Switch from caravan to a motorhome?

After years of camping with a caravan, we consider switching to a motorhome. We had the opportunity to try out a Sun Living S 72DL motorhome for a "testing holiday" with our family.

We have camped with a caravan for many years, along with our two children, aged 14 and 16. However, using a motorhome required some adjustment and different preparation. Unlike the caravan, we couldn't load it up next to our house. Instead, we visited the dealer beforehand to familiarize ourselves with the motorhome's features and prepare accordingly.

S 72DL with separate beds in the rear and lifting bed above the dinette.

Our first impression of the motorhome, the Sun Living S 72DL, was excellent. It had ample cupboard space, two separate beds in the back, and a drop-down bed. The shower, although small, seemed efficient with its foldable washbasin. Unlike our caravan, the motorhome also had a complete shower cabin with a curtain separating it from the toilet. However, we questioned the necessity of using the shower frequently, considering an outside shower connection would suffice for off-the-grid camping.

For our first night, we chose a motorhome spot to have the full experience. We found everything we needed there. Parking the vehicle went smoothly, thanks to the rear-view camera, which proved to be an invaluable aid. We then fully experienced the motorhome's interior. The dinette was cozy, and the table was practical and flexible. The kitchen functioned well, with three burners placed side by side. The large fridge with a freezer compartment was a significant improvement over the tiny fridge in our caravan. The tap also worked better than what we were used to. However, with four people inside, maneuvering around the narrow space between the kitchen and the shower became a challenge, especially when the drop-down bed was lowered. There was not much more space in our caravan but we had the option of using the awning, and the kids slept in their own tent there.

So we had to adapt to the motorhome's layout, but the comfort of having four good sleeping places was a significant advantage. The kids fit well in the front bed and had their own light. After a good night's sleep, we could lift up the bed and regain space.

Driving the motorhome to the south of Limburg was surprisingly easy. It provided a smooth ride, shifting gears was effortless, and the mirrors offered good visibility. Comparatively, driving the motorhome was easier than towing the caravan. It was a bit peculiar that two passenger seats required conversion before driving, resulting in extra cushions to store somewhere. 

Everything in the motorhome had its designated place, allowing for quick settling once we reached our destination. Unlike the caravan, we didn't have to unload our belongings first, lower the corner steadies, set up the awning, or rearrange items before relaxing. The motorhome offered more living space, which we found advantageous during longer stays.

Even on a regular camping day, the motorhome serves as a comfortable accommodation. However, the downside of motorhome living, as everyone mentions, is doing the groceries. While it would have been easy to use the motorhome, we opted to take a bike instead, allowing one of us to go separately. The motorhome had a reasonably large garage, providing ample storage space. However, it was prone to getting messy due to the abundance of things we could bring along. If we owned a motorhome, we would efficiently organize it with crates or a drawer cabinet to ensure everything had its designated place.

We hiked a part of the Pieterpad on day 2 and parked the motorhome at a public parking area with small designated spaces. It took some skill, but we managed to park successfully. We spent our second and third nights at a compact campsite, maneuvering carefully with the help of mirrors and the rear-view camera. We were getting accustomed to the space and storage options, finding a rhythm. During dinner, we had our first family evaluation and agreed that we could easily get used to the motorhome lifestyle. It felt like a home away from home, and we even started dreaming about a trip to Norway.

On the long drive home, the motorhome remained very comfortable. Sitting in a regular car for four hours can be tiring, requiring constant adjustment in the seat. In the motorhome, the kids could play games, and all seats were enjoyable to sit in. The elevated position also provided better visibility, leading to a more relaxed and peaceful driving experience compared to a car-caravan combination.

Traditionally, the father always drove when we traveled as a family of four. However, on this last day with the motorhome, the mother also drove for the experience. It took a moment to get used to shifting and the size of the motorhome, but as we mentioned before, it drove smoothly.

Upon returning home, we quickly emptied and cleaned the motorhome in just two hours. We felt a sense of nostalgia as we returned "our motorhome" to the dealer. We had discussions with the dealer about various possibilities and motorhome models.

We need serious time to think about it and find the best model for us. Buying a motorhome is a long-term commitment, and we want to make the right choice. This week showed us that a motorhome is a wonderful leisure vehicle, making it easy to travel and providing comfort. It truly encourages us to explore more of our own country, the Netherlands, as well as other parts of Europe.