Caravan length

Submitted: Thursday, Apr 28, 2016 at 19:42
ThreadID: 132258 Views:3945 Replies:8 FollowUps:7
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I'm looking for a caravan at the moment but I'm not sure when you talk about length example 14ft or 20ft does that also include the drawbar?
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Reply By: Member - Milton477 - Thursday, Apr 28, 2016 at 21:14

Thursday, Apr 28, 2016 at 21:14
Generally, it will be the body length, either internal or external.
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Reply By: Motherhen - Thursday, Apr 28, 2016 at 21:52

Thursday, Apr 28, 2016 at 21:52
You have to look at the van, and take your tape measure with you if any of the measurements are critical for you Johnny. All are different. With many, it is the internal measurement but that can vary between floor length and cabin length. Some use the external body measurement. For some reason they seem to have stuck with feet, but some quote metres. Rarely is the drawbar included and because of varying lengths of drawbars, it would give no indication of living space.
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Reply By: Paul E6 - Thursday, Apr 28, 2016 at 22:47

Thursday, Apr 28, 2016 at 22:47
I was told recently by a dealer that it is the external body length. Not draw bar.
AnswerID: 599288

Reply By: Member - johntoyo - Thursday, Apr 28, 2016 at 23:12

Thursday, Apr 28, 2016 at 23:12
Yes agree with all the above replies. Generally outside body length in feet. Also generally the draw bar and any spare wheel etc on the rear is not included.
On my current van I ordered a19ft. but when I collected it from builder it was 19ft internal. Why they did and still quote that I have never had explained.

Need to ask that question of supplier.

John.
AnswerID: 599290

Follow Up By: Member - Allan L2 - Friday, Apr 29, 2016 at 07:28

Friday, Apr 29, 2016 at 07:28
Jayco uses internal length. e.g 17 Ft Journey Models 17.55-9.
17.55 is internal length in Ft & the 9 is the floor plan. Exterior body lenght 18.8Ft.
Cheers,
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Reply By: Member - Lynton B (QLD) - Friday, Apr 29, 2016 at 07:51

Friday, Apr 29, 2016 at 07:51
I have always believed the length referred to internal length. Certainly applied to an earlier Supreme I had, and to the Crusader I currently have. Regards
AnswerID: 599298

Reply By: TomH - Friday, Apr 29, 2016 at 08:44

Friday, Apr 29, 2016 at 08:44
It varies between manufacturers Our 2006 Roadstar was advertised as 21.6 but was 19ft inside.
Our 724 Coromal was 7240mm outside and 30F 6in hitch to rear bar.

ALWAYS ASK WHICH IT IS.
AnswerID: 599300

Reply By: Ron N - Friday, Apr 29, 2016 at 09:58

Friday, Apr 29, 2016 at 09:58
There's no standard whatsoever for caravan measurement - and the figures you're given, all depend on how rubbery and stretchy the tape was, when the manufacturer measured it!

Manufacturers fib about length because it's such an abstract figure with no Australian Standard.
It's mind-boggling in this day and age of regulation, red tape and Standards laws, that there isn't a precise Standard for measuring a caravans length.

Why people still quote feet in the length, when we have been partly metric from the late 1960's, and fully metric since 1976, also astounds me. It's like the Americans are running our caravan industry.

The quoted length of caravans many decades ago, was the overall exterior length of the caravan body, measured one foot above the floor line.
Then some manufacturers produced curvey shapes for the front and rear, and started measuring the longest part of the curved section, front to rear.

I'd be amazed if any manufacturer actually quoted their length as internal, as that immediately puts them at a distinct sales and marketing disadvantage.

If a caravan manufacturer is honest, they will provide a plan showing all dimensions, internal and external, exactly as vehicle manufacturers do.

It's a good idea to run the tape over everything you're looking to buy, and also know all the precise dimensions of your 'van, once you own it.

