What are the different types of Motorhome and Campervan?

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There are various types of motorhome and campervan in the UK. Sometimes the differences between body styles can be subtle and hard to spot, particularly if you’re not an expert. Even so, it helps to be able to tell them apart. If you’re in the market for a new motorhome then you might want to understand the pros and cons each. You may also be asked for the motorhomes body type when shopping for insurance.

What is a Motorhome?

A motorhome (or motor caravan) is a vehicle which has been built or adapted to provide living accommodation. For a vehicle to be legally declared a motorhome in the UK the DVLA requires it to have at least:

  • seats and a table
  • sleeping accommodation which may be converted from the seats
  • cooking facilities
  • storage facilities

If your van has some but not all of the above then it is not technically a motorhome or campervan. These vans are sometimes called “Day Vans”. A motorhome or campervan doesn’t need to be registered with the DVLA but doing so can help increase its value and make it easier to insurer.

Motorhomes and Campervans are very similar but Campervans are generally smaller, with more basic facilities. Most motorhomes are purpose-built from new, whereas campervans can be converted by professionals or enthusiasts.

Motorhome body types

Overcab Bed

Over Cab Bed Motorhome

Overcabs are one of the most common types of motorhome seen on UK roads. They’re sometimes also referred to as “Coachbuilt” motorhomes. They are distinguishable by the extra space above the cab of the van, which usually contains a double bed.

Low Profile

Low Profile Motorhome

Low profile motorhomes are a variation of Coachbuilt which lack the additional space above the cab. With less space they are usually limited to 2-4 berths but can be a little easier to manoeuvre.

A Class

A Class Motorhome

A Class motorhomes have an integrated cab which gives them their box shape. They usually feel larger on the inside and can be kitted out with high end fixtures and fittings.

American RV

American RV

RVs are technically a variation of an A Class motorhome, and the differences between the two are subject to debate. However an American RV is usually a very large, very well equipped motorhome.

Campervan body types

Fixed Roof

Fixed Roof Campervan

The most common form of campervan has a fixed roof which does not elevate and has not been modified. The most popular makes include VW, Ford, Mercedes and Mazda.

Elevating Roof

Elevating Roof Campervan

Some campervans are equipped with a roof which can raise up to increase headroom. Some even have space for an extra bed which can increase the berth of the van.

High Top

High Top Campervan

High top campervans are taller than a fixed roof, but the roof can not be raised or lowered. The roof can provide extra headroom and storage space and some even have windows to let in more light.

Classic VW Campervan

Classic VW Campervan

The classic VW T2 of the 60s – 70s are probably the most iconic campervan. Many are now carefully maintained by enthusiasts who hire them out for short trips or events.

What type of Motorhome is the most expensive to insure?

Generally speaking, the higher the value of the vehicle, the more expensive it is going to be to insure. So larger, better equipped RVs and A Class motorhomes tend to be the most expensive to ensure. That said, the type of motorhome and its value are just two of several factors which insurers might use when calculating insurance premiums. Things like where the vehicle is kept, how it is secured and the owner’s driving history are also considered. 

The easiest way to check how much you are likely when insuring different types of motorhomes is to compare quotes online, it only takes a few minutes so give it a go!