The pros and cons of buying a European caravan

The laws surrounding the maximum size of a caravan allowed on UK roads have recently changed. This change has opened the door on a wider market for new caravans which includes some European manufacturers. We explore the benefits and drawbacks of buying a caravan from the continent.

More than 90 per cent of the caravans sold in the UK were built in the UK, and this should hardly be surprising, given the number of top-quality manufacturers that are based in the British Isles.

However, following a recent change to UK road rules, it is becoming more and more tempting to look at overseas manufacturers and the advantages they can bring.

Many continental companies, such as the Slovenia-based Adria, build eight-foot wide caravans that take advantage of the recent change in legislation to offer the widest model that you can legally tow in the UK.

Elsewhere, Hobby and Dethleffs are renowned for offering the high build quality and durability that you would expect from a German-built caravan.

Both companies also offer striking modern designs that are very different from the majority of British-built vans, which are more traditionally-designed.

If you're looking for super lightweight touring, then companies such as Freedom and Eriba are well worth a look, since they offer a more flexible level of specification, with some models sold without ovens or showers.

Cutting out these heavy items can bring the overall weight under one tonne, and frees up more space for those who prefer to use on-site shower blocks or cook on a barbecue.

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