to have a glorious holiday.

The layout is very practical for a family holidaying together. In the caravan’s front is a twin or large double bed, the rear of the van has a separate bedroom, with 3 bunk beds. In the bedroom area is a dinette which converts to a single bed. For extra privacy, they can separate the complete unit from the rest of the van by a sliding door.

Moving down to the front of the caravan is a nice size lounge. Storage space comes from some overhead cupboards, and below those is a chest of drawers. You can roll the wooden slats that make the bed out from under the drawers.

There’s plenty of room in the lounge area seating for up to 6 adults.

For some welcome extra light, there is a sunroof which supplies not only light but some extra airflow for hot stuffy days and nights.

The kitchen has a nice layout and includes a four ring gas hob, definitely needed if you’re catering for a family of six. A separate grill, oven, microwave and fridge freezer complete the kitchen equipment.

The washroom has a Thetford cassette toilet with an electric flush. For convenience, there is a separate shower cubicle with a door. Additional ventilation comes from the roof light.


  • Spinflo four-burner hob unit
  • Built-in microwave oven
  • Thetford cassette toilet
  • Separate shower cubicle
  • Private end bedroom
  • 6-seat lounge area
  • Alko Stabiliser
  • ATC braking system
  • Omni-vent 3 speed bi-directional kitchen extractor fan


  • Will need a 4×4 vehicle for towing
  • Washroom could do with being bigger
  • Rear bedroom facilitates only single beds


If you’re going to buy a used touring caravan, then you need to prepare yourself for some negotiations. Don’t accept the first price. In fact, don’t accept the first tourer you see. Emotions can get the better of all of us. 

Remember, damp is the devil and if you buy a tourer without checking for this carefully, it could end up costing you a small fortune and may even cost you your caravan.

Buy yourself a damp meter before you go caravan hunting. They cost about £20 but may save you hundreds if not thousands in repair and rebuilding costs.


What Happens To Old Static Caravans?

Is there a graveyard somewhere for old static caravans to go to? No, of course not. They will break them up for scrap, put what’s left through a recycling process to salvage any useful materials.

But let’s talk about how long a static caravan lasts for. For a start, where some people see an old static caravan, others still see life and years of use. 

How Long Do Static Caravans Last?

Most people buy a static caravan because they want a permanent holiday home, they call their own. Because it’s a sizeable investment, they naturally want to know the lifespan of a static caravan. Of course, the answers vary wildly, and many factors can affect the answer.

First is it a new static caravan, or a used one. If it’s used how old is it when you bought it? What condition was it in? How many years does the Park licence have left to run (we’ll come to this further on in the article)?

Is There A Projected Life Expectancy Of A Static Caravan?

It’s a valid question, isn’t it? I mean, if you buy a car you know within a few years how long it will last. Rarely does anybody buy a new car and keep it until they send it to scrap. But, while we might buy a few cars over our lifetime, a static caravan is likely to be a once or twice only purchase. 

And they cost a lot more money than the average car.

The amazing thing about static caravans is whatever the lifespan expectancy was originally, extending that year after year is certainly possible.

If a caravan has been correctly and regularly maintained it’s not unusual to see 30-year-old vans still in use. They’re probably not in use as a holiday home, more likely they will find use on a construction site somewhere, but someone somewhere can still find a use for it.

You can replace or refurbish most parts of a static caravan, while ever it’s financially and practically viable to do so.

What About The Park Licence?

Before you buy a static caravan, you need to have some idea where you want to site it. This usually means in a Park in an area of the country you want to holiday in every year.

This is very important. Because if you buy new from a factory, you will have to transport it to the Park. If you have a Park in mind, it probably means you are familiar with the area. If not, it will pay you to visit there and the Park.

While there you might see the Park themselves have brand new caravans for sale with plots available. If the deal is good, it makes sense to buy from them because they will sort out everything for you.

Part of the arrangements will deal with the Pitch Licence. This gives you the right for your static caravan to be in their Park and use the various facilities, etc.

If you’re buying new, then your pitch licence will be between 15-20 years, probably. If it’s a used van and you’re buying from the Park, the pitch licence will be whatever is remaining on the original licence.

The pitch licence will never be the same time as the lifespan of the static caravan. There’s a good reason for this. Park owners want their park to look the best it can. They need to attract new owners and make sure existing owners are happy to stay on site.

