Motorhome or Campervan

Gixer

Free Member
#1
We are looking at starting a journey into the future and would like to hear from others - which is better suited for longer trips [time wise], bearing in mind the use of free / cheap Aires. Any recommendations for a newbie as I have been looking and the amount of layouts / sizes etc is confusing.

Also which is better for driving as I've not driven anything larger than an estate car for years ?
 


grath

Full Member
#2
We use aires almost exclusively and therefore need a van with a good usable shower, and not one that is that small that after a while you would think it is too much trouble.
Shower and storage is pretty important.
Obviously smaller is easier to drive for some,
It is always a compromise
edit
And large insulated water tanks!
 

jagmanx

Full Member
#3
You are probably going to be "limited" to a 3500kg unit.

Not really a limit ours is under 3500 6.5metres long and full width.
As grath has posted a decent shower is good. We like him use aires and small campsites usually with limited facilities but more than enough for us.
We use the vehicle for a full 5 months in the summer a true home with a motor.
Take care with driving to begin with (but you will get used to the width) and ALWAYS look out for narrow roads.
The worst we found are in small villages. The other hazards are the rear wheels tracking and the rear end swinging out when in limited space
 
#3
I presume there are two of you. For longer trips and wanting to use aires I would not recommend small campervans such as VW T4/5s. As a basic requirement you need a van with a toilet and shower. If you are thinking of going for a larger campervan such as a 6 metre Fiat Ducato the big decision is whether to go for a fixed bed or a lounge which makes up into a bed. A van of this size is a good compromise between drive-ability down narrow lanes and reasonable comfort on long trips. Also you can stand upright in it. If you want to go for a larger motorhome either coachbuilt or A Class then you will have more space and comfort than in a campervan but less ability to get down small roads and probably higher fuel consumption. Every campervan/motorhome involves some degree of compromise.
 


Edina

Moderator
#4
I think your first job is to write down all the 'must haves' i.e. shower, fixed bed etc
Then the things that you would like but are not essential.
When you have this information look for the smallest van that suits.
 

jagmanx

Full Member
#5
A panel van conversion may well give you headroom and suitable bed and shower.
The advantage is they are slimmer than coachbuilt. (narrowroads)
However the extra room both for living and storage of a coachbuilt has major advantages especially on wet days and if you are away for say 2 or 3 months (IMO).
 


wildebus

Full Member
#6
A good description I heard a while ago is that you lived (i.e. holidayed) IN a Motorhome and you lived OUT of a Campervan.
Deciding - honestly - which is your style - IN or OUT - will help you decide what facilities you want and need.

I wouldn't worry too much about driving the bigger vehicle except .....
1) most (not all) 'custom' Motorhomes (those with shells on a van chassis) tend to have a long overhang part the rear wheels. That does make it more awkward to park and negotiate tight spots.
2) Custom Motorhomes tend to be significantly wider than campervans and MHs based on Panel Vans. This might be a pain depending on the roads and places you like to visit.
3) Motorhomes tend to be a bit higher so height restrictions could be more of an issue.
Apart from the 3 points above, driving either is the same and not much difference from a car really.
 


Bigbarry

Full Member
#7
A good description I heard a while ago is that you lived (i.e. holidayed) IN a Motorhome and you lived OUT of a Campervan.
Deciding - honestly - which is your style - IN or OUT - will help you decide what facilities you want and need.

I wouldn't worry too much about driving the bigger vehicle except .....
1) most (not all) 'custom' Motorhomes (those with shells on a van chassis) tend to have a long overhang part the rear wheels. That does make it more awkward to park and negotiate tight spots.
2) Custom Motorhomes tend to be significantly wider than campervans and MHs based on Panel Vans. This might be a pain depending on the roads and places you like to visit.
3) Motorhomes tend to be a bit higher so height restrictions could be more of an issue.
Apart from the 3 points above, driving either is the same and not much difference from a car really.
Thanks Wildebus, good points the thing I have to adjust to while driving was the rear wheel overhang and the wing mirrors in towns making sure you are clear of pedestrians. Inside all the above points are spot on but I would like to add that if in a van a long time that the living accommodation seats are fully comfortable for long evenings
 

grath

Full Member
#8
So where has the opening poster gone to, certainly NOT here!
 
