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5th Wheel vs. a Campervan

The news, travel shows, blogs, podcasts, Countryfile... You can't have missed the existence of Van-life.

You will have seen and heard all about people touring the country in an RV or campervan to enjoy weekend getaways or even jumping in the deep end to take on a full-time nomadic lifestyle. Influencers on social media platforms like YouTube and TikTok have glamorised the idea of purchasing and customising a campervan for travel around the UK and Europe. These compact vehicles offer all the necessities in a small space and are less intimidating to new weekend nomads than towing a 5th wheel RV. However, before fully committing to the van-life trend, there are several factors to take into consideration. It's essential to weigh the pros and cons before making any kind of decision. While campervans may seem like they provide more freedom for travel, the reality is that using a tow vehicle with an RV offers much greater mobility. With a tow vehicle, you can easily detach and explore your surroundings without having to pack up everything inside the vehicle before each journey. Additionally, campervans typically lack all-wheel-drive capabilities, limiting their off-road potential compared to RVs. Ultimately, the choice between a campervan and an RV depends on individual preferences and travel needs.

Greater Mobility with a 5th Wheel Rig Traveling in a campervan may not always provide the freedom you expect. Unlike towing an RV, where you can easily unhitch the tow vehicle and go about your activities, driving a campervan requires securing everything inside before each drive.

With an RV, you have the advantage of leaving your travel trailer at the campsite and using your tow vehicle separately. This flexibility allows you to explore off-road terrains or stock up on supplies without the hassle of dismantling your living space.

Full-timers and Nomads It is surprisingly overlooked when comparing RVs and campervans... RVs offer significantly more space than vans, even the larger ones. This becomes particularly crucial when traveling with a partner or a family, as having ample square footage becomes essential for maintaining a sense of privacy. This becomes even more significant if you plan on adopting a full-time nomadic lifestyle, especially if both you and your partner have remote jobs that require separate workspaces or the use of noise-cancelling headphones.

There is nothing wrong with desiring personal space, especially if you are someone who values occasional moments of solitude. Being confined in a cramped campervan with others, no matter how much you adore them, can quickly become suffocating. Therefore, it is crucial to consider the need for personal space when choosing between a campervan and an RV, as the latter provides the advantage of more room to move around and create separate areas for individuals to retreat to if needed.

Private Life When it comes to privacy concerns, having the ability to shower or use the restroom without feeling exposed is crucial. While some campervans do offer toilets, they often lack the privacy that an RV can provide. With an RV, you have the luxury of a bathroom with a door that can be closed and locked, ensuring that you can take care of your business in peace, even when that gas station breakfast burrito decides to make an appearance.

For those who travel with a partner, the need for privacy and dignity is even more important. No one wants to deal with unpleasant rest-stop bathrooms or digging holes in the dirt. With a 5th wheel you have all the comforts and facilities of the bathroom and toilet at home. Additionally, having a proper full height shower in an RV eliminates the need to shower outdoors, especially during inclement weather, providing a more comfortable and private experience overall.

Keep Your Space Camping during peak seasons can be quite overwhelming, even if you have an RV. The competition for limited campsites is fierce, and if you're traveling with a campervan, you have to stay put to secure your spot. However, with an RV, you have the freedom to detach your tow vehicle and explore wherever and whenever you want, without the constant worry of losing your pitch. While some campgrounds offer reservations to avoid such situations, some operate on a first-come, first-served basis. In these instances, having an RV allows you to claim your space while you embark on exciting adventures in your truck.

Maintenance People often overlook the maintenance costs when deciding between an RV and a campervan. The trendy VW campervan, although stylish and compact, can be quite expensive to upkeep in comparison to an RV. Campervan enthusiasts might opt for a vintage vehicle, which comes with its own set of issues such as aging components and pricey repairs due to its scarcity.

Campervans and tow vehicles accumulate a significant amount of mileage when traversing the country, far more than a typical car. This high mileage increases the likelihood of needing repairs, which can be quite costly for campervans. On the other hand, tow vehicles are more prevalent and generally more affordable (and simpler) to repair and maintain.

A Fifth Wheel could save a relationship. A campervan might end it! Traveling with a partner in close quarters can often lead to arguments, as everyone needs their own space. The smaller the space, the more difficult it becomes to find alone time. To avoid this, it is important to provide enough space for both individuals. It is crucial to have separate rooms or areas in an RV where you can retreat when needed. For instance, one person can watch TV while the other reads a book in bed. However, in a campervan, living on top of each other can be overwhelming and suffocating. Therefore, it is essential to prioritize your relationship by planning ahead and investing in the necessary space to live harmoniously. The caveat here comes for new drivers when reversing in to their campsite pitch... at this point in time nerves can become frayed.

Van-life versus a Fiver-life Both RVs and campervans have their merits and drawbacks, but RVs generally emerge as the preferred choice for the majority of campers. The glamorous portrayal of van-life on social media tends to overshadow the practical realities of vehicle ownership, driving, and maintenance.

Young couples and solo travellers may find vanlife the adventure they crave, but for those looking to relax, enjoy space and comfort, a Sunday roast, a proper shower and a good night's sleep in a double bed... There's a choice between a romantic idea and some practical comfort!

We know how we'd rather live, but each to their own. If a life of weekend adventures or a full time alternative to bricks and mortar is your dream come down to CCRV and take a look at the alternative to van life.


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