What Happens At The End Of The Licence Period?

The Park also wants to know how long a static caravan will last because they need to fix the time in the pitch licence. Now they don’t know you, so they don’t appreciate how you will maintain your caravan.

They will have safeguards for this, of course, but it’s still a factor in the pitch licence. They will usually arrange for a licence to run 15-20 years for new caravans.

So all good, but what happens when you get to the end of your licence?

Negotiate An Extension

This is an option. Of course you will have been in negotiation a year or so, at least, before the end of your licence. If you maintain your caravan and you are a good licencee, then there shouldn’t be any issues. They may require you to extend every year. They might also request you move plots. It could be they want a new static to be on your spot.

Sell Your Static Caravan

You may decide it’s time to sell yourself. There are trade buyers that will come along and offer you a price to buy your van. Don’t take the first quote, try to get 3 or 4 to appraise your van.

The Park Will Help Sell Your Static Caravan

The Park themselves may step up and buy from you and they will offer it to the trade.They will be in a better position to do so than you will. They may take a cut or hand over all the money, depends what you negotiate.

Part Exchange Your Static Caravan

You may still want to holiday in the same Park for years to come. So a good option is to part exchange your static for a new one with the Park.

You might not get as much as you would if you sold privately but, if you intend on staying at the same Park, it’s an attractive option.

The Park will handle all the hassle. If you’re in a really great plot and want to stay there, this is a good way to make that happen.

Is There A Static Caravan Value Guide?

They establish a static caravan’s valuation using a Glasses Guide. 

Much like a car trade guide. It lists most static caravan models for the previous 20 years, and they release it every 3 months.


We hope this has answered the questions of what happens to old static caravans and how long they last. If you need any more information, please contact us, we are happy to give you what advice we can.

Do Touring Caravans Hold Their Value?

You want to buy a touring caravan, but you’re undecided if you want to buy new or used. It’s a common situation to find oneself in, especially if this is your first time venturing into the world of caravanning.

If you decide on a used caravan you’ll want the answer to this question: do touring caravans hold their value?

For the first time caravanner buying used is a great option, it strikes the right balance between what you can afford and the best you can afford. 

Used Touring Caravans Hold Their Price Better

We can state this with confidence, a used touring caravan will hold its price better than a new one. Of course, we all prefer something brand new to something pre-owned. But it’s not always possible. 

If you are new to caravanning, it’s a wise choice to buy a used tourer as your first purchase. Many families have bought touring caravans thinking it’s going to be their choice of future holidays, only to find half the family hate it. 

Buy A New Touring Caravan Will Lose You Money

As soon as you buy something new, be it a touring caravan, a static caravan, a car, etc. they lose value as soon as they leave the showrooms.

Once you’ve paid, it’s now used. How much you’ll lose depends on many factors. But in the first year, it might lose as much as 20% of the original purchase price. With the availability of discount deals, when you buy, that might reduce the first-year loss a little.

Remember though, if you come to sell it, buyers know also that deals exist and they will take that into consideration when they price your van.

If you buy used that enormous amount of depreciation will not happen. Of course, you need to maintain your tourer and care for it properly. But if you sell it two or three years down the road, yes, it will have lost some value, but you’ll still get a decent price. And you’ve had the use out of it, which cannot be understated.

Buying A Used Touring Caravan

If you shop for a used tourer carefully, you’ll find some real bargains. So it’s not just about saving money, there are other advantages.

For example, the first owner of your caravan most likely used the warranty period on the van to deal with any snagging or more serious faults, they found. Saving you a lot of headaches, and potentially time off the road, getting them seen to.

Remember, people love to put many extras in and on their caravan. Extras such as fitted microwave ovens, air-conditioners, solar panels, satellite dishes,  just to name a few. All these will be to your benefit and save you time and energy by having to fit them.

Buying used takes some extra work, though. You want to buy something that’s been taken care of and not abused. Don’t rush into buying something you’re unsure about. Don’t let emotion get the better of you.

One thing you should always be on the lookout for is damp. It’s difficult to spot, and if the owner isn’t forthcoming with the information, then it can cost a lot of money to put right. If you don’t fix it yourself, no-one will buy it from you. When you go to view a used touring caravan always take a damp meter with you.

