Advantages and Disadvantages of Traveling in a Campervan

Advantages and disadvantages of traveling in a campervan

There are several ways to travel using boats, airplanes, trains, cars, and campervans, to name a few. If you have to cross seas and fly skies, then boats and airplanes are certainly a must. And for smaller distances like when up for a road trip, road vehicles will be your top choice. Cars and buses are favored, but you can always opt for another mode: through a campervan.    

It only takes a quick search on the internet for you to get a bird’s eye view of what campervan life looks like. It’s certainly appealing, but not for everybody. Thus, if you haven’t tried it, however, it’s definitely worth a go. Traveling by campervan has its own charm, one that you shouldn’t miss out on, especially if you love traveling on the road.    

It’s challenging to say the least. Preparation will get you by, so you can make your trip as hassle-free as possible. In this article, you can come across the different advantages and disadvantages of traveling in a campervan, all of which serve as valuable information as you plan your trip.

The Pros

It Gives You A Chance To Visit Numerous Destinations   

This first advantage certainly earns its spot so well, given how it’s one of the top advantages of road trips. Because you’re on the road, you have that unrivaled chance to visit many destinations along the way. It depends on how well you’ve planned out your schedule and how much time you actually have for your trip.    

This advantage is brought in by many factors such as:    

  1. Traveling by road is unlike a boat or airplane where you land only at your destination. When you’re on a campervan on the road, you get to make as many stops as your time permits.
  2. Traveling by road may wind up cheaper, giving you more allowance on your budget to visit more places than you may have initially thought you could do. It happened to us on our last 4-week adventure through Northern Spain.
  3. Traveling by road on a campervan may be more comfortable and relaxing than hopping off and on one bus to another, so you can actually enjoy the trip more and not dread long road trips to see more places.    

It Presents So Much Freedom Of Choice   

The freedom of choice here stands out compared to traveling by bus on a tour group or taking a cruise, for instance. And as compared to that usual mode of transport, you get to enjoy unrivaled freedom about your itinerary and schedule. If there are days when you want to take it easy and relax, then you can certainly do so when you rent a campervan from Wilderness and other reputable campervan providers.

This advantage makes traveling feel easier and less daunting. Remember you’re on vacation to relax, not for you to be in the usual rush that you find yourself in every day.    

Moreover, this freedom of choice includes selecting the places you want to go to for the day. Is there somewhere the kids want to visit again? If time permits, why not? When you’re on the road in a campervan, you literally have your bed and kitchen with you everywhere you go, so you won’t have to feel as stressed or constrained with a busy itinerary.    

It’s Easy To Park  

This third advantage applies when you’re planning to visit camping sites for you to spend the night. Planning your trip to the dot allows you to find camping sites that offer reasonably-priced parking fees for when you have to park your campervan. If you do your research well, you may even be able to come across camping sites with beautiful, postcard-setting views like no other. It’s truly an amazing experience to be one with nature right there at the campsite.    

Moreover, in the absence of a campsite, you can always opt to park in wide open spaces like those near grocery stores. Driving the campervan around small towns may be difficult, but parking is easy.   

It Makes Packing More Convenient  

There’s nothing else like traveling with a home on wheels. Packing will be easier when you don’t have to keep packing and unpacking whenever you move from one destination to the next. Basically, everything is in your campervan, with you all the time.    

Even avid and seasoned travelers will share their opinion that one of the hardest parts about traveling is packing. It’s time-consuming and stressful, to say the least, even more so when there are children around.   

With a campervan, you don’t have to worry as much. Should you not like to cook meals on some days, you can always run to cafes and supermarkets for food and your essentials. Because you have the means to wash and dry your clothes when you park, you also don’t have to pack as many clothes for the entire duration of the trip.   

It May Be More Cost-Effective  

Well, don’t forget the biggest advantage when traveling on a campervan, it is one of the cheapest ways to travel. And you’ll have to pay for the gas and all that, but overall, if you do your math, it may still be cheaper than flying from one destination to another on an airplane. Of course, this premise is given the requirement that each destination is also easily accessible by road.   

If you think that’s all, there are more areas of cost savings when traveling on a campervan. Thus, your meal and sleeping expenses will be significantly reduced as well. You don’t have to pay for a nightly rate in hotels or apartments, checking out and checking in from one place to the next.

Depending on the location you’re headed off to, accommodation can be quite expensive. You have to factor in also your family size, given how strict hotels are with the number of individuals that can be accommodated in each room.

On a campervan, the entire family can sleep comfortably. So even if you have to rent the campervan, the overall price for the trip may still be significantly cheaper than hotels.   

