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Campervans v Motorhomes

Campervans v Motorhomes - What's the difference?

Campervans and motorhomes are terms that are often used interchangeably. But what's the difference? And does it matter?

If you're considering buying a leisure vehicle please read on as we discuss the main differences between campervans and motorhomes.

Campervans v Motorhomes - Size and Shape

The most obvious difference between campervans and motorhomes is the external shape and size.

Campervans are typically converted vans, so they have an outwardly 'van-like' appearance (think the GMC Vandura used by the A team, or Scooby Doo's The Mystery Machine). The driving cab in a campervan is usually part of the living space. Motorhomes on the other hand are purpose built for life on the road. With a longer wheelbase, motorhomes are generally much larger (and taller) than campervans and the driving cab is usually separate to the living space.

Campervans v Motorhomes - Facilities and Comfort

Undoubtedly life is more comfortable in a motorhome. Most motorhomes have fitted beds and their own washroom and toilet, so once you've parked up there's very little left to do except pour yourself a drink and light up the BBQ. Given their smaller size, most campervans don't have space for a bathroom (which is fine if you're happy to use campsite facilities), and come bed time you'll probably have to fold out tables and pop up covers to transform your living space into a bedroom.

Being purpose built, modern motorhomes are designed with comfort in mind, with lots of mod cons like air conditioning units and blown air thermostat heating. Generally, campervans are converted to suit the needs of their individual owner, which may or may not be the same as yours (again, think of the A team!).

Campervans v Motorhomes - Driving and Maneuverability

Driving is easier in a campervan. Anyone can drive a campervan on a standard UK driving license, however if your motorhome weighs more than 3.5 tonnes (depending on your age) you may need to apply for a category C1 or category C license.

The larger size and weight of motorhomes also makes them harder to maneuver (especially for novices) and more expensive in terms of fuel. Parking can also be an issue. Whilst 'van-size' campervans can fit into standard parking spaces, larger motorhomes might not. Narrow country roads and low bridges may also prove problematic for some motorhome owners!

Campervans v Motorhomes - Finding a campsite

There are plenty of campsites that will happily take campervans, caravans and motorhomes. However, some smaller sites may not have the hardstanding pitches that are necessary for larger, heavier motorhomes.

As we've already discussed, it can also be easier to get off of the beaten track in a campervan.

Campervans v Motorhomes - Price

Given that campervans are usually smaller than motorhomes with fewer facilities, they are often cheaper to buy. Of course, there are exceptions. Vintage VW campervans and new high-end conversions can cost as much, if not more than, a basic motorhome.

There are also the running costs to think about. Smaller, lighter campervans tend to cost less to run.

Campervans v Motorhomes - Which is better?

It’s really not a question of which is better, rather, which would better suit your needs.

If comfort and facilities are your main concern, motorhomes win hands down. But if exploring and spontaneity is more your thing, a smaller more maneuverable campervan is the winner.

Here at Sedgemoor Caravans in Somerset we have a great selection of campervans and motorhomes for sale and our friendly team are always on hand to answer any questions. Please get in touch to arrange a visit.

Find out more about the benefits of buying from a motorhome dealer.

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