If you are looking for a compact solution to be able to travel around the country on holiday you may have an eye on the caravan and campervan markets with both offering compact variations to enable you to not have to worry so much about access and parking restrictions.

The biggest question for people who are in the market for a caravan/campervan is whether they should purchase a caravan or a more compact campervan, both have significant pros with equally significant drawbacks depending on your requirements and preferences.

It’s a big investment to make and is likely to be something you will keep for a long time, therefore it’s important to ensure the decision is right the first time around.

The main difference between the pair is that the campervan is self-contained with a cab that has an engine and can be driven, whereas the caravan must be towed by a car/van. The Campervan is also much more compact and can be parked and driven just like a regular van would be whereas a caravan has various issues relating to how to park and drive.

Upon arrival to your place of destination, the caravan can then be unhitched from the car allowing you use of a car to travel around in and do some sightseeing, whereas the campervan is one entire entity meaning you have to take everything with you to go site seeing, there are pros and cons so both.

Campervans are a great option for small numbers of people such as couples that want to go on holiday without too much hassle, they are built much smaller than caravans and have fewer comforts than their caravan counterparts.

Despite this most of them have facilities to be able to sleep and cook food but the requirement of a toilet and/or shower facilities mean that owners may find themselves searching for a toilet and a place to bathe or simply just being a bit stinky for a few days.

The lightness of these vehicles and the fact that they are simply just a van that has been converted offers many perks including improved fuel consumption and better access to parking, unlike a motorhome or a caravan that may require extra space for parking, a campervan can simply just park in a regular parking space offering the driver more freedom.

If you’d like the extra manoeuvrability, you are able to tow a trailer with a small car on it.

The problem with campervans is that they require a yearly MOT and insurance, these costs can soon add up year on year. If you are looking for the cheaper option of the two the caravan is your best bet as it doesn’t require a yearly MOT nor does it legally need to be insured.

Campervan pros

  • Don’t have to tow behind a car
  • More freedom on the roads
  • Better parking access

Campervan cons

  • Needs insurance and MOT
  • Lack of toilet and bathing facilities

Caravans are perfect for holidaymakers who want a simple and easy holiday without the problem of worrying about where they will park their vehicle, if it’s insured or MOT’d, and the huge original expense of purchasing a caravan/campervan.

Compared to a campervan you also have access to a shower and toilet facilities allowing you to stay clean, fresh and feeling good about yourself on the road.

The purchase of a caravan is similar to the price of a campervan, unlike a campervan, you have the ability to tow your caravan to a campsite, unhitch it from your car and leave it in one static location whilst you drive around in your car on days out. The last thing you want to be doing is bringing the kitchen sink with you on a trip to the beach.

As previously mentioned, caravans do not require an MOT or insurance, instead only being recommended a yearly service to ensure it is of roadworthy condition with no faults related to gas and electricity, this helps to keep the costs down for those wanting to go out on family holidays within the UK.

The issue would be that they are much more difficult to drive due to being towed and often require a car with enough grunt behind it to pull it along behind. Due to the weight of the caravan it makes it a liability when dealing with stronger winds whilst towing, it can also act unpredictably and it is recommended that a first time tower takes up some training before they attempt to tow a caravan.

Caravan pros

  • Can unhitch it and go out in the car for a day
  • Cheaper to buy
  • Can leave everything behind on site whilst you go on days out
  • Shower facilities

Caravan cons

  • Harder to drive
  • Limited parking access
  • The decision between a campervan and caravan is a difficult one as both offer strong pros and cons, hopefully this has helped your decision.

Happy Caravanning!