The reason being - if booking into a caravan park, you will often be asked your caravan length - and if you are travelling on the ferry to Tasmania, or having your 'van transported on a truck, they will want the overall length measurement, from the tip of the hitch to the rearmost projection.

Cheers, Ron.
AnswerID: 599306

Follow Up By: Johnnykluger - Friday, Apr 29, 2016 at 13:17

Friday, Apr 29, 2016 at 13:17
Thanks Ron I gues I would have to measure every caravan individually you just can't trust their measurements thanks for all your help
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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Friday, Apr 29, 2016 at 14:15

Friday, Apr 29, 2016 at 14:15
Quote "I'd be amazed if any manufacturer actually quoted their length as internal, as that immediately puts them at a distinct sales and marketing disadvantage."

It is an advantage not a disadvantage. I was around when "internal," cabin, floor and furniture lengths came about. Around that time (and to some extent now) new vanners were concerned about the maximum length of van their vehicle could tow. These fictitious lengths were invented to fool prospective owners into purchasing a longer (and hence more expensive) van than they had intended. Deception produces larger commissions for the salesmen and greater profits for the dealers.

Way back I have had dealings with sales people who used to complain about these unethical and deceptive dealers who sold vans that were to big to be safely towed by the unsuspecting customers.
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Friday, Apr 29, 2016 at 14:29

Friday, Apr 29, 2016 at 14:29
Peter, I agree about the regular deception amongst sales people, both in the car and caravan industry.

However, to my way of thinking, the disadvantage to the seller quoting internal measurements is, that because their vans are bigger overall, than the ones using external measurements - a competitor using external measurements, could sell a smaller van overall, for similar money to the (overall) larger van seller, who is using internal measurements.

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: The Bantam - Saturday, Apr 30, 2016 at 16:02

Saturday, Apr 30, 2016 at 16:02
Ron, If ya gona make the length figure rubbery, the reasoning may vary.

A lot of people would think a 10 foot van was "way too small", but if that van measured 12 feet external, the customer perception may be that a 12 foot van is "much bigger"

For someone looking at a larger van something that is measured and marketed as 20 foot ( or even better 19 foot)may be acceptable, but if it was known that the outside dimension was 25 feet including front locker, rear bumper and spare tyres ..... "OH that's way too big" ..... or a 25 foot van may appeal to someone wanting a bigger van.

It may well be that a modern van that encloses things like gass bottles and drawabar storage and has the spare tyres mounted on the rear ( has the spare tyres mounted at all) may well be the same practical and internal size as an older van, but may well measure 5 foot longer in the body.

People most certainly still do buy and think of their vans in feet ..... "OH I have a 20 footer" ... therefor they have a higher status than someone who has a 16 or god forbid a 14 footer.

If ya think this is bad ...... look at how boats are measured.

cheers
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Saturday, Apr 30, 2016 at 19:10

Saturday, Apr 30, 2016 at 19:10
Bantam - Ah, well, I guess we'd be better off using cubits, then! - seeing as the first big important boat was measured in cubits! - and cubits were used for at least 4500 years!
That's a lot longer period than stupid metric measures, or even feet! [;-)

Using cubits would have to cut down on all the repeated size bragging.
A 30 footer becomes only a 20 cubiter in the proper measurements!
And bloke wouldn't even mention he only had a 10 cubiter!

People wouldn't worry about hooking up to a 15 cubiter, it doesn't sound big at all!

I can see we'll have to start a movement to dispense with all with metric and feet confusion, and go back to measurements that people have understood for dozens of centuries!

Cheers, Ron.
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FollowupID: 868595

Follow Up By: Pete Jackman (SA) - Sunday, May 01, 2016 at 00:16

Sunday, May 01, 2016 at 00:16
I reckon the reason they use feet is because most people that buy vans still think in feet and inches like me!
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Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Sunday, May 01, 2016 at 19:22

Sunday, May 01, 2016 at 19:22
Our New Age van is 16' - but that is internal. The body measure 17'6" external and it is 7.5 metres from towball to rear bumper.
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