Touring Caravan vs Motorhome – Which One Should You Buy?

Both touring caravans and motorhomes provide you with a “home away from home” – a place where you can bed down no matter where you happen to be.

Knowing which is right for you, though, is a challenge. How do you know which of these options you should choose? What are the differences between them? Which types of people are more suited to one over the other?

If you’re feeling confused, then don’t worry: here we’re going to take a look at both touring caravans and motorhomes and suggest the type of person who would benefit most from owning either.

a couple and their dog enjoying mobile living in a field

Buy A Motorhome If You Want Something That’s Easy To Drive

While touring caravans might have plenty of features, they’re not exactly the easiest to drive.

As you’re undoubtedly already aware, you must tow your touring caravan. It’s not a vehicle in its own right.

This setup, unfortunately, introduces a whole host of driving difficulties. Not only does it make your vehicle longer, but it also introduces new dynamics. A caravan can sometimes have a life of its own, going one way while you’re trying to drive another.

While the risk of the caravan getting out of control is small, it’s still something that you have to consider. Thus a lot of people prefer to avoid caravans because of the additional hassle that driving one brings.

Motorhomes are much easier to handle.

Instead of being two independently-moving objects, they are essentially large vans with a wheel in each corner. They are, therefore, much easier to manage on the road and don’t require continual adjustments, the adding of extra mirrors, number plates, or anything else. You just hop into the driver’s seat and away you go.

Buy A Touring Caravan If You Want To Save Money

All that convenience, of course, isn’t free. Motorhomes are typically considerably more expensive than their touring caravan counterparts.

Touring caravans are just trailers. There are no engine components, driveshafts or anything else required to make a functioning vehicle.

The cost of a touring caravan, therefore, is primarily in the construction materials and the lavishness of the interior, meaning that buyers have a significant degree of control over the price that they pay.

Motorhomes, on the other hand, are different. Buyers of these vehicles not only have to fork out for the onboard amenities but also for the engine components, fuel tank, transmission and interior controls, making a motorhome a more expensive prospect.

There is, however, a slight flaw in the above argument.

While the caravan itself is not particularly expensive (at least relative to a fully-fledge motorhome), you still need to purchase a car tow it. Therefore, when you consider the total cost of ownership, you need to factor in the price of the vehicle you use too. A touring caravan by itself isn’t much use.

Buy A Motorhome If You Want To Make Parking Easy

The vast majority of people who own touring caravans and motorhomes in the UK want to take them to beautiful destinations, like the Yorkshire Dales, Brecon Beacons, Peak District and Lake District.

All of these beauty spots offer caravan parks, allowing you to rock up, put your vehicle on an allotted pitch, and then use it as a base to explore the beautiful surroundings.

The ease with which you can park up, however, can differ depending on the type of vehicle that you drive.

Just getting to the caravan park with a regular caravan can be a challenge. Towing it through narrow, winding country roads is something that many drivers find stressful. Parking it up at the caravan site can also be difficult, especially if reversing is involving.

The same, however, is not true of a motorhome. Motorhomes are relatively easy to park up in a campsite, once you get used to their size.

As we discussed earlier, they do not have any independently-moving trailers on the back and behave much more like large vans. The engine is at the front, and then all of the storage and living areas are to the rear.

Buy A Motorhome If You Want An Asset That Retains Its Value

When it comes to picking up a bargain, there’s no better place than the second-hand caravan market. You can pick up a caravan for surprisingly little money.

Motorhomes, however, tend to retain their value much more.

A motorhome that is more than a decade old is still likely worth tens of thousands of pounds, whereas a caravan might have lost 80 per cent of its value or more.

Part of the reason for this has to do with how much people use their motorhomes. Over the years, it’s not a lot. Motorhomes are not daily drivers. Thus, most buyers know that second-hand motorhomes won’t have experienced much wear and tear, either to the engine or living quarters.

Motorhomes don’t age that fast.

Buy A Caravan For Flexibility

When you go for an adventure in a caravan, you have a lot of flexibility – arguably more than you have in a motorhome. The reason for this is simple: with a trailer, you don’t have to take your accommodation with you everywhere you go. Just unhook it when you want.

If you use a touring caravan, for instance, you can leave it at the caravan park or campsite and just travel in the car to your chosen destination. Once it’s parked up, there’s no need to bring it with you during the day, making sightseeing much more accessible.

The same is not true of a motorhome. Even a simple trip to the local supermarket becomes a challenge. None of the parking spaces are large enough.

So, while a motorhome is more straightforward to drive than a car with a caravan in tow, it’s not as flexible once you have parked up your caravan and want to start exploring the local area.

So, Which One Should You Buy?

So, in summary, neither the motorhome nor the touring caravan is the outright winner. Both have their pros and cons.

The one you should buy depends on the factors that are most important to you.

If you value flexibility, then choose a touring caravan. If you want to take your accommodation with you wherever you go, choose a motorhome.

If you’ve already made your choice why not take a look at our caravan loans, and motorhome loan deals.

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