Caravan or Tent?

Are you interested in taking the family on the road and enjoying more adventurous holidays where there does not need to be a fixed destination? There are many options open to you if you are looking to invest in a home away from home that you can take anywhere. Given how popular each is, you may have difficulty choosing between whether you should invest in a caravan or a tent.

It’s fair to say both offers the potential of fun and alternative family holidays that has fewer boundaries than if you stuck to the beaten path. There really is no right or wrong answer, as it really comes down to a matter of taste. To help you make the choice that’s right for your family and travelling party, therefore, we are going to compare and contrast both options in several specific categories. This will give you a side-by-side look at what is great and not so great about them and which would meet your needs, requirements and preferences best.

The Differences


The first aspect of either option we think it’s is important to look at to determine which is right between a caravan and a tent is the costs involved. Although a caravan can provide a greater degree of luxury, offers more space to keep all your stuff and will have set and firmly established sleeping quarters and living quarters, there is no escaping that even a good second hand touring vehicle is going to be more expensive than a tent.

It’s not only the initial purchase price you need to factor into your decision, though, as it’s important to consider the running costs too. Again, you will find tents are less expensive. Often campsites and caravan parks charge more to guests looking to pitch up in a tourer than they do to those looking to pitch up and erect their tent.

Given that you won’t have access to a hob, oven or even a microwave when you are holidaying in a tent, however, the day to day costs might be slightly higher because you’d need to buy some kind of cooking appliance and gas to fuel it.

Living Space

Are you worried about having spacious accommodation or are you more interested in having the freedom and back-to-nature experience? Working out what you want with regards to space will help you decide between a tent and caravan. With a tent, even if you invest in a big 5 or even 6-berth model, space is always going to be at a premium. And while a caravan may not be overrun with free space, there is more, particularly with the addition of an awning to your outfit, than a tent can offer.

Home Comforts

Another major consideration to make when choosing between a caravan and a tent is how outdoorsy you and your family really are. Are you the kind that relishes the thought of needing to warm up beans or porridge for your breakfast? Are you looking forward to sleeping under the stars or would you prefer to have one foot in the rural and wild countryside, with the other in civilisation?

As well as cooking and cleaning equipment and appliances, you also get the benefit, depending on your setup, from television,


Storage is the one thing that so many people seem to neglect when making their decision. Obviously, you will be excited to get on the road, but you need to think about what you are going to do with the tent or caravan you invest in when you are back to the humdrum of everyday living.

With a tent, that’s very simple – there’s probably space under a bed, on top of a wardrobe, or in the garage to store it when you are not on the road. A caravan is a little trickier to store away. Even if you have the space to keep it on your property or directly in front of your home, we would recommend you think again.

Most thefts, according to experts, of touring vehicles happen in two places – service stations and from spots close to the owner’s home. Although there are good deals available and plans that allow you to pay for caravan storage when you need it, caravan storage still constitutes another cost you need to calculate when working out whether it’s right for you or not.

Summary – Which is best? You Decide!

As we stated at the outset, there really right or wrong answer, as caravans and tents both have their plus points and negatives. At Caravan Helper, we may be a little biased towards tourers than tents, but we still appreciate the experience of camping out under the stars beneath a layer of canvas.

It all comes down to what you and your family want, and indeed, need from your home away from home when you are travelling and exploring (potentially) the length and breadth of our fine country and beyond.

Take the time to really look at each aspect of these excellent accommodation options. Think also about the ease of use, the fact you’d need to tow a caravan and whether you are confident in doing that or not and the kind of places you want to visit and the weather conditions you are likely to experience there.

Once you have considered all this and anything else you can think of, you will be better able to make the best decision for you and your household.

Whatever you decide, we want to wish you happy travels all the way.

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