Motorhome vs Caravan | Everything I Wish I knew Before Buying One

Choosing between a motorhome or a caravan is particularly difficult when you are doing this for the first time, both have its own advantages and disadvantages. 

One thing is for sure is that motorhomes comes at a higher price specifically for those that go over the weight limit than caravans, however, caravans also cost just as much, particularly for those who need a more capable towing vehicle. And, as far is insurance is concerned, it comes optional for caravans while it is a must for those who own motorhomes. 

Each has their own distinctions, like the amount of space, maintenance and various features which you will surely love during your trip. 

I am here to help you with this difficult decision, let us break down what is better for you a Motorhome or a Caravan!

What is a Caravan?

 A caravan is a recreational vehicle usually towed by another vehicle used for camping or some would actually use it as their second home. It can be equipped with appliances and other home amenities for your convenience.

What are the advantages of owning a caravan?

  • You can take your kids and your friend with you on your camping trip
  • You also have the choice of a smaller caravan if there’s only a few you going camping
  • Convenient
  • Offers more space for other things that you would like to bring
  • Easier to set up and pack
  • Flexible

What are the disadvantages of having a caravan?

  • You may not access some roads and campsites due to large vehicle regulations when using larger caravans.
  • Increased fuel consumption
  • Steep and narrow roads can’t be accessed
  • Needs larger garage or shed
  • May not have full home amenities depending on the size of your trailer and your set-up

What are the different types of Caravan?

There are a whole lot of different types of caravans to choose down. We list down all of the different types of caravans here to narrow down your choice:

Conventional or Full Caravan

These caravans are the most common ones. They vary in length up to 10 metres, have solid four walls and a full height roof. These caravans are very easy to set up, have a decent amount of storage space and are great in any weather. Depending on how you set up the inside, it can sleep 6-8 people which is perfect for a small family. It can be installed with televisions, air conditioning systems and other appliances and can be either a single axle or a double axle.

Pop Top Caravans

These caravans weigh less than the regular caravan. Although similar, it isn’t as high as a regular caravan the roof can be popped up to give you more space. These caravans are smaller than the regular caravans but are easier to pack up since you can just tuck in the pop up roof when storing and won’t need a higher garage or shed.

Pop-out Caravans

These caravans are larger than the Pop Up Caravans which are more suitable for large families. They have pop-out compartments to give you additional space for sleeping and also storing.

Tent Trailers

Tent trailers are trailers attached with a pull out tent for additional space and best fit for small vehicles. It is light and very convenient especially if you are camping alone but also suitable for a couple getaway.

Wind Up & Out Caravans

These are caravans are very similar to Pop Up Caravans that have extensions to add up to your space for sleeping or storing. They have similar features with Pop Up Caravans but they take quite a bit longer to set and pack up.

Teardrop Trailers

These caravans are easy to tow as they are tiny and light. It can sleep 2-4 people, can fit a double bed and can store basic equipment for cooking. Small cars and trikes can tow this kind of caravan.

Fifth Wheeler Caravans

These caravans are one the most spacious type and even larger than the regular caravan. They can have full kitchen amenities which is why it is preferred by families when going out on camping. Since these caravans are large, they can only be towed by large vehicles such as pick up trucks or utes. Although this type would be very convenient, some campsites won’t allow these types of large vehicles so you would have to check before leaving. Read more on Types of Caravans.

What are some of the most popular brands of caravan?

Check out the list below for the most popular brands of caravans you can buy in today’s market: 

  • Universal Caravans – they specialize on slide out caravans and manufactures luxury vans. Universal Caravans work with AL-KO, Dometic, Fusion, G&S Chassis, NOE, Hume, Thetford, BFGoodrich
  • Traveller Caravans Australia – they create luxury caravans in standard and custom sizes ranging from 18 to 25 foot caravans. Aside from that they also offer a wide range of interiors and decor options to suit your needs. The also work with Fusion, G&S Chassis, Hume, Thetford, Redarc, AL-KO and Dometic.
  • Supreme Caravans – is a family owned company located in Campbellfield, Victoria. They specialize on off-road units for 4WD vehicle users and offers a lot of different varieties of caravan. They have dealers located in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.
  • Roma Caravans – has has 90 years of manufacturing experience established in Melbourne. They offer different caravan models and accept custom orders.
  • Lotus Caravans – offers unique custom caravan designs and specializes on caravans for off-road use.
  • JB Caravans – offers wide range of caravans for family use, off-road use, on-road use and semi off road use. The also present a 3D tour of the inside of their caravans in their website to help you in deciding which to purchase.
  • Crusader Caravans – is also specializes in off-road use caravans and has been acknowledged as “Manufacturer of the Year” for their quality caravans.
  • Avida Caravans – is located in new South Wales, Australia and offers modern interiors for both caravans and motorhomes such as soft close drawers, fully equipped kitchen, handle free overhead cupboards and many more.
  • Condor Caravans – is a family owned and run business located in Melbourne, Australia and provides 5 star quality caravans in both interior and exterior.
  • Royal Flair Caravans – has over 70 years of experience in Caravan Industry and provides you the latest range of caravans that is suited for any environment and weather.

