A Caravan or a Campervan? You Decide

In the 1950s, a Dutch guy named Geert Jurgens decided to move to South Africa and open the first caravan business in Germiston, Johannesburg. He named his company Jurgens Ci Caravans and for the following 60 years helped drive the domestic tourism market to make the caravan the preferred recreational vehicle (RV) in the country. The campervan only followed a while later and has thus had to play catch-up. However, although the caravan has the history, is it really better than a campervan? The question is really down to personal preference.

With that in mind let’s compare the two and see where we end up:


Definition of a caravan? A vehicle equipped for living in, typically towed by a car and used for holidays

Pros? Ample space for storage especially if you’re looking for an extended break, Toilet or shower / ablution facilities which is very handy especially if the nearest camping spot facilities are not up to scratch.

Cons? The insurance is more expensive as you’ll be towing the caravan which provides more risk on the road and in many cases you do require more than just a normal driving license for the towing. (Even if this isn’t the case, towing a caravan can be tricky)


Geiranger fjord, Beautiful Nature Norway. Family vacation travel RV, holiday trip in motorhome, Caravan car Vacation. Geiranger Fjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Definition of a campervan? A motor vehicle with living accommodation.

Pros? No special drivers license is required, no additional cost of towing and if you really want a campervan can tow a caravan 🙂

Cons? No toilet or ablution facilities and limited space for storage if you’re really going for an extended break.

Final Thoughts? Three things to consider before choosing between the two options:

Time: For more travel time, we would choose a caravan. For less travel time, a campervan comes out tops.

Effort: If you don’t mind more effort, the caravan will suffice. If you’re allergic to effort, a campervan is King.

Space: If you need more space, a caravan wins hands-down. If space isn’t that important, a campervan is for you.

What do you think? Add your comments below.

PS: In case you’re wondering our campervans come in all shapes and sizes: Happy 1Happy 3 or Happy 4×4