Why we chose a caravan over a motor home

Aktualisiert: 16. Aug 2019

Prior to purchasing our caravan we only had experience traveling in a van and a motor home. We loved Connie, our ’86 VW T3, and spent our honeymoon in a rented RV. However, when we decided to move out of our house and into a recreational vehicle with Baby Paul Thor four factors motivated us to make a change and purchase a caravan instead of a van or motor home:

1. On-site mobilitiy

Being able to detach the caravan and keep moving by car is very convenient when we want to visit cities, swimming pools, museums, and trailheads. It also allows one of us to be able to stay in the caravan with Baby Paul Thor while the other one jumps into the car to pick up grandma from the airport or go grocery shopping without having to take along our entire home.

2. Additional room

With our not so considerate third roommate the additional “room” is very

much appreciated. Yes, it’s true, we both have escaped to the car for phone calls or just breathing space while the other deals with our baby. On the downside, a caravan attached to a car makes the entire vehicle very long. After a couple of months of traveling with our caravan we eliminated this challenge by purchasing electric movers from AL-KO (we were actually stuck and had to install them in situ). Though my husband is still sure he can single handedly move the caravan, I tell him he is very strong and then encourage him to use the movers, they give us additional possibilities to squeeze through narrow European streets and make exquisitely sharp turns. Truth be told, they save us from bickering about how to fit the caravan and significantly reduce the stress of parking.

3. Space expansion through an awning

We also splurged for the additional luxury of an awning (from Thule, bought on the German market). We’ve especially put it to good use on windy or rainy days, or in spots where the views are good but it’s not exactly safe for Baby Paul Thor to explore on his own (like on the edge of a sea cliff). Besides providing an additional feel of safety at night, the awning also has proven to be a convenient storage space for our bikes, camping material etc. Of course there are also awnings for motor homes and vans. However, we don’t really understood it’s advantages – does one really go through the process of taking down the awning in order to make a quick excursion to the grocery store?

4. Price

This is a nice plus. The price of a caravan is a fraction of the price of a motor home or van because… there is no engine. At the end of our adventure we can park the caravan, detach the car and go back to using our car to sit in traffic to commute to boring desk jobs, probably constantly yearning to turn around, reattach the caravan and drive into the sunset without looking back. If saving money up front isn’t your thing, the maintenance costs of a caravan are also much lower over the lifespan of the vehicle (perusals, insurance, change of winter tires, etc.) because there is no engine.


Quitting our jobs and taking time to adventure around as a family was our best decision. Purchasing a caravan was the second-best decision we made. Yes, the idea of living in a VW Synchro with our child plucks at our overly romantic and adventure seeking heartstrings, but realistically it would probably be a lot less pleasant.