What is a Lightweight Caravan

So, what is a lightweight caravan and why would you want one? As a lightweight caravan owner myself, I find that a pretty easy question to answer, so below I’ve laid out what I see are the major advantages of a lightweight caravan…


what is a lightweight caravan | compass echo

You don’t need a big car:

One of the biggest advantages of a small lightweight caravan is that you don’t need a huge vehicle to tow it. 90% of the time you’re not going to be towing the caravan anyway, so owning a lightweight caravan means that you can drive around in a normal family car (rather than a huge gas-guzzling 4×4) when you’re not towing.

They are much easier to tow:

If you’ve never towed a caravan before it can feel a little daunting, especially driving on motorways, down small country lanes, and of course, reversing! Towing a small lightweight caravan will make all these tasks much easier. With some of the narrower caravans available, you don’t even need towing mirrors fitted to your car. Plus, it will cost less in fuel towing a lightweight caravan in comparison to a larger heavier model.

They are easier and cheaper to store:

When your caravan is not being used it will need to be stored somewhere. Owning a small caravan makes it a lot easier to store as most small lightweight caravans can be parked on your drive. If you haven’t got room to store the caravan at home then the next option would be to use a good secure caravan storage facility. A lot of caravan storage is charged by the size of the caravan, so owning a small caravan will be an advantage.

They are easier to manoeuver:

Unless your caravan is fitted with a motor mover, manoeuvering a caravan can be hard work, especially on long wet grass. Therefore, choosing a lightweight caravan will make the task of hitching the caravan onto your vehicle much easier, and once you’ve arrived at the campsite, manoeuvering into the pitch will be a doddle!

You have more camping site choices:

Touring and exploring the country in a small caravan can enable you to stay on some stunning campsites that you just couldn’t access with a larger caravan. There have been many occasions in the past when towing our little 11 footer that we followed a farm track down to some beautiful scenic spot that would have been impossible to access in a larger heavier caravan.


Then we have done the legwork for you and tracked down some of the makes and models you should be searching for! Sites like eBay, preloved, gumtree and AutoTrader are all good places to look for used caravans, and you should be able to pick up one of these for under £2000.

Used Lightweight Caravans – makes and models to look out for:

1. Compass Echo 340 2

  • Year: 1993
  • Berth: 2
  • Unladen weight: 580Kg
  • Length: Internal – 11′ 8″ External – 15′ 11″
  • Width: 6′ 5″

2. Ace Diplomat GXL

  • Year: 1993
  • Berth: 2
  • Unladen weight: 765Kg
  • Length: Internal – 12′ 5″ External – 17′ 5″
  • Width: 6′ 5″

3. Freedom Microlight

  • Year: 1996
  • Berth: 3
  • Unladen weight: 630Kg
  • Length: Internal – 10′ 1″ External – 14′ 19″
  • Width: 6′ 4″

4. Swift Cappuccino

  • Year: 1993
  • Berth: 2
  • Unladen weight: 710Kg
  • Length: Internal – 11′ 8″ External – 16′ 6″
  • Width: 6′ 10″

5. Bailey Maru SE discovery

  • Year: 1995
  • Berth: 2
  • Unladen weight: 750Kg
  • Length: Internal – 12′ 4″ External – 17′ 5″
  • Width: 7′ 2″

The weights shown above are the unladen weights, or the MRO (Mass in Running Order) this is what the caravan weighs with nothing loaded in it, e.g. food, clothes, bedding, TV, etc. Use a towing limit calculator to see what your cars towing limit is.

More Caravans?

Do you want to see more caravans that are in roughly the same price range? If so – Lightweight Caravans under 1000kg

So, what is a lightweight caravan?

Well, if you’ve checked out the makes and models above then you’ll have seen that a lightweight caravan is pretty much like any other caravan, except for its weight. But then again – not all lightweight caravans are the same! If you are looking for something a little different, then have a look at these…

1. Go-Pods 2 Berth Micro-Tourer Caravan


The 2 berth Go-Pod weighs in at just 480Kg. Its one-piece GRP construction means that there are fewer chances of water penetration which can lead to damp issues. This construction technique also gives the Go-Pod an estimated 25 year life expectancy. The Go-Pod doesn’t have a bathroom so you’ll need to stay on a site with toilets and washing facilities, or just take a bucket with you!

2. Swift Basecamp Plus


Aimed at the active outdoor type of person, the Basecamp looks like a very well thought out little caravan weighing in at around 879Kg for the standard Basecamp and 990Kg for the Basecamp plus. In the Basecamp plus, Swift have managed to pack in a toilet with electric flush, a shower and sink, fridge, underfloor heating, a 3 hob burner, oven and grill, it even has a remote control feature that allows you to remotely  turn the heating on using your smartphone, how cool is that!

3. Barefoot


The British designed and built Barefoot caravan has real style. It weighs in at around 910Kg. Features include a 2 ring gas hob, fridge, hot water system, onboard water tank, toilet, basin and shower. The seating area converts into a generous sized 6ft x 6ft bed. When ordering a Barefoot you can choose from 3 different body colours. You can also choose different options for the seating upholstery, kitchen units and bathroom wall panel.

4. T@b 320 Off Road


Designed with the younger caravanner in mind the T@b 320 Off Road has a cool rugged teardrop design. The seating area makes up into a double bed and there is a 2 ring gas hob, fridge and Truma S2200 space heater. There isn’t a built-in toilet though, just a little storage box for a porta potti! The T@b weighs in at 1000kg fully ladened.

5. CC-E69 Teardrop Caravan


Another UK based manufacturer. The CC-E69 teardrop caravan is inspired by the classic 1940’s style teardrop trailer, every caravan is handmade to the customer’s requirements meaning that no two caravans are the same.

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