The decision between a motorhome or caravan can be a difficult one if you’re wanting to tour the UK and Europe. We have travelled across Europe in both a motorhome and a caravan. In this article I’m going to use that experience to give you all the information you need to decide which recreational vehicle is right for you.
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In researching this article I was quite surprised by what some people were saying about caravan travel compared to travelling in a motorhome. It became quite obvious to me that while they may be experienced in motorhome or campervan travel, they had probably never spend any time in a caravan. My goal is not to sell you on one or the other, but to make sure that you have accurate information so that you can make the best choice for YOU.
If you’re interested, I’ve shared our campervan to motorhome to caravan story at the bottom of this article and you can jump to it first it you want. Otherwise, lets get to answering the question: Which is better to have, a motorhome or a caravan?
- 1 What is a motorhome?
- 2 What is a caravan?
- 3 Pro’s and con’s of buying a caravan
- 4 What are the pro’s and con’s of owning a motorhome
- 5 Let’s compare the pro’s and con’s of caravans to motorhomes
- 6 How do I choose between a caravan and a motorhome?
- 7 Should I buy a motorhome or caravan?
- 8 Our journey from campervan to motorhome to caravan
- 9 In conclusion: motorhome or caravan?
- 10 Other articles you may find useful
- 11 Don’t forget to save this article for later
What is a motorhome?
A motorhome is a type of recreational vehicle whereby a living space if built onto the chassis of a truck, bus or large van. A motorhome has it’s own engine and is drivable, so you have one solid structure. Inside the motorhome you’ll have all the features that make like comfortable. These include a kitchen, a toilet and/or bathroom and shower, a lounge or seating area, table, and a bed.
Different classes of motorhomes
For practical purposes, there are different classes of motorhomes. Motorhomes fall into the classes of Class A and Class C.
Class A motorhomes
Class A motorhomes are larger. They are usually longer and come with all today’s mod cons. The larger a motorhome, the more facilities it will have, because there is more space. For example, a large motorhome may have a separate bathroom that contains a shower. The kitchen will most likely have a larger fridge, or an oven.
A Class motorhomes are usually between 7.5 and 9 meters (25-29 ft) long in Europe. In America they can be much longer and larger overall. Most A class motorhomes will weight anywhere from 3500kg to 6000kg, (7700-13000 lb). In reality they could be even heavier if they’re bigger.
Class C motorhomes
Class C motorhomes are smaller and more compact motorhomes. They are usually between 6 and 7.5 meters (19-25 ft) long. They’ll usually sit under or around the 3500 kg (7700 lb) maximum weight amount. These smaller motorhomes will still have a lot of the features of the larger ones, but not all. You may have guessed that that’s due to their smaller size.
Smaller motorhomes can be equally as luxurious as larger ones just in a more compact body.
You may have noticed that I use the words ‘usually’ and ‘generally’ a lot. That’s really because there are no hard and fast rules. While there is a lower limit to the size of a motorhome, there is no upper limit. When a normal van is used to house the recreational vehicle, it is no longer a motorhome, it is a campervan, the motorhomes little sister. Going up from this point though, almost anything is possible.
This article really isn’t about campervans, which are living quarters built into the body of a normal van, or larger model car. Campervans are recognized as Class B vehicles. They are shorter, usually under 7 meters (23ft) and narrower than motorhomes. There is substantially less space inside when compared to a motorhome.
I’m not including a great deal of information about campervans in this article. They are quite different in a lot of ways to both classes of motorhome. The question of Motorhome or caravan or campervan becomes a lot more complex. I’m making the assumption that you’re after something a little larger and more spacious for your living quarters. If that assumption is incorrect you can read my article on the differences between campervans and motorhomes. That article and this one should give you enough detail about all three options that you can make a decision.
What is a caravan?
If a motorhome is a recreational vehicle (RV) that has an engine and you can drive, a caravan is essentially an engineless RV that needs to be towed. Apart from a couple of practicalities, that’s pretty much the difference, from a physical standpoint. There are a few definitions of a caravan but essentially it’s a vehicle equipped for living in that is typically towed by car and used for holidays.
