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Automatic or manual transmission for your motorhome? Which one do you choose?

Which is better automatic or manual transmission? Interesting question if you consider that almost 70% of cars in Italy have an automatic gearbox. If you think of the rather positive impact that this choice had when first cars and then campers were introduced to the market, the answer almost comes naturally.


Surely you who are reading this know perfectly well the difference between automatic and manual gearboxes, also because regardless of whether you are an expert camper or not, you are a car driver and therefore know the difference.

We know very well how tiring driving is. Sure, if you're a camper you like driving, there's no doubt; you would never have opted for a motorhome holiday if four wheels on the road weren't your best friend. You have to admit though, driving is tiring. We don't tell each other fairy tales, especially if it's a camper; you have the life of your family in your hands and they are counting on your ability to be careful, to always maintain control at every overtaking and to know when to slow down. Both mentally and physically, when you get behind the wheel of a motorhome, the stress of driving is even greater. You are not only driving a vehicle, but you are also carrying several "kilo" of mobile homes with you, which on steep climbs and impervious mountain bends will certainly not be your best friends. So is the automatic transmission better? We could say yes at first glance, but we both know very well that buying a motorhome or a car with an automatic transmission costs three times as much. Also, if you're not used to the car shifting gears for you, that could be a problem. We wanted to help you here and so we summarize the advantages of manual and automatic gearboxes, clearly juxtaposing them with the disadvantages to give you a more complete idea of ​​the difference.


Automatic or manual transmission for your motorhome?
Automatic or manual transmission for your motorhome?

Manual transmission or automatic transmission? Advantages and disadvantages of the choice

In fact, so many advances have been made in automotive technology in recent years that even the automatic transmission is no longer the same. If you take a tour of the forums, you'll find out how many supporters there are of the first, to the detriment of the second. Advantages of automatic transmission

  • You focus on driving;

  • Better management of the exchange; the gearbox is not damaged at the same speed as the manual one and this implies saving money and guaranteeing greater reliability;

  • You relax and rediscover the pleasure of driving while the change is done for you, the "dirty" job. Furthermore, the very fact that there is an automatic gearbox allows you to dose speed and fuel consumption in a more balanced way. Among the best-known automatic gearboxes, the best is the robotized one, since it is more economical for the manufacturer.

Advantages of manual transmission

  • Less chance of errors when downshifting. Sometimes the automatic gearbox can jam, it's not that uncommon for this to happen and you could get into serious trouble on the highway. We always recommend that you have the ability to access the manual gearbox when you want;

  • With the manual gearbox there is greater control of the road; especially in cases where there is heavy rain or ice on the road, the manual gearbox allows you to have greater control of the vehicle.

  • The manual gearbox has lower costs both in the purchase and in the repair phase.

Disadvantages Automatic gearbox

  • Automatic transmission is more expensive; choosing a camper with this type of option means paying a good percentage more for your camper;

  • The automatic gearbox does not give you full control of the vehicle and this means that you have to trust your camper;

  • The automatic transmission is not sporty, although very comfortable. You can say goodbye to the famous "brake-clutch" play but be careful when picking up, because it is much slower than the manual gearbox.

Disadvantages manual gearbox

  • Stress is very high, especially when you are forced to face mountain roads. Your knee doesn't really appreciate the constant shifting you have to do;

  • The clutch is always subject to a repair every tot. by month; the consumption of the latter is greater;

  • The costs, in terms of petrol for example, are slightly higher also because not everyone has a "light foot" when driving.

In reality, the decision to buy a motorhome with manual or automatic gearbox depends solely and exclusively on your relationship with the guide, which is assumed to be positive as a potential or accredited motorhome driver.

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