Then, don’t forget to add to that also the meals. Eating out in restaurants and cafes for every single meal can be costly. It’s cheaper to make your meals or pre-heat ready-cooked ones at the supermarket. This latter option is available because you’ll be traveling in a campervan. You don’t have to bother about going to the next affordable restaurant as some meals can easily be made while you settle for the day or night exploring nature at the campsite.   

It Opens You Up To Views Like No Other  

There’s nothing like being one with nature in places where only hikers and outdoor adventure travelers can go. When you travel by tour bus or group, you can have the chance to go to some of the common tourist sites. They may be breathtakingly beautiful, but hundreds of other tourists may spoil the fun. Sometimes, you may not even get to enjoy the view because of the crowds that may come along with it.  

It is where traveling on a campervan also serves as a valuable advantage. You can also go to other touristy places if you want to, but you also have the option of exploring locations where most tourists may not even think about going.  

Most campsites are in national parks where you can access lakes, mountain sites, and other scenery, all on your own. If you fancy doing and going where the locals do, you have that opportunity as well simply because you don’t have to deal with other travelers in a group.  

Some of the best views in the world are those that don’t make it in tour groups and packages. If you have the chance to go for those options, you’ll surely be giving yourself the advantage of enjoying a more memorable trip. 

The Cons

It May Make Showering Quite Challenging   

If you’re used to the comfort and ease of hot showers, you may find it quite challenging to adjust to the situation in campervans. It shouldn’t be a problem if you’re only going to be on the road for a couple of days. For longer trips, however, you may find yourself missing your comfortable shower and bathroom.    

Many campervans today come with portable showers, but even that isn’t as easy to use. Some travelers find it easy to adjust to having simpler and quicker showers, while others may find it hard to cope. It depends on the type of traveler you are if you’re willing to adjust even if it’s only for a few days, or if you’d rather be in a hotel where the bathroom is bigger.    

It May Be Difficult To Go Around Tight Roads   

Depending on where you are off to, there may be some roads that are too tight and too small for a big campervan. It’s no problem maneuvering through the highways. Those smaller roads are, however, another story.    

Furthermore, the difficulty of going through busy and tight roads also stems from how a campervan is a large vehicle. It’s bigger than a usual pick-up truck, so if you haven’t driven one and are used to only a small car, then you may find it quite difficult to adjust to its size. It takes a bit of getting used to.   

Along with an adjustment in driving, another difficulty comes in as a result of its heavier weight. Handling campervans can be harder than smaller cars which tend to be smoother and more effortless to drive around.   

To navigate through this disadvantage, you have to plan your journey and schedule very well. Be sure to have enough parking space to leave your campervan so you can walk around tight and crowded areas, for instance. Research each town or place that you’re planning to visit so you can be sure you won’t encounter any last-minute problems with going around the place. On the upside, there’s nothing like doing as the locals do, so you can get to know the place very well. Walk whenever you have the opportunity to.   

If the campervan rental company offers a test drive, take it. That way, you can feel whether or not driving that particular campervan is something you can adjust to within a couple of days.  

It May Not Be That Private  

When you compare living in a campervan to staying in a hotel, it’s easy to grasp how campervans offer less privacy. With hotels and apartments, you can move freely in your own enclosed space. You don’t have to worry about being too close and tight with other travelers, especially if you value your personal and private space.   

Campervans are small, so it’s not always comfortable to stay inside. When you park, you go outside to sit at your portable chairs and tables for meals. It means you’re sharing that open space with other campers and travelers. There could be noise and chatter, and you may not go around as freely doing your own thing as you’d be able to do in a hotel room or apartment unit.   

Thus, for travelers who like to make friends with others and don’t mind the lack of privacy, then it shouldn’t be a disadvantage. It’s an opportunity to meet others while traveling and hopefully build lasting friendships. This depends on the kind of traveler you are, whether you see it as an advantage or not.

Read also: 14 pros and cons of traveling as a couple

Final Thoughts   

As you may now gather, these are some of the advantages and disadvantages to traveling in a campervan. Surely, however, the advantages easily outweigh the negatives; otherwise, it wouldn’t be as popular. But the list does not end here.

Keep reading the second part of the pros and cons of this kind of travel here.

In any case, while traveling in a campervan may not easily be the first choice for travelers, many states and countries are now very campervan-friendly, giving no reason not to give it a try.

Those who may have done so would convince you of how traveling on a campervan can easily be one of the best ways to travel when you’re on a road trip.

Once you try, you may find yourself wanting to travel by campervan more frequently than you imagined.