Select Page

¿Campers Vs Motorhomes Vs Caravans?

When Livy and myself were chatting one evening, talking about what we wanted in life, she told me the story of when she was young, she imagined herself living in a ‘bus’. Obviously, at the time, she didn’t particularly understand why, but it was just what she wanted to do. Although a bus would give us plenty of room, it’s not exactly practical! At the time, all I could think of was a motorhome. Neither of us knew anything about them, but when we sat down and had a Google we both instantly fell in love. Then, we fell into the digital nomad and living autonomously ‘rabbit hole’ and our path was set.

We didn’t particularly care how the motorhome looked. We just knew that, as it was going to be our home, it needed a couple of essential things.

  • Heating
  • Kitchen
  • Fixed Bed
  • Shower
  • Toilet

Now there was just one decision to be made!

Campervan, Motorhome or Caravan? It’s a decision we spent far too long making, wasting precious time trying to figure out what would be best to suit our needs. That time could have been spent exploring and enjoying life.

Although it’s a big decision, be it for getaways or full-time living, the choice you make will impact your life in one way or another. Each has advantages, but each also has its disadvantages. There is no right or wrong answer. It simply depends on what you think will work best for you. They will all give you those precious moments in life that you’ll remember forever, so why wait so long to make the decision?

So lets take a look at the options…

Campervan

The idea of campervans dates back to the early 20th century, when the first ones were built in the US and Europe. Initially, they were designed for families who wanted to take road trips, but over time, campervans have become much more sophisticated and now come in various sizes and styles with modern amenities.

They are versatile vehicles that can be used for a wide range of purposes, making them a popular choice for travel and adventure enthusiasts. Whether you’re planning a road trip, embarking on an outdoor adventure, or seeking a unique way to travel, a campervan can offer the perfect solution. One of the primary benefits of traveling in a campervan is the flexibility it provides. Unlike traditional travel methods, where you’re tied to a specific schedule and location, a campervan allows you to go wherever you want, whenever you want. Having a fully equipped living space on board allows you to sleep, eat, and relax comfortably while on the road, without the need to worry about finding accommodations or restaurants. This freedom to explore at your own pace is what makes campervan travel so appealing to many people.

For outdoor enthusiasts, a campervan is an ideal way to transport all of your gear and equipment to your favorite destinations. Whether you’re into hiking, fishing, or biking, a campervan provides ample storage space for all of your equipment, as well as a comfortable place to relax and unwind after a day of activity. With the ability to park in remote locations, campervans offer a unique opportunity to experience nature and the outdoors in a way that other forms of travel simply cannot match.

For families, campervans offer a fun and unique way to travel together, creating memories that will last a lifetime. With a campervan, you have all the amenities you need to keep everyone happy and comfortable, including a kitchen, bathroom, and sleeping quarters. Children especially love the novelty of sleeping in a campervan, which can add an element of excitement to any family vacation.

Solo travelers also love the freedom and independence that campervan travel provides. With no set schedule or itinerary, solo travelers can explore the world on their own terms, discovering new places and meeting new people along the way. Campervan travel is also a great way to get off the beaten path and discover hidden gems that may not be accessible by traditional forms of transportation.

Finally, with the rise of remote work, campervans have become a popular way for people to travel while working on the road. With a campervan, you can work from anywhere, while enjoying the beauty and freedom of the open road. Many campervans can be equipped with Wi-Fi, making it easy to stay connected to the internet while on the move. This combination of work and travel is an exciting prospect for many people, allowing them to combine their love of adventure with their professional aspirations.

In summary, campervans are great for a wide variety of purposes, from family vacations to solo travel to remote work. With their flexibility, comfort, and versatility, campervans offer a unique and exciting way to travel and experience the world. Whether you’re a seasoned traveller or a first-time adventurer, a campervan can provide an unforgettable experience that will stay with you for a lifetime.

Our Thoughts On Campervans

During our thought process, we seriously considered a campervan. They are ideal for being able to pretty much park wherever you want, even having the ability to ‘park’ and stay overnight in larger cities. The problem we found was the space. The campervans are great for most things, but we needed a ‘Home’ on wheels, and we were thinking of those rainy days when you have no choice but to stay inside. Were we going to start feeling claustrophobic?

The other problem we faced was that, here in Spain, new campervans aren’t much cheaper than a full sized motorhome, which our budget just couldn’t reach. We really considered buying a van and then converting it ourselves into a campervan, but when you calculate the cost of a van plus the time and materials needed to convert it, that unfortunately just wasn’t feasible for us either.

