Are you thinking about going camping this summer? It’s a fantastic way to experience the great outdoors while having lots of fun with your family or friends. But the big question for campers is, which method of camping are you going to use? Are you going to camp in a tent, or will you try RV camping?
Some camping “purists” claim that RV camping is too cushy, so it isn’t “real camping.” And we’ll freely admit, it’s the more comfortable option! But both methods have their pros and cons—so let’s find out which one could be the best option for you.
Tent Camping Pros
Right away, camping in a tent has the advantage of being cost-effective. Even the most expensive tents won’t be anywhere near as expensive as an RV. So, if you want to camp on a budget and don’t already have access to an RV, then this might be the better of the two options for you.
Another significant advantage of tents is their flexibility. You can pack up your tent and move it pretty much anywhere. In turn, this gives you the advantage of being able to camp in a variety of different locations—something an RV may restrict you from doing.
So, when it comes to flexibility and affordability—two key factors for many—then tent camping comes out on top. However, it does have a few significant drawbacks as well . . .
Tent Camping Cons
First, there’s the comfort issue. Tents are not very comfortable, as your options are pretty much restricted to either sleeping on the floor or using an inflatable air mattress, a method that’s known more for its tendency to deflate overnight than to actually give you a good night’s rest. You’re also restricted for space, so it can be quite cramped and uncomfortable if multiple people share the same tent, not to mention the lack of space in transporting all your camping supplies plus passengers. Plus, when the weather is hot, a tent feels like a sauna!
Second, you don’t have any amenities inside the tent. There’s no shower, no toilet, no cooker—nothing. While campfire cooking has its appeals, it falls short when it comes to convenience. And toting around cookware just adds supplies to your load.
Finally, it can take a long time to set up a tent if you’ve never done it before. Setup can be frustrating, particularly if you’ve arrived at the campsite late at night and just want to get some sleep.
In contrast to tents, RVs are the clear winner when it comes to comfort. You can literally feel like you’re at home inside a good RV. There’s no need to get a sore back, as you can get an RV mattress that’s just as good as the one in your bedroom from Tochta. Plus, you can customize the mattress to fit your RV space, so it doesn’t take up too much room. The climate control allows you to still feel comfortable in warm weather, and there’s more space for relaxing inside when there’s inclement weather outside.
To add to this, RV camping offers protection from the elements. You never have to worry about water leaking in during a rainstorm or a gale of wind blowing you away. Both of these things are genuine concerns when tent camping!
You also get a host of amenities when you camp in an RV. There’s a private toilet, shower, fridge, sink, stove, and so many more things. It’s like having a mini house with you! And with cupboards and designated storage space for your equipment, there’s no need to squish with bags and bins piled on passengers’ laps as you drive to your destination.
Finally, there’s almost no setup required when you arrive at the campsite. Just park your RV, and you’re good to go. This also makes for easy unpacking when you get home, as you can keep all your camping equipment stored in your RV and ready to go for your next trip instead of packing it in and out of your vehicle each time.
RV Camping Cons
However, there are still some fairly significant disadvantages. Most notable among them is the price. Buying an RV isn’t cheap, even when buying used, and some people simply can’t afford it or don’t prioritize it.
Along with the initial price, RV owners need to pay for fuel, insurance, and maintenance, to maintain their vehicle.
There’s also a lack of flexibility, since an RV is a large structure. This can sometimes limit your camping options, as you can only camp in places that have enough space for your RV, and you need hookups for water and electricity to use all of your RV’s features. It can also make things like going through a drive-through more complicated.
Which Is Better?
Taking everything into consideration, which option is the best? In truth, both tent and RV camping are wonderful ways to experience nature. Either option will serve you well, but your choice depends on your personal preference and circumstances.
If you’re a frequent camper who wants to enjoy the comfort and ease provided by an RV, it will be a good investment that will provide you with fun vacations and treasured memories for years to come. But if you prioritize cost and flexibility, a quality tent will serve you well in your camping adventures. There’s no right or wrong answer—it’s all up to you!