Do you love outdoor activities? Wanna start your journey as a camper? If you are new to the camping world, you would be surprised to know that there are many camping types. But first, you need to learn about tent vs RV camping since they are the most common types.
There are many controversies regarding which type is the best. It varies from person to person. People who are more connected to nature would prefer tent camping over RVing any day. And people who like to stay in touch with nature while enjoying all the comfort of home would tell you that nothing beats RV camping.
If you plan to start your journey as a camper, allow this article to help you learn the main differences between tent and RV camping. This article will also discuss the types of tents and RVs and the must-have accessories every camper should have.
Differences between Tent vs RV Camping:
Have a quick glance at the core differences between tent and RV camping.
|Affordable, needs very few gears to camp, reasonable campground charges.||Expense||Very expensive, high maintenance, campground fees are comparatively high.|
|Very flexible to move around with minimum luggage, easy to set up and take down camp, low mobility.||Flexibility & Mobility||Not flexible, hard to drive around in crampy places, high mobility, can camp in even the most remote area.|
|Lack of comfort, not very spacious, gets very confined with accessories in it.||Living Space||Spacious has areas for bathroom, kitchen, and camping cots.|
|Low security and protection in bad weather, tent’s interior gets wet or extremely cold during rainy or snowy days.||Weather Protection||Provides excellent protection and security under lousy weather, water-proof.|
|Hardly any space for storing food, attracts wild animals.||Storage Space||Has proper food storage, can keep off the wild animal.|
|Uncomfortable to sleep in, lacks comfort in harsh weather, does not feel like home.||Comfort||Provides comforts of home, much cozier to live in.|
|Does not provide cleaning up space, not suitable for eating/cooking inside.||Clean Up||Comes with a little kitchen area where cleaning up is relatively easy.|
Difference between Tent vs RV Camping When It Comes to Expense:
A tent is a light-weight camping tool that can hardly make any place for all the accessories and luxuries you enjoy at home. Therefore, tent camping is cheaper when it comes to expenses. All you need is a tent, sleeping bag, cooking utensils, some essential survival accessories, and you are ready to camp for tent camping. It will cost you 12$-45$ average for each night to tent camping.
On the other hand, RV camping is way more expensive than tent camping. For starters, you will need hundreds or even thousands of dollars to purchase your RV. Since they come with many luxury accessories to make you feel at home while on the road, RVs will naturally cost you a lot more than a tent. At an RV park, it will take you an average of 25$-60$ per night.
Tent vs RV Camping in Case of Flexibility & Mobility:
While camping, you will undoubtedly come across areas that are inaccessible by any vehicle. Tent campers will enjoy the full advantage of camping at those places. You can simply pack up everything you need in a backpack and access those places on foot.
On the contrary, RVs might have better mobility and can drive around with a small luxurious home in it; RVs do not provide much flexibility. Gigantic in size, RVs cannot access remote areas. All it takes is a narrow wild road, and your camping trip will face a dead-end.
Gaps of Living Space between Tent vs RV Camping:
Tent camping’s drawback starts with the lack of space it provides. Even the most enormous tent will be cramped once you lie down all your accessories. Tents will hardly give you a cozy feeling. With tent camping, it is more about connecting with nature than feeling comfortable.
On the opposite, an RV is more about comfort than connecting with nature. Some campers even go as far as to say that RVing is not real camping. Even the smallest of RV will provide more space than tents. They occupy the sleeping area, a kitchen, bathroom, and sometimes even a patio for your convenience.
Tent and RV in the Matter of Weather Protection:
Let’s not forget about the elephant in the room here. Weather plays a significant role when you are doing outdoor activities such as camping. Tent manufacturers are inventing new designs to make your tent camping experience smoother in lousy weather. However, even if your tent survives harsh weather, there is no guarantee for your comfort inside it. Heavy downpour, snow, or too windy weather will take away half the fun out of your camping experience.
Conversely, an RV will allow you to enjoy camping under any weather condition, giving it pouring rain or heavy snow. All you need to do is park your RV in a secure high yet level ground, and voila! Enjoy your RV camping while the tent campers around you struggle to stay dry in their weather-beaten camps.
Storage Space Facilities of Tent and RV Camping:
When it comes to storing your food or other survival supplies, tents offer nearly no space for them. Adding accessories like a portable refrigerator will make your travel pack heavier and hard to carry around. Lack of storage facility in tent camping often attracts wild animals and insects. You do not want a bear or mountain lions to roam around near your camp cause that will undoubtedly make your trip dangerous, thus NOT FUN.
However, if you are an RV camper, you will not have to worry about storage space. Most RVs come with a small refrigerator. Even if it doesn’t, you can place one in your RV with no problem. RVs contain cabinets that will allow you to keep your camping belongings in them. It will save you from the hassle of packing and unpacking for the next trip.