Campervan Pros:

  1. Flexibility and freedom to travel wherever and whenever you want, without being tied to specific schedules or locations.
  2. Provides a comfortable and convenient home on the road, with all the amenities needed for a comfortable and enjoyable trip.
  3. Offers a unique and exciting way to explore the outdoors, with ample storage space for gear and equipment, and the ability to park in remote locations.
  4. Perfect for family vacations, providing a fun and unique experience that can create lifelong memories.
  5. Ideal for remote work, allowing people to work from anywhere while enjoying the beauty and freedom of the open road.

Campervan Cons:

  1. Cost: some larger campervans can be expensive to purchase or rent, and maintenance costs can also be high.
  2. Size: some larger campervans can be large and difficult to manoeuvre, especially in urban areas or tight spaces.
  3. Limited amenities: while most campervans come equipped with basic amenities, they may not have all the luxuries and conveniences of a traditional home or hotel.
  4. Limited space: living in a campervan means living in a smaller space, which may not be suitable for everyone, especially those who require a lot of personal space.
  5. Fuel mileage: campervans may not be the most fuel-efficient vehicles, which can make them expensive to operate over long distances.

Motorhomes

The history of motorhomes dates back to the early 20th century, when automobiles were becoming more affordable and roads were improving. In the 1910s and 1920s, wealthy individuals began to commission custom-built vehicles that combined transportation and living spaces. These early motorhomes were essentially converted trucks with a small cabin attached to the back that included a bed and a stove. In the 1930s, manufacturers began to produce motorhomes on a larger scale. The first motorhome with a self-contained water system was built in the early 1940s, and after World War II, the popularity of motorhomes began to grow rapidly. In the 1950s, manufacturers such as Winnebago and Airstream began to produce motorhomes in larger numbers, and the industry continued to expand throughout the latter half of the 20th century.

One of the main advantages of motorhomes is their ability to provide a home away from home, no matter where you go. With a motorhome, you have the flexibility and freedom to travel wherever and whenever you want, without being tied to specific schedules or locations. This makes them a great choice for road trips, especially if you want to visit multiple destinations. Unlike traditional travel, which can be expensive and often involves staying in hotels or eating out at restaurants, a motorhome provides an affordable and convenient way to see the world.

Our Thoughts On Motorhomes

Motorhomes were the first things we looked at when we thought of a ‘Home on wheels’ and we both instantly fell in love with them. They are literally a ‘Home’ on wheels. They have everything you could possibly need, including a full kitchen, dining/office area, separate bed, and, most importantly, a shower and toilet. Unfortunately for us, they were very much out of our price range. We did come very close to buying a used motorhome, but when it came down to signing the dotted line, the showroom had changed its finance policy the week before and could no longer finance a motorhome that was older than ten years old, which again put it out of our reach.

Motorhome Pros:

Pros:

  1. Convenience: With a motorhome, you have everything you need to travel and live on the road in one vehicle. You don’t need to worry about finding accommodations or restaurants, as you have your own bed, kitchen, and bathroom with you.
  2. Mobility: A motorhome allows you to be mobile and explore different destinations without the hassle of packing and unpacking. You can easily move from one location to another without having to worry about moving your belongings.
  3. Customization: Motorhomes can be customized to suit individual needs and preferences. You can choose the size, layout, and amenities that work best for your lifestyle.
  4. Adventure: A motorhome allows you to embrace a sense of adventure and explore new places. You can experience different cultures, landscapes, and lifestyles in a way that is not possible with traditional travel.
  5. Family bonding: Traveling in a motorhome can be a great way for families to bond and spend quality time together. You can create memories and shared experiences that will last a lifetime.

Motorhome Cons:

Cons:

  1. Cost: Motorhomes can be expensive to purchase, and ongoing costs such as maintenance, fuel, and insurance can add up quickly. Additionally, parking and campground fees can also be a significant expense.
  2. Size and maneuverability: Motorhomes are typically larger and less maneuverable than cars, which can make them challenging to drive in certain situations. It can be difficult to navigate narrow roads, tight parking lots, and steep inclines.
  3. Maintenance: Motorhomes require regular maintenance and upkeep, including oil changes, tire rotations, and general repairs. These costs can add up over time.
  4. Storage: Storage can be a challenge with a motorhome, as there is limited space to store belongings. This can be especially challenging for long-term travel, as you may need to bring items for different seasons and activities.
  5. Limited access to some locations: Some places may not be accessible to motorhomes due to size restrictions or other limitations. For example, some national parks and campgrounds have size restrictions, and some cities have laws that limit where motorhomes can park or stay overnight. This can limit the places you can visit and may require additional planning and research

Caravans

The history of caravans dates back several centuries. Nomadic peoples used caravans to transport goods and possessions across vast distances, using animals such as camels and horses to pull the vehicles. Caravans were also used by traveling merchants and traders to transport goods to market. In the early 20th century, caravans began to be used as recreational vehicles for camping and travel. In the United States, trailers and travel trailers were popularized in the 1920s, and by the 1930s, they had become a common sight on the country’s highways. In Europe, caravans became popular after World War II, as people sought inexpensive and flexible ways to travel and vacation. Over the years, caravans have evolved to become more comfortable and convenient, with modern caravans featuring amenities such as kitchens, bathrooms, and air conditioning. They are now a popular choice for outdoor enthusiasts, families, and anyone who wants to enjoy the freedom of the open road while still having a comfortable and convenient living space.

