This photo was taken at our Danube river campsite in high season August...right on the river and as you can see, no crowds and within short walking distance to a UNESCO World Heritage Site. All on less than twenty dollars a day in high season!
Sure you can do this by river cruise and spend a young fortune, stuck with crowds...those boats pulled up and moored right next to our campsite. Mozart, our daughter, played and we relaxed in our river side lounge chairs in this large park-like campsite in Melk, wondering why they would pay so much as we watched them like lemmings loaded up on tourist buses when they got off the boats..on some one else's time table instead of their own.
We could do the same cruise so much cheaper and even bring our bikes along by doing it as a day cruise. We could also make sure that we could avoid the crowds in high season, partly by avoiding days and times when cruise crowds go.
Our camper van supposedly sleeps 6, but we find it very comfortable full time lodging for the 3 of us. It is camper size with a cab over the top which is a great size for Europe. Our daughter Mozart slept with us most of the time in the cab over area above the drivers seat where we have the biggest bed.
We also have 2 bunk beds in the back and Mozart sleeps on one now and we store things like her digital piano and winter clothes on the lower one. Between these two areas is a kitchen area with a table and couches that sit four people. That breaks down to a bed as well, but it is always easier to have a bed you can just jump into when tired, so we never used it....until I broke my arm and could not climb up to the top bunk. It was handy then and works good, but we're happy to be back to not using it as a bed.
Comfortable outdoor furniture is a must if you are going to motorhome around Europe for any length of time. Our second hand camper came with some cheap chairs, but we bought new stuff in Verona and have thoroughly enjoyed them.