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What Does Berth mean in a Campervan?


If you’ve started researching a campervan to hire, one of the first things you’ll notice about how they’re categorised is that each includes a ‘berth’. In this blog, we’ll explain exactly what that means, why it’s important, and some other travel tips to help plan your trip.

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The definition of berth regarding campervans

Technically speaking, when it comes to motorhomes and campervans, the term berth is used to describe an area where someone can sleep. It’s quite a flexible term given how many different styles and shapes of campervans are available.

The term berth is also used to measure a campervan's capacity to sleep people. For example, a four-berth campervan can sleep four people.

Where did the term berth come from

Confusingly, the word berth has a few meanings depending on the context you use it. If you’re using berth as a verb, it can relate to where a ship or boat docks, e.g., ‘the ship berthed in Sydney’.

If you’re using the word berth as a noun, which is how we use it when it comes to campervans, it means a fixed bunk on a ship or other means of transport. Or, to go back to our first point, the word berth can also be a name for where a ship is meant to go. This is probably where we got the word berth from when it comes to campervans – the number of bunks/beds available in your vehicle.

Why you need to understand what berth means

No one wants to top-and-tail or sleep on the floor when going on a campervan holiday! Your sleeping arrangement and the amount of room in your campervan hire can sometimes make or break your overall enjoyment and comfort.

When you’re considering a campervan hire, you’ll immediately know how many people it will sleep by checking how many berths it has. Common berth options when hiring a campervan include two-, four-, and six-berth. Larger, privately owned motorhomes and bus conversions may offer eight or more berths.

So, for example, if you have a family of five, you’ll need to look at six-berth options. Couples might choose a two-berth campervan but may also want a four- or six-berth option to make use of the extra space.

Considerations when choosing campervan berth

There are a few factors to take into account when you’re considering which campervan berth option is right for your holiday. It may seem as simple as tallying up the number of travellers, but this is really just a starting point.

You’ll also need to think about who is joining you on your Australian road trip, how much space you need, and your budget. Let’s take a closer look at each.

How many people are travelling?

First on the list is how many people are travelling in your campervan. While you can have more berths than travellers, you can’t have less. It’s not safe, it’s not comfortable, and it just isn’t worth the compromise.

Whether you have young children

Depending on the age of your child, you may or may not need to have them covered by the berths in your campervan. For infants and toddlers that are still in a cot, you may just need space for this and not an actual bunk.

Note, you will need to ensure that the campervan has sufficient seat belts for each traveller, including for children’s car seats. Some campervans only have seat belts to match the berth number.

How much space you need

As a general rule every person that is travelling in your campervan requires a bed/bunk. In saying that, you may prefer to have the luxury of an extra bunk for storage or so that the kids can have an indoor space to play and leave toys out. As well as that, you’ll have a spare bunk if a family member or good friend meets up with you for any portion of the trip.

Your budget

Generally, the higher the berth of your campervan, the bigger it is and the more expensive. As nice as it is to have lots of extra space, if you have budget restrictions when planning your road trip itinerary, it may be a good idea to consider a smaller van.

The different campervan berths at maui

At maui, we have a wide range of campervans ranging from two berths to six berths. So whether you’re a solo traveller, a couple, or taking the whole family, there’s a campervan hire to suit.

2 Berth Ultima

Perfect for solo travellers and couples, the maui’s 2 Berth Ultima campervan has plenty of storage space for carrying all your holiday must-haves. Pack in your golf clubs, fishing rods, and extra bags. There’s room for them all. And if the weather turns, no problem! Slide out the LCD screen and DVD player and kick back with your favourite movie.

The 2 Berth Ultima includes:

  • One double bed, or two singles
  • Automatic transmission
  • Shower and toilet
  • Gas stove and sink
  • 130L fridge/freezer
  • Microwave
  • LCD screen and DVD player

2+1 Berth Ultima Plus

If you’ve got a little one joining you on your Australian road trip adventure, the 2+1 Berth Ultima Plus is the ideal campervan. A third passenger seat is positioned directly behind the driver, so your child can be close to you as you travel. This area folds down into a comfy child’s bed while mum and dad can enjoy the double bed at the rear.

The 2+1 Ultima Plus includes:

  • Single and double bed, or three single beds
  • Automatic transmission
  • Shower and toilet
  • Gas stove and sink
  • 130L fridge/freezer
  • Microwave
  • LCD screen and DVD player

4 Berth Cascade

For families or groups of friends of up to four people, the 4 Berth Cascade is just the ticket. The Cascade includes a clever bed design that provides two double beds at the rear of the campervan; the rear lounge converts into a double bed, plus a second drop-down bed lowers from the ceiling.

The 4 Berth Cascade includes:

  • Two double beds
  • Automatic transmission
  • Shower and toilet
  • Gas stove and sink
  • 130L fridge/freezer
  • Microwave
  • LCD screen and DVD player
  • Slide out barbecue
  • Awning

4 Berth Beach

Comfy, spacious, and super stylish, maui’s 4 Berth Beach campervan is just like an apartment on wheels! This camper has two double beds; the first is the u-shaped rear lounge that converts into a bed, and the second is over the cab at the front. Looking smart with warm neutral tones, versatile living areas, and an enhanced front dining space, you’ll feel right at home!

The 4 Berth Beach includes:

  • Two double beds
  • Automatic transmission
  • Shower and toilet
  • Gas stove and sink
  • 130L fridge/freezer
  • Microwave
  • LCD screen and DVD player
  • Slide out barbecue
  • Awning

6 Berth River

Go big with maui’s 6 Berth River campervan! With sleeping space for six travellers, the River is ideal for big families or groups of friends. With three double beds – a fold out double, a bed over the cab, and the rear lounge conversion – there’s a comfy night’s sleep waiting for everyone.

The 6 Berth River includes:

  • Three double beds
  • Automatic transmission
  • Shower and toilet
  • Gas stove and sink
  • 130L fridge/freezer
  • Microwave
  • Slide out barbecue
  • LCD screen and DVD
  • Awning

What’s included in your campervan

Whichever maui campervan hire you decide to hire, you’ll get the following gear included:

Everyday Essentials: Dustpan and brush, fire extinguisher, bucket and hose, broom, matches, clothesline and pegs, and hangers.

Apartment style kitchen equipment: Plates, bowls, cups, cutlery and cooking utensils, wine and drinking glasses, coffee plunger, electric jug, and toaster.

Hotel quality linen & bedding: Pillows and pillowcases, duvets (doonas), sheets, towels, and bathmat.

Need a few extras? When you book your maui campervan hire, you can also hire:

  • A child car seat or booster seat
  • Camping table
  • Camping chairs
  • Bikes
  • A satellite phone
  • Fan heater
  • Prepaid gas bottle refill
  • An esky/cooler box
  • First aid kit
  • Toilet chemicals

Where to find advice on choosing the right berth campervan

If you have any questions about how to choose the right campervan for your Australian road trip, talk to the friendly team at your local maui branch. Our team know motorhomes inside-out and are more than happy to help you pick out the best one for you.

You may also like to check out some of our other blogs that are packed full of helpful information and tips:

Want to explore Australia in a campervan? 

Now that you know everything you need to know about campervan berths, it’s time to start planning that campervan holiday!

The next step is to book your maui campervan online today. You can pick up your camper from any one of maui’s 10 branches throughout Australia.

Check out more of our great inspirational blogs and road trip itineraries on what to see and where to go.