Do you like the idea of owning a caravan but don’t have the storage space or a suitable tow vehicle for a heavy white box? Perhaps you just don’t think of yourself as a caravanner but you’re looking for a trailer for occasional touring fun. Say hello to the micro caravan.
Trailer adventures don’t have to begin with the purchase of a huge – or extraordinarily expensive – caravan. And downsizing can mean even bigger adventures and the chance to go further afield.
Touring Magazine brings you ten of the best micro caravans available today.
1 Campmaster Lightweight Caravan
Camperlands, who specialises in micro caravans and camping trailers, is the sole importer and dealer of this new lightweight caravan, the Campmaster LC3. It is just 424kgs unladen, so there’s not a lot that can’t tow it.
The insulated trailer with internal wall linings has a double-glazed door and side window plus a top vent and secure internal underfloor storage and it’s fully fitted with mains and 12V electrics, plus an audio system.
There’s a rear kitchen with hob, fridge, sink with running water and storage. The gas bottle is housed in a lockable compartment.
Prices are from £9850 although it’s recommended to add an awning or canopy for additional outdoor living space. Camperlands has various options to fit, which are discounted when purchased with the Campmaster. In so doing, you also receive a free package of mains hook-up lead, trailer level, awning carpet, caravan bottom skirt and a spare wheel.
It’s not the most well-known caravan brand in the UK but Caretta, manufactured in Turkey, are imported and sold by Cheshire-based Caretta Micro Caravans UK. Select between the Calypso 2 and Calypso 4, which, as the names imply, are two- and four-berth vans respectively. External colours include a choice of white, grey or champagne.
The Calypso 2 is just 4.21m long and has all the specifications of a much larger touring caravan – you’ll still find a cassette toilet, fridge, hob, fresh- and waste-water tanks, shower, solar panels, water and blown-air heater, flyscreens, electric hook-up, gas bottle storage and so on. There’s also a French double bed.
The Caretta 2 weighs just 690kg, so is towable by small cars without the need for a B+E license. For a family, opt for the Calypso 4, which also features bunk beds yet only weighs 750kg and is a mere 4.81m long.
How about this for a lightweight trailer? At just 340kgs (approximately), there’s no car that would struggle to tow a Diddyvan; they are sturdy and easy to manoeuvre and, at five feet high, prove aerodynamic behind a towcar. Built in Hampshire, and all IVA certified, the teardrop trailers are bespoke with various options available.
The aluminium-clad micro caravan is loosely based on a 1940s design, The Cub. There’s space for cooking at the rear, which includes compartments for storage and the leisure battery. Inside there is ample space for two adults to sleep in comfort with a sleeping area that measures 6’3”L x 4’W x 3’6”H. Prices start at £6295.
4 Eriba Touring
These are classic caravans with a vintage look but all the comforts of modern touring. ERIBA Touring caravans, owned by the Erwin Hymer Group, have long been cherished for their retro style and charm – and have a huge following.
ERIBA does not specialise solely in micro caravans, but the company does manufacture some compact models. The three-berth Touring 310 is the smallest of the 11 models available, at 4.83m long and weighing in at 750kg MiRO (and, therefore, does not require a B+E licence). Among the models are also the oh-so-cool ERIBA Touring Ocean Drive and the ERIBA Touring Rockabilly, with an American Diner look. Both retro vans, based on the Touring 530, offer three sleeping berths and are 5.79m in length yet still weigh in at less than 1,000kg. All ERIBA Touring vans include a dinky pop-top roof.
5 Freedom Caravans
Slightly old-fashioned on the outside, modishly feature-packed on the inside, Freedom Caravans offer plenty of choice with six models available. And, with unladen weights of between 600kg and 680kg, and an MTPLM of just 750kg, they’re not exactly a hefty lump to tow.
The Microlite Discovery tips the scales at just 600kg. More to the point, its overall length including chassis is a mere four metres and overall height (with its pop-top roof down) is 2.21m. Internal height is still 1.88m (6’ 2”) so plenty of people can stand tall without needing to raise the roof.