The Difference between Tent and RV in Terms of Comfort:
As I have mentioned previously, tent camping is about connecting with nature and less about being in a comfort zone. Also, in bad weather, you will have to struggle to stay dry and warm. Most tent campers keep in mind that, out there in the wild, they will have to endure the lack of convenience such as an attached bathroom that a home provides. Also, sleeping on hard ground with nothing but a thin sleeping bag between is not really comfortable.
In contrast, RVs contain many facilities that it almost feels like home. RV campers chose RV over tent mainly because they want to enjoy all the advantages of home while roaming in the wild. An RV offers almost all the facilities to make your camping trip smooth and comfortable from bed to the kitchen. They even come with a mini toilet and bathroom space, so you won’t have to worry about finding a near-by public toilet.
Cleaning Up Hassle in Tent and RV Camping:
You know by now that tent does not come with a kitchen or bathroom space. So there is no way to cook and clean inside your tent. You will have to find a near-by water source for cleaning. With all the smoke and fire that will go on, cooking inside a tent is not a smart choice either.
Contrariwise, cleaning is not a problem when you are camping in an RV. It will have its own cleaning space, usually in the kitchen area. And if you are in an RV campground, you can directly connect to a water line from the campground’s water source.
Before I review 10 must-have camping accessories, you should know about the types of tent and RV since they are the first accessory that you will need to buy for camping.
The below table will provide you with the names of the most common and popular type tents with their functionalities-
|Basic Ridge Tent||Stable, easy to pitch, size ranged from one person tent to large marquees, excellent shelter, limited height.|
|Dome Tent||Stable in small size gets unstable as the dimension grows bigger.|
|Geodesic and Semi-Geodesic Tent||Extremely stable, usually comes in small size, suitable for mountain climbing and windy weather.|
|Instant or Quick-Pitch Tent||Very easy to set up, comparatively less robust, mostly suitable for good weather.|
|Inflatable Tent||Swift pitch, expensive, heavy material, low mobility.|
|Large Family Tent||Large in size, unstable, unsuitable for windy weather.|
|Frame Tent||Rigid frame made of straight steel poles, spacious, stable if set-up correctly, heavier, takes longer to pitch.|
Similarly, to know about the most popular types of RVs and their function, take a look at this table-
|Travel Trailer||Also called “bumper-pull”, comes in all sizes, easy set-up can be expanded.|
|Fifth Wheel||Nicknamed “Fiver”, suitable for long trips, excellent storage, stable towing, multiple slide-outs, high ceiling.|
|Light-weight Trailer||Aerodynamic shape, light-weight, can reduce towing weight by thousands of lbs., durable.|
|Toy hauler||Wide garage, ramp doors can be used as patio deck, fold-away sleeping area, water and oil proof garage floor.|
|Expandable Trailer||Comes in pop-up or slide-outs, flexible.|
|Class A Motorhome||Commonly known as “Pushers”, unlimited luxury, excellent storage capacity, expandable living space, high towing ability.|
|Class B Motorhome||Small in size, suitable for small groups, nimble, luxurious, no slides-out, fuel-efficient.|
Now it’s time to know about the must-have accessories for both. You will need to know about the essential accessories for a beginner camper before visiting the market for camp gear. Below I will review 5 must-have tent accessories and 5 RV accessories to make your shopping trip fruitful.
5 Must-Have Tent Accessories:
1. All-Season Sleeping Bag:
If you are planning for frequent camping, then you probably won’t want to invest in sleeping bags that are season-specific. You will do well with an all-season sleeping bag that will keep you warm in winter and comfortable in summer. Oaskys Sleeping Bag is one of those accessories that can be your travel companion for every trip.
It is a best-selling product that costs around $24.99 – $45.99. It is a combination of cotton and double-layered polyester. The material is soothing soft that will allow you to sleep comfortably. It stabilizes temperature by allowing the heat to stay trapped in winter and block out the hot summer heat. You can easily spend the night in it when the weather outside is 1-10 degrees Celsius.
2. First Aid Kit:
If you are camping in the wild, away from the camping ground, a first aid kit is a must-have accessory you need. Some small accidents like cuts, scrap, insect bites are not new for campers. Do not underestimate situations like this. Always be prepared for any kind of accident or sickness like migraine or nausea. Swiss Safe First Aid Kit is another camping gear that you should pack with your equipment.
This contains 120 kits that are medically graded. The updated version is a 2 in 1 premium kit. The interior compartment is well organized that will help you access it swiftly in times of need. Swift Safe also includes a mini first aid kit with 32 medical items. This multi-purpose first aid kit also offers a 100% refund, so there is no question left for customer satisfaction. Moreover, you will find all these conveniences only at $24.79.
3. Water Purifier:
For a short time trip, you can carry your own water into the wilderness. But if you are up for a lengthy camping trip, you will be looking for a water source to drink and cook. Rainwater or any other natural source can be harmful to our health. That is why a water purifier is another must-have accessories. LifeStraw Personal Water Filter can be your must-have camping gear.
