Do you know the difference between a Motorhome, Campervan, Mobile Home, Winnebago, Camping Car, Caravan or RV? We certainly didn’t and we learnt the hard way.

We booked a campsite for the prologue stage of the 2012 Tour de France near Liege, Belgium. There had been a lot of rain in Belgium and little did we know that the camping site we booked was at the bottom of a deep valley in what can only be described as a muddy bog. We had pre-booked all our campsites and had described our vehicle as a campervan. When checking into the campsite, we were politely informed that our vehicle was not a campervan, rather it was a motorhome which they could not accommodate because all their motorhome spots were full. After a lot of negotiations and hard work on our behalf moving concrete slabs onto a bog patch, we turned a campervan space into one that would hold the weight of our motorhome.

To help you avoid this situation, below we have outlined the difference between these vehicles. Make sure to describe your vehicle as accurately as possible, including length and weight when booking your campsite.

Motorhome (Winnebago)
Motorhomes are larger 2 to 6 berth vehicles, generally built on a long-wheel base. Motorhomes usually include kitchen and bathroom facilities, as well as other features typically found in a home (e.g. television, DVD player, air conditioning).

The term campervan usually refers to a smaller 2 to 3 berth vehicle. While many campervans include bathrooms and kitchens, they are typically more compact than the average motorhome.

Recreational Vehicle (RV)
RV is an umbrella term popular in North America used to describe motorised vehicles used for camping. RV can be used to refer to both motorhomes and campervans

A caravan (also known as a trailer or mobile home in Northern America) is generally an unpowered vehicle, pulled by a vehicle.

Camping Car
The term camping car can be used to describe any vehicle used to go camping. Term is most commonly used in Europe and encompases all the vehicles mentioned above.

Mobile Home
A mobile home is a large static caravan that is parked in one particular place and used as a permanent living accommodation. It is often referred to as a trailer in America.


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