Unlike cars, for which there are only a few different types of seating configuration, touring caravans are available in many different layouts to suit couples and families of all ages.
British-built caravan layouts can sleep up to six people, so the first thing you should consider is how many berths you want and if you want extra space for guests.
To help you pick the best layout for your caravan, we've put together the following guide to some of the UK's most popular layouts.
Broadly speaking, most touring caravans come with a two-berth option, which is the smallest, lightest and most affordable model, so this seems like as good a place as any to start our round-up.
It's worth mentioning that almost every caravan built in the UK today comes with a front parallel lounge, which converts into either a double or two single beds.
This front convertible lounge is the focus of a two-berth model, which will be complemented by either a side wash room and rear kitchen (in compact models such as the Lunar Ariva and the Elddis Xplore 302) or a full-width wash room and side kitchen area (see the Swift Conqueror 480 or the Bailey Unicorn Seville, which is pictured right).
This layout works well for couples looking for a lightweight and affordable tourer, but doesn't offer any room for hosting extra guests.
As the UK's most popular caravan layout, the fixed double bed option offers obvious advantages for couples, as you don't have to make up the bed for the night.
Fixed double beds are most commonly seen in four-berth layouts, but can also be referred to as 'two plus two' layouts, as couples who holiday alone may choose to buy one and keep the front lounge spare.
The double bed itself can be found in a few different configurations, with the most popular being a side double, which runs alongside the nearside of the caravan, using the space in the most efficient way.
Another thing to consider when choosing a fixed-double bed layout for your caravan is how important wash room space is to you.
If you mainly use on-site shower facilities, then a compact wet room in the corner of the caravan may suffice. But if you prefer to shower without leaving your front door, then a full-width wash room is advisable.
Two popular examples of this fixed double-bed layout with a full wash room are the Swift Challenger Sport 554 (pictured above) and the Bailey Olympus 530-4.
However, if you are the kind of couple that likes to get up at different times, then an island bed may be preferable.
These types of double bed are mounted either on the back wall facing the front of the van or the nearside wall facing across, leaving enough room to get out of bed on either side.
The island bed layout has proved popular in the Coachman VIP 545/4 (pictured) and the Swift Conqueror 645.
An increasingly popular layout among growing families, the fixed twin single is a four-berth layout that offers exactly what it says on the tin: two fixed single beds.
These can be perfect for adults who prefer their own space at night, or for children who are growing too tall to sleep in a bunk bed, but don't want to share a sheet with their brother or sister.
This layout can be found in the Bailey Unicorn Cadiz and the Elddis Affinity 574 (pictured ), to name but two choices.
Any caravan layout that offers five or six berths is often referred to as a family layout, as it will normally have two or three beds that are designed for children to sleep in.
Fixed double-bed layouts are also available in five and six-berth variants, with a side 'dinette' area, which converts into either a single bed or two bunk beds.
These may include fixed bunk beds or convertible bunk beds that may be less than six feet long, and may not be rated to take the weight of an adult.
There are dozens of choices besides and if you are still unsure, then visit your local caravan dealership where you will be able to take a look inside the different layouts and see which one suits you.
Adam Summersby is a respected leader with 11 years’ varied experience in niche personal and commercial lines insurance, including caravan, site operators and excess reimbursement, with proficiency in leadership, sales and account management.
Date: March 01, 2013