An extract on #campervan
The term motorhome is sometimes used interchangeably with campervan, but the former can also be a larger vehicle than a campervan and intended to be more comfortable, whilst the latter is more concerned with ease of movement and lower cost. For example, some campervans lack built-in toilets and showers, or a divide between the living compartment and the cab.
The United States term "recreational vehicle" (RV) is more analogous to motorhome than campervan.
Campervans may be equipped either with a "pop-up" roof which is raised during camping or a fixed roof, either shared with the commercial van that forms the basis of the vehicle (commonly a "high-top" model), or as part of a custom coachbuilt body.
Campervans usually have a small kitchen with a refrigerator (which is often powerable by a choice of gas, battery, or mains electricity) and a two-burner gas hob and grill. They generally have dual-voltage lighting which can work from either a dedicated battery (other than the van battery) known as a deep-cycle or leisure battery, or from AC power, supplied at a campsite via a hook-up cable. Larger models may include a water heater, space heating and air conditioning, a portable toilet and even an internal shower. Smaller models often carry a "porta-potty" portable toilet, and sometimes an external shower which operates within the privacy of an awning.
The term "Dormobile" is sometimes used generically in the United Kingdom thanks to a once highly popular conversion brand, and "Kombi" is used in Australia and other countries. The popularity of this type expanded in the 1950s after Volkswagen commissioned the Westfalia company to use the Kombi version of their Type 2 transporter as the basis for a campervan.
Often called a 4WD camper or 4x4 camper, these vehicles are perfect for going off the beaten track and exploring unsealed roads. Some models include expandable tents mounted on the roof while others have pop-up roofs for additional sleeping space and storage.
Pop-up roof variants share certain design elements with roof tents as sometimes fitted to more robust four wheel drive off-road vehicles intended for expeditions rather than relaxed camping. A compromise between these two worlds is sometimes reached by basing the conversion on an off-road vehicle. Sometimes the conversion is demountable from the back of a pick-up truck body.
There are several types of campervan all manufactured by Volkswagen but depending on their age they are colloquially referred to as either a splitty (split windscreen) a bay (bay framed windscreen) or a bricky ("brick" shaped van).
Although less popular, Mercedes also manufactured a similar-sized light van and conversions were reasonably common in the 1960s and '70s. Of a similar size and vintage is the British Commer Spacevan conversion.
In Europe the Citron H-Van has also been used a base for many campervan conversions, and is popular amongst Dutch and Belgian users in particular. Ex-factory, it had several height and length configurations, and in all versions it had a low floor and high ceiling, a legacy of one of its original uses as a mobile shop. It does not usually need a pop-top to accommodate its users.
Modern mid-sized Japanese vans such as the Toyota Hiace are sometimes converted to have the appearance of a classic Volkswagen.