To those outside the self-drive holiday industry, terms describing rental vehicles can be confusing. Words such as camper, motorhome, campervan, RV (recreational vehicle) and caravan can all be used to describe different vehicle types available for hire.

So, what is the difference between a motorhome and campervan, or an RV versus a caravan? We have compiled the list below to help you understand the various terms:

RV (Recreational Vehicle)
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.

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 USA RV rental

Another generic term for a motorised vehicle. See definition of RV above.

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 Apollo Euro Deluxe is an example of a motorhome.

Euro Deluxe


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.

The Apollo Hitop is an example of a campervan.

Hitop campervan rental australia


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

Apollo does not currently rent caravans.