Parts & Accessories

What's the difference between 7ft and 8ft Wide Caravans?

08th May 2024 | Dan Trudgian
I was full of questions on the difference between our old 7ft 4-inch wide caravan and the new 8ft wide Alicanto Grande. How will it tow, is the road big enough for us, can I get into rural campsites? In this article, I will try my best to answer those questions based on my experience.

But, first off, I’m not entirely sure why we still measure the width of a caravan in imperial, so to remedy that:

“What is the difference between an additional 20 cm (8 inches to you and me) caravan width?“

I’ll start with the towing.

A 20cm ruler

How does it compare towing a 7ft to a 8ft wide caravan?

To get a feel for how the extra 10cm on each side of the car felt, I plotted a route to our very first campsite that took in a bit of motorway, some A roads and windy B roads, too. The trip is about 50 miles, and this would give me a good understanding of how it felt to tow a far bigger caravan.

Towing with a 7ft wide caravan

To start and to put into context, the motorway where we live is in dire condition. Lane 1 has some incredible ruts and grooves where the HGVs trundle back and forth. The soft ground beneath the carriageway has created these tramlines that I’ve always had an issue with.

Although incredibly minor, our previous caravan would ride one of these ruts and in gusty wind, or when passed by a large vehicle, the caravan would pop out of one of these ruts and then move to the other one, causing a less than-comfortable tow. I noticed, almost immediately, that with a wider axle, this just didn’t happen.

Wider towing mirrors are essential when towing an 8ft caravan.

On the A roads, and perhaps this is the benefit of a twin axle, the ride was a lot smoother. No pitching up and down between the caravan and the car, and again, the camber and the distorted road surface were not noticed as much as before.

The biggest difference was the B roads, however. I noticed that a bigger vehicle, taking a wider line around roundabouts and navigating through towns, and other road users allowed me more space.

Perhaps the biggest observation is, that by the time we faced the Cotswolds, the caravan didn’t feel as big when we set off. I compared this to having a new car, not knowing where the corners are, unsure of the bodywork overhangs, and not appreciating the actual vehicle size.

All in all, the caravan felt fine and has given me a streak of confidence to tow on non-trunk roads. A final observation on all the roads we travelled with was how much the caravan filled the carriageway. It did still have plenty of space on either side, as I noticed from the mirrors.

How much extra living space do you really get in an 8ft wide caravan compared to a 7ft wide caravan?

Ok, so the layout of the Evora is completely different to our previous caravan. This already means the living space feels bigger, but the space from side to side has made a huge difference when just walking around or passing each other in the kitchen.

The living space in the 8ft wide Alicanto Grande Evora

No longer do we have to complete the synchronised, passing place dance. Instead, we can simply walk past each other. I would love to know how much extra space in cubic centimetres an extra 20cm can give you on the design of a caravan.

What's the difference between a 7ft to 8ft wide caravan on a campsite?

Up to this point, we have navigated around 5 campsites with this caravan, and some sites can be a little snug on the entrance and navigating around the site. I have found that being a twin axle, the caravan does want to hug the corners a bit more than a single axle, but taking a wider line means this issue is quickly avoided. Being 8ft provides no immediate issue whilst moving around on site, yet you may think it might be a problem for some pitches.

Arriving on site

Our experience so far has been fine. The pitches have all been wide enough to accommodate us, and reversing onto the pitch has again been without issue. I have found being a twin axle, the caravan is more stubborn to turn when reversing. And this is a good thing. It’s more predictable, slower and easier to place on the pitch.


So, the bottom line is our experience so far has been very positive, and we have yet to encounter any issues with a bigger caravan and have been very surprised at how little difference the 8ft wide caravan has been during towing.

But, we have appreciated the huge difference it has given us for living in. If you are curious about an 8ft wide caravan, my recommendation is to go for it! Make sure your car can tow it, you have wider mirrors, and you will not regret it!

I made a video answering more points about owning an 8ft wide caravan, including the tow car and storage site considerations, on our YouTube channel, so why not pop over and have a watch?