Do you speak the language? Caravan definitions

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Entering the world of the recreational vehicle (RV) may seem daunting given all the terms and types on offer in the market. To get you going on your first RV adventure we’ve compiled a series of caravan definitions you can add to your vocabulary.

Useful caravan definitions:

Caravan: First up we have the most common term – caravan. It’s a blanket term referring to many different styles of caravans, which can range anywhere between three metres to more than 10 metres long. A caravan generally comes equipped with all the standard comforts of a house including shower, toilet, fridge, cooking facilities and more.

Pop-top: As the name implies, the pop-top has a soft-top fabric section that can be popped up when on-site to provide extra headroom. When you’re on the road, the low profile makes them easy to tow and stow.

Camper trailer: A more compressed version than the pop-top, the camper trailer transforms from a small towable unit to a larger, expandable camper on-site.

Tent trailers: Perhaps the most compact of caravan options, the tent trailer is towed and comes with an adjoining tent section that lifts out to create sleeping space. Tent trailers are also available in off-road versions.

 Motorhomes: These hard-shell structures conveniently combine the dwelling and vehicle in one unit. If it’s space and luxury you’re after, depending on the model you choose, you really can go all out. They generally feature all the same interior elements of a caravan including toilets, showers and more.

 Campervan: Slightly smaller than a motorhome, the campervan is made with camping trips in mind. They often have a slightly higher roof for increased headroom. They include basic sleeping and living facilities including a table, seating, beds and usually a water tank, stove and refrigerator.

 Slide-on campers: Simply slide the camper onto the tray of your ute and it transforms into an RV. They come in many shapes and sizes, are reasonably cheap and leave your ute free to tow additional items such as motorbikes and horse floats.

5th wheeler: This connects to a vehicle via a turntable or ‘fifth wheel’ that allows for greater movement on the road. Tending to be on the larger side of caravans, with some almost as big as a semitrailer, the 5th wheeler generally allows for an even greater number of facilities and occupants.

So now that you know what you’re talking about, you can start to consider your needs before you decide to buy . And, just before you buckle up, be sure to check out our pre-travel caravan safety checklist. Happy camping.


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