IsDons articles and blog

Caravans or travel trailers

Category: Types of homes-on-wheels. Published: 23 Jun 2009

The word caravan has many meanings. In this article I'm referring to a temporary (or permanent) travel home that is towed behind a vehicle -- and is referred to in America as a travel trailer, however this term also seems to include what Australian's refer to as a camper trailer. Wiktionary ( describes a caravan as "A furnished vehicle towed behind a car etc and used as a dwelling when stationary." The word is derived from the Persian word kâravân meaning a "group of people who were travelling by camel or horse on the silk road".

The "covered wagon" used in the early years of European settlement in America could be called a type of caravan.

Caravans are by far the most popular type of home-on-wheels for those travelling in Australia, probably outnumbering motorhomes, campervans, slide-ons and camper trailers combined. They come in a range of sizes from very small to very large. While most appear to be full height, there are also pop-top and fold down versions. Options range from basic facilities to everything you could possibly want. There are the standard highway types as well as off-road versions. There are even small versions that can be towed by motorbikes.

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