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What RVs are Called Around the World

Lakeshore RV Center


RVs are called many things such as motorhomes, campervans, coaches, caravans, fifth wheels, pop-ups, and travel trailers. Whether you go on vacation or holiday, RVs are a great way to travel, explore, and see different parts of the world. RV stands for recreational vehicle and depending where you live, a recreational vehicle can mean many different things. For those of you who are interested in traveling internationally, it is important to know what RVs are called around the world.

United States

Most Americans call recreational vehicles “RVs” but there are many other terms that are used including camper, trailer, motorhome, or described their RV by their RV type. In the United States, the terms are really interchangeable though RV is generally the American word for a motorhome or recreational vehicle. If you’re new to the RV industry or shopping for a New or Used RV, it’s helpful to know RVing 101 - Types of RVs


In Europe, RVs are referred to as “campers” or “caravans”. They are split into three basic groups.

  • Vans are the smallest but most popular. They are equipped like an RV with the interior converted by the owner. There are many emerging campervan companies such as Volkswagon Transporter and Westfalia. These fit under the European restrictions of 3.5 tons so you don’t need a special license to drive them.
  • Semi Integrated Campers is a common solution to camping in Europe. The cabin is manufactured and the living space is a travel trailer bolted onto the rear of the vehicle. They have become more popular in recent years. Although they’re larger and consume more fuel than a van, they are typically basic and stay under the 3.5 ton restrictions.
  • Integrated Campers are most similar to American RVs and have more luxurious options. The downfall is they come with a high price tag. There is lots of space and comfort. They are typically made of plywood and aluminum sheets which makes safety a concern for passengers.
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    People in Australia refer to RVs as “campervans”, “caravanning”, ‘housebus” and “motorhomes” which are interchangeable terms, both referring to a vehicle that can be driven and slept in. The larger RVs seen in America do not exist in Australia and are typically smaller. Since Australia is a large country, it is best to explore a small area or region at a time.


    People have been camping in Asia for many years, however, using an RV is a newer trend. Increasing wealth and desire for travel has boosted the RV market among Asian consumers. Similar to the US, they also use the term RV to describe a recreational vehicle. They have a wide variety of RV types including camper vans, motorhomes and travel trailers.

    South America

    In South America, RVs are referred to as campers, RVs and truck campers. Most of the people traveling by smaller RVs suck as camper vans or truck campers. Mechanically, it’s better to navigate a smaller RV versus a larger motorhome.


    RVers in Africa call RVs “camper vans”, “bush campers” and “motorhomes”. Traveling regions of Africa by a campervan or a motorhome gives you the sense of freedom while you explore new areas. They come equipped with all of the necessities so you don’t need to worry about local transportation or accommodations.


    What Americans refer to as RVs, homes on wheels are known as “camper cars”. Exploring Japan by a camper car is an affordable way to explore the country versus hotels or hostels. Camper cars are made by Toyota, Nissan and Subaru and come in many different sizes and configurations.


    No matter where you are in the world, traveling by a recreational vehicle is a great way to explore new destinations. When shopping for the best camper type to meet your needs, decide what type of camping you prefer, what amenities are important to you, and where you will be traveling. No matter what style you choose, the staff at Lakeshore RV in Muskegon can help you find the perfect RV. We have over 500 RVs in stock, offer zero-down financing options and will deliver right to your home, anywhere in the country. Check out all the campers at Lakeshore RV or call us today to get on the road to adventure! 231-788-2040

    2024 Camping Season Kick-Off
    2024 Camping Season Kick-Off