Wilderness Motorhome in New Zealand

This is What RVs Look Like Around the World


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If you love looking at beautiful RVs as much as we do, you may have wondered what RVs look like around the world. After spending four years traveling across all fifty states in our motorhome, my husband and I wanted to keep RVing to new places. Now, I’ve camped in 12 countries, renting RVs on four continents worldwide.

One thing I’m always eager to see is how different RVs look in every new country we visit. Below, I’ll share video walkthroughs of RVs I’ve rented so you can see exactly what RVs look like around the world.

RVs Around the World: Key Takeaways

In North America, you most often see extremely large RVs like Class A motorhomes, fifth wheels, and trailers. Abroad, I’ve never seen fifth wheels and see trailers but not as often. Instead, most RVs abroad—particularly rentals—are small motorhomes.

In addition to being much smaller, these RVs around the world often lack appliances like microwaves and air conditioners, sleep fewer people, and have a much better interior design.

In the videos below, you’ll see RVs that are small by American standards, but huge in their region. These smaller spaces have forced creativity among engineers and designers and created beautiful innovations. I particularly love the design of the motorhomes in New Zealand and Europe.

Below I’ll share tours of RVs around the world from every continent around the world.

North America: Canada

RVing is popular in both the US and Canada with few differences between RVing in the neighboring countries.

Many Canadians buy RVs from American manufacturers since they are easily sold across the border. This may make it feel like rigs in Canada are exactly like RVs in the States. But the most popular Canadian-manufactured RVs are quite different.

Canada, for many years, led the way in Class B manufacturing. Class Bs are the smallest motorhomes, often ranging from 17 to 24 feet long.

what rvs look like around the world canada
Leisure Travel Van in Banff National Park | Photo Credit: Alyssa Padgett

Some of the most popular Class Bs in North America are built in Canada by manufacturers like:

To get a better idea of what it’s like RVing in Canada and how it may be different than in the States, we rented a Leisure Travel Van and traveled across the Canadian Rockies. Check out the interiors on this LTV starting at 3:17.

There are a few notable features in this RV that I want to see more often in American RVs. The white countertops that create a brighter, more spacious feeling kitchen are some of my favorites of any RV. But the additional countertop piece that comes down from the wall is something I’ve only ever seen from Leisure Travel Vans. I used it multiple times a day and it felt much sturdier than other countertop extensions that flip up.

The modular table (at 4:45) is also something I’ve only ever seen in the LTV, though European rigs which I share below do offer some similar features.

We loved this RV for its adaptable and intuitive design. The rig’s design carefully addressed everything from the trash can to falling shampoo bottles in the shower. The timeless lines and neutral colors in this RV still look beautiful today, even though this motorhome was built in 2018.

Oceania: New Zealand

New Zealand is one of the most camper-friendly countries in the world. This is the country to visit if you’re looking for beautiful beaches, mountain hikes, volcanoes, hot springs, waterfalls, and some of the most unique travel experiences in the world (like digging a hot tub in the sand on Hot Water Beach).

If you’re looking to head down under to rent an RV, you’ll quickly find that most RVs on the continent of Oceania are shipped in from Europe. These German-engineered motorhomes are top-of-the-line and hands down the most beautiful and innovative motorhomes I’ve ever seen manufactured.

Of all the RVs I’ve rented, the one below rented from Wilderness Motorhomes is hands down my absolute favorite. I would ship it stateside if I could!

Tour the interior of this motorhome in New Zealand starting at minute mark 2:27.

No detail was spared in the design of this RV. Here are a few of my favorite features:

  • Jacket and towel hooks around the motorhome
  • A full-length mirror
  • Dish organizers
  • The adaptable shower floor
  • Ample closet space

So many of these features are after-market additions or renovations for an RV owner, but these RVs come stocked and ready. This was my second time renting an RV in New Zealand and this rental company continues to impress me.

Our first rental RV in New Zealand opened our eyes to how inventive RV design can get with its jaw-dropping bathroom design. The bathroom tour starts at 4:54.

If it weren’t for the fact that they drive on the opposite side of the road, I would’ve bought and shipped one of these motorhomes stateside by now! I love how they have continued to level up their RV design to better fit the camping lifestyle.

If you’re considering RVing abroad, I highly recommend adding New Zealand to the top of your list!

Read Next: Check Out These Road Trip Itineraries Across New Zealand

Asia: Japan

Every country calls RVs something different. You’ll only hear the term RV used in North America while most other countries use terms like camper or motorhome.

But with their small size in Asia, you’ll hear motorhomes called “camping cars.” These fully stocked RVs are shorter than the average American minivan!

So how is it that this 16-foot camping car in Japan is one of my favorite RV layouts?

You have to watch the full tour of the smallest RV I’ve ever seen!

Camping in Japan is surprisingly popular, though vehicle camping like we did is less common than tent camping. We were surprised to find that in many campgrounds, we were one of the few motorhomes!

