What is the difference between a motorhome and a campervan?

You might be wondering what the difference is between a campervan and a motorhome


Campervan Bavaria
Photo by lucas Favre on Unsplash

The terms campervan and motorhome are often used interchangeably, and while there is no real problem with that, there are differences in the meaning and the types of vehicle that fall under each one.

So let's start off with the definition of each one.

What is a campervan?

A campervan is an ordinary van that has been deliberately altered to take the elements that make it a campervan. Beds, seats, sinks etc. So really this is a typical make and model of van that is already on the road doing typical van type things. The van manufacturers are often typical brands that make vans from the construction industry.

Beds in campervans are usually fold down or pop up so that space it utilised in more than one way. It's all about space sharing and utilising every inch and gap.

There are typically never any toilets or washing facilities past a simple sink so a campervan usually has to park somewhere with these on offer. Campsites etc.

They typically did not come with entertainment functions like TVs but with flat panels nowadays this is a distinction that is no longer accurate.

What is a motor home?

A motorhome is built from a chassis and the top half is designed with the sole purpose of being a vehicle that can accommodate people. They are typically larger that campervans and are often built on truck of bus chassis.

You can probably think of a motor home as a studio flat that has been crammed onto the back of a truck base. It should have everything that is necessary in a typical small home. It typically has toilets and washing facilities onboard like showers so motorhomes can base themselves in places with less facilities, or none at all.

If you like TVs on your holiday then a motor home will come with one and an area that can be used to watch and entertain. Beds are typically fixed so no need to pull them down after a long day.

Cost to Run

Motorhomes are longer and larger, so they take more fuel to move. Also consider that a campervan has been designed to be somewhat aerodynamic unlike the box shape of many motorhomes. This again contributes to travelling costs saving.

Which one to choose

Really that comes down to how you want to use your vehicle, if you are travelling from organised sites with facilities and entertainment then a campervan might be ideal.

But if you like home comforts and not having to share toilets and showers on your holiday then a motorhome might be more suitable.