So what is a Campervan?

Posted on 16 December 2008

Have you ever wondered what the difference between a campervan, motorhome and RV is? If you're interested, read on.

Campervans are just what they say they are - a van that is great to go camping in, because they are fitted out for travelling and sleeping. Are RVs and motorhomes any different? It depends where you come from.

In the US, you will seldom hear the term "campervan" used, but rather RV and motorhome are much more common. "RV" is short for recreational vehicle, and for Americans and Canadians, RVs and motorhomes are usually larger than campervans and are used for everything from short holidays to permanent living quarters - not to be confused with mobile homes which are typically a fixed abode in a trailer park. In North America, campervans are often associated with Volkswagon buses produced from 1949 - 1967.

For the British, a "campervan" or "camper van"is the most common term, followed by "motorhomes" or "motor home". But they can also be called Motorcaravans, Campers, Dormobiles or Caravanettes.

For Australians and New Zealanders, Recreational Vehicle is not a common term, and the terms "campervan", "camper" and "motorhome" are the most widely used. For most people, all terms refer to the same vehicle, but for some locals "Recreation Vehicle" can refer to a sport utility vehicle or a four wheel drive vehicle. Also, in Australia and NZ, smaller campers are sometimes referred to as 'Kombis' after the Volkswagen Kombi van of the 1950s (also know as "Microbus" or "hippie van").

In France and Quebec, the most commonly used descriptionis the Anglicized term "camping-car", while in Spain it is referred to as "autocaravana."

While in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, it is called a "wohnmobil", "wohnwagen", "reisemobil" and also "camper".

For South Africans and Namibians it is most often referred to as "camper" or a "truck camper". Other terms such as "RV', "motorhome" and "campervan" used by some, and generally understood – but less common.

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