Because of the popularity of outdoor camping, camping cars in Japan are catered toward being outdoors. The van’s exterior access is unique and not something I’ve seen in any other country. And the camping stove meant we often opted to carry the kitchen outside to cook lakeside instead of inside like in most other campers.

The interior design is surprisingly dated. Japanese interior design is well known for being minimalistic and full of natural elements. While there is a lot of wood used in the interior, I expected to see a little more of a modern look in the fabrics and kitchen design. RVing as an industry came to Japan in the 1970s and their interior design right now is still a couple decades behind modern RV interior design. I’ll be very interested to see how this changes as RVing continues to grow.

Outside of Japan, RVing is growing in popularity in China, but many island and tropical countries in Asia don’t offer any type of vehicle camping.

Read Next: All of the Countries Where You Can RV (Complete List)


For years, Europe has led the world with innovative design. Europe is home to some of the countries where camping is most popular, like Spain, Finland, Norway, and Sweden. I’ve road-tripped across eight countries in Europe in three different RV rentals.

Below is a rental from Anywhere Campers that we spent a month in, traveling from Paris, France to Barcelona, Spain.

(This is by far the messiest RV tour we’ve ever filmed, courtesy of my not-yet-one-year-old and three-year-old.)

This motorhome rental features white walls and a light, natural wood grain that keeps the small rig feeling big. One thing it does particularly well is the storage. You’ll see small shelves in the overhead cab and bedroom that give extra room for storage that we use frequently. (You may also notice that the floorplan is quite similar to the European motorhomes shipped to New Zealand.)

As far as RV design goes, this rig does feature one thing that I absolutely hated.

Unlike any other RV rentals we’ve used, this one features stairs throughout the rig. You’ll see that you have to step up into the RV from outside, up to the dining area from the kitchen, up from the kitchen to the bathroom, and up again from the bathroom to the bedroom. It may sound like a small thing, but all of these steps led to a lot of falls! I’ve seen this only in a few European RVs so it’s by no means the standard, but we’ve experienced it in two European rentals.

Read Next: A Guide to Renting an RV in Europe

The United Kingdom

While it’s part of Europe, campers in Great Britain will be slightly different than other European rigs. This is because the British and Irish all drive on the left-hand side of the road. Everything is on the opposite side inside and outside British campers. We rented the motorhome below for a two-week road trip across England and Wales.

Tour the inside at minute mark 4:42.

By far, this has been the sleekest interior we’ve seen in an RV around the world. The white walls and cabinets made this tiny motorhome feel incredibly clean and bright.

I also loved the open corner shower in the bedroom. We usually choose to not use the shower in RV rentals so that we can use the shower space to hang wet clothes and towels or store items. We were able to keep the shower doors latched open and it made the entire bedroom larger. This bedroom also featured two “nightstands” on either side of the bed for storage. This is something we rarely see in smaller motorhomes that added so much storage and functionality to the rig.

The overall floorplan and design are very similar to other European-built RVs. But, as any American viewers might notice, these particular rentals in the UK were built on Ford engines.

South America & Africa

I’ve personally RVed on four continents, which leaves two other continents I haven’t visited. While RVing is possible in South America and Africa, it is much closer to camping than RVing. You most often see overlanding vehicles that can handle living off-grid and rugged terrain.

My friends Brittany and Eric of Hourless Life are currently on a mission to drive all the way around the world in their Jeep Gladiator overlanding vehicle. They’ve been traveling across South America and will ship the vehicle to Africa next.

Walk around the full overlanding vehicle in the video below.

I’ve camped alongside Eric and Brittany and was surprised to find how well their family of three navigates living full-time in such a compact space. But as I’ve watched their journey south, I must agree that a motorhome or van wouldn’t fare as well or make travel as possible as an overlanding vehicle like this.

If you’ve ever thought about overlanding or building out an offroad camping vehicle, you will love the detail shared in the video above on how this Jeep was converted into a traveling home for this family.

You can learn more about overlanding across South America and Africa by following Hourless Life on YouTube.


Where can you RV around the World?

RVing is possible on six out of the seven continents, excluding Antarctica. Many countries in North America and Europe are open for RV travel, while most countries in Asia and Oceania are island-based and do not offer services for RVing. Much of South America and Africa can be accessed by an RV or overlanding vehicle, though services will be limited.

What are RVs called in Europe?

Motorhomes and trailers are most often called campers, though the term will differ by language. You may also see them referred to as “ACs” which is an abbreviation of autocamper.

What RVs Look Like Around the World

While RVing is an American term, it doesn’t mean you won’t see RVs around the world. As tiny as it is, I can’t help but wonder if I could renovate a van into a more modern Japanese-style van. That 16-footer could sleep six!

Share in the comments: Which of these RVs around the world are your favorite? Tell us below!

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