We all like a touch of indulgence from time to time. That sense of feeling pampered, wallowing in comfortable surroundings, and getting ZZZZZZs in the very best bed. Maybe a hint of glitz and plenty of gloss. And a premium specification to all the finishing touches – and the basics, too.
Here’s Touring’s pick of the best touring caravans to consider when purchasing your dream box of lavishness.
1 Best luxury two-berth
Swift Conqueror 480
Price from £32,495
Finding a true two-berth touring caravan in the luxury end of the market is not that easy. Most luxury brands aim at a four-berth layout, even if it’s going to be used by couples, such that you have a fixed bed and a lounge area. But, you might not have a tow car that can pull a weighty caravan, or, simply, you may not wish to tow a lengthy trailer. This is where the Conqueror 480 comes in.
As a true two-berth it does mean that you must make up the bed from the lounge area each night. But once done, it looks little different to a snug hotel bedroom with feature panels on the sidewalls to match the curtains, and a choice of upholstery including leather. At the rear, you’ve a huge full-width washroom that’s sufficiently spacious to be used as a dressing room.
The Conqueror brand, which was reintroduced by Swift in 2022, has been around for some years yet remains as popular as ever. For 2023, there’s a full exterior redesign that includes contrasting GRP sidewalls with new graphics, diamond-cut alloy wheels, a sleek rear GRP panel and an external cold water shower point.
2 Best luxury four-berth
Price from £46,949
There’s luxury, and there’s high-end luxury! When you’re looking at a Buccaneer tourer, you’re into the realms of the very top-class luxury you can buy. At least, when purchasing a traditional GRP-front and back ‘white box’ touring caravan. For starters, Buccaneer tourers are not white, utilising a modish grey finish to the sides.
Manufactured in County Durham by Erwin Hymer UK, Buccaneer is renowned as one of the best. And, for Touring Magazine, the best of the Buccaneers is the Bermuda. Why? It’s wonderful L-shaped lounge at the front end alongside a long, fixed cabinet on the nearside. Here you can place a widescreen TV for cosy nights in.
To the rear, beyond the kitchen, there’s a huge washroom and dressing area that makes the most of the 8ft-wide space, with a dedicated toilet and washbasin area on the offside and a separate shower (one of the largest you’ll find in a touring caravan) on the nearside. No stepping onto a wet shower cubicle floor when you want to clean your teeth. At the far end is a large, sumptuous bedroom with transverse double bed.
As you’d expect for a premium caravan, there’s no expense spared on the luxuries and the extras, which includes hydraulic, automatic self-levelling. Of course, high-specification does come with a weight ‘cost’; at 1,990kg MTPLM, this is at the upper-end of caravan manufacture, and you’ll want a beefy towcar to pull it. To make sure your car is up to the job (or to see what you’ll need if the Bermuda is your heart’s desire) you can match it at www.towcheck.co.uk.
3 Best luxury six-berth
Elddis Crusader Tempest
For many, buying a luxury touring caravan comes as your empty-nester treat-to-self once the kids have left home. If your kids have gone beyond the sticky-fingers over every soft furnishing stage, though, you may well wish for a little more comfort while still enjoying the company of family. In which case, welcome to Elddis’ Crusader Tempest.
Crusader is Elddis’ flagship range, with high specification throughout and that touch of luxury that goes beyond its well-regarded Avante and Affinity ranges. However, it has taken one of the most popular family layouts from the Avante range, and utilised it to form the Crusader Tempest, with all the extra trimmings.
Inside the twin-axle, 8ft-wide tourer, you’ll find a very comfortable lounge area, with settees that have armrests (or backrests, should you feel like using one as a chaise longue) at both ends, edged with elegant piping to match the scatter cushions. The twin settees make up into a spare double bed.
However, if you’re travelling as a family of four, at the rear of the van is a full-width bedroom with double bed and two generous-sized bunks each with its own window, reading light and privacy curtain. A full width washroom sits midship, closed off from the kitchen and living area of the van to create a dressing area.
