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Updated on March 31, 2011

History of Caravan and its classification:The camper or motor home is more properly a means of transport, which is classified by the code of the street between cars, which, as the trailer - also known as Parks - are prepared to allow the permanent residence of its occupants.

Unlike the trailer, which must be towed by another vehicle, the camper is equipped with motor and self-help system. Some models have features very high comfort and roominess. In some countries where a significant proportion of the population frequently change their place of residence and work, such as the United States, is used by many households as a permanent home, like modern nomads, especially in Europe.

The construction of the cell population is spread on the frame of a motorized commercial vehicle series. In Italy the most used are Fiat Ducato, Ford Transit and the Ford has a frame that allows the preparation of an exhibition whose mass at full load (PTT) does not exceed 3.5 tonne weight limit for driving license Category B, while the Fiat can get in some specific versions, up to 4.3 T. For more demanding installations, especially if more than 3.5 T GVW, you prefer to use mechanical frame truck like the Iveco Daily.Rare are the fittings on vehicles like 4x4 Daily or Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. The mechanical front-wheel drive are preferred on most of the preparations for the relatively low cost and lack of mechanical transmission footprint towards the rear, not just this particular facilitates the conversion of the vehicle. The rear-wheel drive offers the advantage of better traction in challenging driving conditions, the fact that the weight dell'allestimento often rests more on the rear (even beyond the rear overhang: garage in the rear, removable bike rack and tow trucks appendix, etc.) .

In Europe, the first wagons built for specific use of housing, rather than only for the transportation of persons or goods, have been developed in France around 1810. England have been used by street vendors and circus performers from 1820, while the gypsies began to live in caravans (vardos) since 1850. In Italy and Europe is very popular as a means of tourist transport, used by holidaymakers of all walks of life, who appreciate the sense of freedom and flexibility with which you plan your holidays or short periods of free time during the whole of ' year, which would otherwise be difficult to usable, is also often used for business (fair) or other competitive sports.In some contexts, tourism is seen as a competitor compared to the stable tourism. Some categories of local businesses, being able to consider as a partial diversion of revenue, do not like this form of mobility and knowledge of cultures, focused more on the journey "On the Road" that the typical hotels and holiday villages socially accepted. This view is not universally shared. Some resorts, however, are gearing up and welcome these people who chose a new form of tourism, seeing them as a source of income since this category has more or less the same needs of the tourists traditional bars, restaurants, souvenirs, food supply, etc..Usually, the economic return is greater in those places that offer free parking. Many farms are already equipped to stop asking for free in exchange for the purchase of products of own production or after having enjoyed the meal services. In some cases, however, requires a fee. Not always the choice of buying an RV is the right one, in many cases, the formula remains the most affordable rentals. The cost of RV rental vary according to season, model, miles and number of posts.As in many other states, some of motorhome rental companies provide shuttle service to and from airports combined with the rental of the camper. Alternative Tourism used by national or foreign tourist who moves first and then by plane to Italy in a camper or to the European countries to appreciate the flavors and visit places that only a tourist can make the move. Every town in Italy would then (as provided for by national law) provide for the construction of service facilities for campers (usually called camper service) are very easy to do and consist (in the simplest form) is an area where at least a grid where they can drain the tanks to be emptied of sewage and gray water, and with at least one drinking water supply with which the tanks of clear water.Any addition is then an improvement, such as dedicated parking spaces, bins for recycling, public transport links, studs for electrical connection, green and public gardens. The advantage is undisputed that when the tourists disappear, the environment takes its original shape, unlike the fixed settlements which change the environment forever, and are often deserted for long periods of the year. The motorhome is self-sufficient even in the case of non-stop flights in specially equipped, being provided with an electrical system, heating and exhaust systems. At the same time has the possibility of using the electrical connections provided by the campsite.

Classification of Caravan

The camper is different because of the housing unit (or cell) in 4 main categories:



-Semi-or full profiles


-Camper pure

with the addition of the category also hook cell, but is not considered a true camper.


