From the out­side in

Go! Camp & Drive - - Caravan Test -

An off-road caravan’s body is al­ways high off the ground. That means it’s at an un­com­fort­able height for you to get in and out with one step. A mounted step folds out of the caravan, mak­ing it less of a schlep. Mea­sured against the orig­i­nal thresh­old height (545 mm) you now lift your foot only half of that (285 mm) height to climb up. The step also has a strap on the side that you pull when you’re inside, to fold it up so you can close the door. This kind of step should be stan­dard on all car­a­vans – that’s how prac­ti­cal it is. By the way, a mesh door with its own zip fits into the door open­ing, in case you want to sleep with the door open without the bugs cart­ing you off in the mid­dle of the night. The roof lifts on the door-side and has a to­tal height of 2,23 m at the apex. The top of the fold-out bed’s mat­tress is 80 cm off the floor and you have to climb through a 61 cm open­ing to lie down, but at least the apex of the tent above the bed is high enough that you can sit up­right on the mat­tress. Get­ting onto the bed might sound like a mis­sion, but once you’re sit­ting on the side of the mat­tress and you lean back, you can get com­fort­able without much of a strug­gle. It might be both­er­some to older or heavy­set peo­ple, but it’s per­fect for the lit­tle ones. The bed doesn’t have a mounted light (the clos­est one is at the door); and as with most fold-out beds, there are also no shelves for your cloth­ing. The side of the bed, where you sit and lean back to get com­fort­able, is also the stor­age space for the loose fold-up ta­ble (62 x 185 cm). It stands on its side, and you open up a clip close to the door to slide the ta­ble in and out. The sec­tion in the back of the trailer is one big fam­ily bed, and up to three peo­ple can fit in here com­fort­ably – it stretches from one side to the other. The mid­dle part can fold up to make a 50 cm-wide pas­sage from the front to the back be­tween the two sides. This makes two sin­gle beds, with a slid­ing win­dow next to the bed on the left. A nar­row ta­ble (103 x 53 cm) un­folds in the pas­sage if you want to eat inside the caravan. The ta­ble is large enough for up to four peo­ple, but it’s bet­ter if it’s just the two of you. All the cup­board space around the bed at the back is a real treat. There are no fewer than 15 cup­boards in var­i­ous sizes, and be­sides the one or two open shelves, the rest have can­vas doors that you can zip up. There’s a light at the back cup­board (at the top of the bed) and the two can­vas doors on the cup­boards on the right form the back of the out­side gro­cery shelf. It’s the per­fect place to keep a few things for a mid­night snack.

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