There will always be plenty of choices available to you. Different makes, different models, and every price range. It will not be hard to find something suitable for your needs, in the price range you’re comfortable with.

Think about this, when you find a used touring caravan you like and decide you want it, it’s there ready for you to take away, instantly. There’s no way you can say that about every new tourer you might want to buy. Sometimes it can take weeks or even months for it to come from the factory.

Buying A New Touring Caravan

Having said all that, buying a new touring caravan has advantages for you as well. 

The biggest and best advantage is the fact no-one has used your caravan before you. Many people love the idea of having something new right off the production line. They would never contemplate buying a used, anything.

Which is great if you’re in that position.

You can choose from all the latest styles and designs. Add in the extras you want, the specification you want.

Year on year there are always new innovations to materials, accessories, design styles and furnishings.

A new touring caravan will come with all the warranties. If there is a problem, the manufacturer needs to deal with it and put it right.

New touring caravan salespeople have targets they need to meet. So they’ll negotiate with potential buyers. They can add extra equipment, reduce the price, offer low deposit and even no deposit finance deals.

Some equipment they might offer you for free if you take the deal would cost you hundreds if you had to pay for them.

Equipment like awnings, a motor mover, or an extra leisure battery. All expensive items.

Are Touring Caravans A Good Investment?

People have their own ideas of what an investment is. Which is why it’s not the same question as to do touring caravans hold their value?

Caravanners look at the wonderful holidays they and their families have spent together over the years. Holidays they would probably have never taken without their tourer.

Let’s not forget the freedom there is with a touring caravan. Visiting other areas of the country and even venturing into Europe. The freedom gained from having a touring caravan is very special to many people.

Do Touring Caravans Lose Value?

It’s impossible to imagine anyone making money from the sale of their new or used touring caravan. It will not happen. So yes, both will lose value.

As we mentioned earlier, a new tourer will lose value faster, at least initially, than a used tourer.

But you can mitigate some loss by maintaining your tourer properly and caring for the furnishings and interior of your touring caravan properly.

Motorhome Carpet Replacement Cost

Carpets looking old, worn out, a bit tired, or you just really fancy a change? But are you concerned about motorhome carpet replacement costs? Well, we’re going to take a look at how some motorhome owners are changing up their floor decor. Without worrying about causing the bank balance too much stress.

Using Off Cuts

This method seems a promising way to get the change and save yourselves some money, doing it.

So, take up the old carpets and hang onto them, you’ll need them in the next stage. Throw them in the car, go to your local carpet store and ask to see their off-cuts. They might have them on display, anyway.

Pick out the colour and patterns you like. Might be best to stay away from the patterned carpet using the off-cut method. It’s going to be tricky to line the patterns in the carpet. And will cost you more because you’ll waste carpet trying to match the patterns.

Use your old carpets as a template. Ask the shop if they will cut out the new carpet you want. Might have to hand over a couple of pounds for the guy there to do it for you.

Next step is to find a professional binding service, to bind the edges of your new carpets. A quick search of Google and I found 20 binding services, and that was in less than 2 minutes. Using this method, I estimate you’ll save about 50% of the price on similar quality ready-made or fitted carpets.

Washable Cotton Rugs

This is another great way to upgrade the motorhome carpeting. Now you will have to remember with this method, it will not be easy for the carpet to be fitted, although you could. But if you have some nice vinyl floor covering, then a rug which mostly covers the floor might be nice.

So after each trip, no vacuuming. Just pick it up and throw it in the washing machine, ready for the next trip. You can find some brilliant designs and colours for about £40 here.

Local Carpet Shops

Pop into your local carpet shop and ask if they’ll do a fitting job on a motorhome. They will probably be willing, as they mostly use sub-contractors to do their fitting work. If they sell Flotex, and they’re happy to do it, get a quote from them. 

Flotex is a tremendous choice for motorhomes, as I’m sure you know because you get the feel of a carpet, the durability, easy to clean and waterproof features of vinyl. It’s a bit pricier, but that’s offset by how long it lasts. It usually costs on average about £30 a square metre.


You might find you prefer removable carpets, so in the winter, you can take them up and put them in storage at home. Other than the fitted flotex, the other solutions will allow you to do that.

You can even fix press studs to carpets if you’re worried they might slide around. Or use a thin rubber rug pad which will work well because it’s not too big an area to cover.

