The Best Campervans & Caravans for UK Staycations
The holiday towns and seaside resorts of the 50s and 60s are seeing a boom, ice cream vans are back and the deck chairs are out. While we love the idea of getting on an airplane and listening to the noise of our suitcases roll across the airport, we have to admit that we are loving exploring the best of what Britain has to offer.
We pulled together research looking into some of the most popular campervans and caravans to help staycation seekers decide what’s best for them and their families.
The top 10 campervans for a staycation
Taking the crown as the best campervan for a UK staycation is the Zefiro 685. Combining its size and hosting capabilities alongside the price and running costs, we’ve found it offers the best of both worlds.
Despite not being the most budget-friendly in the study, it does give the opportunity to sleep five guests, while travelling an impressive 615.93 miles on a single tank.
With bathroom and cooking facilities, able to sleep four guests and travelling more than 600 miles on a fuel tank, it’ll attract many. What holds it back however is its size. An important feature for some depending on your preferences.
The most cost-effective campervans
Our study found that the most cost-effective campervan you can buy is the Mazda Bongo. With average prices around £13,000, it’s one of the more affordable vehicles we looked at. Pair this with a respectable £83.46 to fill its tank from zero to full and it offers a great solution for those on a budget.
Ranking second is the Mercedes-Benz Marco Polo. A newer model than the Bongo, the Polo’s average price reaches £56,997.50 and has higher fuel costs. But with an average of 47.1 MPG, the best of all campervans we’ve looked at, you get more bang for your buck when filling up.
If purchase and running costs are the biggest factors in your budget, look no further than the Volkswagen Transporter. Average prices sit around £6,350 for an early 2000 model, and it is up to 35 miles per gallon and fuelling from zero to full at £104.64.
The best campervans for size and hosting capabilities
For many Brits, enjoying the company of friends or other holiday makers is a staycation priority. Whether it’s the joy of sharing time together on the road or relaxing with a meal under your canopy, having the ability to host guests in your campervan is a must-have.
Our study looked into key metrics for hosting such as the number of berths, bathroom facilities, cooking facilities and the overall size of the campervan.
We found that the Benimar Primero 313 offers the best overall experience when hosting and entertaining guests. With an impressive six berths, cooking facilities, and a size of 40.64 square metres, it is unrivaled for hosting.
Ranking second is the Zefiro 685. Offering home comforts and facilities with an admirable size of 47.80 square metres, it’s a great option for those with a large number of guests. Sleeping five inside the campervan also offers plenty of flexibility.
If you need a small and compact campervan but hosting is still on your staycation wishlist, our findings show the Dreamer Camper Five is a great choice. At a vehicle volume of just 24.31 square metres, almost half the size of the Zefiro 685, the Camper Five sleeps five guests with onboard bathroom and cooking facilities – a tighter squeeze, but perfect if you’re looking for an excuse to cosy up to someone.
The best campervans for road trips
Intrigued at how far you can go for your staycation on just one tank of fuel? So were we. Campervans are known for their ability to travel long distances with all the comfort you needs and as you have the whole of the UK at your fingertips, checking out fuel consumption is a big consideration.
We took a look at which campervans would be a good find if you’re travelling far for your dream UK staycation. Looking into specifications like fuel tank size, miles per gallon, the cost to fill the tank and the number of miles you can travel on a single tank, these were our findings.
The Mercedes-Benz Marco Polo ranks as the best choice for long distance staycations. Capable of an impressive 725 miles on a single full tank, the Polo can get you from London to Scotland with nearly 300 miles leftover.
Second, thanks to its large fuel tank, is the Hymer Van 374. With a tank size of 19.8 gallons, you can expect to travel 673 miles before refilling – which is further than the distance of the Cornish coastline, so perfect if you’re planning a summer chasing waves.
However, filling a tank this size can be on the more costly side. From zero to full you can expect to pay just over £117 – £26 more than the Mercedes-Benz Marco Polo.
The top 15 best caravans for a staycation
An alternative vehicle to take on your dream UK staycation is a caravan. A more affordable choice, caravans have been the go-to transport mode for Brits holidaying in the UK for years and offer reliability as well as practicality.
For those looking to buy a caravan on a budget there are a few factors that are important when making the final decision: berth numbers and vehicle size. We looked at the best caravans in that regard, along with costs, to give an overall ranking.
We found that the Adria Altea 622DK Avon gave the best package in terms of price and size. Costing on average £20,495, it sits in the middle price range of all the caravans in the study, while also offering six berths – the joint highest number. With a vehicle volume of 48.92 square metres, it’s also very competitive in terms of overall space and size.
However, if size is your number one priority, the Compass Casita 868 could be your best bet. Ranking second in the study, the caravan offers a vehicle volume of 52.07 square metres – the biggest of the 15 – with six berths and a price average of £24,919.
The best caravans for size and hosting capabilities
When looking at berth numbers, bathroom, cooking facilities and vehicle size, caravans perform strongly in all areas – although that is what you expect from a caravan – so how do their sizes compare?
The Compass Casita 686 gives the best of both worlds having the ability to sleep six people whilst also having the largest floor space with a vehicle volume of 52.07 square metres.
So whether you’re looking for the dream UK road trip, visiting cities across England, or you and your friends want to make your staycation dream come true, Gumtree is the place for good finds.
Data collected by Gumtree May 2021. Full research available on request.
We took the best rated campervans, motorhomes and caravans from Car Magazine, Out and About Live, Camplify and Practical Caravan to create an index, analysing key features that are important to everyday consumers when looking to purchase a campervan for a staycation.
Where figures were not available, we took similar models from the same manufacturer. Where ranges were given for MPG, we took the average.
In order to distinguish a rank, we used a formula which scores each column from 1-10 based on its criteria. For example, when buying on a budget, the price of campervans were scored accordingly; 10 for the lowest price, 1 for the highest price. Figures in between these were scored within the range.