How many berths should my caravan have?

blog / advice / new caravans / pre-owned caravans

Caravans come in a range of sizes, catering for small and large parties alike! ‘Berths’ are essentially sleeping stations, so the number of berths you need will depend on how many people will be sleeping in the caravan.

Will you be caravanning on your own, as a couple or in a family/group? Generally speaking, the higher the number of berths, the bigger the caravan will be, unless it’s a compact model.



There’s also the option to go for a higher number of berths than you need to give you a bigger caravan and more living space. The higher berth caravans usually have more storage, bigger or additional dining areas and larger kitchens with more worktop space. So if you don’t travel light or you enjoy a bit of caravan cooking, a bigger berth caravan might be what you need. 


If you’re caravanning on your own or in a couple, a 2 berth caravan could be ideal for you. It will have everything you need, but will also be compact, light and easy to tow. You’ll need to convert the front lounge seating into your sleeping area at night, but you’ll also have the option to choose between a double bed and two singles.


Another option that many couples decide to go for is a 4 berth caravan. Many 4 berths are still compact but offer couples the added benefit of having a fixed bed at the rear of the caravan. Various models offer different types of beds so you’ll be able to choose between a French bed, twin beds or island bed depending on your preference and how you want to make use of your space.

By opting for a 4 berth with a fixed bed at the rear, not only will you benefit from not having to make up your bed every night, but you’ll also be able to use the front lounge as a permanent sitting area which is great, especially for couples who go to bed and get up at different times.


If you have more than two children, 5 and 6 berth caravans will be able to cater for your family’s needs. If you are a family of more than 6, you can even opt to attach an awning to the caravan to act as an additional sleeping area or just to give you more living space. 

These larger caravans will offer many different sleeping options so be sure to research them all and think about what configuration will work best for you and your family. Would you like the grown ups in the lounge area so you can stay up later in the evenings? Do you want the kids situated next to the washroom for nighttime trips to the loo? Would you rather the children were away from the washroom to avoid disturbing them when you get ready for bed? These are all things to consider.


Compact models are great for singles and couples, or those using it as a base for their outdoor adventures. They’re often referred to as crossover camping vehicles; they can be towed by smaller cars and are easy to store when not in use. Although compact in size, comfort is not compromised and they all have well-equipped kitchens and washrooms so all the necessities are there. Swift offers the Sprite Compact (2 berth) and the Basecamp (2, 3 or 4 berth), whilst Bailey boasts the Discovery, which comes in 2 or 4 berth options.


Both Swift and Bailey offer a range of 8ft-wide models, which provide that extra bit of space for those desiring it. Swift’s Sprite Grande, Challenger Grande SE and Elegance Grande all offer an array of 4-berth models, with the Challenger also putting forward a 6-berth option - the 670 - for larger families. 

The Alicanto Grande and Pegasus Grande GT75 are Bailey’s 8ft offerings. The three Alicanto Grande models are 4-berth, with a choice of mid or rear washroom. The Pegasus Grande GT75 range consists of four 4-berth models with a mix of mid and end washrooms and island and transverse island beds.


Awnings are a great way of creating more space whilst caravanning. Whether you’re a couple who would like additional dining space or a family that could do with the extra storage space as well as a place for the children to play, awnings are great! They can also provide space for sleeping if you have additional overnight guests or the kids are a bit older and want to sleep ‘on their own’.

We supply a huge range of awnings, from canopy and porch awnings to full awnings which can double your footprint! Read our awning blog to discover your awning options and find out which types will suit you and your caravan best.


Think ahead
Before you decide which berth to go for, consider if anything might change in the near future that may mean you will need a different size caravan. Are you thinking about starting or expanding your family? Might you decide to invite friends along on your trips once you’re in the swing of it? Think all these things through to ensure you get the right caravan first time round and avoid having to exchange it in a year’s time which could be costly and time consuming.

Get the sleeping arrangements right!
Make sure you give the bed configuration enough consideration. It’s important that you choose the right type of bed and bed layout for you and your family - getting a good night’s sleep is extremely important, especially when caravanning! This is your holiday so you want to feel rested and being comfortable will play a big part in that.

Ample storage
Make sure you opt for a caravan that has enough storage for everything you’ll want to take. Although you don’t want to be laden down with too much stuff, you should have the capacity to take the things that will make your holiday more enjoyable, so a good amount of storage is essential to ensure you’re not tripping over things.

Towing weights
Before you purchase a caravan, you’ll need to check that your car is able to tow one, and if so, what your towing weight limit is. The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) will tell you the weight of your car and if you are a novice tower, it is recommended that the weight of your caravan does not exceed 85% of the weight of your car. If you passed your driving test on or after 1 January 1997, you cannot exceed a combined weight of 3,500kg, so note down your maximum combined weight and keep this in mind when browsing possible models. Those who passed their driving test prior to 1 January 1997 are able to tow up to 8,250kg.


If you’re still torn about which berth size to go for, why not pop into the showroom to chat through your options with us? Browse our new and pre-owned caravan ranges online and then take a look inside a few when you visit...

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