Basically, a camper van is a moving home. There are many types of campervans, especially those that are available for rent.
In general, we can divide it into two: caravan (towable campers) and camper van (motorized campers). Here are the explanations.
A caravan is a towable camper, which means that it can only transport if there is a motorized vehicle towing it. Once you park, you can detach your vehicle from the caravan and move around the area without carrying the whole cabin with you. It will be more flexible and mobile, as you can maneuver or go through a difficult terrain without it. A caravan usually has sleeping, living and cooking area. More luxurious caravan also available to serve a luxury camping.
Unfortunately, we haven’t had a chance to drive a caravan. As I write this, there are no companies renting a caravan, at least in the countries that we have visited. Hopefully, there will be some in the future.
A campervan is basically a motorized camper. It can transport by its own, and it’s not detachable. It varies in types and sizes. Generally, they serve a different purpose, has a different kind of amenities, and also accommodate a different level of comfort.
The smallest camper van can at least accommodate 2 people. The simplest type will be the one that has at least a convertible bed. The vehicle can be in a form of a normal sized car, with a pop-up tent for sleeping area. The cooking amenities are usually simple too: a portable stove with a small bottled gas and simple cutleries. This type of campervan accommodates a budget style travel. As the amenities are simple, prices are usually quite affordable compared to the other types of campervans.
Another type of 2-berth campervan is in a form of a larger car or a van. It usually has more amenities and can accommodate a comfortable travel style: a convertible comfort bed for two, a living area, complete kitchen amenities including 3 burner gas stove, a microwave, a baking oven, complete cutleries, a toaster, water kettle and so on.
In our experience, we had rented 2 types of 2-berth campervan, both are in a form of a large van. One time we rented the with a toilet and shower (Cruisin’ Sandpiper). Another time we rented the one without a toilet and shower (Apollo Endeavour Camper). The consideration was based on the length of travel. We think that it will be budget saving by renting a campervan with full amenities for longer traveling period.
4 -berth campervan
Larger campervan will likely have more amenities. The 4-berth campervan is typically an up-sized version of the 2-berth. It is larger to drive but have more or less same amenities. As it can accommodate 4 people, the campervan will have more convertible beds and larger living area.
The largest we have rent is a 6-berth campervan, and I think it is the largest available for rent. Having the whole space for only the two of us is an amazing experience. It felt like we carry the real home everywhere during our trip.
A 6-berth campervan has a proper kitchen with a sink, complete cutleries, microwave, baking oven, toilette, shower with a water heater and even a gas heater to heat the cabin. Have I also mention that they have TV, radio and a sound system as well? It was mindblowing the first time I know about such features inside a car that can move everywhere.
Talking about campervan setting, the sleeping area is usually converted from the living area. A larger campervan will usually have more than 1 living area. The table top panel in the living area is detachable. To set up a sleeping area, basically we need to detach the table top and arrange it as the base for the bed. The good thing to have a large campervan for a smaller number of people is it saves time. Why? Because you don’t need to adjust the campervan setting every time. You can set up one living area as a sleeping area, and let the rest be. Viola!
Our personal preference
We personally prefer to rent a self-contained vehicle with a toilet and shower for our road trips. It offers more flexibility and time saving as we can sleep, cook, take a shower and use the toilet in our vehicle without the hassle to find one during our trip. Pricewise, it will be more expensive than renting a car. But the experiences we got from our campervan road trips are priceless.
So with all of that luxury on the move, there is nothing that can stop you from roaming to nice places without bothering to find a hotel or place to eat during the trip. For us, it just saves our time from the hassle of looking for a hotel or restaurant to eat. And most importantly, it allows us to stay close to nature longer.
For other information on campervanning, you can also read this post.