What is the difference between a motorhome and a camper van?
A camper is a light commercial vehicle equipped for the transport and overnight stay of a group of people, generally from 2 to 7 including the driver.
The term "camper" indicates different types of recreational vehicles:
the motorhome, in which the driver's cabin is one with the living cell and therefore the engine part is not immediately visible. Also known as "integral", it is considered the leading vehicle among manufacturers. It's recommended for couples and for the larger family, it has the advantage of having a front panoramic view thanks to the truly exceptional large windshield; it is well insulated and fuel consumption is quite low.
the semi-integrated, in which a living cell equipped for camping is installed separate from the driver's cabin. It's lean in maneuvers and boasts low fuel consumption. The semi-integrated is generally intended for couples without children or for grandparents with the occasional company of grandchildren. In the most recent models, a drop-down bed is inserted in the center of the cell, which allows for 4 comfortable places to sleep and is comfortable for families of up to 4 members.
the attic, which have a sleeping compartment on the "roof" of the cabin. This type of product is recommended for families coposed of at least two parents and one or more children and has the advantage of having large interior spaces. The disadvantage is fuel consumption due to the strong impact with the air, and parking maneuvers due to the volume of the attic.
the van: also called camperized van, it has the great advantage of being compact and can be used both as an everyday car for work or to accompany children to school, and as a camper RV for sleeping. It is particularly suitable for those who prefer an adventurous holiday and for those who go in search of less accessible and visited places. The disadvantage of the small size is that the bathroom area is not provided (in most cases) and the spaces are limited.
If you want to deepen the topic and learn more about motorhomes, you can consult a very comprehensive article:
» Motorhome Gas Mileage Ultimate Guide: [NEW RESEARCH] 2020
You will discover:
- How to control their fuel consumption (15 actionable tips);
- Gas vs. Diesel engines;
- How to improve their mileage;
- The different Class Types of Motor Home;
- Expert Tips to improve their gas mileage;
and so much more ...
Why is it worth buying a van?
A van is convenient because it can replace the family car as if it were a minivan, given the small size and practicality of driving. In addition, if necessary, it can be used as a fully-fledged camper.
So by buying a van you can save money compared to the typical combination of car & camper, both on the purchase price and on the annual road tax and insurance cost.
What it costs to maintain a new camper?
First of all, as soon as you buy any vehicle with a license plate, you need to insure it in order to be able to circulate on the road. You will then have to contact an insurance agency and take out the necessary coverage for your new motorhome.
Motorhome insurance has relatively low costs compared to the car segment. This is due to some agreements with sector magazines (PleinAir, Caravan & Camper, Camper Life) and to the very low amount of accidents that occur due to motorhomes.
What is Fiat Ducato motorhome?
The Fiat Ducato is a light van produced at Fiat. Presented for the first time in 1981, it reached its sixth generation in 2020. The Fiat Ducato is marketed all over the world under various brands and different names. About two thirds of motorhomes in Europe are based on Fiat engines, with the mechanical variants Ducato and Ducato Maxi.
The latest generation Fiat Ducato vans are available with 6 different Euro 6D engines and offer power across the entire range, from 120 HP to 180 HP, to adapt to different transport needs. The Ducato van is available in multiple configurations, with 4 different body lengths and 3 heights. An automatic transmission option is also available on all models from 140 hp.
Why is Mercedes so expensive? Is a Mercedes-Benz a luxury RV?
Mercedes-Benz is one of the oldest and most reliable brands in automotive history. Many choose the Mercedes-based camper for its high technical performance, driving comfort, fluidity and safety: all characteristics that have distinguished the brand since its inception and are still recognized today.
Vehicles based on Mercedes are usually less economical than those on Ducato, but the higher cost is repaid by the long reliability that this mechanics demonstrates over time. Thanks to the excellent technical construction, motorhomes on Mercedes rarely need repairs or replacements, especially older vehicles; in addition, costs are also included in terms of consumption.
Since its inception, Mercedes has been a hallmark of superior quality, safety and reliability. Mercedes mechanics are appreciated for their solidity, which makes them particularly suitable for outfitting work in the camper sector.
