Brush up on your RV vocabulary here to sound like a seasoned pro at your next campground!
A – C
Auxiliary battery – Additional 12 volt battery. Great for dry camping or paired with solar panels.
Black water tank – Holding tank for wastewater from toilet.
Boondocking – Dry camping without hookups. Considered “off grid” camping.
Bunkhouse – An RV with bunk beds or a separate bunk room
Cab-over – The bunk or storage area of a Class C Motorhome that is above the cab.
Chassis – The frame your RV sits on, including the wheels and the engine.
Chucking – When an unbalanced RV moves back and forth while towing.
Converter – Converts 120 volt AC Power to 12 volt DC power, also charges your 12 volt battery.
D – F
Diesel pusher – A diesel motorhome with the engine located in the rear of the RV.
Dry weight – Also called Unloaded Vehicle Weight (UVW). The weight of the RV without fuel, fluids, cargo, or passengers.
DSI Ignition (Direct Spark Ignition) – Used to describe the method to ignite a propane fired appliance.
Dual Electrical System – RV equipped to operate on 12 volt battery power, and on AC current from shore power.
Dump station – Designated area for legal dumping of black and grey water tanks.
Egress window – Formal name for the emergency escape window.
Electrical connector – Links power from your towing vehicle to your RV.
Equalizer – Device designed to reduce trailer chucking.
Fresh water tank – Holding tank for fresh water for taps and showers.
Full timing – Living in your RV full time.
G – I
Generator – Device powered on gas or diesel that can generate 120-volt AC power. Also called a Genset.
Grey water tank – Holding tank for wastewater from the shower and sink.
GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) – Maximum weight of an RV to ensure safe travelling, including the chassis, fluids, fuel, cargo, etc.
High Profile – A 5th wheel trailer with a higher front to allow higher ceilings inside.
Hookups – Electrical, water, and sewer connections offered by a campground. If all three are available it is called a full hookup.
Inverter – A device that changes 12-volt battery power to 120-volt AC power.
J – L
King pin – The pin used to attach a 5th wheel trailer to the tow vehicle.
Levelling jack – Located on the underbelly of your RV, it is designed to bear a significant portion of the weight and level your RV.
LP Gas – Liquid Petroleum gas, also called propane, bottled gas, LPG and CPG.
M – S
Park model – A type of RV designed to be permanently parked in one area.
Primitive site – A campsite without full hookups, or no connections at all.
Pull through site – A campsite you can drive through rather than backing into.
Shore power – Also known as AC electricity, provided by plugging directly into an electrical grid at a campsite.
Slide topper – A protective covering on top of an RV slide to prevent dirt, debris and water from collecting on top.
Snowbird – Somebody who RV’s south during the winter months.
Stabilizer jack – Device designed to reduce rocking and swaying of the RV while you are inside.
Surge protector – A device designed to prevent surges in the electrical current that could damage your RV.
Sway bar – Reduces unwanted motion while towing
T – Z
Tag axle – Additional axle on larger motorhomes to bear additional weight.
Thermocouple – A device that monitors the pilot flame of a propane appliance. If the flame goes out, the thermocouple activates the shut off the flow of gas.
Three way refrigerator – Fridge that can operate on propane, electric power and battery.
Tongue jack – Stabilizing device on the front of an RV that can be used to raise or lower the front of the trailer.
Towable – An RV that requires an tow vehicle to move.
Umbilical cord – Also called a 7 way power cord, a wiring harness that connects the trailer to the tow vehicle. Supplies trailer with power to charge batteries and operate trailer brakes and signal lights.
Water pressure regulator – Device installed on a water hose attached to city water to limit water pressure entering your RV.
Weight distribution system – Advanced hitching system that uses spring bars to leverage tongue weight and spread it across all axles evenly.