Important Terminology to Learn When Shopping for a Caravan

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Shopping for a new or used caravan can get a bit overwhelming, as there are many different varieties to choose from and many different features and accessories that will be available with each. Understanding some terminology before you start shopping can make the process easier, so you can narrow down that search and know how to find certain features you want for your caravan. Note a few of those terms and phrases here.

Static versus touring caravans

Static caravans are not meant to be hauled or towed regularly, but should be placed in a caravan park and left there. Static caravans typically look like little mobile homes, but are still considered trailers and may need insurance and a license plate. Many static caravans require an actual towing company to move them, since they're so heavy.

Touring caravans are models that you can tow behind your vehicle, and these may range in size from very large and heavy caravans with a full bathroom and bedrooms, to very lightweight, pop-up campers. The advantage of a static caravan is that you don't need to move it when you're ready to go on holiday, and you can keep items inside so you never need to pack and unpack anything. However, having to stay at one caravan park is also their downside! If you prefer to hit the road and visit different parks during your camping holiday, a touring caravan is for you.

Camper trailer

A camper trailer refers to a caravan that is like a tent on a trailer; this type of caravan will be very lightweight and easy to tow, but will obviously offer little room inside. The roof of a camper trailer will pop up and even extend to the sides, and many such trailers will have kitchen areas that slide out from the back or side of the trailer. If choosing a camper trailer, note the tent extension, as a larger tent means more space for outdoor seating, but will mean you need more space on your campsite; larger tents can also be more difficult to set up, especially if you're camping alone.


The frame of a caravan is not the frame of a tent on a camper trailer, but the actual body of the caravan itself. Some are made of wood, but aluminium is also very popular, since it's naturally resistant to corrosion and is very lightweight. If you need a lightweight caravan so you can tow it with your vehicle, look for an aluminium frame instead of a wood one.