As with motorhomes, a caravan contains a kitchen, or kitchenette, bed/s, a bathroom and or a toilet. It really depends on the size of the caravan as you can have anything from tiny light weight caravans, that are almost like tents with wheels, right up to luxury caravans that look like buses. The larger the caravan, the more spacious the interior and the more facilities it will have.
There are two categories of caravan’s, static caravans and touring caravans. This article is solely focuses on touring caravans which are designed to be towed around behind a car. A static caravan is built onto a base and once in place it will rarely, if ever, be moved. Static caravans are the caravans you’ll see at camp grounds that are there permanently. They’ll often have gardens and a fence around them.
Touring caravans need to be towed. You will need a towing vehicle that is capable of towing the weight of your caravan. Most cars can easily tow a caravan that weights 1400-1500 kilograms. When you start to get into the larger, heavier caravans however, you might find your car can’t tow it.
Pro’s and con’s of buying a caravan
|Cheaper than motorhomes||You may need to do additional driving test if your car and caravan weigh more than 3500kg combined|
|Size for size they have a more spacious interior than motorhomes||You are not required to insure but if you don't you could be out of pocked|
|UK residents do not need to MOT or tax a caravan||Size and maneuverability can make wild camping difficult|
|You have a car or vehicle to get around||Take longer to park and level|
|You are not legally required to insure a caravan||Caravan garages are smaller than motorhome garages|
|The caravan itself has lower running costs than a motorhome, but of course there are running costs for the car||Driving can be difficult at the best of times, and downright challenging in rain or wind|
|Often better insulated than motorhomes||You can't use French Aires for overnight stays|
|Potential for remote controlled positioning||Do not have grey or waste water tanks|
|Potential for a tent connection||Caravans depreciate in value faster than motorhomes|
|There can be less storage but you also so have space in the towing vehicle|
|You may need to buy a new car too|
What are the pro’s and con’s of owning a motorhome
|Access to the back from the cab so you don't have to get out||Needs a MOT and is taxed|
|One vehicle to worry about||Legally required to be insured, if you live in it you'll need
full time insurance
|Depreciates less than a caravan||Large motorhomes may not fit at all camp grounds|
|Faster initial set up time on arrival||Must pack up every time you need to go somewhere like the
shops unless you have another mode of transport
|Can use French Aires||Cannot easily access European cities or rural areas|
|Can wild camp easily||May need to do additional driving test for vehicle weighing
more than 3500kg.
|Can tow a trailer|
Let’s compare the pro’s and con’s of caravans to motorhomes
Ok, I’ve briefly outlined the pro’s and con’s of each, but what does that really mean? And how does that affect your trip? Lets discuss them.
Which is cheaper: motorhome or caravan?
Caravans are cheaper upfront
The initial outlay for a caravan is much cheaper than buying a motorhome. This is often still true even if you need to buy a new car to tow the caravan! Motorhomes are just flat out expensive. If we assume you’re buying a caravan in the UK for example, you can expect to pay anywhere from £30,000-£40,000 ($41000-$55000 USD) for a newer model luxury caravan.
In the UK, a new high end Class A motorhome will set you back anywhere from £65000 to £110000 ($90,000-$150,000 USD). So you can see that even if you wanted to buy a nice caravan, you’d still have enough to buy a car to tow it before you hit the upper expense of a large high end motorhome.
An important factor to consider is the depreciation of a caravan compared to that of a motorhome. If a caravan depreciates 15% every year on average, in 10 years it’ll be worth a fraction of what you paid. If you want to replace it you’ll be buying the new one with your own money and not the trade in or sale value of your old one.
The good news however is that if you want to buy a nice second hand caravan, you get get one that’s only a few years old for a lot cheaper than the newest model.
A motorhome on the other hand hold it’s value quite well, only depreciating around 5% annually. That’s one of the reason you’ll often see old motorhomes still selling for good money. If you wanted to sell, you’d get a decent portion of your money back.
