camper vans vs small motorhomes to rent for the beach

Why Camper Vans are Better than Small Motorhomes to Rent

For today’s modern traveler, the lure of hitting the open road and exploring new terrains has become more than just a hobby—it’s a lifestyle. The surge in the vanlife movement and digital nomad culture is a testament to the evolving way we experience the world around us. Yet as this passion grows, the debate over the most practical and enjoyable way to travel surfaces. In this in-depth comparison, we’ll explore why so many choose camper vans instead of small motorhomes for rent.

camper van rentals offer more driving options than small motorhomes for rent

Benefits of Renting Camper Vans

Flexibility in Travel Itineraries

One of the most alluring aspects of camper van travel is the unparalleled freedom it offers. Unlike traditional vacations or even trips with small motorhomes, vanlife is defined by spontaneity. With a camper van, you have the flexibility to change your destination at a moment’s notice, linger longer in a place that captivates you, or take a detour to a hidden gem. And since you can go off-road or boondock in many locations, you can do all this without the constraints of booked accommodations and fixed itineraries. This is mostly because camper vans are self-contained, while traditional RVs are designed to use at established campsites that offer hook-ups and generators.


In an era when cost is a significant factor in travel planning, camper van rentals shine. With reasonable rental costs, and substantial savings on accommodation and dining, especially if you can prepare your own meals using the van’s kitchen facilities, the financial benefit of vanlife is hard to ignore. Furthermore, the compact size generally translates to cheaper ferry or toll fees, and more affordable parking options when compared to small motorhomes for rent. Fuel efficiency also decreases costs, as well as the ability to enjoy dispersed camping. With dispersed camping, you don’t have to pay for campgrounds. 

Eco-Friendly Travel Option

The conscientious traveler is increasingly looking for ways to minimize their environmental footprint. Camper vans, particularly when fitted with modern, energy-efficient features, are a clear winner in the sustainability department. They typically consume less fuel compared to their larger counterparts, contributing less to congestion and emissions.

Enhanced Outdoor Experience

For travelers who yearn for an authentic outdoor experience, a camper van is an ideal companion. Its compact size allows it to venture into off-the-beaten-path areas that are often inaccessible to larger vehicles. Whether you’re a surfer seeking out remote beaches, a hiker wanting to camp near the trailhead, or a nature photographer looking for the perfect sunrise spot, a van’s ability to take you closer to nature is unmatched.

storage space in camper van better than small motorhomes for rent

Advantages of Camper Vans over Small Motorhomes

Maneuverability and Parking

Maneuvering through winding country roads, small towns, and tight urban spaces is less stressful with a camper van. Their small size allows for easier navigation and parking, providing access to urban centers and natural retreats alike. The experience of driving and parking a small motorhome in comparison can be cumbersome and limit your proximity to attractions.

Fuel Efficiency

Eco-consciousness and efficiency go hand in hand, and camper vans deliver both. With modern fuel-efficient engines and aero-dynamic designs, they require less fuel to cover the same distances, making them a more sustainable choice for the environment and a kinder option for your wallet. Small motorhomes for rent can use almost twice as much gas or diesel fuel, making it a poor choice for efficiency and cost.

Customization and Personalization

Camper vans cater to the individual’s needs more effectively than small motorhomes. Many rental vans are blank canvases, ready to be personalized with the traveler’s equipment and gear, fostering a sense of ownership and comfort. From bike racks to rooftop tents, the customization options for camper vans are vast and can be tailored to meet your specific travel requirements.

For example, small vans like a ProMaster City offer a compact experience, like Rover or Scout. And vans with high clearance and 4×4 can comfortably off-road to lesser traveled destinations.

Despite their small size, vans come in all shapes and sizes. They offer different types of layouts to fit your travel style. You can enjoy features such as a platform bed with a gear garage to haul your bikes and outdoor equipment, a murphy bed or dinette that converts into a bed to give you more living room space, or a pop-top which allows you to comfortably sleep four people.

Connectivity and Digital Nomad-Friendly Features

In our increasingly connected world, the ability to stay online and keep up with work or social obligations is crucial for many travelers, especially digital nomads. Camper vans can often provide better internet solutions and workspace configurations compared to small motorhomes for rent, with technological integrations that are more accessible and reliable. Products like Starlink offer high-speed internet almost anywhere you travel, giving you even more flexibility with camper vans.

small motorhomes for rent aren't as easy to drive and park at the beach as are camper van rentals

Camper Van Rentals Can’t Be Beat

For the adventure enthusiast, the choice between camper vans and small motorhomes for rent is significant. Camper vans offer a host of advantages, including greater flexibility, cost-effectiveness, sustainability, and a closer connection to the great outdoors. By opting for a camper van, travelers can immerse themselves in the van life culture and create rewarding travel experiences that resonate with their values and lifestyle. GoCamp camper vans are built by quality builders, many who got their start because they were unsatisfied with traditional RVs. 

Whether you’re planning a weekend escape or a nomadic lifestyle unfettered by the anchors of traditional travel, it’s clear that the camper van route offers a world of adventure waiting to be explored. With each mile traveled and every night spent under the stars, the reason why camper vans are the ultimate choice becomes more apparent.

Start exploring camper van rentals with GoCamp today!