Average Cost To Reupholster A Static Caravan

Have you been fantasising about new seat covers in your caravan, but lost on where exactly to start? If a restricted budget is part of the problem, then we might help point you in the right direction.

Trying to work out what the average cost to reupholster a static caravan would be is tricky. There are several factors to consider. How many you want to recover, their sizes and what quality of material would you like?

Of course the cheapest way, maybe not the easiest though, is to do the work yourself. Now we’re not all wizards with sewing and stitching, I know I’m not.

Quick And Professional Result By Using A Pre Made Sofa Cover.

So one way is to look for ready-made sofa covers close enough to the size of your caravan cushions for this to work. Hunt around the shops where you’ll likely find the kind of covers you need, it helps with the price if you can find them on sale. 

Once you have found some that fit the bill, make sure the colours are what you want, remember they have to match the rest of your decor. Oh, and try to find them with zippers already fitted. One suggestion is to check out IKEA if you live close by a branch.

You will need to make some alterations because even if the covers come close size-wise, they probably won’t match the odd shape caravan cushions come in. To accomplish this, you’ll need some tools. A fabric cutting wheel is better than scissors for this work, and a cutting matt would be useful. When you get to the sewing part, remember to reverse double stitch at the end of each seam.

But you don’t want to be messing about putting in extra zippers unless you know how to sew very well. What I suggest is use velcro strips, they will work just the same as zippers and are a lot easier to sew in place.

Reuse Existing Foam Cushions

They design caravan foam cushions to be raised at the edges to support your knees, and they may have buttons sewed in as well. In my opinion, buttons make seat coverings look really dated, so I wouldn’t keep them in. Plus, it makes life easier not having to sew in buttons. 

The issue you may encounter is without buttons to pin the fabric down, it will be a looser fit. But I don’t think it’s much of an issue.

Reupholstering The Back Rest Van Cushion

This is the hardest part of the whole thing. You’ll more than likely find they screw the backboard into the caravan wall and the material stapled to the backboard. So you need to unscrew the backboard and remove the staples.

You can use the original foam for the back cushions, drape the replacement material over the cushions with enough overhang because you will need to staple the new material to the backboard. For this part, you’re going to need a pneumatic staple gun. You can rent one of these, no need to buy one. Don’t use a regular stapler, it’s definitely not going to work.

How Much Is This DIY Reupholstery For Caravans?

If you found the material on sale, you can probably finish the entire job for around £100. But to stress, it will, of course, depend on the number and size of cushion covers you want to replace. The additional costs will be to rent the staple gun and buying the staples.

If replacing the covers yourself fills you with dread or you simply don’t have the time or inclination, then you need to approach the professionals.

Average Cost To Reupholster A Static Caravan Professionally

Static Caravans

Without knowing the exact sizes and number of cushions, I can only help you with a starting point figure.

Reupholstery from – £1300

Reupholstery and new seat foam from – £1650

Replacement foam only from – £750

2-6 Berth Touring Caravans

2-Berth Touring Caravans

Reupholstery from – £650

Reupholstery and new seat foam from – £950

Replacement foam only from – £420

4-Berth Touring Caravans

Reupholstery from – £850

Reupholstery and new seat foam from – £1200

Replacement foam only from – £580

6-Berth Touring Caravans

Reupholstery from – £1100

Reupholstery and new seat foam from – £1450

Replacement foam only from – £750 



A single from £110 

Double from £180

Reupholstery and Foam 

A single from £210

Double from £230


If you have the time, then you might like to try the cheap DIY way to reupholster your static caravan. It won’t cost you a lot in materials, just some of your time. 

Of course, having your caravan professionally reupholstered would be the way to choose, if money wasn’t a consideration. But, sadly, for most of us, it is. 

Recommended articles

Lightweight 2 Berth Caravans Under 1000kg

There are probably many reasons someone might look for a small caravan. But usually, two reasons that stand out. 

They are just setting out on their journey into caravanning. And with that comes the natural nervousness in towing a large caravan, and the manoeuvrability concerns it entails. The second reason is to do with cost. Pulling a large caravan requires a large vehicle. Which might be great for the holidays, but there are 40 odd weeks of the year when you’re paying a lot of money for gas you don’t need. 

