which one to choose for your holiday?

This is a sector that does not know the crisis. The motorhome is proving to be a health bubble in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic. Among three types of vehicles, we take stock of the pros and cons for you. The classic motorhome resists the rise of converted vans and now vans, which are smaller, more frugal, more “adventure”.

The forces present

The motorhome is a family recreational vehicle. From a commercial vehicle chassis-cab (Fiat, Ford, Mercedes, etc.), the manufacturer adds a cell for everyday life; there are three types of cells: overhead, low profile and integral. The equipped van is basically a utility vehicle that has become in the hands of assemblers to become a recreational vehicle. It measures about 6 m long for a height of 2.40 m and 2.80 m. The van is a more compact machine (between 4.90 m and 5.40 m) that does not exceed 2 meters in height (Mercedes Vito, Renault Trafic, etc.).


The hood is good for family leisure trips. If you try to camp wild, you run the risk of being evicted by law enforcement. And to park in the city, you run the risk of being sentenced to be parked in heavy vehicles or other motorhomes. Photo DR

Motorhome, the second house

The motorhome is a family adventure. Everyday objects (television, etc.) and clothes can be placed there. You have real beds, a refrigerator, a stove, a microwave and you won’t run out of space thanks to the many storage spaces, including the trunk. It benefits from heating, water supply, shower and toilets. In short, you have some comfort, even luxury for some stylish models. It is the well-framed adventure for lovers of comfort.

Transformed van, comfort and discretion

More compact than the motorhome, the equipped van is more discreet in the landscape. Designed for easy traffic, they do not fit in all car parks. It is designed for sports and adventurous holidays. However, it is still relatively high, which is also a good point because it can accommodate permanent beds, often in the back with a trunk underneath. It also has a kitchen, shower and toilet. Inside, space is obviously limited; optimized, say.

Motorhomes are usually equipped with a pop-up canvas roof.  Practical, except in winter because stationary heating is difficult to heat up much.  Photo by B. Jouvin

Motorhomes are usually equipped with a pop-up canvas roof. Practical, except in winter because stationary heating is difficult to heat up much. Photo by B. Jouvin

Go, life out

The van is the all-in-one formula. Trànsit, Vito, Transit, these vehicles are compact and go below 2 meters in height. The van can be used every day as a car with a three-seater bench. Versatile, the van is equipped with removable furniture and sliding seats on railings. For more space, get a folding ceiling to form a bedroom. So you can quickly switch from a minibus to a leisure van. For convenience, mobile toilets and outdoor hand showers should be considered.

Seats and beds

Four seats are the standard regardless of the vehicle. For motorhomes, two in front and two on the bench. The floats sometimes offer up to 5 or 6 seats. For vans, it is rarer. Font Vendôme and Campérêve offer up to 5 seats. As for vans, there are up to 5 seats but 4 beds; the fifth is in the front seats. Major manufacturers such as Campérêve, Stylevan and Hanroad offer this architecture.

A motorhome is easier to drive than a motorhome, even when it is more than 6 meters long.  Beware of old cores with congestion.  Photo by B. Jouvin

A motorhome is easier to drive than a motorhome, even when it is more than 6 meters long. Beware of old cores with congestion. Photo by B. Jouvin

Versatility

The motorhome is not discreet in terms of space occupancy. Your parking is regulated and you can’t sit where you want. Adventure has its limits, as does driving. For tolls, it is category 2, as are converted vans; they reach the path where they pass most easily; more discreet, they can park more anonymously. The most discreet is the van, which has good road skills, which does not consume too much and goes below the bars of the car park two meters away. To make your choice, you have to try; at a stop of course, but you can also go through the rental box, just to try the real life adventure.

For the seating area during the day, the two front seats rotate facing the bench.  The small piece of furniture on the left has a sink, a hob and a small fridge.  The sleeping floor folds;  all that remains is to climb a ladder to reach the double bed.  Photo Westphalia

budget issue

The price range of a motorhome is very wide depending on the size and level of equipment. From a size of about 6.50 m, its price will be about 15% more expensive than a van.

As for the difference between vans and vans, it is not very important because a Vito Marco Polo or a VW California will be more expensive than a Renault Master or a converted Fiat Ducato.

Accessories such as drop-down covers require significant work that is reflected in the final invoice.

Vans and entry vans cost about 40,000 euros; with superior equipment, we go up to € 50,000 and we have to add € 10,000 better for a profile.

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