General Running Costs
I’ve seen people say that the running costs of a caravan are cheaper than a motorhome. I think that’s misleading. The running costs of a motorhome or caravan are essentially the same. The gas and electricity used to power the kitchen and heating or air conditioning are the same for the two, assuming equal sized vehicles.
The difference in the costs comes when comparing the motorhome to the tow vehicle.
Maintenance and repairs
Generally speaking, a motorhome has higher maintenance costs due to it’s size, compared to a car. If a motorhome breaks down it can cost more to repair than a car would.
Insurance and taxes
As a caravan doesn’t have an engine, in most countries they are not considered drivable vehicles and don’t incur things like road taxes. In the UK you won’t need to pay road tax or have a MOT done on your vehicle for the same reason.
Motorhomes, as a driving vehicle are required to have insurance. At a minimum you will need third party driving insurance. On top of this, you will also want to insure against theft and damage. If you live in your motorhome, you need to have full time insurance, rather than just having it insured for when it’s in use. This can be quite expensive, especially for large motorhomes.
Caravan’s on the other hand, as non driving vehicles do not have a legal requirement to be insured. In most countries, a caravan attached to a car is covered under the insurance of the car. If not, I’d highly recommend that you at least have third party insurance. If you have a nice, high end caravan I would also insure the caravan itself against theft or damage.
There’s not much point just considering the caravan, you will need to factor in the tow vehicle. The car will need to be registered and insured as is legally required in Europe and the UK. You will have to pay any applicable road taxes on the car. These however are all usually a lot less than insurance and taxes on a motorhome.
Tolls, ferries and road taxes with a motorhome or caravan
This area is a little vague as each country has different requirements and classifications as you travel through Europe. In general, however
- In many countries tolls are cheaper for a caravan than for a motorhome. If you use toll roads with a motorhome, larger motorhomes will be classed as trucks and end up paying more.
- When using ferries, such as between the UK and France, if you cross with a car and caravan you’ll end up paying for two vehicles. This can be more expensive.
- Many countries require you purchase a vignette, which is essentially a road tax payment, to use their motorways. When towing a caravan, most countries only count the tow vehicle, so you only have to pay once, not twice.
Size, maneuverability and driving skills
Size and maneuverability of a caravan or motorhome
When a 7 meter (23 ft.) caravan is being towed you’ll need to factor in the length of the car. Your entire length now goes from 7 meters to somewhere between 14 and 16 meters (46-51 ft.) That is long.
Maneuvering, steering and especially reversing a vehicle combination of this length is difficult. You’re not only contending with the length. You’re also having to navigate the connection point between the caravan nose and the tow bar. This acts as a hinge, just to complicate things.
When talking about the size and maneuverability of a motorhome, you do need to make some distinctions between class A larger motorhomes and Class C smaller ones. Obviously the larger the motorhome the more space it takes up and the greater the difficulty in driving it.
One thing you won’t have to contend with when you drive a motorhome is the hinge effect in the center that you have with a caravan and car combination. When driving a motorhome you’re driving one solid piece. That doesn’t mean that it’s nimble or agile however. Another enormous solid vehicle is a bus. I’m sure you’ve seen or experienced a bus trying to navigate an unusual situation. Think of a bus trying to turn a tight corner in a city, or navigate around an accident. It’s not easy either.
Driving motorhomes and caravans
Depending on the size of your caravan and car, you may need to upgrade to a license to one that will allow you to tow a weight over 3500 kg (7700 lb). I would also highly recommend some driving lessons with an instructor. It helps to have someone who can teach you how to drive while towing a large trailer.
Bad weather makes it even more difficult to tow a caravan. Rain can make the road slippery, and wind can push your hinged caravan all over the road.
Driving a motorhome may also require a license upgrade. This is most likely if you have a large motorhome that weights over 3500 kg.
Driving a smaller C Class motorhome is easier than driving a large motorhome or caravan.