Today, there are many different types of caravans available, including fifth-wheel trailers, teardrop trailers, pop-up trailers, and more. With their versatility and convenience, caravans continue to be a popular choice for people who love to travel and explore the great outdoors.

One of the main advantages of caravans is their ability to provide a comfortable and convenient living space. With a caravan, you have a fully equipped living space, complete with a bed, kitchen, and bathroom. This makes caravans a great option for people who want to enjoy the great outdoors without sacrificing comfort. Caravans provide a mobile living space that can be taken wherever you want to go. This means you can travel to multiple destinations without worrying about finding accommodations or restaurants along the way. Whether you’re exploring national parks, visiting friends and family, or just going on a road trip, a caravan provides a comfortable and convenient way to travel.

In addition to short-term travel, caravans are also a great option for people who want to live on the road for an extended period of time. Whether you’re a retiree looking to explore the country or a digital nomad who works remotely, a caravan provides a mobile home that can be parked in one place for an extended period of time. This allows you to enjoy the benefits of living on the road while still having a comfortable and convenient living space.

Caravans are a cost-effective option for people who want to live on the road or travel frequently. Compared to traditional housing or hotel accommodations, caravans provide a much more affordable living space that can be used for extended periods of time. This can be especially beneficial for people who are on a tight budget or want to save money while traveling.

In summary, caravans are a versatile and convenient option for people who enjoy camping, travel, long-term living, family vacations, or cost-effective living. With their mobility, affordability, and convenience, caravans provide a unique way to explore the great outdoors while still enjoying the comforts of home.

Our Thoughts On Caravans

After way too much time and thought, the caravan turned out to be our chosen starter ‘Home on wheels’. It’s not the first choice of many digital nomads, as the flexibility just to hit the road and travel is maybe not so easy with a caravan, but the space caravans possess as well as having all the facilities you’d find at home made us feel like it would be most beneficial to us.

While there are many free or low-cost mobile home facilities in Spain where mobile homes and campervans can spend up to 72 hours, many of them are not equipped for caravans as they often require being plugged into mains electricity. However, this is not necessarily true nowadays with the help of solar generators, which we will discuss further in another post.

As you can see from the graph above, there really isn’t much separating the three main contenders. Although our thought process might and probably will differ from your own, it still shows why we went through so much turmoil and wasted time trying to decide which was best for us.

We still don’t know if we’ve made the right choice, as our adventuring is only just beginning, but if nothing else, we would have gained memories and experiences we had only dreamed about before.

Travel History

We would love to write and tell you about every town we visit but unfortunately, time doesn't always allow us to do so. Although, you can follow us on PolarSteps where we add every town we visit, with pictures and a little snippet of what you'll find.

Countries

Towns

Continent

blog posts

Our Maps

Do you want to discover some of the best places to park your home on wheels? If so, you will love our interactive map below!

This map shows the caravan-friendly places that we have personally visited and enjoyed. 

We are always on the lookout for new places to explore, so we update this map regularly as we continue our adventure.

 

But we also want to hear from you. We want to know about the places that you love, the ones that make you feel at home, the ones that take your breath away. So please share your experiences with us in the comments section below. Tell us where you have been, what you have seen, and what you have learned. We would love to hear from you and maybe even visit some of the places you recommend.

We hope this map helps you plan your next caravan or motorhome trip. Whether you are looking for a relaxing getaway, a scenic drive, or an adventurous journey, we are sure you will find something that suits your taste and budget.

Happy travelling!

Blog & Recent Travels

Discovering Teruel: Spain’s Off-the-Beaten-Path Gem

Discovering Teruel: Spain’s Off-the-Beaten-Path Gem

Discovering Teruel: Spain’s Off-the-Beaten-Path GemIn the heart of Spain, away from the well-trodden tourist paths, lies the hidden gem of Teruel. This enchanting province, a part of Spain's off-the-beaten-path, is a treasure trove of stories, culture, and...

Day 121…Back In Our Old Home Town

Day 121…Back In Our Old Home Town

In this heartfelt blog post, we share a glimpse into our lives and the adventures that unfold on our journey. Not much traveling happened this past week, but we had the delightful company of 12 adorable Maine Coon cats, which brought joy and playful chaos into our...

%d bloggers like this: