Choosing the best motorhome can sometimes feel a daunting prospect – after all, there’s a wide range of models on the market. To help you find the right ‘van for you, we’re taking a look at a couple of 2 berths that are made by two popular brands, the Swift Select Compact C500 and the Laika Kosmo 509.
They’re both sure to provide you with a brilliant touring experience – so how do they compare? We find out…
You can also get more inspiration by taking a look at our guide to the best 2 berth motorhomes.
The basic spec
Swift Select Compact C500
Shipping length: 6.65m
Laika Kosmo 509
Shipping length: 7.41m
A difference arises when you look at the length of both ‘vans. The C500 has a shipping length of 6.65m, while the 509 comes in at 7.41m. Despite this, the width is fairly similar, standing at 2.33m in the 509, compared to the C500’s 2.26m.
Something to consider is that the C500 has a rear lounge at the back of the ‘van – as a result, you’ll have to put the bed together each night, but you do get a good space for relaxing in. In comparison, the 509 has fixed beds at the rear.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that with the Laika model, you have the option of buying it with a dropdown bed included too, turning it into a 4-berth.
Swift Select Compact C500 vs Laika Kosmo 509: Lounge
In the front dinette of the C500, you’ll find there are two comfortable belted seats, allowing up to four of you to travel. It’s a nicely lit area, with daylight flooding in and two swan-neck lights providing a great setting for reading.
It’s worth noting that if you’re sitting on the bench seat, you only get a small spotlight which sits under the locker. However, you do get two USBs beneath the seats, along with TV sockets – if you’re looking for one to take away with you, in our guide to the best motorhome TVs, we run through the standout products on the market.
There’s also a table that can seat four.
The rear lounge is a cosy setting, ideal for relaxing in. Light can flood in, courtesy of the side and rear windows, while ambient lighting will allow you to enjoy your evenings. You also get USB ports on both sides of the lounge, while a further set sits beneath the U-shaped settee.
The 509 comes with an L-shaped dinette seat, and also provides four travel seats. The table can seat up to six, providing some handy flexibility.
A sunroof and LEDs ensure this is a well-lit space, and you should easily be able to see the TV, no matter where you sit, thanks to the sockets by the door.
Swift Select Compact C500 vs Laika Kosmo 509: Kitchen
The workspace is good in the C500 – and that’s before you use the extension. A Thetford Triplex oven and microwave is fitted, ideal for motorhome cooking.
We like the addition of the small shelf that could be the perfect spot for a product like a kettle or radio too.
In comparison, the 509 has a L-shaped kitchen that is more on the compact side, but despite this, it’s a well-lit area, thanks to a Heki and a large window – in the evening, you can rely on LEDs. You have the option of using a sink cover to create some additional serving space too.
While you don’t get a microwave, you do get a Thetford Duplex combined oven and grill, as well as a slimline fridge.
Swift Select Compact C500 vs Laika Kosmo 509: Washroom
The C500 has a washroom that reminded us of an “airline washroom” when we saw it, due to the all-plastic cupboard and the narrow basin.
There isn’t a separate shower – instead, you would use the basin tap as a shower head. However, a large mirror and roof vent are welcome additions.
Unlike the C500, the 509 has a washroom that includes a shower on the nearside, while a toilet sits opposite. Something to consider with this setup is that it means the toilet-cassette access point could be inside an awning if you’re using one.
A roof vent will ensure this is a space with good ventilation, while it’s also well-lit, thanks to a window and two LEDs.
Swift Select Compact C500 vs Laika Kosmo 509: Beds
When it comes to sleeping in the C500, you can use the U-shaped settee to make up two, long single beds that come in at 6ft and 6ft 5in, or, alternatively, you can create a big double. It’s nice and easy to do – simply turn the cushions over and then use Velcro to attach them to the slats.
In comparison, the Laika ‘van has a fixed bed that is over 2m long, and there is an optional cushioned panel that can be used to turn this into a large double.
Swift Select Compact C500 vs Laika Kosmo 509: Storage
The settees in the C500 provide good storage – we like how easy it is to access them without having to take off the base cushions; instead, just lift the slats. This is also externally accessible. You get some good overhead lockers too, along with cubbyholes on either side of the cab.
A wardrobe is included but it may be a bit narrow for two people’s clothes. A useful shelf can be found behind the aerial fitting that could alleviate this somewhat.
The 509’s rear beds are not quite as practical for storage because the slats can’t be lifted. You do, however, get some good options elsewhere, including three overhead lockers in the lounge and a cupboard with six shelves in the washroom.
The 509 has a garage too, which we considered to be a good size for two bikes.
As it’s a Continental ‘van, it’s not surprising that the 509 lacks a microwave, but the rear fixed beds are very comfortable and the motorhome also includes an excellent washroom. In comparison, the C500 has a rear lounge that is ideal for relaxing in but the trade off is you have to make the beds up each night. The kitchen may come with a microwave but you will also find yourself having to make do without a separate shower, something that the 509 provides.
Perhaps the key consideration here is what would you rather have; fixed beds or a rear lounge?
Whichever you settle on though, these two motorhomes that are sure to provide you with an excellent touring experience.
You can find out more about both ‘vans in our reviews of the Swift Select Compact C500 and the Laika Kosmo 509.
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