It’s really hard to find a camping enthusiast who isn’t passionate about this question. Needless to say, most of them adore either their tents or RVs and are only too happy to point out the benefits of their choices. However, the truth is that there is no universal answer to this question since people have different expectations from their camping experience.
Just like a car that is perfect for one family is a bad choice for another, there are pros and cons of both campings in a tent and RV. If you’re still considering your options, we suggest you take a look at the following elements you need to consider before splashing out cash.
How easy is it to set up?
Modern tents and RVs are quite easy to set up and even if you’ve never done it before, you shouldn’t have many problems, no matter what option you choose. In most cases, modern tents can be put up by one or two people in about 15 minutes. It’s true that larger tents may require a bit more time and, possibly, an extra pair of hands, but even then, it shouldn’t take more than half an hour to have your tent up. On the other hand, RVs tend to vary a bit more in their setup times.
A tiny trailer requires unhitching and putting down stabilizer jacks, unlike a Class B motorhome, which needs very little work. A large motorhome will, logically, take up more of your time, because you’ll have to deal with slide-outs, awnings, and more. Finally, you should bear in mind you normally need more time to pack your tent than an RV.
What level of comfort are you looking for?
This is one of the questions that have a definite answer – RVs provide much more comfort. To begin with, sleeping in a tent means you’re either on the ground or on hard cots. In most cases, there’s no climate control and there is only a layer or two of thin material between you and the elements. When you need to cook, you need to use a separate grill or open fire. Finally, bathrooms are communal ones provided by the campground.
On the other hand, RV offers different levels of comfort, with even the most basic option being much more comfortable than a tent. RVs are fully equipped with amenities like kitchens, beds, and sometimes full bathrooms. It’s quite common to have a great RV air conditioner, which is a fantastic option when the weather outside is not perfect. Let’s not forget that RVs can be hooked up to electricity, water, and sewer, thus providing even more comfort.
Which one is more secure?
Again, RVs dominate this category. Most RVs have locking capabilities and you can lock the front door much like you could lock your home, while a tent provides only a simple zipper as a means of security. Even if we talk about curious animals and insects, an RV is a much safer option. Finally, it’s much easier to keep your camp gear safely stored away if you need to leave for some reason.
What about the costs?
Now, this is a category where tents have the upper hand. Not only is it cheaper to buy or rent a tent than an RV, but it’s also less expensive to rent a spot for a tent. Over the years, you’ll spend way less money if you have a tent. Though modern inflatable tents are not that cheap, they are still way more affordable than even a basic RV.
Which option allows more freedom?
Tents are the winner in this category. There are so many amazing places where you can stay in a tent, which are inaccessible to an RV. For a motorhome to get to a camping spot, you need a road good and wide enough for your vehicle, while camping in a tent allows you to park your car a bit further away and simply carry all your camping equipment to the spot.
As you can see, your choice depends on what kind of holidays you’re after and how much money you’re ready to spend. Even if you still feel you can’t make the right decision, there is something that you could do. Before spending any money on equipment, experiment by renting an RV for a short holiday and see how it feels. Then do the same with a tent. Your experience will then tell you what the right choice for you is.