Understanding Caravan Dimensions

Category: CTAM News Safety Date: 09 Feb 2024

Caravan size is often discussed in relation to the length of the body. For example, a reference to a 19-foot caravan will typically mean the body length is 19 feet (5.8m). This excludes the drawbar and rear bumper.

Note that there may be 2 variations of this length – the internal dimensions of the living space or the external body dimensions (A and B as shown in the diagram below).

Body length is a useful reference point when considering the living space available in the caravan/camper trailer. It commonly comes up in model designations and in sales conversations. It’s useful for visualising a product and/or comparing different products.

caravan dimensions image

Overall Length

The overall length of a caravan or camper trailer is measured from the front of the coupling to the rear of any equipment mounted behind the vehicle. This can include bumper bars, spare wheels, etc. (as shown as C in the diagram). This is a critical dimension when considering the space that is occupied by your vehicle.

It is important to be aware that drawbars come in different lengths. Bumper bars may protrude by different amounts from the rear and/or carry different equipment. So, the overall length of two different vehicles may not be the same even if they have the same body length.

The overall length of a caravan or camper trailer may also be necessary to determine whether a caravan park site is suitable for your vehicle. This comes in handy when booking prior to or arriving at a caravan park. Note that some vehicles expand beyond the overall road travel length when expanded for living.

The overall length is a critical dimension when considering things such as storage of your caravan or camper trailer.  For example, you want to be sure that you have sufficient space to fit your caravan/ camper trailer comfortably. This includes your driveway, garage, carport, or other available space.Remember that the height of a garage or carport and of the entry doorway may also be a significant factor.

It is also important to determine the length of your towing combination. The combination is the overall length from the front of your tow vehicle to the rear of the caravan. This is necessary if your travels involve a ferry, and the vehicle combination length is requested with your booking. The overall length combination is also a common factor when considering if you are comfortable towing a particular product.

Overall Width

A trailer must not exceed 2500mm in overall width whilst travelling on the road.  The maximum distance is measured across the body including all mounted equipment and fixings, such as wheel guards, hot water service covers, storage rack frames and awnings etc., but excluding signalling devices and side-mounted lamps.

See in the diagram below.

Caravan diagram - back of caravan

Once parked and set up for camp, the width will vary depending on if the side awning has been pulled out. Side awnings vary in width, but this could double the width of the caravan.

Slide-out beds or wall segments or fold-out tent sections may also affect the dimensions of the width of the caravan.             

Towing Guide