     The cell population is composed of an external element, married during the construction phase with a tractor. What makes this medium is the continuation of the cell just above the cockpit driving enabling the presence of additional beds. This is a version that combines the most widely used and the relative ease of construction with the possibility of hosting a good number of passengers, typically between 4 and 6, without sacrificing too much living spaces on board. The attic also poses some limitations to driveability, due to an overall height greater than the other displays and increased drag due to the obvious overhanging profile of the cockpit, resulting in increased fuel consumption. The usability of the medium even in a situation of prolonged periods can be further increased by the presence on the passenger side door and removable awnings that increase the surface area sheltered from the elements.

Semi-or Full Profiles

    The low-profile (also called profile) shows the living quarters built on a chassis cab that instead of the attic, is aerodynamically connected to the volume of the cockpit windshield with a pre-formed in which, typically, are placed hanging low and sometimes a compartment-TV. The name itself, "profile", indicates that normally this type of vehicle is lower than the others and, therefore, faster, frugal fuel consumption and more manageable to drive. This camper also poses fewer difficulties in the event of laying up in the garage (usually 2.65 to 2.80 meters). As it has a double bed in less than (what is usually placed in the attic of which this car does not have) is usually chosen by those who prefer to travel as a couple without children.



     The living cell is one with the tractor. This is the type most luxurious and expensive as the entire structure is built from scratch using only the motor (chassis shield) of the means by which it came. It is also the most popular for larger campers, where containment of the masses is not considered essential.


    The design of the vehicle can not remember in any way the commercial vehicle from which comes the frame, so the living area is redesigned so as to make best use of available space, even the part used to house the driver while driving becomes part integral livable environment during breaks. Highly publicized and very often are classified luxurious motorhome that serve to accommodate drivers of motor sports, travel during the race.The motorhome offers all passengers an immersive visual gear thanks to the large surface area very similar to the front window of a bus Some motorhomes have a tilting bed that allows for a kind of attic without ruining the shape of the camper with the attic; of course, to bed down the habitability of the motorhome is difficult, so the bed is lowered only for the period strictly necessary to use (usually only at night) and you can not take the lead of the half as long as the bed was not raised. On the other hand the space between the mattress and the ceiling of the garage door of the cell is usually greater than the average attic.


Camper Pure

One from which they borrowed the name of the other models, is nothing but a van itself, which is largely maintained in the body of the series, and then set up internally, giving it thermal insulation, furniture, 'necessary for plant life on board. Can be equipped with raised roofs as standard or modified by the bodybuilder (also called hi-top), or roof, "bellows" or a roof, usually made of fiberglass, which can be lifted from the inside while remaining hinged on one side, or fully raised and the walls of which are represented by flexible material type tent (also called pop-up).These vehicles despite living less than others because they are appreciated very handy, have dimensions of length, width and height less than other types of campers. This also makes them faster and less hungry for fuel. The campers were the first examples of the transformation of handicraft goods vehicles with windows as standard with the replacement of seats and usually the interior with furniture and furnishings at night to allow a degree of mobility.

Popular in the seventies and immortalized in the film many achievements derived from the mechanics of camper vans Volkswagen, considered almost an icon of the generation of flower children.

Even today, fans lend themselves to devise specific solutions, including, for example, starting from the mechanics of old trucks and old buses, creating works very curious. Some have a rocking bed instead of the attic.

Demountable Cell (for pick-up)

While a fixed cell, built jointly on the mechanics of a pick-up camper is considered, they can not be demountable cells, real living cells released from the medium, designed to be simply supported and attached to a normal vehicle.


    Typically, the vehicle is used as a base platform with a truck or, more recently, the typical American pick-up, normally used during the year and converted into a recreational vehicle, with the addition of a separate cell for the period of holiday. This combination - a pick-up hook + cell "- must never be confused with mobile homes built on the mechanics of a pick-up, but they are, and remain substantially in weight and - usually - accessible from the cockpit, campers in effect (only more efficient than the other campers on difficult terrain thanks to the power, road holding and minimum height of the vehicle).


