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Campervan vs Motorhome: How Do You Decide?

September 14, 2023
Motorhome insurance

Choosing between a campervan and a motorhome is no easy ride. They both make excellent camping companions but for different reasons, so we’ve put together this guide to help make your decision smoother.

Line of motorhomes

Campervan vs motorhome. Which is best?

It’s tough to say with certainty whether a campervan or motorhome is better for you. Either can fulfil a long list of requirements but in different ways. Before we dive into the hows and whys, here’s a summary of what we’ll cover so if you want to jump ahead, you can.

1. Campervan vs motorhome • What’s the difference between a motorhome and a campervan?
2. Pros and cons • Pros and cons of a motorhome
• Pros and cons of a campervan
3. Protecting your pride and joy • Motorhome and campervan security
• Campervan and motorhome insurance

What’s the difference between a campervan and a motorhome?

There are many obvious similarities between a campervan and a motorhome, but there are also many differences. For a start, a campervan tends to be much smaller than a motorhome, with more basic facilities for sleeping, cooking and washing - often just a folding bed, sink, fridge and gas hob, or two.

A motorhome is much more of a home on wheels, with more space and facilities, including kitchen appliances, a bathroom and, depending on size, a number of sleeping berths and a sizeable living space.

What are the pros and cons of a motorhome?

  • Capacity: motorhomes come in many sizes so you can choose whatever capacity you want – go large and you can accommodate a lot more people than a campervan.
  • Space: a motorhome has more room than a campervan, so you’re less likely to be packed in like sardines.
  • Bathroom facilities: ranging from simple to luxurious, a motorhome will usually have a shower and toilet on board as a minimum.
  • Kitchen: you could have an oven, grill, up to four hobs, a fridge and sometimes even a freezer, depending on the size of your motorhome.
  • Layout: more space also means some level of separation between the sleeping quarters, living space, kitchen and bathroom. Impossible in a campervan!
  • Cost: motorhomes typically cost more due to their size and facilities, although a small motorhome and a superior campervan may be closer in price.
  • Manoeuvrability: What you gain in space, you can lose in flexibility. Narrow winding roads or low bridges could pose problems for a longer, taller motorhome.
  • Campsite choice: not every campsite will be able to accommodate a motorhome, particularly a larger model.
  • Fuel efficiency: very simply, the bigger and heavier the motorhome, the more fuel it will need.
  • Licence requirements: if your motorhome is over 3,500kg, the law requires you to have a C1 entitlement on your driving licence .
  • Maintenance costs: as a motorhome has more integrated appliances as well as an engine, there’s potentially more to go wrong and to pay to put right.

What are the pros and cons of a campervan?

  • Cost: a campervan will usually cost less than a motorhome, being smaller with more basic facilities.
  • Flexibility: being smaller and independent from external power sources makes it much easier to find a pitch or camp by the side of the road in a campervan.
  • More compact: a campervan is easier to heat, cheaper to maintain and more manoeuvrable than its motorhome cousin.
  • Versatility: a campervan can double as the everyday car, giving you two vehicles in one. Some have removable middle seats you can remove depending on the number of passengers.
  • Better fuel efficiency: lighter-weight and smaller, a campervan is more fuel-efficient than a motorhome.
  • Restricted living: fun though it is, campervan life requires effort. You usually have to pack away your bed to make way for living space or to access storage.
  • No bathroom: a campervan is highly unlikely to have a toilet or shower unless it’s been converted to include them.
  • Limited space: even with a pop-up roof, a campervan can rarely accommodate more than three or four people max, and that’s tight.

Protecting your campervan or motorhome

Regardless of whether you go for a motorhome or campervan, thinking about security and storage are major considerations, particularly with motorhome and campervan thefts on the rise.

A motorhome may be more challenging to protect as they are harder to store (simply owing to their size) and can’t double as the family car, meaning it could spend a lot of time sitting on the road or driveway. You may want to think about more secure motorhome storage options , such as a dedicated storage site. A campervan is easier to leave on the street or driveway, especially if you’re using it every day.

Investing in additional security features   will not only make it harder for your motorhome or caravan to be stolen, they could also save you money on your insurance premiums.

Insuring your motorhome or campervan

While security plays an important part in protecting your vehicle, comprehensive motorhome or campervan insurance will give you peace of mind that you’re covered for every scenario.

To understand how much it might cost to insure your campervan or motorhome, read our cost of motorhome insurance   or cost of campervan insurance  guides.

With InsureMy, you can compare quotes from specialist insurers and get the lowest price guaranteed. Get a quote for campervan insurance or motorhome insurance in less than two minutes today.

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