What’s the difference between a motorhome and a campervan?

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.

Check out our USA RV rental fleet

 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.


If you have any tips about camping holidays or rental vehicles, please contact us at media@apollocamper.com.

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6 Responses to What’s the difference between a motorhome and a campervan?

  1. Thanks for the great wrap up of definitions. we often get people, especially from overseas, asking the difference between a caravan and a campervan. Of course, visitors from the USA have the hardest time understanding, as what we provide to them they call a trailer – or Tray-LER. We’re always happy to send clients to Apollo when they prefer a Campervan.

  2. Pingback: Motorhome & Car Rental (Western Australia) | Balukoo Travel Blog

  3. Helen says:

    It’s a shame the insurance companies don’t know the difference between a motorhome and campervan. I pay a high insurance on my campervan because they class it as a motorhome. Think I’ll show them this website.

  4. James Limo says:

    Wow very informative article, This difference could be very helpful and I appreciate you for sharing, keep up the good work

  5. James Limo says:

    Nice article, well I think luxurious and comfortable car is more suitable for me as I keep on travelling for my business purposes and I can’t hire camper van, I’ll do try it some day and I want to appreciate you for sharing and helping me out šŸ™‚

  6. Dennis says:

    To me this still not really a definition, the only difference you make in your definition is that a campervan is “usually” (apparently not always) smaller…..ok….how much smaller?
    A motorhome can house 2 to 6 people
    A campervan 2 to 3 people

    So what is a motorhome that can only house 2 people (which is also possible according to your definition)


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