So just to make clear with the following article, this is strictly a comparison of campervans and motorhomes. With regards to what exactly is meant by a campervan, the people who use that term most often are referring to a small luxurious small van which has a fully functioning kitchen/bath setup plus some additional features like showers. However there is more to campervan than that. In particular there are a lot of recreational uses for campervan and caravanning.
Benefits of Campervans and Caravans
The benefits of a campervan or caravan really do come down to three key benefits which we shall look at now. First of all these vehicles allow you to enjoy your own home away from home in a way that regular house parties simply can’t match. This in particular is a massive benefit for anyone considering taking up winter touring as it allows you to free yourself from being tied into any place for too long, even if only part of it.
Secondly a campervan or caravan enables you to take camping very quickly indeed, and by ‘quickly’ I mean that you can leave and return home without having had to get up and packing everything again. Whereas many camping options will require you to store a certain amount of equipment in order to have a viable camping space, with a caravan you are basically taking away that hassle. And thirdly it can save you money on accommodation over the duration of your camping trip, because when you arrive at your campsite you won’t need to hire a car in order to park it. A further bonus is that a campervan or caravan comes with its own cooking equipment so you won’t have to bother with bringing along expensive camping cookware to keep warm!
Disadvantages of Campervans and Caravans
On the downside, there are a few disadvantages that you’ll need to consider before going down this road. One of the most apparent is that campervan and caravans aren’t available on some beaches and bodies of water. If you do happen to find one however, you may find that you must pay for access, meaning that this is something that you need to check out with your travel company before you go. It’s also worth noting that because campers generally aren’t as street legal as standard cars, they’re not as road legal on some roads. For this reason it’s a good idea to ask your travel company before booking your campervan or caravan what sort of driving and insurance they have available.
Another major disadvantage of hiring a campervan or caravan is that although you’re able to drive in most parts of the UK, there are some areas that you may not be able to drive on foot. The majority of campervan and caravan hire companies offer a ‘use your own’ option whereby you can hire the vehicle on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. If you do choose to use your own vehicle then it’s worth bearing in mind that many of the larger companies offering these services do not actually have a garage facility on site. That means if you have any problems with your vehicle while it’s parked you will need to get it looked at by a garage which can be quite expensive. For those of you planning a longer holiday it may be better to book your accommodation nearer to where you’ll be arriving on-site so that you can avoid having to pay to park.
Another major disadvantage of renting a campervan or caravan is that towing a caravan or vehicle is expensive. Not only is the actual cost of the towing process itself more expensive but if you add in other costs such as road tax, road maintenance and fuel charges then the total can end up being very high indeed. This is especially true if you’re using a larger campervan or caravan.
Renting a campervan or caravan on-site rather than staying in a hotel or B&B adds very much to the cost of your holiday. The reason for this is because you will be sleeping in an open camping space, so the actual temperature of the area in which you’ll be staying is significantly lower than most hotels. As well as providing you with a warm living space to relax in the afternoons, it also makes it much easier to select the type of food you prefer as eating out can become a problem in the winter months.
The fifth gear on the list of disadvantages of renting a campervan or caravan combination is the size of the van. A two-door spacious van compared to a four-door or even a six-door spacious van can be a complete waste of money. It’s important to note that there are now several fifth gear type vans on the market which are much smaller than the traditional vans which are available from Mercedes Benz, Audi and BMW. These type of fifth gears generally come with many extra features not present in regular vans.