So helping you with your search for lightweight 2 berth caravans under 1000kg here’s a list we’ve compiled be it a micro caravan or a more typical 2-berth caravan.

Bailey Discovery D4-2 

Bailey is clearly aiming for newcomers entering caravanning and looking for their first caravan. With a price-point at £16,199, it’s perfect for anyone wanting a new caravan at a reasonable spec.

It’s compact and lightweight and with an MTPLM at 995Kg comes in just under our 1000Kg limit. If you’re not sure what the MTPLM is don’t worry, I’ll explain it at the end of the article.

Bailey has stuck with the traditional with side door entrance, front lounge area that converts into a good-sized double bed, side kitchen area and washroom at the other end.

The very nice exterior design gives it a distinctly modern vibe and comes replete with a sizeable awning to fit around the rear of the caravan. Turning the Bailey into a nice 4-berth if needed. Finding a suitable awning for small tourers can be a pain, so Bailey’s awning is a real plus.

Adria Altea Aire 492DT

This is a recent addition to the Slovenian company’s line. And we’ve included it even though MTPLM is over the 1000Kg limit, it’s really too good a caravan not to talk about. It’s still priced competitively for a new first time-buyer at £19,395.

The contemporary design gives off a feeling of space and lightness, with bright airy lounge, large enough to seat 4-5 adults. This area doubles as the bedroom with the lounge seating converting to a good-sized double bed, or two singles, if you prefer. The lounge also features a sunroof to add to the overall bright feel.

A very well-equipped kitchen is one reason we recommend the 492DT. For such a compact van, it has everything you need to prepare most meals.

The washroom is also a decent size, a far cry from some mistakes of the past (thinking about the Loire) the shower doesn’t make you feel claustrophobic and there’s room for an adult to turn around easily.

An all-round exceptional caravan for those looking to downsize or buy their first caravan.

Wheelhome Dashaway

How would you feel about a caravan you could park in your garage? Not just that, but you wouldn’t need any towing mirrors. And lightweight enough for you to move around without having to lie on your back for a week recovering.

Well, here’s your introduction to the Wheelhome Dashaway.

With an MTPLM at bang on 1000Kg, this mini-caravan is only 4m in length and according to its designer, Stephen Wheeler the Dashaway was ably towed by a Suzuki Swift.

At first glance, they might forgive you for thinking a price tag of £23,825 is expensive. But with an innovative design, ease of moving and being able to fit it in your garage, you might just change your mind.

As standard, it comes with a motor mover, inverter and solar panels. Worried about the small size? Don’t be. It has an electrically operated pop up roof and a side-pod that rolls out for creating a living area.

If you are a keen biker and like to travel with your own bikes, the Dashaway has you covered there as well. There are two bike racks that fit either side of the Dashaway. They add to the stability, and even with two bikes strapped in, the combined width can still be less than a towing vehicle.

We can’t understate the fact of a small interior.  And there’s no functioning water heater, so no shower unit, just a sink. But there’s room for a Porta Potti.

But if you’re one of the campervan set, and don’t want to own two vehicles, then the Dashaway could be your solution. And compared to the cost of a modern campervan this really is a major cost-saving and in our opinion, a viable alternative.

Swift Basecamp

Swift builds the Basecamp along traditional lines, except the door is at the end of the caravan. Presumably to help with loading and unloading sports equipment, because Swift is aiming this caravan or ‘crossover camping vehicle’ as they like to call it, at the sport and adventure set. 

And even those looking to make the step up from camping, but not ready or willing to go the whole way into caravanning. Not quite yet, anyway.

For cycling enthusiasts that would never dream of a holiday without their bikes, this is for you. Fold up the double bed/settees and there’s space to secure two bikes inside.

Full shower facilities, work of the leisure battery (there are solar panels), in case you are off the beaten track and you can cook a full meal in the kitchen.

It is a 2-berth but will take an awning, so a family of four (two young kids) could easily see themselves with a very nice weekend, or longer, holiday home on wheels. And at a price of only £16,995 is possibly an affordable luxury purchase.

Swift has really excelled at combining a very decent spec with keeping the weight down. And with an MTPLM at 1015Kg, you will need nothing massive to tow it.


There you have four lightweight 2 Berth Caravans Under 1000kg (except for the Adria) to check out for yourselves. Thank you for reading and hope that at least one of the above caravans is suitable for your requirements and budget.

