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RV Terms & Definitions

Common terms used by RV Aficionado’s with definitions. This guide will have you talking the lingo in no time!

4 Pin Electrical Connector
This provides power from your tow vehicle to your RV for the lights only.

7 Pin Electrical Connector
This provides power from your tow vehicle to your RV for the lights as well as the electrically operated brakes.

A/C
Air conditioner.

Aluminum Exterior Sidewalls
This term refers to the outside construction of your RV. It’s made up of wooden framing with an aluminum exterior and batten insulation.

Auxiliary Battery
An extra battery to run your 12-volt equipment.

Back-up monitor
Usually found on motorhomes. It’s a camera mounted on the back of the RV with a monitor by the driver seat. Gives you an extra eye while backing up your RV.

Basement
The large storage area underneath your RV’s floor accessible from outside storage doors.

Black Water Capacity
The amount of waste water from the toilet your RV’s black water tank can hold.

Booth Dinette
Dining area with two person seats and a table in-between.

Brake Controller
A device mounted inside the tow vehicle that will apply the trailer brakes simultaneously with the tow vehicle brakes.

Breakaway Switch
If your trailer becomes separated from the tow vehicle, this safety switch will automatically activate the brakes on the trailer.

BTU
British Thermal Unit
RV A/C and Furnace units are BTU-rated. It’s a measurement of heat that is the quantity required to raise the temperature of one pound of water 1 degree F.

Bunkhouse
Refers to the floorplan style of an RV having bunk beds.

CCC
Cargo Carying Capacity
This is your RVs maximum weight limit for personal items you add into

Chassis
Framework your RV is built on. In motorhomes it generally includes the engine, transmission,

Chassis Battery
The battery in your motorhome that operates 12 volt components of the drivetrain.

Cockpit
Front of your motorhome where the driver pilot seat and passenger co-pilot seats are located.

Converter
Converts your 120 volt AC power to 12 volt DC power and also charges your 12 volt battery

Diesel Puller – FRED
FRont Engine Diesel – When your diesel motorhomes engine is located in the front

Diesel Pusher
When your diesel motorhome’s engine is located in the rear of the RV.

Dry Weight
This is the weight of just your RV when it’s finished being built. Doesn’t include supplies, water, fuel, or passenger weights.

DSI Ignition
Direct Spark Ignition
This term is used to describe the method of igniting the main burner on a propane fired appliance.

Ducted A/C
Your A/C is supplied through ducts in the ceiling and vents throughout the RV.

Ducted Heat
Your heat is supplied through ducts in the floor and vents throughout the RV.

Dump Station
Refers to an area, a concrete pad with a tank underneath the ground, where you can dump your black and gray water tanks.

Enclosed/Sealed Undebelly
This term refers to the bottom surface of your RV being closed shut to help against weather. Manufacturers will also offer additional packages that will increase the amount of seasons you can use your RV in.

Engine
Provides power to your motorhome.

Free Standing Dinette
Dining area with individual chairs and a table in-between.

Fresh Water Capacity
The amount of drinkable water your RV’s fresh water tank can hold.

Front Galley
When the kitchen is located in the front of your RV.

Front Living
When the living-room is located in the front of your RV.

Front Sleeping
When the master bedroom is located in the front of your RV.

Fuel Type
Type of fuel your motorhome uses. Either Gas or Diesel.

Full Hookup
This is when an RV campsite offers a water supply, sewer/septic, and electricity.

Full-timers
When you live in your RV year round.

Galley
This term refers to the kitchen of your RV.

GAWR
Gross Axle Weight Rating
This is the total allowable weight on each individual axles which includes the weight of tires, wheels, brakes, and the axle itself

GCWR
Gross Combination Weight Rating
This is the total allowable weight of your tow vehicle, your trailer, the cargo in each, hitching, fluids, and occupants.

Generator
Provides 120-volt AC power to your RV. Runs on gas, diesel, or propane.

Gray Water Capacity
The amount of used water from the kitchen sink, bathroom sink or shower, your RV’s gray water tank can hold.

GVWR
Gross Vehicle Weight Rating – The maximum weight your RV can be to ensure safe traveling. Includes the vehicles chassis, body, engine, fluids, fuel, accessories, passengers, cargo, etc.

Height
Top to bottom measurement of your RV.

Hitch
The connection used between your tow vehicle and your RV.

Hitch Capacity
References the towing capacity of your receiver hitch.

Holding Tanks
This term refers to your fresh water tank, gray water tank, and black water tank.

House Battery
The battery in your motorhome that operates 12 volt system within the motorhome.

Interior Height
From floor to ceiling measurement of the inside of your RV.

Inverter
Converts your 12 volt DC power to 110 volt AC power.

King Pin Weight

this is the actual weight pressing down on the 5th of your tow vehicle). Generall 15% – 25% of the GVW. wheel hitch(located in the back bed

Laminated Walls
This term refers to the outside wall construction of your RV. It’s made up of an aluminum frame, styrofoam, fiberglass sheeting treated with a gel-coat and is then laminated onto a

Length
Front to back measurement of your RV.

Leveling Jacks
These will make sure your RV sits level on the ground.

Loft Bed
Usually found in Toy Haulers, this is a space above the garage or entrance door that includes

LP Gas
Liquid Petroleum – Another term for Propane.

Park Model
This is a type of RV made to be permanently parked in an area.

Part-timers
When you travel and use your RV for more than the occasional vacation.

Rear Kitchen
When the kitchen is located in the back of your RV.

Rear Living
When the living-room is located in the rear of your RV.

Rear Sleeping
When the master bedroom is located in the rear of your RV.

Sleeping Capacity
The amount of sleeping spaces in your RV. RVs come with different types of sleeping arrangements – regular sized bed, hide-a-bed in the sofa, collapsible booth dinette, drop down bunk

Slide-outs
Additional area made for each flooplan that slides-out to provide you more living space.

Sway Bar System
Designed to reduce or eliminate side to side sway movement of your trailer.

Tongue Weight
this is the actual weight pressing down on the hitch ball(located on the tow vehicle). Generally 10% – 15% of the GVW.

Tow Rating
The maximum weight your tow vehicle can safely tow(set by the vehicle manufacturer).

Underbelly
This term refers to the bottom surface of your RV.

Weekenders
When you travel and use your RV on the weekends throughout the year.

Weight Distribution System
Takes weight from the tongue of your trailer and redistributes it to the front of the tow vehicle.

Wheel Base
This is the distance between the center lines of the primary axles on your RV.

Width
Side to side measurement of your RV (doesn’t include slideouts).