Glossary of Caravanning Terms

sell_my_caravan_clipartNot everyone is looking to sell their caravan, but still lots of people interested in caravanning come to our site. We are trying to make our site more informative about caravanning in general. this blog post is just a glossary of terms used in caravanning.

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A Frame (also called a drawbar) The triangular part at the front of the caravan’s chassis, in between the main body and the hitch.
Actual Laden Weight (AWL)The total weight of the caravan and its contents, when being towed.
AquarollA proprietary design of fresh water container that can be pulled along the ground.
Awning A tent-like structure of fabric over a supporting framework, which can be
attached to the side of a caravan.
Berth Sleeping place.
Breakaway Cable A thin steel cable linking the caravan handbrake to the vehicle’s tow bar. In the
event of the caravan becoming detached from the car, the cable is designed to pull the caravan handbrake on before snapping.
Butane A type of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) commonly used for caravanning when
temperatures are above freezing. Usually sold in a blue cylinder.
Cassette Toilet (Chemical Toilet) A form of chemical toilet found in modern caravans, where the waste holding tank can be accessed from the outside for emptying.
Certificated Location (CL) Small, privately owned sites permitted to accommodate up to 5 caravans per night, and
licensed by an organisation like The Caravan Club and exclusively for use by its members.
Corner Steady The winding device built into each corner of a caravan chassis that is used to
stabilise the body once set up on a pitch.
Coupling Head Also known as the hitch.
Full Service Pitch A pitch which has individual provision for fresh water supply and waste water
disposal, in addition to mains electricity and sometimes TV aerial connection.
Gas Cylinder A portable, pressurised container for the storage of LPG.
Gas Cylinder Locker Compartment on the caravan for the storage of gas cylinders.
Grey Water Waste water from sink/shower.
Gross Train Weight Also known as Combined Weight. The maximum permitted weight of an outfit.
This is often the sum of the gross vehicle weight and the braked towing limit.
Gross Vehicle Weight The weight of the vehicle laden to its maximum, as defined by the manufacturer. See also MTPLM.
HardstandingA pitch which has a hard surface made of gravel, asphalt, concrete etc, rather than grass.
Hitch The mechanism which allows a caravan to be attached to a tow ball.
Hitch Lock A security device that prevents the caravan hitch being used.
Hook-Up A facility on a pitch for connection to mains electricity.
Jockey Wheel The small front wheel attached to the caravan A frame used to support the
forward end when detached from the towing vehicle.
Kerbweight The empty weight of a motor vehicle as defined by the manufacturer.
Layout The arrangement of furniture and fittings within the habitation area.
LAV Leisure Accommodation Vehicle: A general term which includes caravans, motor
caravans, folding campers and trailer tents.
Leisure Battery A 12V battery similar to a car battery, which powers the 12V lighting, water
pump(s) etc in the caravan.
Levelling The process of ensuring that a caravan is level when sited on a pitch. Important for
comfort and also to ensure the correct functioning of the fridge and water systems.
Liquefied Petroleum The fuel used to power the cooking hob/oven in most caravans.
Gas (LPG) Can also be used for the fridge, water heater and space heater when mains
electricity is not available.
MAM Maximum Authorised Mass: the maximum weight limit as defined by the
manufacturer/ converter – more recently MTPLM.
MIRO Mass in Running Order: the weight of the caravan ex-factory with fuel and water,
but without any passengers or caravanning equipment.
Previously called Unladen or Ex-Works Weight.
MTPLM Maximum Technically Permissible Laden Mass. The maximum weight which can
legally be carried by the chassis, as specified by the manufacturer.
Noseweight This is the vertical load that the caravan hitch imposes on the car’s towball.
Outfit The caravan plus its towing vehicle.
Payload Also called User Payload. The difference between the MTPLM and the MIRO and is the weight you can add to the caravan.
Pigtail A fixture on a tow bar designed to accommodate the breakaway cable.
Propane A type of liquefied petroleum gas usually stored in red cylinders and suitable for
year-round use.
Pup Tent A small dome or ridge tent that may be erected next to the caravan, to be used as
sleeping accommodation for children only.
Residual Current Device A safety device which disconnects the mains electricity supply in the event of an (RCD) earth leakage fault.
Rear Suspension Aid A device which enhances the standard suspension of a vehicle.
Regulator A safety device which controls the pressure of LPG coming out of a
cylinder and going into the caravan’s supply system.
Seasonal Pitch A pitch reserved on a Caravan Club Site where the caravan can be left for part of the year.
Single Axle A caravan with a single pair of wheels on one axle.
Stabiliser A safety device acting around the caravan hitch which may help to control instability.
Torque Wrench A form of spanner used to set nuts and bolts to a specified tightness.
Tow Bar Also known as towing bracket. The framework attached to a towing vehicle that supports the tow ball.
Tow Ball The end part of the tow bar which the caravan hitch fits over.
Towing Mirrors Additional rear vision mirrors added to a towing vehicle to compensate for the
extra width of the caravan.
Twin Axle A caravan with four wheels on two axles.
VINVehicle Identification Number.
WardenThe Caravan Club employee in charge of an individual Caravan Club Site.
Waste Water Water which has been used in the kitchen or bathroom areas.
Water Pump Since caravan water containers are kept at low level, a pump must be used to
circulate water around the system.
Wheel Clamp A security device which should prevent a road wheel rotating or the wheel being