   The solution of the cell shall not provide the same comfort of the models built specifically with the cell fixed to the vehicle permanently: suffer from limitations of space, as well as the fact that the interior part of the night driving and are in no way communicating between them (in fact, are just two separate bodies which may be separated, so that, when not in use, the cell is left parked on four telescopic feet for parking). One of the great benefits of the cell that is the hook, once there, for example, in a camp, you get a chance in a few minutes to "let there," the cell on special standing and walking around with half the free mechanical heavy burden.


    This type of solution has the advantage of significant savings in terms of purchase cost if you already have the pick-up, but the enormous differences in terms of comfort and size, especially with regard to: the kitchen, the bathroom (sometimes absent), retention of water, living space and also the air conditioning / insulation.


    In general there are at least three different types of cell to be applied to pick-up: the classic, the reducible, the low profile pop-up canopy.


    Each type has different characteristics that make it more or less capable of a certain type of tourism. However this is in any case of complete equipment, especially the first two types, even for the most challenging journeys.

Classical Cell

The classical cell, including cells for pick-up, the more spacious (though already with interior contents). It is normally designed for 4 persons (2 + 2 VERSIONS stable loft in the cabin), has WC / shower room with sink, gas stove, 2-3 burner stove, oven / microwave, sink, fridge with freezer compartment 110 liter, 80-120 liters of clear water tank, gray water tank 60 liter 18 liter box black water, gas heating. Often, depending on the climate, has a ceiling air conditioner, powered by a generator placed outside a gas station, in a locker. It is suitable for large pick-up, from 5,000 cc and above. It is also suitable to cover the dirt tracks or white, but suffers from the excessive weight in the off-road.

Reduced Cell

      The cell has reduced the entire roof in a position to travel is lowered, so that the entire cell does not exceed by much, in height, the roof of the car pick-up. Only when it becomes necessary to enter the cell is released outside of the roof and rooms in the "station", remaining connected to the wall by a bellows. Such a cell is lighter than its predecessor (although less insulated temperature and noise), allows higher speeds of movement (less air resistance), and allows you to take off-road routes as not extreme. As a further drawback to be noted that you can not stay inside when the roof is lowered, and that the spaces are usually smaller than the classical cell.

Lowered Cell

      The cell lowered pop-up canopy features a fixed roof deck (with internal height around 165 cm), with the center (which corresponds to the walkable area of the cell) that a roof, the vehicle stopped, can be extruded upward creating more space for taller people. However, even with the roof down you can stand, even with his head bowed, or sit in comfort or laid for the night. The cells of this type are particularly aerodynamic, allowing high transport speeds higher than those of the previous two types, even in rough terrain (tôle ondulée) that can be dealt with at high speeds without fear of damage to the cell.Thanks to their low weight (less than 5 pounds, are an excellent solution for demanding and extreme off-road trails (including desert), in which you want to still have the classic comfort of half camper. The cells are shown in monocoque fiberglass for winter tourism in the snow at very low temperatures, thanks to its excellent insulation, it is possible to sleep with pop-up down. They represent a more sacrifice of other types, but are always ready (to enter it is not necessary to raise the roof as in case of reducible), and in any weather, with toilet, 2 burner gas cooker, fridge 55 liter, 10 liter gas boilers, water clear 80-liter, 50 liter gray water tank, bed for 2 adults attic and a third bed (for 1 adult or 2 children) prepared dinette (table 3 that allows people to sit comfortably). Access to the cell is done through the back door (more rarely lateral), from under which a retractable ladder extends to ground level.


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    • Mrs. J. B. profile image

      Mrs. J. B. 

      7 years ago from Southern California

      What an interesting topic. I never gave to much thought about the caravan and it's history. I loved your hub.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      very nice hub. i like your articles very much. thanks for sharing with us. you work so hard. god bless you

    • susannah42 profile image


      7 years ago from Florida

      Good information about campers and mobile homes. Loved reading about the details.

    • scarytaff profile image

      Derek James 

      7 years ago from South Wales

      A very comprehensive hub. Well researched information that will be very useful to prospective campers. Well done.


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