Want your own European auto house to travel the continent? Should you get an RV or something else?
If you’ve watched old episodes of Top Gear (U.K.) with Jeremy Clarkson and crew, you might remember that the team, particularly Richard Hammond, are not fans of camper trailers.
In the U.K., they are called caravans, and the former Top Gear team took great pleasure in literally trashing these tiny mobile homes. In one episode, they actually hitched three caravans to a car running on train tracks to make a car train. Predictably, one of the caravans caught fire and was burnt to a crisp.
What this does teach the American viewer, however, is that in places like the United Kingdom, where space is more of a premium than in the United States, RVs aren’t necessarily the traveling home of choice.
Certainly, if you are looking to travel through Europe, an RV is an option. More and more places are advertising RV rental Europe packages. You can perhaps start off with a German “auto house” and explore that country first before setting off to France or Italy.
Believe it or not, on the European continent you could potentially see around 50 countries. Yes, 50! The question is, what do you want to see them in?
RVs vs. Caravans aka Camper Trailers
If you are planning on an extended road trip in Europe, you should check out your options before you go. On the positive, you can find many places that will rent you an RV, campervan, or camper trailer in Europe.
So, which should you choose? An all-in-one RV that can drive itself? Or an attached camper with a separate car? Consider these issues:
1. RVs are Quite Large
Americans do love their RVs. These large, rolling homes have tons of amenities. They are massive and can be quite comfortable. You can have a kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, and shower all in one mobile home.
This is also the downside of large RVs like Winnebagos. They can be too large. Europe, however, has lots of small towns and cities with small streets that you could never fit an RV in. This is why you might choose a caravan (camper trailer) over an RV for your Europe trip.
If you have a caravan, you can detach it from your car and go off on day site-seeing trips without driving around a huge behemoth of an RV.
Do remember, however, that your car will still need to be big and powerful enough to tow the camper trailer, so it may still not be quite small enough for some European streets. Still, you will have more mobility.
2. Small European Camper Trailers May Have Fewer Amenities
You can easily get a massive Airstream travel trailer in the United States, which can be as luxurious as a 5-star hotel suite. Yet, if you are traveling in Europe, and need something smaller and more compact, you simply won’t get the amenities you would get in an RV.
This means you might not have a shower in your caravan, although most now have fitted toilets. The toilet might be a chemical toilet, though, not one with water.
3. More People Can Travel in an RV
In many places (including the United States), you cannot have people traveling in a camper trailer. While you need to check the laws of the countries you’ll be visiting, you should assume the laws are similar in Europe. So an RV can potentially be a more comfortable trip for a larger family.
Where to Find More Information on European RV Camping
If you do a search on “RV rental Europe” you are sure to find many commercial companies promising to rent you a luxury RV or camper for your European holiday.
In addition to reviewing these websites, you might also want to check websites for local RV and caravan associations. These websites might provide information that is much more objective and less geared towards selling you something.
For example, the Caravan and Motorhome Club, based in Sussex, England, claims to be the “biggest touring community in Europe.” They provide tons of free information on their website. For members, they offer discounts on their Club sites. Americans and people from all countries can certainly become members to take advantage of the service.
Joining a club like this can also help you to learn more of the local lingo. For example, someone from Britain might be more inclined to say “motorhome” than “RV.”
Take a European RV Adventure Today!
No matter whether you choose a large RV or the much-maligned caravan, you can have a fantastic, fun trip across the European continent and up into Great Britain. Europe offers a variety of cultures, cuisines, and amazing sights. You will see mountains, lakes, sparkling oceans, and breathtaking vistas as you drive your moveable home through the countryside.