What are the advantages of a motorhome over a caravan?

In this blog post, we will explore: What are the advantages of a motorhome over a caravan? We will discuss the pros and cons of both caravans and motorhomes, and hopefully, help you decide which type of vehicle is best for you. 

What are the advantages of a motorhome over a caravan?

There are plenty of advantages of a motorhome over a caravan. Let’s see them:

  • A motorhome is more flexible in use than a caravan. It lends itself to all uses (circuit, stationary stay or day trips).
  • A motorhome (up to 3500 kg) can achieve the same speed as a passenger vehicle.
  • Smaller motorhomes can sometimes replace a car, which helps put the high cost into perspective.
  • A motorhome drives like a passenger vehicle. Even if you have to get used to its larger dimensions, it is easier to drive than a caravan.
  • More storage space in the double floor or in the rear trunk.
  • Water tank of at least 120 l
  • The motorhome allows you to sleep or eat as soon as you arrive at your destination. With a caravan, the first step is to maneuver the hitch to park.
  • There is no problem parking a motorhome on the street since it is a normal vehicle.
  • The spaces reserved for motorhomes can also be used.
  • A motorhome is most often autonomous, which is why it is not compulsory to go to a campsite or to pitches equipped with infrastructure.
  • A motorhome is easier to manoeuvre than a trailer and can be positioned in many places that are difficult or impossible to reach with the couplers. This allows you to embark on unfamiliar roads without fear of not being able to turn around.
  • It is easier to find a parking space for a motorhome than for a team with a caravan.

What are the disadvantages of a motorhome over a caravan?

Of course, we must also talk about the cons of having a motorhome over a caravan. It is only fair!

  • Price: A motorhome is more expensive to buy (much more expensive than a caravan of equal size).
  • Maintenance: Maintaining a motorhome is also expensive. This motor vehicle must be maintained and serviced, as well as insurance and other taxes.
  • Road noise: in most cases, the driver’s cab is not isolated from the living area. This is useful when you want quick access to the rear from the front seats or to expand the living area. But it also means that in addition to classic road noise (wind, uneven ground, etc.), we are also exposed to the noise of drawers, cutlery or crockery during the journey. The higher the speed, the louder and more constant this background sound is.
  • When the motorhome is permanently installed, it must first be tidied up before you can go shopping or dining.
  • To guarantee local mobility at the holiday location, you must bring bicycles, scooters or any other vehicle.

What is the difference between a motorhome and a caravan?

The motorhome is an autonomous, motorized vehicle with an interior designed to be able to live there. The caravan also offers travelers a furnished interior, but it is not motorized and therefore requires a separate vehicle that will tow it when travelling. The use, therefore, becomes very different in practice.

Please note, caravan and mobile home should not be confused. The latter is transportable accommodation, but not approved to travel on the road. It is often offered for rent by campsites and is not intended to be moved once it is installed on its site.

The choice between motorhome and caravan, therefore, depends mainly on your tastes and desires. For example, a caravan will make it easier to use the car once at your destination to get around. But if you prefer a truly travelling holiday, changing location regularly, it is advisable to choose a motorhome. Those who enjoy a more “sedentary” holiday can, on the other hand, opt for a caravan instead.

To sleep well, don’t worry, the bedding of a caravan can be just as comfortable as that of a motorhome. You will simply have more choices of mattress shapes available to you in a motorhome while in a caravan you will usually find a standard central bed or twin beds. 

Other questions you may be interested in

What should I look for when buying a motorhome?

What gas is used in motorhomes?

What do I need in my motorhome?

The advantages of owning a caravan

The caravan has the advantage of offering travellers a large optimized interior space, comfort, versatility and freedom of movement. At the same size, it offers more available space than a motorhome. 

A campsite will nevertheless generally be necessary, there or in a motorhome, it is easy to stop at an approved area for one night or even to land in the middle of nature if necessary.

In addition, the price of caravans is cheaper to buy and they do not require major preparations or revisions to be planned before travelling. The attention and maintenance to be paid to them are therefore less. 

Their resale price also remains attractive most of the time. The other advantage lies, as we have just pointed out, in the ease of getting around once there, since the car remains available.

The disadvantages owning a caravan

Often the water tank of the caravan is limited to only 40 litres. A small constraint that can quickly become annoying if the water point is far away. In addition, the maximum speed cannot exceed 90 km/h.

 A real constraint to be taken into account at the time, which clearly slows down the desire to move and limits the itinerant side as much if that is what you are looking for above all.

In addition, when choosing a caravan for travelling, it is sometimes complicated or even impossible to take alleys or cross villages with a team. The motorhome is also impressive but still goes much more easily. 

In addition, you should know that it is forbidden to leave the caravan on public roads without a towing vehicle. Finally, it should be noted that most caravans are designed to be used primarily for camping, and therefore not for repeated or prolonged trips.

The advantages of owning a motorhome

The motorhome offers a very important autonomy and great freedom of movement. You are completely free to go wherever you want, change your plans, extend your stay, and distance is no problem. It is a real vehicle in the same way as a car or a van and as such, it is possible to envisage very long journeys, without any particular speed limit.

 In addition, the camper van sneaks up much more easily than a caravan on winding or hazardous mountain paths: it gives much easier access to certain places than a towed caravan (and the reverse gear of which is often complicated).

Inside, everything is planned, depending on the range chosen, of course, to offer you maximum comfort and autonomy on a daily basis. One example among others: the water tank blithely exceeds 110 litres. 

Finally, parking is easier than in a caravan and the layout is optimized. Moreover, once at its destination, the motorhome can be used more quickly than a caravan.

The disadvantages of owning a motorhome

The purchase price of the vehicle is the first drawback to be noted. In addition, it is important to know that the maintenance of the motorhome is expensive, bearing in mind that you also have to pay for insurance and taxes. It is therefore mainly based on your budget that you will decide whether this mode of transport is possible for you or not.

In most models sold, the driver’s cab is not isolated from the living area. Travellers are therefore exposed to the noise of road traffic, drawers, crockery, etc. The higher the speed, the more noise is present. Some of them have a significant height and in this case, it will be necessary to take into account the maximum height of bridges on small roads. 

Finally, while the caravan allows the use of the car to get around once at destination, it will be necessary to provide a motorhome with an alternative for short trips, such as bicycles or another equivalent mode of locomotion.

Conclusions: motorhome or caravan?

To conclude, contrary to what one might think at first glance, motorhomes and caravans are not aimed at the same type of holidaymakers and stays. 

While the motorhome is really aimed at holidaymakers looking for total autonomy and freedom of movement, the caravan is more of a compromise that allows you to change destination regularly but which will be much less flexible to change places daily and travel.

Both remain leisure vehicles in their own right, with their own holiday vision, which should be chosen according to your personal preferences.

What would you choose: a motorhome or a caravan? Let us know what you think!

FAQ on What are the advantages of a motorhome over a caravan?

What are the advantages of a caravan?

The caravan has the advantage of offering travellers a large optimized interior space, comfort, versatility and freedom of movement. At the same size, it offers more available space than the motorhome.

Can a motorhome tow a caravan?

A motorhome can tow a caravan, trailer, boat, car or truck, as long as the tow doesn’t exceed the maximum towing capacity of the motorhome. 

Is a motorhome classed as a caravan?

No, a motorhome is not classed as a caravan, although both are considered Recreational Vehicles (RVs). 

References 

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