Going on a European getaway is a wonderful holiday plan, and if you enjoy having the freedom and not relying on hotels and villas, a caravan or motorhome is a great way to make this happen. Whatever trip you are planning, there are pros and cons to both caravans and motorhomes – so how do you choose which is best for you?
First of all, if you are weighing up between a caravan or a motorhome, your budget will come into consideration. If your European getaway is going to be a long retirement trip to last more than a few weeks, investing in a good quality caravan or motorhome is worth it. If this isn’t just a camping trip to the Lake District, then a cheap and easy caravan to set you up for two weeks might not be the option for you.
Motorhomes are the more expensive option, primarily because you are paying for both a vehicle and a home. Whilst they come with a bigger price tag when you are buying brand-new, they can last around 20 years and are worth more if you trade them in. Caravans, whilst cheaper, are not guaranteed to last as long. They can last you anywhere between 1 year and 25 years, so you really have to do your research.
If you plan on buying second-hand, you could get a second-hand, good condition motorhome for around the same price you would expect to buy a brand-new caravan. As mentioned before, motorhomes are more long-lasting and hold their worth. Caravans can succumb to dampness, so it is very important that you see the caravan in person before buying it second-hand, so you can check it thoroughly and make sure there are no signs of dampness.
It’s usually more expensive to run a motorhome, and as with a car you need it to be serviced and taxed with regular MOTs.
Caravans don’t need to be taxed or MOTd so you’ll only have to fork out for insurance, and you shouldn’t have to pay over the odds for that if you compare caravan insurance prices through a price comparison site like quotezone.co.uk.
With cost out of the way, what makes a caravan or a motorhome the best choice when it comes to travelling? Well firstly, there is the journey to consider. If you have never towed a caravan before you should consider going to a class to have a go, because it does require some practice to manoeuvre with a caravan on tow. Caravans can be intimidating at first, but with a little know-how they make a convenient home for any trip.
Motorhomes, of course, have the convenience of being all-in-one, so whilst you do need to take care as the vehicle you are driving is much bigger than a car, you don’t have the same issues as towing a caravan has.
Once you get the hang of towing a caravan, you also have to remember that stopping and setting up can take a bit of time with caravans. Motorhomes are all ready to go, so driving and stopping continuously is much simpler. You do need to check local restrictions on parking with both caravans and motorhomes, as different places may have different rules and regulations.
Another benefit of having a caravan is that once you’re parked and set up, you can go on trips with your car and leave the caravan parked up to return to. Exploring the local scenery could be a bit more difficult if the roads are narrow and you have to drive everywhere in your motorhome. You do have the option of bringing bikes or towing a small car on the back of your motorhome though, so this is easily overcome.
When it comes to parking up, motorhomes can be parked (as long as the parking rules permit) and you can relax immediately. A caravan requires some set-up once parked, so if you plan to be continuously on the go, the time involved in setting up camp each night might become a hassle if you have a caravan.
If your trip is a little off the beaten track, a motorhome can be much easier to drive on different terrains, and you can reverse too! There is also safety to be considered, as travelling and parking up off-the-beaten-track means you need to have adequate security and know the risks. Motorhomes have higher-up windows and can be sturdier, but both caravans and motorhomes can be at risk of theft and vandalism. Parking up at designated campsites increases safety and security, as you can get to know your neighbours, and everyone should hopefully keep an eye out for each other.
To sum things up, both caravans and motorhomes come with plenty of pros and cons, and the final decision rests with you. If you are planning more of a stop start journey, a motorhome might be your better option, with easy set-up. If you are going to park up at a campsite and explore the local area by car or bike, a caravan might be the easier and more affordable option.