Remote controlled positioning
One of the things I hear a lot of people saying about caravans is that they’re so difficult to park, or difficult to maneuver into a tight space. The reality is that if you’re driving them, as in it’s still connected to your car and you’re still travelling, then the chances are you are not going to spend a lot of time reversing or trying to fit into small spaces. That would be unnecessary.
However, when you stop for the night, it doesn’t have to be difficult at all. You can get a caravan that has a remote control which you can use to drive the caravan into position.
If we’ve ever needed to maneuver into a tight space we simply disconnect the caravan in the open and then drive it into position. It’s a lot easier because you’re standing beside it, guiding it into place.
Using camp grounds, French Aires and wild camping
As a general rule, the bigger a motorhome or caravan is, the harder it will be to find places to park it. This can even be true in paid camp grounds who often do not have many, if any extra large plots. If you can’t fit a caravan and a car on a site, many camp grounds also have car parks. This means you’ll have to walk to the car rather than having it nearby.
One area of difference is wild camping. It’s a little easier to park a motorhome, maybe even quite a large one, inconspicuously in a forest or on a mountain. With a caravan and car set up you obviously have to park both.
The other challenge with wild camping is that it’s not always 100% legal and if you need to move on quickly, it can be easier to do that with a motorhome than with a caravan, especially if you’ve had to disconnect them to fit into the space.
One advantage to motorhoming is that French Aires often don’t accept caravan’s.
Packing in and out
You’ve bought your touring caravan or motorhome, you’ve managed to drive it all the way to your first location and you stop. Now you have to get it in place and set it up.
Time it takes to set up a caravan or motorhome
One of the things I’ve seen a few articles say is that caravans have such a long set up time compared to motorhomes. At first, I wholeheartedly disagreed, however after discussing it with my partner, he reminded me of the reasons it does take longer. He also reminded me why I wouldn’t remember… because I usually walk the dog while he does it! I take her to pee and stretch her legs after a long drive and when I come back the caravan is ready, like magic.
Steps needed to set up a caravan
- Park in or close to the spot
- Disconnect caravan from tow vehicle
- Maneuver caravan into place by pushing it or using a remote control to drive it into position
- level the caravan – this can take a little longer because you’re using either your physical strength to push or the remote control which has limited power.
- put the legs down
- Build out your awning – caravan awnings are not usually built in, they are a an attachment that you’ll need to roll out and connect legs too. You then need to secure your awning with guide wires or ropes.
- If you’re not putting an awning out you can use a tent for long stays
Steps needed to set up a motorhome
- Park in your spot
- Level the motorhome. This is done by driving it up level steps. Some motorhomes have automatic levelers.
- Put the stabilizers down
- Roll out your awning. Motorhomes generally have an inbuilt awning. You simply use a utensil to quickly roll it out and put the legs down.
Where I think caravans can definitely take longer is if they have a tent set up out the front. The tent. The tent takes time. We have both an awning and a tent. Tent’s are useful if you have small children. We use our tent if we’re sitting somewhere for more than 2 weeks and usually only in the winter. We do this because we have dogs and they can have a bit more space while staying dry and protected from the wind.
Tent’s can take 2-3 hours to put up and pull down. Yep, that’s longer.
Running errands or sight seeing
While you’re travelling it’s not just sight seeing that you’ll be doing, you’re also living in your motorhome or caravan, and that means you’ll want to do things like go to the supermarket. Other times you might need to leave the place you’re camped is if you need to go to the mechanic, or out to eat for example.
One of the areas where a caravan really outshines a motorhome is in the ease of being able to run a quick errand or just go out for the day. All you need to do before you leave is make sure your anything of any value is locked away in the caravan. Once that’s done you’re ready to jump in your car and leave.
The other huge benefit of having a car is that you’re able to head into rural areas and cities. Having a giant motorhome or caravan on tiny dirt roads is a challenge. Parking in a city or busy area is also really difficult. With a car however, you have much more flexibility with regards to where you can go and the ease with which you can go there.
