Romani people only began living in caravans (vardos) circa 1850.

The covered wagon that played a significant part in opening up of the interior of the North American continent to white settlement, beginning circa 1745, was a type of caravan.

RVs are defined as either motor vehicles or towable trailers, and are primarily intended for leisure activities such as camping and vacations.

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In Australia, the earliest known motorhome was built in 1929.

A well set-up wagon provided its occupants with living quarters as well as a means of transportation for themselves, and their supplies and equipment.

In Canada, the earliest motorhomes were built on car or truck bodies from about 1910.

They are occasionally used as mobile offices for business travelers, and in those instances often include customizations such as extra desk space, an upgraded electrical system, a generator, and satellite Internet. People who use their RVs as traveling permanent homes on a full-time basis are commonly referred to as "full-timers".

Recreational vehicle types include the motorhome (classes A, B, B+, and C), travel trailer, fifth wheel trailer, toy hauler, popup trailer, and slide-in camper (which fits in the bed of a pickup truck). Most modern dictionaries give one of the meanings for the word caravan as "a camper equipped with living quarters." They, in turn, give one of the meanings for camper as "a recreational vehicle equipped for camping out while travelling." The earliest caravans were used for practical purposes rather than recreation, such as providing shelter and accommodation for people travelling in search of an audience for their art, to offer their services to distant employers, or to reach a new place of abode.

A recreational vehicle (RV) is, in North America, the usual term for a motor vehicle or trailer equipped with living space and amenities found in a home.Several definitions exist for RVs and vary by region, including "camper van", "caravan", and "motorhome", but are also used to designate different types of vehicles outside North America, hence "RV" is preferred A recreational vehicle normally includes a kitchen, a bathroom, and or more sleeping facilities.In Europe, wagons built to live in, rather than just to carry persons or goods, were developed in France around 1810.They were used in Britain by showmen and circus performers from the 1820s.Less commonly found features are a hot tub, a dining room, a desk, and a vanity closet.Most RVs are single-deck; however, double-deck RVs also exist.