Camping vs RVing: Which Is Better For You?

Camping and RVing can offer a more basic but freer means of travel compared to staying in a hotel. But just which one of these more rugged travel options is better for you? This post compares the pros and cons of staying in a tent with staying in a motorhome or caravan. 

What’s your budget?

Camping is very cheap and most suitable for those on a tight budget. Tents can be bought for less than $50 (although you should expect to pay over $200 for a good quality tent). Campsite fees are meanwhile typically very minimal. In fact, you don’t even have to stay on a campsite – wild camping is always an option and it’s completely free. 

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RVing is a lot more expensive.The average motorhome costs between $35,000 and $300,000, while brand new camper trailers typically cost between $20,000 and $50,000. You can save money by buying used or hiring an RV. However, you still need to factor in costs like fuel, insurance and maintenance. All in all, it’s a lot more expensive, and better suited to those with a bigger budget.

Which home comforts can you live without?

When camping in a tent, you have to do away with a lot of home comforts. This is particularly the case if you’re wild camping, which means coping without campsite facilities. There are ways to make camping more luxurious such as bringing an air bed, but for the most part you need to be comfortably living very ruggedly.

With an RV, you can enjoy amenities such as heating, lighting, a bed, kitchen facilities and even bathroom facilities in some cases. It’s a lot more luxurious than staying in a tent. Of course, don’t expect it to be on par with a hotel. RV toilets have their drawbacks such as having to empty them, and cooking in an RV is often challenging due to the oven being small and low voltage. 

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How close to nature do you want to be?

Camping allows you to fully immerse yourself in the great outdoors. You can hike out to the most remote locations and pitch up your tent, getting away from the hustle-bustle of everyday life. 

With an RV, you’re restricted to locations that are accessible via roads. Of course, this still gives you access to many remote places of outstanding natural beauty. You just won’t have the same freedom as you would with a tent. 

When do you plan to go camping?

Staying in a tent can be pretty grim in the colder and wetter months of winter. Most campsites also shut during these times of the year. All in all, camping is not the best form of accommodation if you like to travel all year round.

With an RV, you’ll be able to plan spontaneous getaways regardless of the time of year and weather. RVs can provide much better shelter against the heat and rain. Not staying on a campsite is also less of an issue in an RV – while it’s useful to have access to electricity, you can find electrical hookups in other locations beyond campsites.