One thing that I really love about motorhomes is that you have access from the cab of the motorhome through to the back. Some motorhomes don’t have this, but most will. This means that you never have to get out when you stop, say, if the weather is bad. You can also quickly duck back to get a drink from the fridge or use the toilet. In a caravan you have to get out, unlock it, etc etc.
When it comes to running errand with a motorhome, you have two options.
The first option is that you have to pack everything up before you go so that you can drive your motorhome away. This means taking in any awnings, and packing away anything that you have outside of your motorhome such as chairs and tablets and leveling equipment. If you’re staying somewhere you trust, or that is safe, you may be able to leave these items out. We stayed at the camp grounds of a lovely couple in Romania with our motorhome We always left our furniture in our spot. Other times, you’ll want to take it with you.
Not only do you have to pack up the outside, you need to pack up the inside. Any cups or dishes need to be stored, cupboards and doors closed and locked. Sink and stove covers locked down. Everything has a place and it will need to be in it before you can drive off. Once everything is packed away you’re ready to go.
Option 2 is that you have back up transport. This could be bicycles or motorcycles. If you have these and you’re comfortable and confident on them then you can use them to go to the shops or out to eat. You could also use them to explore more rural areas and cities if you’ve found somewhere nearby the park your motorhome safely.
Living and storage space
Meter for meter, a caravan will have more living space and be more spacious than a motorhome of the same length. Why? Because they don’t have a cab up the front. The space that is necessary to drive the vehicle, the seats, the dash board, the engine, all become unusable space.
Remembering that I said meter for meter, if you have a 7 meter motorhome, about 2 meters (or more) of the front end is unusable. The first meter is the engine block and the second are the seats. So you have around 5 meters of living space. With a caravan, you lose about 1 meter from the A frame, or the triangular part at the front that connects to the tow vehicle.
Internal storage space
There seems to be the idea that caravans have less storage space, but that’s not been our experience. A caravan with a decent layout should have just as much internal storage space as a motorhome. Storage space in both can be found absolutely everywhere. Aside from a number of cupboards in and around the kitchen and bathroom, there is often overhead cupboards. Storage space can also be found under lounges and beds too.
Most motorhomes and caravans will have a large clothes cupboard. Clothes cupboards may have a hanging wrack, but to keep the weight down you’ll usually have to buy plastic or fabric shelving that you hang in the cupboard to hold your folded items.
External storage space
I’m calling it external storage space mainly because you access it from outside, it’s often still inside the motorhome or caravan.
A caravan has both a front locker and a garage. A front locker is at the front of the caravan, behind the A frame that connects the caravan to the tow vehicle. It is where the gas bottles are kept and offers a small amount of space for storage.
A motorhome doesn’t have a front locket, but usually has a larger garage than a caravan. The garage is usually at the back. A larger garage means you can store more items such as outdoor tablets and chairs as well as bicycles.
A payload is the weight of the items that you’re allowed to add to a caravan or motorhome that will take it to it’s maximum allowable weight. If your caravan weighs 1500 kilograms empty, and has a maximum allowable weight of 1700 kilograms, your payload is 200kg. This is actually a lot, in reality the average payload on a caravan is 160kg. Everything that you add, from kitchenware, the clothes, to your dogs food, the bicycles, all of it has to weight less in total than the payload.
Motorhomes generally have larger payloads than caravans so you can squeeze more into them before you’re approaching the maximum allowable weight.
It is possible to have both caravan’s and motorhomes altered so that you can safely and legally carry extra payload.
- Motorhomes usually have a decent sized waste water tank whereas caravans don’t have one at all. This means a motorhome is collecting the grey water, and need to park over a waste water drain to dump it. These waste water dumping areas are easy to find and always available at camp grounds. There are two options for dealing with waste water in a caravan. Either you use a giant tub under the outlet to collect the water and carry it to the drain to empty, or you run a hose to a drain and it will drain continuously. This last option is not often available as you’re usually too far away from the drain and your hose would be crossing other people’s plots.
