What is the difference between a campervan and a caravan?

In this blog post, we will answer the following question: What is the difference between a campervan and a caravan? We will discuss the pros and cons of both caravans and campervans. We will also help you decide which vehicle type would suit you best. 

What is the difference between a campervan and a caravan?

The difference between a campervan and a caravan is great (although there are those who use both terms as synonyms). A caravan is a vehicle that, in order to move, needs to be towed by a car. In contrast, a campervan is independent in this sense; that is to say, it has a motor, with which it can propel itself. For their part, camper vans are vans whose rear part has been enabled to live in it.

Now, what are the advantages and disadvantages of each?

Advantages and disadvantages of a caravan:

  • They are cheaper.
  • It allows you to leave the caravan parked on a campsite and use the propeller independently for sightseeing.
  • The offer is very wide.
  • It needs a motor vehicle to move it.
  • It is essential to use it in camping.
  • Parking and installing it takes a little longer than the motorhome or campervan.
  • Bring a trailer (sometimes large), its driving is somewhat more complex.

Advantages and disadvantages of a campervan:

  • It has a motor, making it more independent than the caravan.
  • You can park where you want (it is not mandatory to spend the night at a campsite).
  • Driving is easier than towing a caravan.
  • The campervan allows you to carry another trailer, so you can carry even more luggage than with the caravan.
  • Is more expensive.
  • Space is much more limited than in the rest of the options.
  • Services such as the kitchen and the bathroom are much more complicated than in the other cases.

Types of caravans

Within the caravans, there are also different types. Among the conventional caravans, you can find shorter or longer models (there are caravans of 10 meters long) and with different widths, with an axis or two, but always with an interior height that currently tends to be between 190 and 200. cm, which allows you to move through them easily.

There are also light caravans, small in size and low in height (less than two meters high from the ground), which reach up to four places, are less than four meters long and can be stored in a conventional garage space. The drawback is the reduced interior height, but they have a popup pop-up roof that when deployed reaches 198 cm.

Recently, folding caravans are making a comeback, with the most ingenious models, which unfold across the width, height, or on all sides.

In recent years, small caravans with an aerodynamic shape are reappearing, inside which there is a large bed with drawers and holes where to store all kinds of objects, and a kitchen in the back (which is accessed from the outside) to the open a gate similar to the fifth door of a car. 

They are the mini caravans or teardrop, which take this name because of their teardrop shape. Due to their small size and lightweight, they are ideal for easy circulation and storage in a parking space.

Types of campervans

Within the motorhomes, there are three types: the most classic is the capuchin motorhomes, which on the cabin carry a part of the cabin destined for a double bed. This makes them somewhat more spacious, but also heavier and taller.

The profiled motorhomes are more modern models, where the “hood” that the capuchins have on the cabin is replaced by an aerodynamic profile where a tilting bed or a storage space can be housed. This makes them lighter and lower in height.

Integral campers are built on the same cabin, they do not use the van cabin, but the entire structure is that of the motorhome and the driving space is integrated into the rest, which makes it more spacious, more aerodynamic and with a larger windshield, with the full width of the vehicle.

Similarities between a caravan and a campervan

Having already explained the fundamental differences between a caravan and a campervan, now we have to talk about the similarities between the two vehicles. The common part of both vehicles is undoubtedly the cabin where you will sleep, cook and spend time while travelling. 

The truth is that in terms of basic functions we could say that they are equal since both vehicles usually have one or more beds for the occupants, a kitchen to prepare food to your liking and a living room to relax on the sofa. In addition, these vehicles have windows and skylights to ventilate the cabin to cook without smoking or to enjoy the breeze on extremely hot days (although these vehicles are well insulated against cold and heat)

Purchase of caravans and campervans

There are countless places where you can buy or rent a caravan or campervan, but you have to be smart and know how to use it to make a good choice. Buying any of these vehicles has a high cost and although as we mentioned before, the caravan is cheaper and you can find models for the same price as a second-hand vehicle. 

There are also cheap campervans but you have to go to old models in which it is necessary to have knowledge of maintenance and mechanics so as not to be constantly passing through the workshop.

 If you are thinking of acquiring one, you can search in specialized stores or on both new and second-hand internet portals and surely after many hours of searching, you will find the vehicle that best suits your needs.

Rental of caravans and campervans

If what you are really looking for is to rent one of these vehicles to spend a few days on vacation or take a long trip back home, the best option in these cases is usually to rent. It is cheaper than buying one and can save your vacation on more than one occasion. You have to know how to find a place where they rent us cheaply and in good conditions. 

One of the biggest drawbacks when renting these vehicles is usually the conditions and the insurance they offer us since in many cases they do not adjust to the coverage we need although we always have the option if it is a temporary period, take out insurance for a few days or a few weeks to be able to enjoy the trip with the best coverage behind the wheel.

Final conclusion

We are sure that after this article comparing the differences and similarities between a caravan and a campervan if you were thinking of renting or acquiring one, you will know how to decide on the vehicle that best suits your needs and budget in order to enjoy it and get the most of your getaways or trips.

If you have any thoughts, comments or questions about the content, please let us know!

FAQ What is the difference between a campervan and a caravan?

What is a camper?

A campervan is a self-propelled vehicle that serves both for sleeping and for travelling. The fundamental difference with lifelong campers is that they have been conditioned from the original vehicle, customizing the interior according to the purpose for which it is to be used.

What is a motorhome?

The concept of a motorhome applies to vehicles built with a special purpose for the transport and accommodation of people. This means that everything or that serves for autonomous transport – serves as a properly propelled vehicle – and accommodation is a motorhome.

What is better: a campervan or a motorhome?

Although there are exceptions, most motorhomes are better equipped than a camper van. … In addition, they also have more storage space (the trunks of motorhomes are usually huge), and almost all motorhomes have a bathroom and shower, something that many campervans do not.

How tall is a camper?

Camper van-type vehicles tend to be around 6 meters long, although it must be differentiated from the style of Volkswagen California, which are usually smaller and narrower than the rest of the models.


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