Which Mercedes model is best?
Not all motorhome manufacturers make motorhomes on Mercedes that can be driven with a B license.
The most common mechanics for campers are Fiat, Ford, Iveco, Renault, while Mercedes-based campers are less common - but increasingly in demand. In recent years, the manufacturers have expanded the range of vehicles available on a Mercedes basis. Among the major innovations Hymer and Carthago, which propose new series on this mechanic, which you can find at the bottom of this article.
Hymer has a good choice of motorhomes, semi-integrated and vans on Mercedes mechanics, here are some examples:
Hymer B-Class Modern Comfort
The new range of motorhomes and semi-integrated B-Class Modern Comfort is available in the motorhome (I) or semi-integrated (T) type. Both types are fitted on Mercedes-BENZ Sprinter mechanics with front-wheel drive and SLC lightened chassis with double floor.
The series has 5 models (550, 580, 600, 680, 690) all available in both motorhome and semi-integral versions, with lengths up to 7.4 meters and the possibility of adding a drop-down bed.
Hymer ML T
The ML-T series offers four models based on Mercedes Sprinter, but with rear-wheel drive: 560, 570, 580 and 620. They are available with 143 HP, 163 HP or 190 HP engines, allowing a smooth ride thanks to the limited width (222 cm) and remain with a total mass below 3.5 t. On the ML-T 560 and 580 models there is the possibility of having the 4x4.
The interiors of the series have been completely revisited with a modern and refined style.
Hymer Van Grand Canyon S
The latest addition to the Van Hymercars is the Van Grand Canyon S, now also available with a fiberglass pop-up roof. This solution allows you to increase the number of beds to 4 by adding a second double bed measuring 200 x 122 cm with slatted base and foam mattress on the folding roof. The standard layout includes a transverse double bed in the rear, a toilet in the center and a semi-dinette with a wall-folding table and swivel armchairs in the cabin.
The Grand Canyon S is also available with 4x4.
Hymer Van FREE 600 S
Among the novelties of the Hymer vans we find the Van FREE 600 S set up on a front-wheel drive Mercedes-Benz Sprinter base, with a standard 143 HP engine. The front-wheel drive ensures a higher payload and a living height within 200 cm.
The performance of the engine, combined with the front-wheel drive and the special features such as the 9-speed gearbox and the ultra-modern driver assistance systems, ensure a dynamic and sporty drive, with high levels of safety. These particular characteristics make the Van a vehicle suitable for both short excursions and long journeys: a comfortable solution to go anywhere at any time.
The interiors are modern with a sporty character, with a combination of matte white surfaces and silver gray details, and features that ensure every kind of comfort for unforgettable travel experiences.
From 2020, Carthago is also making motorhomes available with equipment based on Mercedes-Benz Sprinter.
Carthago campers are characterized by elegance and innovation, in the 2020 season they were presented with important innovations, especially starting from the mechanics.
Carthago Chic E-Line
The Chic E-Line series is available on a Mercedes-BENZ Sprinter base, as well as the classic Fiat Ducato. The aesthetic innovations that catch the eye are concentrated in the new panoramic windshield which is 13 cm higher to allow an optimal view of the front obstacles, and in the innovative furnishing solutions.
The front-wheel drive Mercedes-BENZ mechanics have power outputs of 143 HP or 177 HP, with 2.2-liter engines and with AL-KO chassis, also available with double rear axle. When ordering, you can choose the 6-speed manual transmission or opt for the 9-speed automatic transmission.
Carthago Chic C-Line
The Chic C-Line series is now also available with Mercedes-BENZ mechanics. Other new features include the cockpit equipped with the MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) multimedia system with voice control and a high-resolution 10.25-inch display.
As for the frame, we can see the new night lights equipped with new High-Performance Led optics that allow night vision up to 150 meters deep.
Other very popular brands in Mercedes mechanics are Laika, Arca, Burstner. You can find a selection of these on the Used Camper page of our website.
See all our proposals from the brands Hymer, Laika, Burstner, Crosscamp, Carado, Carthago.
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Written on December 23. 2020 by Elena Cressotti
Last review on Semptemper 21. 2022