Campervan VS Motorhome – Which One Is Better?

Campervan VS motorhome – which one to choose? If you’re planning on going camping any time soon, this is probably a question you have already asked yourself. Both recreational vehicles are similar to each other. But how do you decide which one is the best choice for you? 

Your choice of RV will greatly depend on what you plan to use it for, how many people you have to accommodate and where you plan to drive it. So definitely consider the following before coming to a final decision. 

In this article, we take a closer look at campervans and motorhomes, compare the advantages and disadvantages of both types of vehicles, and hopefully help you decide which one is the better choice for you. 

What is the Difference Between a Campervan and Motorhome?

Both of these vehicles serve essentially the same purpose of being a mobile home. People use these vehicles as a place to eat, sleep and relax when going camping or out on the road. There are, however, some crucial differences between them. The most noticeable one being that a motorhome tends to be much bigger than a campervan. Alongside this, there are also some key differences in regards to features, interior and available space.  

What is a Campervan?

Campervans are built on a van chassis with a modified interior. In general they are shorter and thinner than motorhomes and have much less headroom. In essence, a campervan is a van which has been converted to include a range of facilities. The most recognisable campervan was the classic Volkswagen

To compensate for the lack of headroom, many campervan owners install an expanding roof which can be propped-up when parked. In addition to allowing more headroom, this can also provide additional sleeping space. Another popular choice is installing an awning. 

Due to the smaller payload in a campervan, you can’t have as much storage. Plus, you might need to make adjustments to the interior. For example, you might need to have seating which can be transformed into a bed for the night. 

Standard campervans often feature essentials such as fold-out or pop-up beds, a sink, stove, fridge and storing cupboards. However most of them do not have a portable toilet or built-in shower. 

Campervan Advantages:

  • Campervans are light and therefore easy to drive on the road and manoeuvre when parking.
  • You could generally use a campervan as a daily or commuting vehicle.
  • You can access the majority of wild camping areas with a campervan.
  • Due to their aerodynamic form, campervans are fuel-efficient.
  • Keeping a campervan warm is quick, easy and cheap.
  • Insurance cost for campervans tends to be relatively low.
  • There is a wide choice available, especially if you go for a van under 3,500 kilograms.
  • Most campervans are the same height as a large car, so few height restrictions apply.

Campervan Disadvantages:

  • Space can be limited as campervans are no longer than 7 metres.
  • Design options for campervan layouts are restricted which can prevent further modifications.
  • A campervan might require additional insulation which can take up valuable space inside. 
  • If you’re a family of four or more, you may find family trips to be a tight squeeze.
  • Vans aren’t fitted with a bathroom so you’ll have to rely on campsites having suitable facilities. 
  • External storage is also limited, so you’ll need to be careful not to bring too much equipment on your trip.

What is a Motorhome?

A motorhome has a caravan-style living space which is constructed on top of an existing chassis. Compared to a campervan, it’s a much taller, broader and in general a larger vehicle. 

Normally, there is a divide between the living area and the cab. However, this is removed in many of the modern motorhomes. The design of a motorhome means it can be used as a travelling vehicle with a self-contained living area.

The facilities inside a motorhome usually include a ‘proper’ kitchen with cooking amenities, a bathroom, and often fixed beds. In general motorhomes are a lot more roomy and come with most of the comforts of a normal home, including a shower, air conditioning and a TV. 

Motorhome Advantages:

  • Different size options for motorhomes allow these vehicles to be suitable for families of all shapes and sizes. 
  • Motorhomes have considerably more living space than the majority of other mobile homes. 
  • The insulation on motorhomes tends to be of a good standard. 
  • The large size of a motorhome means it can be fitted with a separate shower and toilet. 
  • Sleeping quarters tend to be spacious and the longer wheelbase allows for different layouts to the living area.
  • There is lots of external storage so you can bring plenty of outdoor equipment with you.

Motorhome Disadvantages:

  • It can be hard to manoeuvre such a large vehicle, especially if you want to drive along windy roads to remote camping sites.
  • You might need a C1 driving licence for larger motorhomes, as some of them weigh over 3.5 tonnes. 
  • Larger motorhomes can be quite pricey so if you have a limited budget you might have to compromise on some space or features.
  • Wild camping might be more difficult due to the size of your vehicle.
  • Motorhomes use up fuel relatively quickly which can result in higher running costs.
  • You may run into issues with height restrictions, particularly with larger motorhomes that also have an over-cab. 

If you would like further information about both campervans and motorhomes, the expert team here at Venture Caravans is here to help! Get in touch for trustworthy advice and recommendations today!

Campervan VS Motorhome – Final Verdict

So what is the conclusion on the campervan VS motorhome debate? Should you get a campervan or motorhome? Well the answer will greatly depend on your needs. 

If you have a tighter budget and won’t need to accommodate more than two or three people then a campervan would be the better choice for you. They are cheaper in general, more fuel-efficient and take up less space on your drive as well. If you’re planning family road trips with a couple children, then you would benefit from the extra space in a motorhome. 

Here at Venture Caravans, we offer both – motorhomes and caravans, in various sizes and capacities. If you have any questions about our vehicles or need help choosing the right one for you, don’t hesitate to contact us! Fill out the contact form or give us a call, our friendly team will be happy to help!


This blog was written by Dave Brown. Dave is a Director of his family business which began in 1971. He has a wealth of experience in this sector starting as a workshop apprentice straight from school in 1982. Married with two children, Dave has been an enthusiastic Rugby player since the age of 8, only retiring this year. He will now spend more time travelling in his VW Campervan and watching his favourite team, the Northampton Saints.