- If you are getting a caravan because the idea of being able to access cities easily then it’s important to consider the ‘Green Zones’. In western Europe in particular, and certainly more and more around historical ancient cities, Green Zones have been set up to reduce carbon emissions. Your car will need to meet certain emissions criteria and you’ll need to get a sticker to confirm your greenness.
- Some countries seem to prefer motorhomers over caravanners. Now I haven’t been to France in a motorhome or caravan but my understanding is that it’s really set up for motorhoming and some places won’t accept caravans. I can tell you however that in my experience I’ve never had a problem being ‘with caravan’. It’s been no different in any way for us and I have seen many many other caravan owners, all through Europe. Even a few with bus sized luxury caravans who’ve managed just fine.
- Some people suggest that caravans are more of a target for thieves. It’s true, if you disconnect your caravan and just walk away then there is nothing stopping someone else from reconnecting it to their car and driving off. And that’s why no one does that. There are locks that you can put on the hitch head (the bit that connects to the tow bar). Hitch Head locks are a very effective anti theft device. There are also many other options available to you to secure your caravan should you be worried, as there are with motorhomes.
How do I choose between a caravan and a motorhome?
Stopping vs sitting – what’s your travel style?
Do you want to go somewhere and park your motorhome or caravan for a few weeks with very little movement? Or do you intend to tour around, moving regularly and seeing the sites?
A caravan is great for a long stay, because once you set it up you can leave it and use the car to explore the local surrounds. We often move the caravan once a week or so, but use the car to drive out to different places daily. If you’re planning on moving to a new camp site every day, a caravan is doable but a motorhome would be better.
What kind of places do you want to visit?
If you plan on going quiet rural or spending time in the cities then a caravan and a car are a much better option than a motorhome. If you have a motorhome you’ll need an additional transport method like a bicycle, motorbike or to use public transport. Motorhomes are notoriously difficult to park in cities and built up areas. You might find yourself parked down a dark back alley far away from the thing you wanted to see.
What’s your budget?
This one is kind of an important one. Don’t forget it’s not just the original cost, it’s the insurances, the taxes, etc etc. Caravan’s are definitely cheaper, by far.
How confident are you with driving?
It’s important that you’re realistic here. Of course, if you’re not confident about driving a caravan you could always BECOME confident by hiring an instructor and practicing, but you want to work that out before you’re about leave the driveway. If you’re a really nervous or even just inexperienced, consider whether or not you’re comfortable with towing a caravan.
Where do you want to stay at night?
If you want to stay at paid camp grounds then both a motorhome or a caravan are perfectly suitable options. If you want to spend more time wild camping, a motorhome may be a better option as you can store your waste water and park more inconspicuously. You can also use cheaper options like French Aires, which you may have trouble doing in a caravan.
Should I buy a motorhome or caravan?
After all that, the truth is that I can’t tell you! You really need to decide for yourself because you’re going to be the one living it. I have however explained everything that you need to know in order to make the decision so I’m hoping that you’re a lot clearer on your decision by this point.
If you’re still really not sure, the best thing that you could do would be to hire a motorhome or caravan and take a road trip to try them out. Take some time to choose a hire model that is almost exactly what you think you need so you can really experience it and take it for a test run. There’s no better way to work out which is best for you. That’s how we came to be proud caravan owners!
Our journey from campervan to motorhome to caravan
How did we end up with a caravan? Well, it was through trial and error.
A camper car – the smallest campervan
Our first experience of campervan travel was in Australia. We were living in the Netherlands and returned to Australia to see family and attend my best friends wedding. My friend got married in a different state to my where my family live, so we decided to fly up, but hire a campervan and take 4 days to drive back down. It’s a 12 hour drive, so we could have done it in one day but I wanted to show Ben some sites on the way.
We hired a camper car, essentially a car with a bed in the back. It wasn’t so bad, we ate out, spend the days exploring and climbed into bed at night. For 3 nights it wasn’t so bad except that the bed was a little short for Ben who is 6’2″. He had to sleep curled up. We had a great trip down and were happy enough with our tiny campervan.