You may check out more details about the manufacturers on this article: How To Pick The Right Caravan

What are Motorhomes?

A motorhomes is a large self-powered, self contained vehicle equipped with home facilities designed for comfortable trip and even suited for living. It has an easy access from the body of the vehicle to the cab without leaving the vehicle for added security.

What are the advantages of owning a motorhome?

  • Convenient
  • Offers larger space for other things, sleeping or storing
  • Safer from the weather and other animals
  • Packing is easier
  • Suitable for living in
  • Can be customized for other entertainment and appliances that you would like to add

What are the disadvantages of owning a motorhome?

  • Costs more than the caravan
  • Needs a larger garage or shed with higher roof
  • Maintenance cost is higher
  • Some roads and camping sites cannot be accessed due to large vehicle regulations

What are the different classes of Motorhomes?

“A” Class

These are large and luxurious motorhomes that look like a coach and are mounted on a chassis supplied by a truck manufacturer. They provide many household amenities depending on your preferred set-up, have a lot of space for storage and are large enough to tow a small vehicle or a bike.

“B” Class

These custom-build motorhomes are also mounted on a truck chassis and smaller than “A” Class. They have flexible amenities that will allow you to maximize the space such as pull up and convertible beds that have additional storage underneath.

“C” Class

These luxurious motorhomes have larger space and are also powerful to tow along a vehicle or a boat. They also have full bedroom and kitchen amenities which are perfect for large families who plan on going camping as they are very much comfortable and convenient. 

What are some of the best brands of motorhomes?

Check out the list below for the most popular brands of motorhomes you can buy in today’s market: 

  • Avida Motorhomes – offers superior lightweight motorhomes and they manufacture and design motorhome depending on your preference as well as your price range.
  • Sunliner Motorhomes – was established in 1974 and has been creating and innovating recreational vehicles ever since. They also offer wide range of motorhomes from the ones for solo travelling to designs suited for families.
  • Bliss Mobil – introduced truck-independent model RVs that are made to fit all types of trucks and have their own unique features that makes them different from all the other manufacturers of recreational vehicles.
  • Suncamper – has been building recreational vehicles for over 42 years and sell a wide range of motorhomes. They are located in Sydney but they sell all throughout Australia.
  • Horizon – has been an award-winning specialist manufacturer of built-in motorhomes. They concentrate on the preferences of customers regarding the interior and exterior design of the recreational vehicle.
  • Swagman – offers high level motorhome security, comfort and performance. They are based in Queensland but also sells all throughout Australia.

You may check out more details about the manufacturer on this article: What Are the Different Types of RVs?

Related questions

Is there a Special Driver’s License required for a motorhome?

Depending on the type and the weight of the motorhome that you will be purchasing, you may be required to acquire a special driver’s license. To obtain a licence, you must have a full car driver’s licence for a minimum of one year.

In Australia, there is a national classification of licenses and further enquiriesP should be made with the manufacturer and your state or territory licensing authority. The following is a brief description of the three classes:

  • C: Any motor vehicle no more than 4.5 tonnes Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM)
  • LR (Long Rigid): Any motor vehicle more than 4.5 tonnes GVM but no more than 8 tonnes GVM
  • MR (Medium Rigid): Any motor vehicle with two axles and more than 8 tonnes GVM

What are the common inclusions when buying a motorhome?

Motorhomes usually come with:

  • Swivel driver and passenger seats
  • Dining facilities
  • Sleeping and shower facilities
  • Hot water system
  • Refrigeration
  • Air-Conditioning
  • Television
  • Washing Machine
  • Solar Panel(s)
  • Deep cycle batteries
  • Generator
  • Inverter
  • Awning
  • Water Tanks

What Types of engines Do Motorhomes Have?

Engines can vary depending on their model and make however some of the most common engines in larger motorhomes are Mercedes Benz, Cummins, and Isuzu.

What fuel does motorhomes use?

Larger motorhomes usually use diesel and some use petrol or turbo/diesel. 

Are there manufacturers of 4WD Motorhomes/4WD Buses and Coaches?

Yes, there are indeed companies who manufacture and custom build 4WD motorhomes and 4WD buses and coaches to help you reach total freedom. These motorhomes are designed specifically for outback touring and off-road use. Some of these manufacturers are Amesz Design Pty Ltd in Western Australia and another is Trakka at Mt. Kuring-gai just north of Sydney.

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