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What Is The Best Touring Caravan To Buy?

There is such a vast array of brilliant new touring caravans to choose from. It’s hardly any wonder potential buyers who want to know what the best touring caravan to buy is, end up being confused and going around in circles. 

If this is your first venture into caravanning, then it can be even more confusing and frustrating.

So, where do you start? Well, that’s what this article is going to help you with. We’ve checked out the latest caravans and come up with a list of five caravans that are the best touring caravans in different categories, available today.

There are some important factors you will need the answers to. But we’ll get to some of those at the end of the article. In the meantime, here’s our list for you to look at.

If you have a family, then the first one is for you:

Adria Altea 622DK Avon

The Altea 622DK is an entry-level family caravan. A 6-berth with bunk beds at the rear of the van, perfect for the kids to have their own space.

In the central area is a dinette which will convert into two more bunk beds.

In the van’s front is a ‘U’ shaped lounge area. This you can convert into two single beds or a large double. The lounge is a nice bright room during the daytime, thanks to its very large up-and-over front window.

The Altea has a nicely appointed kitchen with the equipment you would expect including, a three-burner gas hob, steel sink, oven, grill, microwave and fridge/freezer.

A decent-sized shower and a swivel cassette toilet. Storage is adequate.

At £20,000, it’s a great price to get started with family caravanning.

Best For First-Timers

Bailey Discovery D4-2

Even though we love the caravan lifestyle, we have to admit it’s not for everyone. So if you are just about to dip your toes into caravanning, there’s no point in shelling out thousands and thousands of pounds. Especially if you’re not sure if it’s the holiday you want every year.

But if you’re still of the mind to buy a new caravan and not used, then we have just the one to suit you. The Bailey Discovery D4-2 is pound for pound one of the best value caravans you’ll find.

The ultra modern-looking Bailey at only 5.61m shouldn’t give you too much trouble, even if it’s your first time towing.

It’s a starter 2-berth caravan with a double bed made up from the sofas in the van’s front. For additional space, check out the wrap-around awning to make up some additional sleeping quarters. Even if you have a small family, you can still get started with the Bailey.

You probably won’t need a B+E licence to tow this caravan, so another bonus if you find that caravan holidays don’t suit your family (not likely though).

When we mentioned starter price we meant it, you can own a brand new caravan for as little as £16,000 by buying the Bailey Discovery D4-2.

Best Caravan For Seasonal Pitches

Sprite Super Quattro EB

The Quattro EB is an 8-foot wide twin-axle caravan, made by Sprite, and is one of three of their ‘Super’ models. Ideal if you like to stay put and not be constantly moving to new locations. Priced at £22,500 makes for a good mid-market price.

8-feet vans are noticeably wider when you first enter one. And the Sprite ‘Supers’ are no exception. The EB is a four-berth van with a transverse fixed double bed.

The lounge features lots of room. In the kitchen you have all the equipment you will need to feed and take care of four adults.

The bathroom is a reasonable size, and the shower cubicle is a circular design. There’s just about enough room to turn around in. A decent-sized central washbasin finishes the washroom.

The rear bedroom is very spacious and a good-sized bed compliments it. They scatter plenty of electrical sockets and storage space around the bedroom, and there’s a socket for an extra TV if you decide to have one in your bedroom.

Best Caravan For Couples

Elddis Avanté 454

Another mid-market priced caravan at £20,000 a 2-berth van perfect for couples.

Most 2-berth caravans rely on you making the bed up from the sofas, but not the Avanté 454. No, none of that. Elddis has a layout incorporating a transverse island bed, in its own bedroom to the rear of the caravan. So, no making up and taking down the bed every day (sigh of relief).

But you still get a living area with an ‘L’ shaped lounge, so no sofas facing each other, much cosier this way. Again ideal for couples. No need to use up space for bedding that you take down every day, so having friends over to socialise is so much more organised. 

And if they have a little too much of the vino, they could always sleep on the sofa, while you head off to the privacy of your bedroom.

Best Caravan For Long-Distance Touring

Coachman Acadia 675

If you love to travel longer distances, and only want the very best in luxury, you cannot go far wrong with the upmarket Acadia 675. Priced at £25,500  

Great layout that compliments long-distance travel. At the rear, there is a transverse island bed plus a full-width bathroom.