4 Best luxury caravan with an alternative layout
Adria Alpina Rio Grande
Price from £43,645
Adria’s premium Alpina range has, before now, offered a choice of two layouts, both relatively traditional for the UK market – with parallel settees up front and the choice of either a transverse double bed or twin single beds at the rear. The Mississippi and Colorado respectively, have now been joined by a newbie, the Rio Grande. And we think it’s an absolute beauty.
Launched in the UK at the Caravan, Camping & Motorhome Show in February, it’s so new, we’ve still yet to have a chance of getting some lifestyle shots of the van. But, trust us when we say how good it is.
At the rear is a transverse double bed with an end washroom that spans the width of the 8ft caravan. The washroom and bedroom combined take up half the 22.5ft body of the van. It really is spacious.
Then things are a little different to what the Brits are used to. Yes, there’s a U-shaped lounge and a side settee on the nearside. The U-shaped seating area, which is convivial for dining, makes up into a second double bed. But it’s in the middle of the van rather than the usual positioning up front. That means the L-shaped kitchen is at the front of the van. We said it was different!
5 Best ‘affordable’ luxury caravan
Bailey Unicorn Vigo
Right now, it’s Bailey’s new Alicanto Grande Evora that is grabbing many of the headlines. And we give it the thumbs up in our ‘10 best touring caravans available now’. Here, though, it’s Bailey’s Unicorn range that we want to return to.
So popular is the Unicorn range, that it’s now on its 5th reincarnation. When you’re on the road, sometimes it feels as if every other caravan is a Unicorn! The reason we’ve selected it here – and the Vigo in particular – is that it represents excellent value for money, with affordable luxury when you might be craving extra comfort and spec but must raid every penny from the piggy bank to do so.
The Vigo, like all but one of the seven Unicorn layouts, is a four-berth with a living area up front that makes the most of the huge panoramic skyroof window – one of the largest in any touring caravan. Midship is the L-shaped kitchen, again one of the best designed in any tourer. At the rear is a transverse double bed with a wonderful, spacious washroom across the width of the caravan beyond, making a very comfortable bedroom and dressing area.
Hence, while it is a four-berth, the Vigo makes an excellent choice for couples looking for the luxury of leaving the living area as a lounge, sinking into the fixed bed at night, but having the option of a couple of extra sleeping berths for the occasional visit from grandchildren.
6 Best luxury caravan
Coachman Lusso II
We awarded Coachman’s Lusso with ‘best luxury caravan’ status in our ‘10 best touring caravans available now’ as we were approaching the new year, and we’ve not budged in our opinion since. You really won’t want for much residing in Coachman’s Lusso II touring caravan; this is boutique living. The specification is first-class – it’s hard to request ‘extras’ on the Lusso II, because they’re already included, along with every gadget inside and out.
Coachman launched the Lusso II for the 2022 season to accompany the Lusso I, launched the year before. The ‘II’ stands for twin-axle, making it a little sturdier to tow. It is, at 7.89m long, roughly half a metre longer than the Lusso I, providing extra space around the transverse island bed and a slightly longer settee to stretch out on. Otherwise, both vans have the same layout of L-shaped living area, mid-ship kitchen, then bedroom and end washroom. All with a touch of gold in the furnishings to add to the gold standard spec.
At £50k+, you will expect the best. But we don’t think you’ll be disappointed. If your budget doesn’t quite stretch that far, though, kick your shoes off to recline on the slightly shorter sofa in the single-axle Lusso I, for £46,830.
7 Best exclusive luxury caravan
Eriba Touring 820
Price from £79,450
There’s nothing new about Eriba’s Touring range. Its iconic style has been gracing campsites across Europe for 65 years now. Its cult status has allowed caravanners who don’t do white box tourers to keep on touring.
But, while retaining its classic distinctiveness, Eriba doesn’t stand still on innovation and makes the most of modern manufacture. In 2019, Eriba launched the 8.5m-long Touring 820, the flagship model of the brand combining all the classic design with loads of space, high-end equipment, and the best in mod-cons.