New Zealand in a campervan
When we decided to spend 5 weeks in New Zealand we upgraded from our tiny camper car to a mid sized campervan. We knew we needed more space this time, plus we wanted to cook ourselves so we needed a kitchenette. I also wanted to freedom, or wild camp so we needed to be self contained which meant having a toilet on board.
We had an incredible 5 weeks in New Zealand but knowing that we were going to be doing an ongoing trip through Europe, we took note of a few things.
- We wanted permeant beds, we didn’t want to have to pull it out every night and in every morning.
- A slightly larger kitchen to cook would make a lot of difference
- We generally wanted a bit more space to move around
Luigi or old Italian motorhome
When we first got to the Netherlands, we were spending time with family and friends and looking for our ideal campervan or motorhome when Ben found and bought Luigi. He was old, but in pretty good condition inside, nothing a little spruce couldn’t fix.
We loved Luigi and toured across Europe, through Croatia, Hungary and Romania and back with him. We were sad to see him go but we decided to sell him because our experience with him showed us what we really needed for Europe.
Like many small motorhomes, Luigi had two raised beds that you could reach by climbing a ladder. The problem was that the beds were very narrow for us. Ben is a large guy and at night he gets really hot. I couldn’t keep far enough away from him to not ‘overheat him’ in such a small bed so we ended up sleeping separately the whole time.
We also had to sit separately. We had a permanent table and two bench style seats but they were also fairly narrow so we couldn’t sit side by side. We’re not particularly lovely dovey but being constantly separate began to feel more like we were friends.
Our fridge in Luigi was still too small to comfortably fit enough fresh food and meat for us both.
One night in Croatia, in the middle of summer, we all slept outside because Luigi didn’t have air conditioning and it was just too hot. Even if I could have slept through the heat, I couldn’t listen to my dog panting so hard. Two days after this we left for Romania where the temperatures were a little lower, especially at night.
The final issue was the thing that pushed us from motorhome to caravan. The issue was that we found it difficult to park the motorhome when we went to places. I love history and old cities. We don’t have the same kind of history in Australia (we do have a history and our Indigenous history is wonderful if you ever get the chance to learn about it) but what we don’t have 1000 year old cities and historical monuments.
Personally, we couldn’t ride bicycles there are our only dog at the time was old and couldn’t run beside us. Leaving him in the motorhome for a few hours also wasn’t an option. We adopted him when he was 9 and he had severe separation anxiety so we had no choice but to pack up the whole motorhome each time and try to park it somewhere safe. We just found this really frustrating. Not only the parking but also packing everything up constantly.
It was also difficult sometimes when we had to park so far away from the place we wanted to see because Whiskey (our dog) would get so hot and tired walking so far to get there. We would sometimes walk an hour to get somewhere before we even began sight seeing.
All combined, it lead us to a caravan.
We very boringly call the caravan “The Caravan” but we have come to really love it. It has everything that we wanted. We have a large bed and a huge U shaped leather lounge that turns into a second large bed if we need it. The kitchen is fantastic with lots of bench space and a large fridge. We did have a decent sized oven until the glass on the door shattered and it seems it can’t be replaced…
What we also love is having the car with us. It is so freeing so just jump in the car and go somewhere. Parking is easy everywhere and we never have to worry about leaving it in some dark alley far from where we want to be, like we sometimes did with Luigi.
Although Whiskey has since passed away and we don’t need to factor him in (we still have our younger dog, Alisa), it’s nice to park closer to things and spend our time on seeing the things that we want to see.
We can visit the old cities, drive into cities and drive down tiny rural backroads. When we’re done, we come home to the spacious caravan with it’s great air conditioning and heating that got us through a -14 degree winter and we’re happy.
In conclusion: motorhome or caravan?
Honestly, it’s up to you and I hope that you find the one that’s right for you because when you do, travel becomes so much easier and stress free.
Other articles you may find useful
- Campervanning Europe – The Ultimate Guide
- What are the differences between motorhomes and campervans?
1 thought on “Motorhome or caravan? Which is better for touring Europe?”
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