To be honest about the books, they could be published as one manual. They both cover basically the same things, with slightly different focuses. If I owned a caravan or motorhome, I’d be wanting to have both in my library.
The Caravan Manual explains how the various systems, such as lighting, power, gas, heating work and how to maintain them. While the “Build your own Motorcaravan” book focuses more on the various options for each system covering the pros and cons of each system.
A great example would be the water pump system. When your building your own, you can choose between having micro switches on the taps or use a pressure switch, to turn on the water pump. From my experience of micro-switches and without any real research into the caravan industry, I’d be wanting a pressure switch, mainly because
- Micro-swtiches will need to be adjusted regularly;
- I wouldn’t be surprised if different tap manufacturers used different switches, resulting in carrying more spare;
- Each tap will need a switch, resulting in more switches and cabling, resulting in more chances of something going wrong.
Now the pressure switch does have a weakness: If there is a small, hard to find leak, then you could be woken up at some strange hour of the night with the water pump starting up.