Motorhomes come in every shape, size and spec. Finding the perfect motorhome for you can feel like searching for a needle in a haystack. Will you go for a spacious Swift motorhome? Will you get a vehicle with a shower and toilet? Will you convert your own van, give a second-hand campervan a new chance or buy a new motorhome?
Well, we’re here to help you through the motorhome maze. We’ll break it down and take you through everything you need to consider when choosing a motorhome—the advantages and disadvantages of each type. Let’s get started!
What types of motorhomes are there?
To make things a bit easier, we’ve narrowed it down to four types of motorhomes: converted, classic, coach-built and Class A. Within these categories, there’s still plenty of options and variations, but that will be about specific amenities and preferences. Once you know the category of motorhome you’re going for, it’s just about trying them out for yourself.
These are sneaky, as from the outside, converted vans look just like any other van on the road. They play the role of both car and motorhome, making them ideal for parking and driving in urban areas or smaller roads. They may have extended roofs or high top designs to increase headroom, and their small space is compensated for by additional storage.
Advantages: Small and compact, these are easier to drive and park. They use less petrol than larger motorhomes. They usually feature a better kitchen set-up than a classic campervan.
Disadvantages: Reduced space. Usually don’t come with a shower, and sometimes without a portable toilet as well.
Tip: Ideal for couples or solo travellers. They’re spacious enough for weekend getaways. These are well-suited for people without experience driving larger vehicles or those that plan to drive through cities.
The building blocks to all motorhomes are the classic campervans. Of course, the most popular are Volkswagen campervans, which are the perfect photo backdrop. Cosy and cute, these are great for couples or solo travellers and can squeeze into parking spots without trouble.
Advantages: These picturesque campervans are a delight to drive and sleep in. You can park them anywhere, and you’ll make plenty of friends with fellow classic campervanners. They’re also cheaper to take on a ferry than a larger vehicle.
Disadvantages: You’ll need to pack light and get on well with your fellow travellers as there is no escaping them in a classic campervan! If you’re planning to drive huge distances daily, you may want to go for something a bit more sturdy. Repairs costs can add up, so ensure you get one in great working condition.
Tip: The perfect campervan for a vintage lover. If you plan to mainly travel on your own or with one more person, then you’ll enjoy the cosy nature of the van. However, keep in mind that costs for this van can add up!
These are taller than most campervans, providing a lot of headroom and storage within. From Auto-Trail to Swift, coach-built motorhomes are loved by many. The over-cab area offers an extra sleeping space, making these the perfect family motorhome.
Advantages: These motorhomes can fit multiple people, such as a large family or group of friends. You can pack everything you need and not worry about space. You don’t have to pack up each day and have freedom in just driving ahead. Someone could even nap as you go!
Disadvantages: Coach-built motorhomes are not without fault, as they are very sensitive to wind and at risk for damages. They have a higher fuel consumption which can add up.
Tip: Perfect for larger travelling groups. A large motorhome could let everyone have their own space and go further distances, such as across the water or all the way north! A great first motorhome for families.
The most prestigious of the motorhome family, Class A vehicles are affectionately known as the “King of the Campground”. Luxurious and large, these provide the ultimate glamping experience. These big beauties are the biggest and best you'll find.
Advantages: Like a hotel suite on wheels, a Class A motorhome requires no compromise in terms of space or luxury. You can pack whatever you like and enjoy the ample storage space. Some Class A motorhomes even offer separate rooms, to allow you to get distance when required and reduce potential arguments. In addition, they’re usually brand new, so it’s easy to find parts for repair.
Disadvantages: These often require a specific license to drive them, so make sure you or another driver have a C license. Fuel costs will be higher for this motorhome.
Tip: If you have the right driving license and you’re looking for a luxurious home on wheels, then do it right and do it big with a Class A motorhome! These are the motorhomes that you could cross Europe in and never miss home; a rainy day will never feel like an inconvenience in one of these.
Should I convert my own campervan?
Some people prefer the freedom of converting their own van. They’ll purchase a van and empty it themselves, providing a blank canvas to work with. Then they’ll set about building a bed system, storage and more. This can save you money and be a great way to make your van more personal. But consider that this will take a lot of time and expertise, so it isn’t a decision to take lightly. Do your research on converting a van before taking any steps.
Try before you buy
Before buying any motorhome, it is always worth having a test drive and a test night in it. You never know what motorhome travel will be like until you give it a go for yourself. This will also highlight which amenities and features you actually use. So see if anyone you know has one you can test, or hire the same motorhome on Goboony.