When you order a Touring 820, you’re buying something truly special. Every unit is handmade in the factory in Germany; as of last May, only 100 had rolled off the production line so if you prefer to tow something that the mass market doesn’t, the Touring 820 is certainly for you. There are wrap-around windows at both front and rear – it really is a showstopper. Inside, anticipate a yacht-inspired design and leather seating.
8 Best 8ft-wide luxury caravan
Swift Elegance Grande 845
Price from £44,495
While several of the caravan models selected here are manufactured to the traditional 7ft 6in width, 8ft-wide tourers continue to grow in popularity for their spaciousness inside. That includes the Elegance Grande, the pinnacle of Swift’s caravan line-up.
For 2023 the twin-axle tourer offers full-cut diamond alloy wheels, a contrasting graphite locker door with chrome detailing, plus new designed front and rear GRP panels. There’s also a new external TV outlet to add to a gas BBQ point, 230-volt mains socket and a cold-water shower point.
Inside, the Elegance lives up to its name with elegant handle-less cupboard doors, and soft furnishings. The L-shaped layout in the remodelled kitchen offers improved storage, soft-close drawers and a flatbed microwave. Meantime, there’s a larger shower tray in the washroom. Oh, and for winter snugness, Alde underfloor heating, too.
There are three models to select from, all four-berths. We’ve plumped for the 845 as it offers glorious comfort for couples using it as a two-berth. At the front end is a traditional parallel sofa living area adjacent to a kitchen that utilises both sides of the van. To the rear is a boudoir, with tranverse fixed double bed and, at the rear, a full-width washroom.
If you’re travelling with family, opt for the 835, with the washroom in the middle to avoid traipsing through that boudoir.
9 Best European-manufactured luxury caravan
Knaus AZUR 500 FU
Price from £41,170
Back in the 1980s, the AZUR was Knaus’ flagship caravan. Now it’s back, full of innovative technology, just as it was when it first launched. That includes, for example, its UV-resistant ‘self-healing’ exterior. We’ve not deliberately damaged one but, reputedly, if the frame is scratched due to contact with a tree branch, for example, the scratch will disappear as if by magic, following exposure to a heat source, including the sun. Pretty cool.
Inside, there are all sorts of nifty features, such as the Smart Wall; sculpturally designed fabric-covered surfaces integrated into the sidewall that can be folded open to use storage behind. And any number of other details and gadgetry – not to mention the modishly grey colour scheme – that makes the AZUR a cool caravan.
Of the four layouts, we’ve selected the 500 FU, with a U-shaped rear lounge (yes, rear) that converts into a massive double bed, and a fixed French bed, together with washroom at the front. Unlike most tourers, there’s no window on the front panel, so the front end of the 500 FU becomes a very cosy bedroom, making the most of the height for storage lockers and a shower.
10 Best luxury adventure caravan
Airstream Basecamp 16
As if it couldn’t get any hipper, Airstream has just gone one step further with the introduction of the Basecamp. Everything about its shape and design shreaks ‘cool’, from the ubiquitous aluminium shell for which Airstream is so synonymous with, to the egg-shaped frame with wraparound tinted windows at the front – like a giant pair of trend-setting shades.
But there’s more to the Basecamp than just looks. It’s rugged enough with sufficient ground clearance to be taken off-road and more challenging terrain. At the rear is a hatch where you can load your bike, your board or other leisure gear.
There are two single-axle models – the two-berth Basecamp 16 and the four-berth Basecamp 20. And at only 4.87m long, the Bascecamp 16 is a little, lightweight beauty. Inside, there’s an end lounge that creates a double bed (or two singles). At the front, making the most of that wraparound window, is a generous-sized kitchen with plenty of preparation space. There’s also a washroom with shower.
For practicalities, marine-grade fabric is used on the furnishings, there’s an outdoor shower for hosing down equipment before you pack it away, a Truma Combi Eco Plus heating system and an optional pre-wired 180w rooftop solar package for when you’re travelling off-grid. Plus, it’s fully winterised.
We could go on… but we guess having seen the pictures, you’re already booking your appointment with exclusive UK dealers Lowdhams to take a look in person. Go on, you know you want to!