#9
There seems to be an increasing number of people doing that as a first post and existing members do it as well !

They come on, ask a question, members go out of their way to give answers / advice and or research for them.

Then nothing, not even a simple Thanks, Cheers, that would do but no nowt.

Makes you wonder why you bother :mad:
 


grath

Full Member
#10
There seems to be an increasing number of people doing that as a first post and existing members do it as well !

They come on, ask a question, members go out of their way to give answers / advice and or research for them.

Then nothing, not even a simple Thanks, Cheers, that would do but no nowt.


Makes you wonder why you bother :mad:
Me too, and I try to thank anybody who replies to any thread I start as long as it is on topic.
I notice some others don't bother. Shame!:mad:
is this Moan Thursday :rolleyes:
 


#11
simples really unless you are into self inflicted pain.

Camper van for weekends or short trips, anything more it needs to be a Motorhome with all the facilities, but it doesn't end there, you still get size issues, then there is layout to consider.

My best advice is to pester a few dealers, until you find a van which you think is somewhere close, then sit in it for at least 30 minutes and consider how you will use it, where stuff will be when travelling, is anything in the way when doing different tasks, basically pull it to bits, find all it's faults and why it's not a good van for you, then once you really know what you think is your ideal scan the ads, Ebay is good as it has loads of different vans to scrutinise, many folk buy the first van that is close to what they think is their needs , then swap it and lose a lot of money months later.
 
#12
There seems to be an increasing number of people doing that as a first post and existing members do it as well !

They come on, ask a question, members go out of their way to give answers / advice and or research for them.

Then nothing, not even a simple Thanks, Cheers, that would do but no nowt.

Makes you wonder why you bother :mad:
I get what you mean, but i don't think any advice is wasted, who knows what tomorrow brings, and it's always interesting to hear views/opinions from others.
 
#13
I get what you mean, but i don't think any advice is wasted, who knows what tomorrow brings, and it's always interesting to hear views/opinions from others.
Indeed. The OP may not have responded back, but many others will have had the same question and will have been helped (hopefully!) by the various replies :)
 
#14
I get what you mean, but i don't think any advice is wasted, who knows what tomorrow brings, and it's always interesting to hear views/opinions from others.

I hear what you are saying but i was brung up ( as we said in the Brig ) to say please and thank you for any assistance you receive and it costs nothing.

Many many people are different and don`t see why they should bother.
 


grath

Full Member
#15
I hear what you are saying but i was brung up ( as we said in the Brig ) to say please and thank you for any assistance you receive and it costs nothing.

Many many people are different and don`t see why they should bother.
Me too, sadly those days seem to be lost:mad:!
 

Val54

Full Member
#16
I know what you both mean and a quick thank you costs nothing especially as the op was 4 days ago but that’s symptomatic of today’s world. On a lighter note I still think you both qualify as “grumpy old men” ................ 😂😂
 


Molly 3

Full Member
#17
The small campers like vw certainly have their advantages ,such as fitting in carpark bays and being able to use as a day vehicle, but can't compare to the comfort and space of a small coach build.. If you are young and agile a. Camper is great . if older and not as fit as you use to be then a coach build . or conversion .
 
#18
Just a thought, but perhaps the OP or someone close to him is ill, or has had an accident. Lots of possible reasons for them not returning to the thread and it doesn't diminish the advice given, which others may find useful. :)
 


#19
We found making up bed in lounge a fag on long trips months rather than weeks so we’re determined to have fixed bed on second van.
Also preferred bench seats rather than forward facing for lounging.
 


SimonM

Full Member
#20
As said above, it is imperative that you make yourself a list of “must haves” and “would like” and then acquaint yourself with someone knowledgeable local to get as much info as you can on the pros and cons of each. You especially need to know when you will want to use the vehicle, day trips, weekends away, weeks away, months away. Are you travelling solo, two of you, with children or pets. There are so many variables it’s impossible to simply suggest the correct vehicle. You also need to know your available parking at home, or in storage, to then get an idea on length and format.
 

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