Motorhome vs Caravan

Discussion in 'The Beginner' started by Winston_C_4ever, Apr 5, 2009.

  1. Winston_C_4ever

    Winston_C_4ever Deleted User

    well we've been arguing between us for some time whter or not to get a caravan or a motrohome. any ideas here please?:Wink:
     
  2. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

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    Here is my point of view. It is taken from an article I wrote for a friend who was considering purchasing a MH. Obviously, others will have different opinions, but this will get you started.

    Firstly, decide whether you want a motorhome. This may seem an odd question, but if your usage is limited to the UK and you want to stay on one campsite for a whole holiday, you will be better off with a caravan. You can buy a new caravan and tow-car for less than a good three to four-year-old German A-class. The UK is relatively motorhome unfriendly and lacks the aires that are found throughout the continent. The UK does however, have small 5-van sites for members of the Camping & Caravan Club and the Caravan Club. These usually charge £5-£10 per night. Once over the Channel the picture changes and the motorhome is king. Caravans are not the first choice.
    So if you have jumped the first hurdle, you must next consider how and when you will use your motorhome and how many people you need to transport and sleep. For example, if you are outdoor types, you may want to trade-off lounging comfort for storage and sleeping space. Alternatively, if you want space to watch TV or just ‘chill’, then you will probably put a higher priority on large settees and plenty of sitting space. Are you more likely to tour with short stops where you rely on the van for everything, or go to a fully-serviced campsite and pitch for several days? The former will place greater importance on the shower room whilst the latter means you will have access to showers, laundry etc.
    If you intend to travel extensively on the continent it is worth considering a left-hand-drive vehicle. It is much easier to get used to LHD in the UK where you can compensate for the right-hand or offside blind-spot than it is to drive RHD ‘over there’. Being on the ‘wrong’ side of a large vehicle in a strange road system may be harder to come to terms with. To make life even easier, a LHD motorhome with automatic gearbox is an ideal choice, even though you will lose a little in fuel consumption. But if that small difference is important, you probably should reconsider the whole subject anyway. Expect to get 23-28 mpg of diesel provided you take it steadily. There are reports of people getting 30 mpg or more, but I would not rely on achieving that. N.b. large US RVs manage around 8-16 mpg (petrol-diesel).
    Go to shows, read magazines, join forums and visit a lot of dealers. Some dealers have outstanding reputations, others have been the subject of extensive ‘forum moaning’. Make sure you feel really comfortable with any dealer before you buy. They should make time to help you and be prepared to answer a lot of questions. You will probably have to go back to them with questions and to get a few things fixed after purchase. But you do not have to use them for servicing, unless you have a new van with warranty conditions attached.

    Philip
     
  3. upmarkethippy

    upmarkethippy Read Only Funster

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    I will say I am a tugger!!
    My reason for this configuration: When the caravan is parked up on site it costs me no more than the rent, Motorhome on the other hand costs you rent, insurance, tax and yearly an mot.
    When I am parked up I have the use of the tow vehicle for work, shopping or site seeing. Motorhomes must be packed up before going anywhere, unless you have a toad, then you will have second lot of bills.
    A large caravan is accepted in most campsites where as a large m/h, r/v are sometimes froned upon, charged more or even turned away.
    This is only my reasoning for having a caravan, many others will have there own reasons for what they use/live in. The only way to know for sure is to try. either hire or buy a caravan, do a long trip then do the same with m/h then r/v. only then will you know what suites you better.
    Happy decision making and then hunting.
     
  4. Kon tiki

    Kon tiki Read Only Funster

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    It really is down to a personal choice where you would need to choose what would suit you. I personally prefer the freedom of a motorhome, I nearly always wild camp something that you can't do on the continent with a caravan. As a previous poster said if your idea is to stay on a site for most of your trip then maybe a car + caravan is the best for you. For me a MH holiday is more of a journey where we are never sure where we are going. Often people we meet on our travels will often influence where we go to. Maybe you should post the question on a Caravan based forum as well to get a balanced view.
     
  5. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    personally i think you should buy a caravan.......THIS ONE

    :Blush::thumb::Wink:
     
  6. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Motorhome = get up and go.

    Caravan = stay put for days and days.
     
  7. andyman

    andyman Read Only Funster

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    Having done both, the motorhome wins hands down. No unhitching when you arrive on site, no waste or water tanks to mess with.

    But I would think about what you intend to use it for. We spend a lot of weekends away at M/H shows and steam fairs, so you limited facilities. I find this is where a M/H comes into its own. If you want seaside holidays will need to decide if you want a site within walking distance of the beach or are you going to drive each day. I use mine like a car, we have owned in now for 18 months and have been allover. We go to the supermarket in it and have toured devon and cornwall without problems.

    Andy
     
  8. tink

    tink Read Only Funster

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    why not go for a 5ver & have the best of both worlds:thumb::Wink:
     
  9. jaygee

    jaygee Funster

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    My husband & I have debated this question for the last 2 years - we have swayed one way then the other, looked at caravans and then motorhomes then back to caravans, finally we have bitten the bullet and gone and bought our first motorhome!
    We have had caravans in the past and really fancied the convenience of a motorhome but were not (and still am not) sure about the inconvenience of having to up sticks and take the motorhome with us if we want to go out for the day or shopping etc... or visit a large town.
    However we will be taking bikes so will have to use them more and probably if we go off in the motorhome for the day we would visit another place to stay that night so would end up travelling around and seeing a lot more!
    If we really don't like it then we'll sell the MH and buy a caravan!
    One point we found is that Motorhomes are lots more expensive than caravans!!!!
     
