Why Choose Travel Trailer Or Caravan Life Over Van Life?

This post was last updated on 2022 July 3

This guest post is by Maddie and James of Wanderus Living. All photos of the travel trailer are by them; the RV and van photos are by Lindsay.

Van Life has become one of the most popular ways for people to live and travel full time.

When it came to deciding on a vehicle, we kept going back and forth between 3 main options: Van, Class C Motorhome, or Jeep + Travel Trailer. We ruled out larger options like a Class A motorhome or 5th Wheeler RV, as they would be too cumbersome to drive and ultimately add more stress to our day. 

So… why did we go with Jeep and Travel Trailer over Van Life or a Class C Motorhome?

Note: Travel Trailers are also known as Caravans in Australia.

caravan travel

The main reason that we didn’t go with a van was because they don’t have enough room to make us feel comfortable. We knew we were going to be spending a lot of time inside our home on wheels and really wanted it to feel like a home, rather than a crash pad. Also, the sprinter vans we were considering don’t have any slide outs, which was a deal breaker for us.

The other option that we were considering was a Class C Motorhome, primarily because it’s much more spacious than a sprinter van. We really love the idea of being able to make food, lay in a bed, and watch TV while driving down the highway in comfort. We’ve actually talked about selling our travel trailer and purchasing a Class C camper to pull the Jeep Wrangler, which we may do at some point in the future. 

At the end of the day, we wanted our “house” and vehicle separate. This way we could off-road and not have to pack up all of our gear, or run to Walmart really quickly without having to worry about securing everything in our van.

So ultimately we decided to work and travel full-time with a Jeep and Travel Trailer. These are the 3 things we love most about caravan life:


travel trailer

1 – Off Roading Adventures in the Jeep Wrangler

We wanted to be able to have the freedom to off-road and explore certain locations that a van or motorhome can’t reach. This played a huge role in us going with a Jeep Wrangler, because we can leave the camper at the campsite and take the Jeep on amazing adventures that we wouldn’t have been able to reach with a van or larger rig.

Thinking long term, we have future plans to take the Jeep on the Pan American trail without the travel trailer. And once COVID-19 is behind us, we plan on shipping the Jeep overseas to other more exotic locations, such as Africa, Australia, New Zealand and possibly Europe.

Though it’s much more comfortable living in the travel trailer, we’re willing to downsize and outfit the Jeep with a rooftop tent and off-road gear to embark on these longer journeys. We have also talked about eventually living in just the Jeep while traveling the US and Canada. This will give us ultimate freedom to reach remote and beautiful destinations otherwise impossible with a trailer in tow.

travel yosemite
Caravan life vs RV life: RVs are trickier to maneuver and can’t really go off-roading.

2 – Remote Working From The Travel Trailer

Maddie and I both work full-time on the road and need space to spread out and work. I use two laptops and a bunch of recording devices while working, which take up a lot of space. Van Life would not have been able to accommodate all my gear. Having an open workspace with room to move around and be comfortable was a must for us in order to work effectively.

Right now we both work for companies and are not 100% independent to be working with just a laptop for ourselves, hence the excessive gear we’re traveling with. Our ultimate goal is to be able to quit our jobs and use our blog and YouTube channel as our main source of income. When we do finally get to that point, we will have more freedom and flexibility to choose how we live and work. Many people travel full-time and live and work out of a van, but a trailer or large RV will offer a lot more space for working and provide a more stable work environment.

caravan life
Inside the travel trailer.

3 – Having Both A Car AND A Home In One Setup

A Jeep Wrangler is not the most ideal tow vehicle, but it serves us well. Having a car separate from our living space means we don’t have to have to pack up an entire van or RV just to run to the store, get water, medicine, gas or anything in general.

This setup provides us with more flexibility when we are staying put for a while. If we want to camp somewhere for two weeks, we don’t have to pack up our home every time we want to leave the campsite. If we have plans to stay in a certain location for 
over a month, we can leave our home on wheels at the campsite and head out on an adventure for the day whenever we feel like it.

Another reason this setup works for us is because sometimes I need to travel for work. I can do so without forcing Maddie to go with me and instead, I can take the Jeep while she stays with the camper.

eyre peninsula campsite

Caravan life vs van life: with a van, you must pack up everything whenever you want to drive somewhere.

Van Life, RV Life, Caravan Life… Which Is Best?

When it comes to deciding between Van Life, Jeep Life, RV-ing, or living out of a car, it comes down to your own needs. There is no “best” or “right” way to live on the road.

If you plan on staying in certain locations for extended periods or don’t want to move around a lot, then a travel trailer / caravan or RV would suit you well. They give you more room and comfort than a van and don’t have to be packed up every time you drive somewhere. Van Life is great for someone on a budget, traveling solo, or moving around a lot.

We chose the Jeep and Travel Trailer life because it suited our needs the best, and gave us more comfort and off-road ability. What would you choose?

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Why Choose Travel Trailer or Caravan Life Over Van Life?