Motorhomes vs. Caravans
Buying a motorhome or a caravan is a big investment. Choosing which is best for your lifestyle isn’t always easy either – but there are a few things on which most people seem to agree.
I’ve tried to explain these in this article, based on my experience of owning both a motorhome and a caravan. Any thoughts or comments are more than welcome.
When you are on holiday, do you:
- Like to go straight to your destination (a camp site) and then stay there for at least a week, possibly just taking short day trips out?
- Like to tour around, stopping where you like, moving on after a night or two and having the freedom to use all of Europe’s motorhome parking facilities?
If A, then a caravan might be the ticket – once you are on site, you will have the freedom to drive around in your car without having to pack up camp.
If B, then a motorhome might be better – but remember that you will be driving around in something much larger than a car and will have to pack up everything each time you drive off.
When driving on holiday, do you:
- Have more than 3 passengers?
- Want to be able to use the bathroom and kitchen without any setting up, external accessories or winding down of legs?
If A, then remember that although there are motorhomes with 5 legal, safe, travel seats (including the driver), your choice will be limited by this requirement. Caravans are better as all your passengers are accommodated in the car – as normal.
If you voted B and want to be at home while you are on the move, however, a motorhome is superior. Everything is built in and ready to use – all you need to do is step into the back. It’s ideal for lunch breaks and rest stops in lay-bys and motorway services.
Neither are cheap hobbies, but caravanning can be done a lot more cheaply than motorhoming in my experience.
- Motorhome are very expensive to buy, although depreciation is slow.
- Caravans tend to depreciate more than motorhomes but are much cheaper to start with.
- Caravans don’t need insurance, MOT, road tax or as much mechanical servicing.
- Caravans don’t require you to own two vehicles – most family cars will tow a small-medium sized caravan. (You can have a motorhome as your only vehicle, but this restricts you to small vans only, in practice).
If cost is an issue, you can set yourself up with a caravan much more cheaply than with a motorhome, especially if you can park it on your own property.