This one will cost you only $14.97. Despite its low price, LifeStraw is an award-winning water filter that can filter around 4000 liters of contaminated water. It does not require batteries, iodine, or chlorine to filter water. This one can surpass the standard of any EPA filter by removing 99.9999% of bacteria that are waterborne. LifeStraw is also able to remove 99.9% of protozoan pests.
4. Camp Stove:
You will need to cook if your camping trip lasts for more than a day. You will need a cooking stove that is portable and lightweight. AOTU Portable Backpacking Stove is precisely what you need when moving further away from your camp base.
For only 19.77$, you will get this perfect travel-friendly stove. It is small enough to fit inside a cooking set while hiking. This is also very easy to assemble and intuitive despite its size and low price, AOTU stove is exceptionally stable with a 4-prong design. The aluminum body is highly heat and rust-resistant. This 4x5x8cm stove with a plastic box is what you must have in your camping pack.
5. GPS Tracker:
If you are on a family trip that includes kids and pets, then a GPS tracker will go a long way. At an outdoor event like camping, kids and pets tend to get too excited. They might run off if you stopped keeping an eye on them for a moment. Cube Smart Tracker (24.95$) will provide you with a sense of security while your kids roam around in the wilderness.
This will not only track your kids and pets but also be useful as a camera shutter. Keys, mobile phones can also be tracked down with Cube Tracker with flash, vibrate, or ring. This comes with an extra battery that you will need to replace after a year. Cube Tracker is water-proof and can survive in a sub-zero temperature.
5 Must-Have RV Camping Accessories:
1. Drinking-Water Hose:
Living in an RV comes with a lot of conveniences. But even there, you will have problems like continually worrying about a drinkable water supply. Whether you are at an RV camp or filling your water tank before starting the journey, you will need a water hose to connect your RV with a water source. I recommend you to pack Camco Premium Water Hose (40.99$) for your RV camping trips.
This is a 50 ft. long gigantic water hose that will make sure you have no problem connecting with a nearby water source. This heavy-duty water hose is thicker than any standard hose by 20 percent. It is phthalate, lead, and BPA-free. Unlike other drinking water hoses, this will not leave the strong taste of plastic. Camco is durable and has a longer life span for it is UV stabilized. And if you are camping in extremely cold weather, buy Camco TastePURE Heated Drinking Water Hose at $178.70 to keep your water from freezing.
2. Inline Water Filter:
Whether your RV is hooked with a city water source or pulling water from any natural source, the water quality can vary from place to place. To make sure your drinking water does not contain any harmful chemicals or dirt, you will need to install an inline water filter to your drinking hose. Camco 40045 RV Inline Water Filter comes in $25.72 with GAC filtration that will significantly decrease terrible taste, smell, or harmful chemicals.
This will last for 3-6 months. It can eliminate particles larger than 20 microns. When the filter is in-store mode, the premium KDF will help to stop bacteria growth.
3. Camper Sewer Hose:
You just don’t need a hose to fill your RV’s drinkable water tank; you will also need a hose that will empty the gray and black water tank of your RV. Camco 20-Foot RhinoFLEX RV Sewer Hose ($41.64) is another must-have accessory for RV camping because they are one of the most stable sewer hoses out in the market.
I recommend you buy a sewer hose that is at least 20 ft. long so that you don’t have any problem connecting it with a nearby disposal station. Camco RhinoFlex is lengthy and long-lasting enough to suit your need perfectly.
4. RV Leveling Blocks:
One of the rules for comfortable RV camping is parking it on level ground. But unfortunately, you will not find bare hard ground all the time. And if your RV does not have hydraulic jacks on its rigs, then you must pack up-leveling blocks before you go. Camco 44510 Leveling Blocks ($25.57) are a heavy-duty kit that should have a place in this must-have accessories list.
Set these up under any rigs to bring your RV to a level. These can also be set up in a stair-style manner. Camco 44510 contains 10 blocks that are interlocking and extremely durable. The leveling blocks are 8.5x 8.5 x1 inches each and have a solid bottom to prevent them from sinking.
5. Water Connector Y Valve:
A water spigot comes in handy when you are camping. You will need a hose for drinking water, dishwashing, shower, and another hose to clean up tires, bikes, or mats. It is smart to have a Y valve water connector in hand so you can split your water supply system. Camco Solid Brass Y Valve 14.24$ will allow you to do that without having the hassle of hooking and unhook two water hoses. This one features compact brass housing, straightforward to use, and durable enough to last a long time.
I tried to explain the types and difference of tent vs RV camping for you beginner campers. In conclusion, it can be said that both tent and RV camping has their charms. Which one is more suitable for you will solely depend on your budget and interest. To make your camping trips better and comfortable, I have tried to suggest top must-have accessories for both camping types. Make sure you fulfill your shopping checklist before starting your journey as a camper. Happy camping!