Monday, April 20, 2009

RV Lingo

Some RV lingo to help complete newbies:0)

The RV world uses some terminology that may not be understood by the RV "newbie". Listed to the right are some common words used in the RV World. You may decide to print this page as you might find this list helpful in learning the RV lifestyle.

Arctic Package: A feature on an RV that adds additional insulation, storm windows and heat pads/strips for the holding tanks and water lines, to enable the RV to be used in cold weather.
Axle Ratio: The ratio between the pinion and ring gears in the differential that multiply the torque provided by the engine. It is the number of driveline revolutions required to turn the axle one time. As an example, with a 4.10:1 axle the driveline turns 4.1 times for each full axle revolution. The higher the number, the more torque and thus more towing power. However, the higher the number the slower your vehicle speed.
Backup Monitor: A camera in the back of a motorhome, with the monitor positioned somewhere on the dashboard for the driver, to aid in backing up the motorhome. It is also used while driving to see the traffic behind and to keep an eye on your towed vehicle.
Ball Mount: The part of the hitch system that supports the hitch ball and connects it to the trailer coupler. Ball mounts are available in load carrying and weight distributing configurations.
Basement: The storage area below the floor of the RV, accessible from the outside. Basement storage usually refers to storage in a Class-A or Class-C motorhome.
Black Water: The toilet water stored in a holding tank under an RV.
Boondocking: Camping in your RV without water or electrical hook-ups.
Brake Controller: A control unit mounted inside the vehicle that allows the electric brakes on the trailer to become activated in harmony with the braking of the tow vehicle. The controller can also be used to manually activate the trailer brakes.
Break-Away System: A system designed to automatically lock the trailer brakes in the event of a hitch failure, where the trailer may break away from the tow vehicle.
British Thermal Unit (BTU): A measurement of heat that refers to the quantity required to raise the temperature of one pound of water one degree F. (Fahrenheit). RV air conditioners and furnaces are BTU-rated.
Caravan: A group of three or more RVs traveling together. Like a miniature version of a 16-wheeler "convoy".
Chassis: The framework that supports the body and engine of an RV.
Class A Motor home: Motor home that range from 24'-40' in length. A bus style RV. If it has the shape of a large bus, it is a Class A. It may have a front or rear engine, be gas or diesel.
Class B Motorhome: Also known as camping conversion vans. Class B Motorhomes are built within the dimension of a van but with modification to provide basic living accommodations. Models usually range from 16'-21' in length. a conversion van. It looks like a van you could buy at a local car dealer, but it is converted or built inside to be a mini RV.
Class C Motor Home: Motorhomes that range from 16'-32' in length. It looks like a very long P/U truck with a camper body. Part of the camper part extends up over the cab. They can be long, but the give away is the cab with two doors. It is one vehicle.
Converter: An electrical device for converting 120-volt AC power into 12-volt DC power. Most RVs with electrical hookups will have a converter, since many of the lights and some other accessories run on 12-volt DC.
Coupler: The part of the trailer that attaches to the ball of the hitch.
Diesel Puller: The term for a motorhome with the diesel engine mounted in the front of the vehicle. Also know simply as a Puller.
Diesel Pusher: The term for a motorhome with the diesel engine mounted in the rear of the vehicle. Also know simply as a Pusher.
Dinghy: A car or other vehicles that is towed behind an RV. Also known as the toad.
Dry Camping: Also known as boondocking, dry camping refers to camping without any hook-ups. It is namely camping without hooking up to any electric, sewer or water facilities. You can still have electric from your RV batteries and water from your freshwater holding tank.
Dry Weight: The weight of the RV without any fuel, freshwater, propane or passengers.
Dump Station: A facility for dumping or emptying your black water and gray water holding tanks.
Equalizing Hitch: A hitch that utilizes spring bars that are placed under tension to distribute a portion of the trailer's hitch weight to the tow vehicle's front axle and the trailer's axles. This hitch is also known as a weight distributing hitch.
Fifth-Wheel Trailers: Towable RV that is designed to be coupled to a special hitch that is mounted over the rear axel in the bed of a pickup truck. Is similar to a TT, but the body has a gooseneck that extends up and over the bed of the tow truck. There is a hitch similar to what a semi tractor has that the rests in the middle of the truck bed.
Fiver: A fifth-wheel RV.
FMCA: Family Motor Coach Association
Fresh Water Tank: A tank in which fresh water is stored for later use.
Full-Timers: RVers who live in their RV year around.
DW: Dry weight. The weight of the RV with no supplies, water, fuel, or passengers.
Fold-down: Also known as a "pop-up" or "camping" trailer. A towable RV in which the upper half collapse to make a compact, lightweight unit.
GAWR: Gross Axel Weight Rating. The maximun allowable wieght that an axel is designed to carry.
GCWR: Gross Combination Weight Rating. The maximum allowable weight of the combination of tow vehicle and trailer/fifth wheel, or motor home and dinghy. It includes the weight of the vehicle, trailer/fifth-wheel or dinghy), cargo, passengers, and a full load of fluids (fresh water, propane, fuel, etc.)
Gray Water: The water drainer from the sinks and shower in an RV.
GTWR: Gross Trailer Weight Rating. Maximum allowable weight of a trailer, fully loaded with cargo and fluids.
GVWR: Gross vehicle Weight Rating. The total allowable weight of a vehicle including passengers cargo, fluids, and hitch weight.
Hook-ups: The electrical and freshwater connections at each RV campsite.
Motorhome: An RV built on or as an integral part of a self-propelled motor vehicle chassis, combining transportation and living quarters in one unit.
Newbie: Someone new to the RV world.
Pull-Through: RV campsites that allow vehicles to drive straight in and hook up without having to back in.
RBR: Really Big Rig.
RV: Recreational Vehicle. Vehicles that combine transportation and temporary living quarters for recreation, camping, and travel.
Slideout: An option in many RVs where a portion of the unit can expand to create more room in the RV.
Snowbirds: RVers who live in the warmer, southern regions of the country during the winter months.

Stick Home: your traditional former house house vs your home on wheels that you can change your backyard at any time;0)
Tag-along: A towable, usually a travel trailer.

TOAD: This is a car or other vehicle that is TOWED behind an RV.
Towable: RVs designed to be towed by a motorized vehicle (car, van, or pickup truck) and of such size and weight as not to required special highway movement permit. Towable RVS do not required permanent on-site hook-ups.

Travel Trailer(TT): A Towable RV with an A-frame and coupler that are attached to a ball mount on the tow vehicle.

Truck Camper: A unit loaded onto or affixed to the bed or chassis of a pickup truck.
UVW: Unloaded vehicle weight. Weight of the RV - including factory-installed options, with full LP-gas tank or cylinders. The UVW does not include fresh water, dealer-installed accessories, or gasoline/diesel fuel.
VBR: Very Big Rig.

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