Having towed a caravan to the artic circle and then to Malaga in the same year, over the years I have owned and used lots of different caravans (pop tops, folding, etc) I have also generally owned and self built motorcaravans for 40 years so can I give you my humble opinion? Basically you need to define what you want to use one for, if you are planning to stay in one location for weeks then a caravan is best hands down, as it leaves you with the tow vehicle to explore and shop etc. On the other hand, if you want to tour and stop off in lots of different places then a motorhome is perfect! Although the fuel economy of a car suffers when towing, driving a campervan loaded with all the necessities also affects its fuel consumption, so fuel isnt really the issue here. As regards the comment about hotels are better, well when you have your own space on wheels there is no hotel on earth that is more comfortable and a pleasant place to be when you are not actually at home.
If considering a caravan be aware that the vehicle length, say 16ft and the caravan total over 30ft which makes impromtu stops in layby’s tricky, also towing down narrow lanes etc where you might have to reverse can be a bit of a nightmare and even if your reversing skills are 100% its still stressful, and who needs the extra stress when trying to engage in leisure!!!
It seems the general idea about motorhomes is that they are expensive to upkeep, sorry to say thats not true, all are based on common commercial vehicles that are designed for long service, the insurance is of the same level as a car and the tax generally the same as a large car (lucky French with no road tax), modern vans are car like to drive with power steering/power brakes and are just as low fatigue as their car opposite numbers, so if you are happy controlling a largish vehicle then no problem, but be aware to keep it under 2500kg if you have a modern licence. So I have both a caravan and a campervan, niether cost the earth, and although I have owned ‘gin palaces’ in the recent past, I still prefer my own conversion!
When it comes to prices, which incidentally have all gone up during the pandemic, £35000 buys a low mileage late year motorcaravan, £10000 buys a late caravan. I circumnavigated this huge cost by buying an empty van (Renault master long wheel base), a nearly end of life caravan with a fine interior and then spent many hours (about six weeks actually) converting, but you have to be fairly skilled in electrics plumbing and carpentry, but of course all these things can be self learnt.
Conclusion? Motorcaravan wins !