RV vs. Tent Camping: How to Choose


There are those who claim that it’s just as comfortable for them to camp in a tent at an RV park than to camp in an RV. Anyone who says this has obviously never camped in an RV!

Let’s take a minute and consider some of the differences between rv vs. tent camping. It really takes a special breed to be able to camp in a tent and be comfortable at the same time! 

In this day and age, the modern rental RVs (like you’ll find at Cruise America) are just like small homes on wheels, with all the creature comforts you’ve come accustomed to enjoying. Tents, however, don’t differ much from a tarp that’s been draped over the branch of a tree.

RV vs. Tent Camping: A Head-To-Head Comparison

Let’s take a look at how RV vs. tent camping fares when it comes to a few categories. Here are a few comparisons of tent camping vs. RV camping to consider before your next camping trip:

Inclement Weather 

One of the biggest issues with staying in a tent is inclement weather. If it rains, you may not get completely soaked, but things definitely get damp and musty, and if the wind should pick up in a good rainstorm, you’ll find out in a hurry just how undependable the tent pegs become when the water starts to soak into the ground.

In a Cruise America Class C RV rental, you can enjoy the rain. As a matter of fact, you can jump with joy when it starts to pour, because you are safe, warm and dry in your motorhome.


Another common challenge that presents itself while aboding in a tent vs. an RV is the issue of storage. A tent doesn’t come with cabinets and dressers to store your things in. As a matter of fact, there are only a few places a camper can put stuff when he or she is staying in a tent. 

There is the inside of the tent on the floor (so long as you’re not using it to sleep), the inside of your car, outside the tent on the ground, or piled up on the picnic table. The latter two options would both prove to be a big mistake if the inclement weather aforementioned comes into play. 

Of course, if you have anything of value that should be secured, the car is the only option.

However, in a rental motorhome from Cruise America you have cabinets, dressers, and storage bins galore to keep your items well secured and protected from the elements.

Climate Control

While this may seem extremely obvious, many folks forget about that fact that a tent does not stay warm, nor cool, just because there are people staying in it. When you’re trying to sleep in a tent, you haven’t got the convenience of controlling any temperatures. If you get too cold, you have to pile more blankets on. If you get too hot, well… you’re out of luck!

In a motorhome, you simply adjust the thermostat where you want it, and hunker down for a very comfortable night. During pleasant weather, you can open up the windows and enjoy the climate provided by Mother Nature.

Noise Levels

One of the things about staying in a tent is that you get to clearly hear everything that goes on around you. Perhaps you have noticed that tents aren’t exactly well insulated. Only a thin layer of tarpaulin separates you from the rest of the world. 

You can hear everything that goes on around your campsite, including noisy camping neighbors, car doors opening and slamming, and people pulling out of their campsites at 4:30 in the morning. And, remember that those in close proximity can hear everything that goes on in your tent… awkward!

An RV provides much-needed privacy and insulation. You can sleep soundly without having to hear any night owls goofing around. 

Potty Time

Anyone who has ever stayed in a tent knows that it’s very inconvenient when potty time comes along. You may have a campground restroom available, or you may not. In any case, it’s a hassle (especially in cold weather) to leave your tent, in search of an appropriate place to do your bathroom deeds.

When you camp in a Cruise America RV rental, you have a bathroom and a shower, complete with flushing capabilities and hot water… right inside your motorhome! You won’t need to worry about trekking through the campsite in search of a restroom in the middle of the night.

Security & Safety

Tent camping exposes you to the potential dangers of wild animals and leaves you vulnerable to theft. In a tent, you are not very protected from animals like bears, raccoons, snakes, and let’s not forget those pesky mosquitoes! People can easily access your belongings in a tent, especially if you leave your campsite for a period of time.

An RV, on the other hand, provides safety from the elements, animals, and bugs and can be locked for an extra level of protection. You can feel very safe in a motorhome while camping or even boondocking.

Now, we don’t want to be too biased here, so let’s take a look at why some people may still prefer to camp in a traditional tent.

Reasons Why Some People Prefer Tent Camping

Although we strongly believe that in the debate of RV vs. tent camping that RVs are the way to go, there are some reasons people feel otherwise. Here are some reasons why some may prefer to pitch a tent on the grassy campsite.

  • It’s cheaper. Inevitably, tent camping is a cheaper option than RV camping. A good tent can cost as little as $100 and last several years.
  • It’s more primitive. People who prefer tent camping typically like the primitive nature of it. They enjoy the feeling of being one with nature. 
  • You can camp in the lowcountry. With an RV, you can usually only camp in designated areas. With a tent, campers can backpack deep into the wilderness and set up camp (if allowed).

Tent camping isn’t for the faint of heart. It can be more dangerous and stressful than camping in a reliable RV rental from Cruise America. The choice is up to you. But rest assured, if an RV sounds like your ideal camping scenario, Cruise America has you covered!

Camp Comfortably in a Cruise America RV

The list of the advantages of RV vs. tent camping goes on and on, but suffice it to say that with prices as low as Cruise America charges, it would seem to make perfect sense to rent an RV instead of sleeping in a tent — any day of the week! Oh, and did we mention that your RV comes already setup?

Find a Cruise America rental location near you and pick up an RV rental for your next road trip. Contact us for more information or visit our sales page if you are interested in purchasing a pre-loved RV.