Caravan or Motorhome?

We are frequently asked 'should we buy a caravan or motorhome?' It is a question we ourselves agonised over. There is a huge difference in cost between a motorhome and caravan and then there is the tow car, providing a useful advantage to caravanners.

Prior to owning a motorhome we enjoyed many weekends in our touring caravan, it was always left set up and could be taken away at a moments notice. The quandary arose when we decided to visit Europe, what should we do, take a motorhome or a caravan?

We began looking at Motorhomes to try to work out what they provided. Thankfully we lived in the Midlands so we could visit several large motorhome dealers in a weekend. We always came home with a headache - as there were so many models and sizes to choose from. Then there was the price, we could get a very nice caravan and tow car for the cost a fairly old second hand motorhome. We even wondered whether we should buy a day van and caravan, a fifth wheel, a de-mountable and even looked into self building.

For us the decision was made based on our prior continental camper experiences. We had participated in humanitarian aid convoys to Kosovo and Ukraine. On these trips you needed to be totally self sufficient, as nights are spent sleeping by the side of roads or in compounds. It could take hours, if not days, to get through the then difficult borders. If we did have to free-park we felt it was imperative to be in a self-contained unit so we would be able to drive off if we felt threatened without having to leave the vehicle. In addition these convoys covered huge distances in few days, we enjoyed this and we knew ultimately we would tour.

Was it the right decision? For us taking a motorhome on our European tour was the completely right decision, if we had taken a caravan it would have been a very different experience. However since our full time motorhome tours we have wintered in a caravan, owned a campervan/day van, and now own another motorhome. All have distinct advantages and disadvantages dependant on where are you going to use it and for how long at a time.

Go Motorhoming and Campervanning discusses the advantages and disadvantages throughout the book, giving clear advice as to when a motorhome or caravan is most appropriate.