  10. Bulletguy

    Bulletguy Read Only Funster

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    Hmmmmm......i see an awful lot of motorhomes with little 'get up and go' which have a tendency to 'stay put' for months on end, let alone days!

    Seriously though it's down to an individuals needs. I've had both and there is pluses and minuses with caravans or mh's....you need to look at what it is you want to use it for.

    My caravan was 20ft long and my car was 15ft, so when towing i had an overall length of 35ft. Unlike a motorhome, when reversing a caravan you also have to 'reverse' your brain...not so easy as reversing 35ft of mh or rv which works in exactly the same sequence as a car. My campervan is just 15ft....simple to park, reverse, and is in daily use as well as holidays. Easy enough to go to the supermarket without causing any mither.

    If touring, a motorhome can be on the road in seconds.....a caravan needs to be hitched up plus checks made to ensure electrics are connected ok and gas is switched off.
     
  11. Bulletguy

    Bulletguy Read Only Funster

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    All depends on the size. A 20footer will fit in most supermarket parking bays.

    Yep........all motorhomes have an engine, gearbox and transmission.
    Caravans don't!
     
  12. peterspark

    peterspark Deleted User

    :thumb:HI HAVE THE BEST OF BOTH BUY A 5 TH WHEELER THAT WHAT WE HAD DONE LAST YEAR WE WANTED A FIXED BED FOR US AND MORE ROOM ,OUR 5 TH WHEELER 26FT SLEEPS 6 HAS A GOOD SIZED KITCHN FULL USA FRIDGE ,AIR CON,GOOD BATHROOM AND THE SIDE COMES OUT ABOUT 3FT WHICH THIS A BED COME SOFA OUR BED THIS A KINGSIZE , WE ALL READY HAD APICKUP L200 ,SO WE YOU GET TO THE CAMP SITE JUST DROP OFF THE 5 TH WHEELER AND YOU HAVE THE USE OFF THE CAR AGAIN ,NOT LIKE A MOTOR HOME IF YOU NEED THE SHOPS:Rofl1:
    WE HAD A CARAVAN BEFORE OUR 5TH WHEELER AND WE NEEDED MORE SPACE ,HOPE THIS HELPS PETER:thumb::thumb:
    QUOTE=Winston_C_4ever;144525]well we've been arguing between us for some time whter or not to get a caravan or a motrohome. any ideas here please?:Wink:[/QUOTE]
     
  13. peterspark

    peterspark Deleted User

    [/quote]
     
  14. takeaflight

    takeaflight Read Only Funster

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    Having started with a caravan and changed to a motorhome. I found a world of difference with the attitude of other drivers. With the caravan it seemed everyone wonted to pass you, even when it was dangerous to do so. Quite often I would be cut up and it always felt that no one would give way and of course lorry drivers hated you, to-gether with Top Gear presenters. All this I found made for uncomfortable driving, the worst I can remember was Brighton town center at rush hour.
    Of course it may be my imagination but it feels just the opposite when driving the motorhome even though I nearly always tow, either a 5 mtr car trailer or a box van, other road users don't appear to mind my presence, giving way, not trying to over take on narrow lanes etc etc.

    However once on site apart from fetching and carrying water and all that palarvour the caravan was better for living in. Would I go back to a caravan ? No but if I still had it I may be tempted to site it in France and let the family use it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2009
  15. haganap

    haganap Funster Life Member

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    A MOTORHOME OF COURSE:thumb:
     
  16. Blisters

    Blisters Read Only Funster

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    Having done both, we agree with most in as much as it depends on what you intend on using it for and where. just a little something else to consider, whilst M/H are dearer to run if your Budget is say 15K the depreciation on a motor home would be much less, so proberbly cheaper in the long run
     
  17. WillH

    WillH Funster

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    We caravanned for 20 years and last year made the switch to a motorhome. It dawned on us that now the children no longer came with us (they're 29 now) instead of spending a week here and then moving on for another week our pattern had changed. We were spending one or two nights at each site, maximum four nights, before moving on.

    The MH lends itself to that, so, you must try and figure out what you are going to do. Only this weekend at a CAMRA social I was talking to a tugger and we agreed that we toured differently.

    As for sitting on the drive, some do, ours doesn't, 8500 miles in the first year and almost 2000 so far this year.

    Best of luck anyway and enjoy whatever you do go for.

    Rgds
    Bill
     
  18. Caztur

    Caztur Funster

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    I've done both motorhomes and caravans, (as well as tents, folding campers and trailer tents). At the moment I have a small caravan.

    I found that motorhoming didn't work very well with children, they wanted to stay on sites for a while and go for days out. They didn't understand the concept of visiting places en route. They wanted to be like their friends who's parents had caravans, and were mortified when we got lifts to the shops or beach etc in other's towcars so we could leave the motorhome set up on site.

    They aren't tidy and organised so "packing away" to go off site was a real chore.

    Now they're growing up and camping isn't cool so soon I'll be going back to a small motorhome of some sort because I find the chores of steady winding, hitching up, fixing extra mirrors on, rolling aquarolls about etc are a load of faffing I can do without.

    It really is a case of one man's meat being another's poison - one size doesn't fit all, and the only way to find out which you prefer is to try it.
     
  19. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    hmmm.. are 5vers not just big caravans .. pulled by big trucks ..?
    can't see the mh connection ..
     
  20. Bulletguy

    Bulletguy Read Only Funster

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    Neither can i really. Basically an rv sized bodyshell less engine and box.

    Saw one for the first time last week on the road travelling up the M6. Big...very big, with lots of chroming and decals. I certainly would not fancy dragging one of these things through a town centre or around country roads! Could easily end up with a lot more than just 'egg on yer face'!
     
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