For many people, the choice between a caravan and motorhome is clear-cut. However, some people may find their needs aren’t as well defined, and the choice comes down to weighing up the pros and cons of each option.
- The key benefit of a caravan over a motorhome is that the towing vehicle can be separated from the caravan. This allows you to explore a new location without the burden of extra weight, size and articulation. This also makes heading into town for supplies much less stressful.
- Your driving vehicle (when detached) is much smaller than that of a motorhome.
- When a tow vehicle needs repairs, you can still use the caravan while you wait, and vice versa.
- Caravans are generally less expensive to purchase than motorhomes, especially where the tow vehicle is not a factor in its purchase. You therefore get more space per dollar.
- A caravan can be more of a target for thieves, especially if separated from the tow vehicle. There are various options available to help eliminate this issue such as a coupling lock or an anti-theft GPS tracking device.
- They carry on average less than a motorhome so packing and storage needs more consideration.
- In rough weather or when buffeted by passing trucks, a caravan not fitted with an anti-sway device or ESC system can potentially sway dangerously.
- A motorhome is a single, rigid vehicle. This makes motorhomes easier to drive for beginners, particularly in bad weather and, save for very large examples, they’re much easier to reverse park.
- Motorhomes tend to be more comfortable and often have more space than caravans; although converted vans can be relatively compact, at the top end, converted buses can be palatial, especially those with slide-out sides.
- Many different motor home configurations are available, some making accessing the toughest of terrain possible.
- If you are towing a caravan or camper behind your tow vehicle, clearly you can’t tow anything else – unless you are a motor home. Touring Australia with your boat in tow is actually a real possibility.
- The purchase price of a motorhome – and in the case of converted vehicles, the conversion price, can make motorhomes far more expensive than caravans. They can cost as much as a house.
- Additionally, due to the unique nature of the vehicle, motorhome insurance can be more expensive than that of caravans and typical towing vehicles.
- If the motorhome’s engine needs repairs, the whole vehicle has to go into the shop, potentially leaving the whole family in a motel.
- A motorhome is a purpose-built vehicle, unlike a regular towing vehicle; it’s not practical for commuting and shopping day-to-day.
There’s no clear winner, as each option has its fair share of pros and cons. The choice between a caravan and motorhome has to be based on your preferences. Often it will come down to budget and whether or not you must factor the purchase of a towing vehicle into the equation.
If you want the best of both worlds, perhaps you should consider a fifth wheel caravan.