Caravans come in 5 types, 3 of which are larger. The small caravan is the most manoeuvrable of all of the types of large volume motor homes.
However, its interior layout is just as spacious as the larger ones if the extra bed is not taken into account. Let’s take a look at the layout and special features of the small caravans.
Living areas and equipment of a small caravan
The living area configurations are practically interchangeable from one type of caravan to another. Apart from the shower room (the toilets are often integrated), the spaces are open, except the bedrooms, which are sometimes equipped with curtains or partitions:
The cabin: the driving area is generally linked to the cell (and therefore to the living area) through reclining and swivelling road seats. Besides, this provides 2 additional seats for a meal with more than 4 guests.
The kitchen: there are several types: straight, L-shaped or inverted L-shaped (in the direction of travel or the opposite).
It is equipped with:
a plate with 2 or 3 burners (gas), a sink + worktop;
a triple energy refrigerator (gas, battery or 220V), + freezer;
an extractor hood (optional) and 230V socket(s) inside;
storage space: cutlery drawers, sliding drawer, turntable, cupboards, etc.
Shower room, toilets: depending on the model, these can be 2 separate rooms (for motor homes that are generally longer), although compactness is still required to optimise living space.
The bathroom: the shower is preferably separate from the WC (door or curtain), taps with mixer tap and shower head, washbasin and accessories (or optional): grating, cupboards, towel rail, console (utensils: soap, shower gel…), clothesline.
WC: chemical toilet (removable cassette), flushing toilet coupled to the pump.
The living room: L-shaped or straight: with two benches. The table is circular or rectangular, swivelling and lower-able if it can support part of the extra bed. A television is placed in a specially fitted cupboard, removable hinged arm, 12V socket(s).
Storage: cupboards or wardrobe(s) in the living area: living room, kitchen, bedroom, bathroom… and outside lockers: for storing items that are not too essential for everyday life (electric cables, tools, etc.) or accessories and miscellaneous equipment (boiler/boiler, gas bottles, cell batteries, etc.).
The bedroom: the permanent bed is at the back of the vehicle. It is located above a large trunk accessible from inside and outside:
The bed is positioned laterally or transversely to the direction of travel. Some models offer a room with twin beds or a central bed.
The permanent bed measures, on average 1.85 to 2 m long by 1.3 to 1.4 m wide. Its mattress is reasonably comfortable, 10 to 13 cm thick, and its base is often made of a wooden core.
Special features of the small caravan
The two essential differences between a small caravan and a niche or integral are its external height and the positioning of the second (or additional) bed.
The dimensions of a small caravan range from 2.6 to 2.9 m high. This is the lowest of the 3 types of motor homes:
In width and length, the dimensions vary according to the models in the same way for all 3 types.
For example, the width of a caravan ranges from 2.15 to 2.35 m and the length from 6 to over 9 m.
The small caravan does not – originally – have a roof bed (as in a full camper).
Good to know: for the last 3 years, some manufacturers have been offering so-called “roof beds” for the small caravans. These are fitted to the ceiling of the cell and are deployed in the evening. This has a disadvantage: such a configuration implies increasing the height of the vehicle.
Different configurations for the second bed are possible. Depending on the model, the motor home will be equipped with:
– an occasional bed or extra bed: elements from the living room are used to compose it;
– a retractable or removable bed known as a “roof bed” or “ceiling bed” located above and in the centre of the living area for some recent small caravans: equipped with articulated arms mounted on jacks, it can be easily deployed.
Hope you find the right caravan for your needs. Remember to share your experience with us!