A twin-axle and an Al-Ko galvanised steel chassis, fitted as standard, is the AKS 3004 stabiliser for those long journey times.

Best Tips For Buying A Touring Caravan

Very important that you match the caravan to the car you will use to do the towing. What do you want to do with the caravan? Are you buying it for family holidays, back up accommodation for sporting trips, what uses do you see the caravan coming in handy to support? 

How many berths do you think you’ll need? You might be just a couple, but if you have friends or relatives, will they want to come on trips with you? So that could be the difference between a 2-berth and 4-berth caravan.

To reiterate on the caravan must match the car mantra. Very important, you get this right. The bigger and more engine capacity your car possesses, the better it is for towing. If you want a guideline to follow it’s this; make sure the caravan, fully loaded, does not exceed 85% of your vehicle’s kerb weight. 

To start with stick to single-axle caravans until you have a lot more experience. They are easier to handle and manoeuvre.

Have a Budget already sorted out before you search for your ideal caravan. But put some aside for the extras you’re going to need. A caravan mover, solar panels, leisure battery, awning, TV, etc.

How Much Does A Caravan Weigh?

Do you own a caravan or thinking of investing in one? If you answer yes to either of those questions you need to ask yourself this, how much does a caravan weigh?

Why is it important that I know the weight of my caravan? That’s exactly what this article is going to explain to you.

You could find yourself with a fine up to  £2,500, and penalty points. All for towing a caravan without knowing the law properly.

It’s not just the law either. You need to know for you and your family’s safety, and if your car is even powerful enough to tow the caravan, you have in mind.

The Law On Towing Caravans

Let’s look at what laws it involves when you tow your van.

When did you pass your driving test? Before 1997 or after?

If you passed your test before 1997 you should be able to drive a vehicle and caravan up to 8.25 tonnes (8,500kg). This is the MAM (Maximum Authorised Mass).  Now with that kind of allowance, it pretty much guarantees you can tow any size of caravan.

I say should, because you need to check the back of your licence in case they have placed any restriction on the weight limit.

But, if you passed your test post-1997, the law changes. The law now reduces the MAM limit for a vehicle and caravan to 3.5 tonnes (3,500kg). A further detail to make a note of is the caravan MAM must be lower than the towing vehicle’s weight.

You can get on the right side of this law by taking a BE car and trailer driving test. If you’re used to towing vehicles, you probably don’t need any lessons prior to the test, and there’s no legal requirement that says you have to. If you pass the test, then you increase the MAM entitlement.

Now that you know what you’re legally allowed to tow, let’s talk about how much a caravan weighs?

How To Calculate The Weight Of A Caravan

Stuck on the outside of a caravan, near the door, usually, is the weight plate. Or ‘plate’ as it’s more often called. Different manufacturers layout the information differently, but there is a legal requirement to supply certain information.

Understand Your Weights

Listed on the ‘plate’ will be two weights, the VIN number, Tyre size, and tyre pressures as a legal necessity.

he ‘plate’ depicts the weights in (Kg) Kilograms, as the MIRO and MTPLM.


Mass In Running Order (MIRO) is the weight of your van with no payload. It does not include the weight of your leisure battery, and since 2015 most manufacturers will not include the weight of any water in the tanks. 


Maximum Technically Permitted Laden Mass.

The manufacturer of your caravan decides this figure. It’s the MIRO and your user payload, together. Here is another example of why you must know your weights or you will break the law. If you go beyond the MTPLM, when towing a caravan on a road, you will have your insurance invalidated, void your warranty and break the law.


But what is the user payload? They will not display this figure on the ‘plate’. But it’s a figure that you can calculate.  A payload is everything you take with you in the caravan. For example, bedding, crockery, cooking utensils, tables and chairs, TV, heaters and leisure battery.

To work out your user payload it’s quite easy, deduct the MIRO from the MTPLM and you get the payload. Now before you put all your belongings in the van, weigh each of them, that way you will not exceed the user payload limit.

Remember this about the MIRO, when your caravan left the manufacturers it didn’t have any accessories on there, such as solar panels, axle jacking points and so forth. So it will include none of these items in the MIRO.

Staying Legal On The Road When Towing A Caravan

So this is fine, but how does it work in the actual world. Taking an example of 1368Kg MTPLM and a MIRO of 1137Kg, you have a payload of 211Kg. So you would think that’s a decent payload figure, more than enough to include the belongings of all your family.

