Campervan: A Definitive Guide

Campervan: A Definitive Guide
a white color campervan standing on a road

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A campervan is excellent for camping purpose because they can be used for transportation and accommodation purpose.

But many people have confusion in regards to a campervan and a motorhome, so let’s see what is a campervan, features of a campervan and types of a campervan.


What is a campervan?

A campervan is also known as a camper or a caravanette, it is a self-propelled vehicle that provides both transport and sleeping accommodation. A van which has been modified or fitted out often by a coach built body for use as accommodation.


Features of a campervan

There are many features in a campervan which makes things easier for a camper. Like campervans can be equipped with a pop-up roof or a fixed roof.

There is usually a small kitchen with a refrigerator. A refrigerator can be powered by electricity, battery or propane gas. There is also a cooking top with a grill which is also powered by electric, battery or gas.

Electricity is of two types one is DC powered which is acquired from a battery and the second from AC power supplied at campsite via a hookup cable.

In the larger version of campervan, you may find a water heater, space heating, portable toilet, shower, and air conditioning. A smaller version can have a porta potty which is a portable toilet and also an external shower.

Other features that you may find in a modern campervan:

  1. Propane gas or electric powered refrigerator 1
  2. Microwave oven
  3. Oven 2
  4. Electric or propane gas-powered water heater
  5. Beds which can be changed to seats 3
  6. Electric supply by battery or an external hook-up
  7. Toilet and a built-in cassette
  8. Shower facility
  9. TV
  10. Air Conditioning
  11. Room heater or central heating system
  12. Potable water tank
  13. Wastewater tank grey for wash water and black for sewer water
  14. An extendable canvas shade for protection from the sun
  15. Generator powered by propane gas, diesel or gasoline
  16. Bike rack


Size & type classifications of the campervan (European & British)

A-class (AC)

A-class in Europe is very similar to North American recreational vehicles but are smaller in size. North American Recreational vehicles are known as Winnebagos.

By weight a full coach built over a medium to large campervan range from 7.5 tonnes and above.

It features include an electrically operated slide-out extension to the living space, windmills which generate electricity, and large models could have a hydraulically operated garage which is capable of transporting a small car.

Smaller A-class campervans are also popular in Europe instead of an Overcab Coachbuilts but without the base vehicle cab, a wider cab is added for a drop down bed to be fitted above. They have a large curved windscreen.


Overcab (OC)

These have a coach-built body retaining the base vans cab but with a raised luten van style area over the cab containing a bed. 4 These beds are fixed and generally built by moving seats and tables or can be lowered from the ceiling.

You will also find a shower and a toilet attached. There can be a garage space for a bike or can come with a mechanism by which you can tow a small car.

Common base vehicles used are Fiat Ducato, Renault Master, and Ford Transit.


Low profile (LP)

These campervans are coach built without a raised bed over the cab. Here also you may find fixed beds which can be built by moving seats and table or by lowering it from the ceiling.

There is an attached toilet and shower. There are garage space and a towing fitting for cars.


High Top (HT)

These are based on high top vans. They are generally around 2.8 to 4.5 tonnes by weight without any major coach building modifications to the body.


Rising Roof (RR)

These are generally based on small vans typically with 2 or 3 tonnes vehicle weight. Beds are generally in the rising roof but can also be built by moving seats and tables.


Fixed Roof (FR)

They are also known as surf vans or surf buses or day vans. They are generally similar to the size of rising roof design. Beds can be made by moving tables and seats.


Dismountable (DM)

In this, a coach built body is mounted on a pick-up load bed and are commonly removable at campsite or home. This allows the vehicle to be used again.



These are imported models from North America and they vary in size. Generally, a van chassis is provided without any interior or exterior features. They are then up-fitted with RV amenities by a coachbuilder.


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