Campervan and Motorhome Terminology
Booking Deposit - When you make a booking you place down a sum of money to secure your campervan. This sum is the booking deposit, and is a percentage of the total amount to be paid.
Depot - A depot is the base for the campervan companies. Typically each company has a number of depots around the country, and these are where you pick up and drop off your campervan from.
Berth - This refers to the number of people the vehicle is able to sleep, eg, a two berth campervan can sleep two people. It does not refer to how many beds are in the vehicle, as a two berth vehicle could contain one double bed.
Security Bond - This is a specified amount of money paid by the hirer to the campervan company, which is refunded at the end of the rental period provided there are no outstanding costs.
Calendar Days - Campervan Rental is based on calendar days, which means the day of pick up and the day of drop off are included as a full day of rental, regardless of the time of day the pick up or drop off is made. So if the pick up is made at 4 pm, then the day is still counted as a full day.
Baby Seat - Baby Seats are for children aged 6 months to 3 years, (weighing 8 to 18 kilos). They are an external accessory manually fitted into the car, the requirement of which needs to be specified when making a booking.
Booster Seat - Similar to baby seats, these are for children aged 3 to 8 years (weighing 14 to 28 kilos).
Flex Rates - These are rates that change every week, ie 'flexible' rates. Generally speaking the closer you get to the pickup date, the higher the rates will be. The rate of the first day of your travel will apply to the whole duration of your travel.
Standard Rates - These rates do not change every week, they are set at the start of the year and remain at that rate for the duration of the season. If you cross over a change of season the rate you are paying will change too. It depends on the supplier whether they offer standard or flex rates.
Government taxes and Stamp Duty - Stamp duty is the tax imposed on documents or publications, and governemnt taxes are the taxes that are applied to any economic transaction. These do not make up part of your daily rate, but are included in your overall total.
One Way Travel - Often people wish to pick up a campervan in one destination, then drive to another destination and drop it off there. This is 'one way travel', as it doesn't involve a return trip.
Caravan Park - Campervan travellers normally spend lots of time in caravan parks. They are tourist-oriented resort locations where you can park up your campervan and plug it into electricity. There are other types of accommodation available on the same site, from camping to cabins to motel style accommodation. Laundry and kitchen facilities are normally provided, as are ablution blocks. Some have swimming pools and games rooms, and all are reasonably priced.
Holiday Park and Tourist Park - There is very little distinction between these type of resort parks and caravan parks. All are reasonable and accommodating places to enjoy your campervan holiday in.
National Park - A National Park is an area of land that the government has declared ownership of. It is protected by the government from human development, and is normally an area of natural beauty or attraction.
Battery System - The internal appliances of most campervans run on a battery system that is separate from the engine battery. These batteries recharge when you drive, but can also be plugged into electricity points when parked so as not to drain them.
Road Train - A road train is an extremely long truck used to transport goods through the Australian outback. Care is needed when you encounter a road train, as due to their long length they are difficult to overtake and can be hard to control for the driver.
Transmission - This is the gear changing system of the campervan. It is either automatic, whereby the campervan changes gears for you, or manual, where the gear changing is done by the driver.
Comprehensive Insurance - These are insurance policies with a broad range of cover. You are covered by the insurance whether you are in the right or the wrong, or whether the damage was caused by an unknown party or an 'act of God'.
Excess - When you are insured and you make a claim on your insurance, you will still have to pay the first part of that claim yourself. That amount you pay is the excess, and its amount depends on the excess options you take.
Excess Reduction - This is an amount of cash you pay each day that reduces the excess you have to pay in the event of an accident. The excess reduction you pay and the amount it reduces off your excess depends on the supplier.
Standard Liability- The standard liability amount is taken as a bond off your credit card at the start of travel, and is held for the duration of travel until the campervan is safely returned.
Third Party - The third party is any other entity involved in an incident. So for example if you have an accident whereby you drive into the back of another vehicle, that vehicle is the third party. Third Party Insurance covers the costs that may be incurred by a third party as a result of your actions.
Demurrage - This is the monetary loss incurred by a supplier when their campervan is taken off the road as the result of an accident. The person who causes the accident is liable for demurrage.
Surcharge - This is an additional sum added to a usual amount or cost.