But hold on, you have solar panels fitted, also your leisure battery weighs over 50Kg now we deduct those from the 211Kg and we only have 141Kg for all the belongings.

It’s getting a bit of a pain now, having to either guess the weight or physically weigh every individual item. Here’s the solution.

Take the caravan fully loaded, just before you start your journey, to a local council weigh station. Don’t have any full water tanks on board when you get weighed, you can fill up when you get to your destination. 

Now once you take that figure away from the MTPLM, you will know instantly if you’re within legal limits.

What if you’re overweight? Well, take the items you can easily remove and transfer them to the car. For one, put the leisure battery in the car.  

How To Weigh A Caravan?

We’ve talked about taking your caravan to the local weigh station. But what if there isn’t one near you or you don’t want to load up only to find you’re overweight and have to trek back home to offload some gear?

There’s another solution. A portable weight scale by Reich.

If you get one here’s how to use it. 

Place it on the ground and drive your caravan over it with each wheel in turn. The scales store the value for each wheel and then display the total weight of the caravan. The scales will weigh up to 1500Kg per wheel, more than enough for most caravans. The manufacturers claim an accuracy level of plus or minus 3%. 

If you decide to invest in the Reich weight scales, it’s important to only use them on a flat tarmac surface to get an accurate result. 

How Best To Load A Caravan For Weight Distribution

You have a vehicle balancing on one axle and two wheels (mostly) so weight distribution is critical. A badly loaded caravan will perform badly on the road. 

You need to load the heavier items along the floor over the axle, preferably either side of the axle to balance the weight. Finally, ensure they are well secured, they don’t want to be sliding around. The lower the centre of mass, the less chance of the vehicle being blown over on the motorway by sudden gusts of strong winds.

Caravan Nose Weight

After you’ve finished loading your van, it makes sense to check the caravan’s nose weight. If you’re not sure what that is, it’s the force the caravan exerts on the towing vehicle’s tow ball. Vehicles have different ratings for this and will depend on the chassis and suspension of the vehicle.

Your vehicle’s manual will specify the nose weight limit. It can be a challenge, though, to get under the regulated limit. You can see the results of not being under the limit when a caravan is being towed by a vehicle and its front end is much too high and the back end very close to the ground.

There are consequences to this as well. If you’re towing like this and have an accident, the insurance company can refuse to pay out any claims. And it’s not just the insurance worries, there’s also the safety aspect. If there is too much nose weight and the front of the vehicle lifts, it will affect the stability of the steering, potentially leading to a serious accident. 

How Do I Know My Car Can Tow A Caravan?

That’s not a simple question to answer, there are so many variables. For a start, what engine and size of the car are we talking about? 

You can see the problem all too often on UK roads, a car towing a caravan that’s an obvious mismatch.  That particular car should not be towing a caravan of that size.

So here’s how to work out, how to match a car to a caravan.

First, take note of these terms:

Kerb Weight -You will find this figure in your car’s handbook. But basically, this figure is the weight of the car, including the driver and a 90% capacity fuel in the tank. 

Towing Capacity – also found in the vehicle handbook. There should be two figures, one for towing a braked trailer and one for an unbraked trailer. Because they put brakes on caravans, that’s the figure you need to know.

MTPLM – this term we’ve talked about earlier and it’s best to use this figure when matching a car and caravan.

Legally as long as your MTPLM is below the car’s legal towing limit, you’re OK. But does that mean it’s safe and practical, not really? The Camping and Caravanning Club recommend an 85% ratio.

This means, for example, if you have a vehicle kerb weight of 1800Kg then don’t tow a caravan over 1530Kg (1800kg x 0.85). Remember, this is a guideline for safer and more comfortable towing, not a legal necessity.

Conclusion To How Much Does A Caravan Weigh?

The reason we brought up the licence situation early in the article is that it has quite an impact on the vehicle and caravan combination you choose. After 1997 they calculated the MAM on the maximum laden weight of the caravan AND car and it must be less than 3,500Kg. 

And don’t forget the nose weight of the caravan, when fully loaded against your vehicle limit. This is also hugely important, but often ignored.

As a side note, the weight of your caravan will also affect the tyre pressures, be sure to take that into account as well.