Caravanning and RVing in Australia

Let's Talk Oz

Many people from overseas - North America in particular - have trouble understanding some of our Aussie terminology so here are a few examples that may make things a little clearer in the RVing context.

(These definitions first appeared in an article I wrote for the Jan/Feb 2002 edition of the
'RV Times' - a free Canadian magazine for RVers and Campers that also has an on-line edition)

Vegemite - a black, yukky-looking, yeast extract that Aussies spread on bread and toast and most can't live without.

Dodgy - a bit suspect. Not quite right.

Crook - bad as in : 'you got a crook deal'; sick as in : 'I feel a bit crook'; faulty. It also means a criminal in the conventional sense.

Caravan Parks - Campgrounds perhaps or Trailer Parks. Most have concrete slabs for annexes, water, power and sullage. Some have 'drive-through' sites so outfits can stay connected overnight. We do have National Parks with camping allowed for a fee and usually these have a strict 'No Pets'policy.

LPG - we talk about 'LPG cylinders' as opposed to 'propane tanks' and these are usually 9 kg. Some caravans use 4.5 kg cylinders. Many tow vehicles are converted to run on LPG as it's roughly half the cost of petrol.

Gas - LPG - not petrol! Hence Service Stations, Petrol Stations, Service Centres but not Gas Stations although they usually sell gas (LPG) as well.

We donít use furnaces but warm our units with electric fan heaters or sit outside by a campfire. (The exception would be in a few large Class A motorhomes fully imported from the States)

There are very few fifth-wheelers here and most caravans would be 20' or less. We have very few slide-outs but some of our larger motor-homes have them and just a few larger caravans.

A round Australia trip usually involves about 20,000 kilometres (our spelling!) and petrol prices vary from around 90 cents a litre (also our spelling) to upwards of $1.40 in remote (outback) areas. We have never heard of 'boondocksí!

Our mains electricity is 240 volts AC but most RVs are also wired for 12 or 24 volts. With plenty of sunshine in most States year round, there is an increasing use of solar power to charge deep-cycle batteries. Many people use inverters to turn 12 volts into 240 volts to allow them to use normal household appliences while on the move.

Wallabies are small marsupials - like a small kangaroo but 'On The Wallaby' means going on a trip outback. It's the name of my monthly column.

Most Australians live in cities on the seaboard and many have never seen a wallaby or kangaroo in itís own habitat!






Back to Caravanning in Australia

Need some advice?
Ask Lionel

Australia Calling


To Order


What the experts say

On the Wallaby

More Wallabies

Ask Lionel

Questions and Answers


About Lionel


More Links

 Overseas Links


Caravan and RV Manufacturers

 RV Accessory Suppliers



Touring Down Under


A Trip Around Australia

More Aussie Pics


Route Notes

Let's talk Oz

Australian Wildlife





 Outback Protocol

 New RACV Cover

 Travel Warning
Touring Oz 

Got a query?
Ask Lionel!