Alternatively, try the top-of-the-range Jetstream that’s feature-rich. The Jetstream Twin Sport includes a super king-size double bed (yes, you read right) plus a washroom with shower and a kitchen with an oven. Prices start from £12,165.
Unique in shape, Go-Pods are fun and versatile options for keeping things small while touring. With an MTPLM of just 750kg, you can select from three specifications: Plus, Platinum or Camper. Prices start from £15,995.
All Go-Pods have a wrap-around seating area that converts into a double bed, a 240V Dometic fridge, two-burner hob, sink, electric tap and portable cassette-style toilet.
The Platinum includes the above plus a 100W solar panel, 12V digital flat-screen TV, larger sink, an external 240V mains socket, USB upgrade, microwave oven and electric hook-up cable.
The Camper offers the highest specification and is fitted out in the UK by a campervan converter. There’s a wide range of choices for interior finishes, and fabric colours. It’s a pretty unique little caravan in the UK market.
7 Mini Freestyle
We love these little two-berth micro caravans from French manufacturer Trigano VDL. They look decidedly de rigeur with trendy interior colours and coordinating pop-up roofs yet without losing the style of a traditional touring caravan. They’ll fit in a standard-sized garage when not in use but, on the road, tow with minimum wind resistance.
The daintiest is the Mini-Freestyle 270, which offers a traditional parallel-sofa layout that transforms into a double bed at night. It also includes a good-sized kitchen area with hob, sink and full-size fridge.
If you opt for the 290, you also claim a washroom with toilet, handbasin and sink. Go for the sporty looking 300 Racing Edition, though, and you’ll get tracks and space to transport your motorcycle or bikes.
Mini-Freestyle are imported into the UK by Raclet Ltd.
Alternatively, if a Mini-Freestyle is your heart’s desire, and you feel like a trip to France to pick one up (not forgetting import duty), the nearest French dealer is in Arras, just an hour south of Calais.
8 MINK 2.0 Sports Camper
There’s a Nordic heritage behind the MINK 2.0 sports camper, which was new to the UK last year but established in Iceland since 2015. The concept is to combine luxury travel while being at one with nature, including for the most inexperienced of campers.
The MINK 2.0 Sports Camper is everything the adventure seeker needs in a micro caravan: easily towed luxury that’s compact and weighing just 490kg. The incredibly comfy double bed sits beneath a panoramic sunroof, so you can sleep under the stars, while cosying up with a hot cup of tea that you’ve brewed in the alfresco kitchen. However, if gin, beer, or bubbles are more your thing, there is also a 36-litre ice chest! MINK 2.0 Sports Camper is available in the UK from long-established camping and caravanning dealer, Broad Lane Leisure.
9 Nomad Trailer
This curvy camping pod sits upon a bespoke-made chassis. Internally, it’s not possible to stand but you can sit upright perfectly well, and there’s sufficient space for a full-size double bed, plus storage in cupboards and a small, drop-down leaf table for sitting a mug of tea or a laptop.
It’s all about cooking outdoors, with an external hatch at the rear of the trailer that lifts to present a kitchen with small hob, sink and room for a coolbox. An awning provides extra outdoor living space.
10 Wheelhome Dashaway
Last summer, Stephen Wheeler, owner of Wheelhome, towed the Dashaway to the Orkney Islands and back from his base in Essex, with a Tesla Model 3 – an all-electric journey of some 1,500 miles!
The Dashaway’s Mass in Running Order is just 644kgs, making it easily towable by all-electric towcars, as Stephen’s trip proves. The two-berth micro caravan has a retracting ‘Podrant’, which houses the fridge, part of the bed and bedding. There’s also a pop-up roof to provide standing room and you can add an awning. It’s all-electric, too, with a solar panel to charge up the lithium leisure battery, so no lugging around a heavy gas bottle.
Too small? Want to see more? Check out Touring Magazine’s round-up of Cool Caravans here1