Motorhomes are available in a variety of sizes and different price ranges so it is important to have to have a good idea of what type will best meet your requirements. In addition to making a comparison between various styles and features, it is worth considering the suitability of each type of motorhome for taking a short break, going on a long holiday or having an extended roadtrip.
Here is an overview of the styles and features you can expect from different types of motorhome, so you can make the right choice, from a top of the range holiday home on wheels to a compact vehicle that is not much bigger than a family car.
American RV Motorhomes
Recreational vehicles imported from America provide the ultimate in comfort on a road trip. These coach-built motorhomes are bigger versions of the Class A type, with added features and luxury fittings. They can be as big and as heavy as an average bus, so it is worth noting that there will be a legal requirement in some countries to have a suitable licence for driving a heavy vehicle.
A luxury motorhome of this type usually has a kitchen, and separate living and dining areas, a small bathroom or separate toilet and shower, double and single sleeping accommodation.
Class A Integrated Motorhomes
There is no separate driving van cab in an integrated Class A vehicle. The living area and the driving area are both contained within the same purpose-built body and the whole thing is fitted over a long, strong chassis. Some of the bigger ones, known as tag axle motorhomes, have a double set of back wheels.
An integrated motorhome is suitable for long-distance cross-continental travel and extended holidays. They are less suited to driving around town, along narrow country lanes or up farm tracks.
Class A motorhomes are big enough to feature all the essentials you would expect to find in a family home. They usually have large water and waste tanks, an electric system, gas cooker and/or a microwave and a fridge. A washing machine and dryer could be optional, and at least one television will be standard.
They are usually designed to sleep three people comfortably, but additional berths will be available in some models.
A motorhome that has been converted from a standard panel van is narrower and more compact than a purpose built vehicle, but it still provides all that is necessary for a touring holiday or a lengthy stay away from home.
It is possible to drive along a narrow country road in a van conversion, making it easy to get to most campsites. There are few restrictions on where you can go with a van conversion, but some car parks have a height restriction, which could prevent a high-top van conversion from entering.
Most panel van conversions are made high enough to stand up in and are fitted with kitchen and bathroom facilities.
In some of these motorhomes there is enough width to have a double bed fitted across the rear part of the living space. It is worth checking out the length of a bed fitted this way, because it will be shorter than a regular bed.
C-Class Coach-built Motorhomes
The most popular choice for a motorhome is the type which comes with a standard driving cab and a separate body built onto a van chassis. It’s the closest to having a touring caravan, but without the need for towing equipment, and far more practical because it’s an all-in-one vehicle.
A C-Class motorhome is spacious enough for a weekend away, a week or two on a campsite or a touring holiday, with plenty of storage space for belongings.
Some of these purpose built motorhomes also provide extra space above the driving cab, for additional storage or another sleeping berth. This over-the-cab style is a good choice for family holidays, touring and extended stays.
In addition to having two or more sleeping berths, a fitted kitchen area, dinette, toilet and other necessary facilities, this type of motorhome has enough width in the body to allow for a fixed full-length bed to be fitted across it.
Camper Vans and Minivan Motorhomes
Classic campervan conversions are still popular and very convenient. They are small enough for everyday use, while providing sleeping accommodation, kitchen equipment and facilities for two people. Campervans can be used for holidays, day trips and weekends away. Some have raising roofs that make it possible to stand up inside.
They are easy to drive on any width of road and parking in town is usually no problem with a campervan.
The smallest type of motorhome is no bigger than a medium to large car or people carrier. The back area has seating that converts into one or two berths and is fitted out to provide simple cooking facilities and space for a portable toilet. Most of these vehicles have a lifting roof or a high top, so there is space to stand up inside.
The big advantage of having a minivan motorhome is that it can be used exactly like a standard car and is just as easy to park, unless there is a height restriction and it has a high top.
The Right Choice for your Holidays
Your final decision will depend on a number of considerations about what sort of holiday use your motorhome will have, how many people and pets will travel and sleep in it and the size of your budget.
If you are thinking of a top of the range luxury motorhome, you will also need to consider where the vehicle will be parked when not in use and whether it requires more than just a standard driving licence to take it on the road.
Making the right choice means that your holidays, weekends and day trips can all be enjoyed in comfort, with your own cooking, dining, sleeping and living arrangements in one place, wherever you want to go.