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Campervan vs Motorhome

by | Feb 5, 2023 | Blog & Guides

Do you love being in nature and wild camping? Or do you prefer campsites near cities where you can take in the culture? Either way, campervans and motorhomes are a great way to enjoy both! But which is best for you? 

We’ve created a guide that takes a look at campervans and motorhomes, discussing the advantages and disadvantages of them both. But one thing we can say is that the vehicle you choose depends on how you’ll use it, how often it’s used, if you’re going solo or with others, and where you plan to camp. Let’s get started! 

 

What is the Difference Between a Campervan and a Motorhome? 

Here, we’ll take a look at the difference between a campervan and a motorhome. Both of these vehicles serve the same purpose—they’re a mobile home. Each of these vehicles provides a place to stay, sleep, eat, and you can park it where you’d like to camp. However, there are many types of vehicles and some essential differences between them both. 

 

What is a Motorhome? 

Most people are confused about what a motorhome is. These vehicles usually provide a living space that’s more like a caravan and are constructed on top of an existing chassis. However, these are not standard vans. The motorhome’s body is taller and broader; it’s also a much larger vehicle than a van. 

At one time, motorhomes had a divider between its living quarters and the cab with the steering wheel. However, many motorhomes are no longer divided in this way. Instead, the design of a motorhome is more like a self-contained living area that travels. 

Newer motorhomes usually include a bathroom, kitchen & cooking amenities, and fixed bed options. Motorhomes tend to be roomy and come with all the comforts of home, including a separate shower, TV, and climate control. 

 

Different Types of Motorhomes

You choose from a wide range of motorhome classes and types, including the following: 

Coach built motorhome: this motorhome is made of two cabs that are joined together to form the classic constructions. A lightweight chassis is built, and then a body is created from wood, aluminium, or fiberglass. 

Over-cab bed coach built motorhome: this type of motorhome includes room for sleeping or extra space over the cab. 

A-class motorhome: the A-class motorhome is the largest and is usually coach built. They provide more comfort and may include amenities such as a cocktail cabinet, electric fireplace, and more. These motorhomes are usually the most expensive.

B-class motorhome: these vehicles include a combined shower and toilet. 

C-class motorhome: usually has a coach built body and an integrated cab. 

 

Motorhome Advantages

  • Size: motorhomes come in a wide range of sizes from the shortest at 6m to the longest at 10m+. These are perfect vehicles for families. 
  • More space: motorhomes have more living space because of their body shape and they may include a front lounge and a fully equipped kitchen. 
  • Insulation: motorhomes are usually better insulated. 
  • Washing facilities: the larger size of the motorhome makes it possible to have a separate WC on board, along with a shower. 
  • Layout: the longer wheelbase allows for various layouts and the sleeping quarters have a lot more room. 
  • Outside storage: these vehicles also have more outside storage options that may include a “garage” where camping gear and other items can be stored. The largest motorhomes may have a true garage that can hold a second vehicle. 

 

Motorhome Disadvantages

  • Manoeuvrability: such a large vehicle can be difficult to manage, especially if you drive on narrow roads to remote campsites. 
  • Driving license: some vehicles that weigh more than 3,500 kilos require UK residents to have a C1 driving license. 
  • Camping options: wild camping can be more challenging for larger vehicles. 
  • Insurance: motorhomes are usually more expensive to insure. 
  • Fuel economy: these vehicles use a lot more gas. 
  • Height restrictions: larger motorhomes, especially those with an over-cab, may be a problem if there are barriers or height restrictions (such as with bridges and other structures). 

 

What is a Campervan? 

Campervans are also built on a van chassis and based on a standard van with a modified interior. However, campervans are usually shorter, thinner, and have less headroom than a motorhome. 

To overcome the lack of headroom, some campers have a pop-up roof or expanding roof. These can be erected when parked. In addition to creating more headspace, the expanded roof also offers more sleeping space and living quarters in some campervans. 

These vehicles don’t have as much storage space as a motorhome. And it may be necessary to transform the seating into a bed for the night. 

Some features found on the standard campervan include pop-up or fold-out beds, a sink, a fridge, a gas stove, and a few small storage areas. These vehicles are not large enough to have portable toilets or a built-in shower. 

 

Campervan Advantages 

  • Driving: the campervan is easier to drive and manage on the road and at a campsite. 
  • Versatile: the vehicles can be used for regular transport and commuting. 
  • Accessibility: campervans are small enough to access more wild camping areas. 
  • Insurance: the cost of insurance for campervans is usually much cheaper. 
  • Fuel-efficient: these vehicles are also more economical when it comes to fuel use. 
  • Heating: keeping the campervan warm in winter is easier and faster. 
  • Height: there are fewer height restrictions if you choose a pop-up model which is the same height as a large car. 

 

Campervan Disadvantages

  • Space restrictions: space is limited, as even a long campervan is no more than 7m long. 
  • Limited layout options: with their smaller size, there are fewer layout options. 
  • Insulation: campervans do require additional insulation, which also decreases interior space. 
  • Not for families: these vehicles are smaller and may not have enough space for a family or two adults to camp comfortably. 
  • Washing facilities: campervans may not have bathrooms that have a shower or portable toilet. 
  • External storage: these vehicles don’t have much external storage. 
  • Access: campervans are not as easy to access; you may have to access the van through the double back doors. 

 

When Should You Rent a Campervan Over a Motorhome? 

  • If you’re only going on a camping holiday for a short trip, such as two weeks
  • When you have a limited budget
  • If you want to avoid the worry of restrictions in car parks or height barriers
  • For staying at campsites where there are on-site bathroom facilities
  • A good option for couples if they don’t require a lot of room

 

When Should You Rent a Motorhome Over a Campervan? 

  • If you’d like to camp regularly 
  • When you have a larger budget
  • If you want the luxury and comfort of home
  • When you prefer not to use public or outdoor bathroom facilities
  • If you need space to accommodate more than two adults and kids

 

Summing It Up

We hope this guide has helped you learn the difference between a campervan and a motorhome! There are some differences between these vehicles, along with some advantages and disadvantages of both. But with the right considerations, you’ll be able to rent the right vehicle for your next camping trip

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