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  • Writer's pictureScandinavian Travel

RV vs Camper: Ultimate Guide to Choosing Your Adventure Home

Updated: May 3

When the open road calls, the choice between a Recreational Vehicle (RV) and a camper can shape your entire journey. Imagine waking up to a new horizon each morning, your home on wheels parked at the cusp of adventure. Whether you dream of sprawling national parks or cozy campfires under starlit skies, understanding the nuances between RVs and campers is key to unlocking the perfect travel experience. In this guide, we'll explore the essence of RVs and campers, dissect their differences, and delve into the pros and cons of motorhomes. Perfect for wanderlust enthusiasts and casual travelers alike, let's embark on a journey to find your ideal travel companion.

What is an RV?

A Recreational Vehicle (RV) is a broad term that encompasses a variety of motorized and towable vehicles designed for travel and camping. RVs offer a combination of transportation and temporary living quarters for leisure activities.

What is an RV

What is a Camper?

A camper, often referred to as a camper trailer or camping trailer, is a towable unit designed to provide convenient sleeping and living amenities for travelers. Unlike RVs, campers are not motorized and require a separate vehicle for towing.

What is a campervan

Differences Between RV and Camper

Understanding the differences between RVs and campers can help you make an informed decision based on your travel needs, lifestyle, and preferences. Let's compare these two based on size, capacity, and recommended use.





Larger, varying from mid to large sizes

Generally smaller and more compact


Can accommodate more people, up to 8 or more

Typically designed for 2-4 people

Recommended for

Long-term travel or luxurious camping

Short trips or those with smaller vehicles


RVs: These come in a range of sizes, from the relatively compact Class B motorhomes, which are similar in size to large vans, to the expansive Class A motorhomes that resemble bus-sized dwellings on wheels. Their larger size means more room for amenities and living space, making them akin to rolling homes. However, this size can also make them more challenging to maneuver, especially in narrow roads or crowded campgrounds.

Campers: Campers, being towable units, are generally smaller and more compact than most RVs. This makes them easier to tow and less intimidating for those new to driving larger vehicles. Their smaller size is advantageous for accessing more remote or tighter camping spots where a large RV might not fit. However, this compactness also means living spaces are more constrained, which could affect comfort during extended trips.

RV vs Campers


RVs: The interior space of RVs, especially Class A and Class C motorhomes, allows for a higher capacity, comfortably accommodating larger groups or families. It's not uncommon for these vehicles to sleep up to 8 people or more, thanks to the inclusion of master bedrooms, bunk beds, and convertible dinettes. This makes RVs particularly suitable for long road trips with family or friends, where comfort and space are paramount.

Campers: Typically designed to sleep between 2 to 4 people, campers offer a cozy and intimate setting that's perfect for couples or small families. While some larger models can accommodate more people, the sleeping arrangements in campers tend to be more compact, making them ideal for shorter trips or as a base camp for outdoor activities rather than as a full-time living solution.

Campers vs RV

Recommended Use

RVs: Given their size and amenities, RVs are often recommended for travelers seeking the comfort and convenience of a home on the road. They are particularly suited for long-distance travels, full-time living, or luxurious camping experiences. The inclusion of facilities like full kitchens, bathrooms, and entertainment systems makes them a popular choice for those who prefer not to compromise on comfort while exploring.

Campers: Campers are best suited for those looking to maintain a sense of adventure with a bit more flexibility. They are ideal for weekend getaways, road trips, and outdoor activities where the main focus is on the destination rather than the journey. Their ease of towing and smaller footprint makes them perfect for explorers who wish to venture off the beaten path or for those with smaller towing vehicles. For those adventurous spirits seeking to explore the unique landscapes of Iceland, consider the convenience and adventure of a camper van rental in Iceland for your next unforgettable journey.

RV vs Motorhome and Camper vs Motorhome

While all motorhomes are RVs, not all RVs are motorhomes. The term "motorhome" specifically refers to RVs that are motorized and offer extensive living quarters. They differ from campers, which are non-motorized and need to be towed. Understanding this difference is crucial when choosing the right type of vehicle for your needs.

Difference Between RV and Camper and Difference Between RV and Motorhome

The primary difference lies in mobility and living accommodations. An RV is a general category that includes both motorized vehicles (motorhomes) and towable units (campers). Motorhomes provide the convenience of being drivable living spaces, ideal for those who prefer a more stable and integrated setup. Campers, on the other hand, offer the advantage of being detachable, ideal for those who already own a suitable towing vehicle.

Camper Van vs RV

A camper van is a type of RV that combines the compact size of a camper with the mobility of an RV. These are typically smaller than a full-sized motorhome, providing basic amenities and a nimble form factor, perfect for solo travelers or couples.

Which to Choose?

Choosing between an RV, a motorhome, and a camper depends on your personal travel style, the number of people traveling, and your destination. By understanding the key differences and evaluating your needs, you can make an informed decision that enhances your travel experience without compromising on comfort or adventure

RV vs Camper Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a camper and an RV?

An RV is a broad category that includes motorized vehicles and towable units designed for travel and living, while a camper specifically refers to a towable unit meant for sleeping and living during travel.

Can a camper be an RV?

Yes, a camper is considered a type of RV, specifically the towable kind.

Can you walk around an RV while driving?

While technically possible in some motorhomes, it is unsafe and often illegal to do so while the vehicle is in motion.

What is the difference between a camper van and a motorhome?

A camper van is a smaller, more compact vehicle equipped with living quarters and is easy to maneuver, making it ideal for shorter trips or smaller groups. A motorhome is larger, offering more amenities and space, suitable for longer travels and larger groups. For those seeking the perfect fit for their travel needs, exploring motorhome rental in Iceland options can guide you to the ideal choice between a cozy camper van or a spacious motorhome for your Icelandic adventure.

This comprehensive guide aims to illuminate the distinct paths you can choose for your adventures. Whether you opt for the grandeur of an RV, equipped with the latest gadgets for RV, or the compact charm of a camper, enhanced with camper van essentials, the roads less traveled await your discovery.

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