RV Terminology

Have you ever been at a Rv show, Rv dealership, or even sitting around a campfire and the people you’re with start using a whole lot of Rv terminology that you just don’t understand? You stand there acting like you know what they’re talking about but you really have no clue. No more worries. I have put together a list of common Rv terminology and their meanings so you will be able to jump right into that next conversation with confidence. The list is a long and ever-evolving one so it’s possible that I missed a term or two. If you have one that I forgot or if you have heard a term that is not here and you don’t know what it means, leave it in the comments and I will add it to the list.



120 AC/12 DC/LP-Gas

The power sources on which RV refrigerators operate; 120 AC is 120-volt alternating current (same as in houses); 12 DC is 12-volt direct current (same as in motor vehicles); LP-gas. Some RV refrigerators can operate on two of the three sources, others on all three.


Adjustable Ball Mount

An adjustable ball mount allows the ball to be raised, lowered and tilted in small increments to allow fine tuning of the spring bar setup and to compensate for tow vehicle “squat,” which occurs after the trailer coupler is lowered onto the ball.


Airbag

In RV terms, a sort of shock absorber positioned at the forward and rear axles of a motorhome.


Airstreaming

Using an Airstream travel trailer as RV of preference.


Anode Rod

In relation to Rv’s an anode rod is a rod that is inserted and screwed into your water heater tank. It is designed to attract harmful corrosive elements in the water. It should be inspected yearly


Arctic Pack

An optional kit to insulate RVs for winter camping


Auxiliary Battery

Extra battery to run 12-volt equipment


Axle Ratio

The final drive gear ratio created by the relationship between the ring and pinion gears and the rotation of the driveshaft. In a 4.10:1 axle ratio, for example, the driveshaft will rotate 4.1 times for each rotation of the axle shaft (wheel)


Backup Monitor

A Video camera mounted on the rear of the motorhome to assist the driver visually with backing up the motorhome, via a monitor mounted in the driver’s compartment or in a central area of the cab where it can be viewed by the driver from the driver’s seat. These monitors are usually left in the ‘on’ position to also assist the driver with the flow of traffic behind the motorhome and in watching a “towed” vehicle


Ball Mount

This is the part of the hitch system that supports the hitch ball and connects it to the trailer coupler.


Basement Model

An RV that incorporates large storage areas underneath a raised chassis.


Black Water

Simply put…sewage. This is the stuff going down your Rv toilet


Black Tank

The tank that stores your black water until you are at a location to empty it. Black tanks come in different sizes depending on the type of Rv you have.


Blue Boy

A portable tank that usually attaches to your hitch. This tank is used to empty the Rv grey or black water when you are camping at a site with no sewer hookups. This prevents you having to move the Rv to the dump station if your tanks fill up but your not ready to leave your location. They are usually blue in color which is how they got their name.


Boondocking

Camping in an area with no hookups (electrical, water, or sewer)


Box

Reference to motorhome’s “living space” on class A, built from the chassis up


Brake Actuator

A device mounted under the dash of a towing vehicle to control the braking system of the trailer. Most Brake Actuators are based on a time delay, the more time the tow vehicle brakes are applied the “harder” the trailer brakes are applied


Brake Controller

A device mounted on the inside of the vehicle that allows electric trailer brakes to activate when you apply the vehicle brakes. You can set the brake controller to have the trailer brakes apply at various intensity’s or to even manually activate the trailer brakes without the vehicle brakes


Breakaway Switch

A safety device that activates the trailer brakes in the event the trailer becomes accidentally disconnected from the hitch while traveling.


BTU- British Thermal Unit

A measurement of heat that is the quantity required to raise the temperature of one pound of water 1 degree Fahrenheit. As in home units, both RV air-conditioners and furnaces are BTU rated


Bubble

A loose term for defining a variety of conditions; such as when describing the level of RV sitting. (example: my RV is ‘off-level’ a half bubble; referring to a ‘bubble-leveler’ tool). Can also be used to describe a delamination condition


Bump Steer

A term used to describe a condition where the front axle feels to be rapidly bottoming out on the jounce bumpers and transferred back to the steering column and steering wheel. There can be several different causes of the problem with different cures for each condition. Sometimes a simple fix such as shocks or a steering stabilizer; sometimes more detailed corrections needed for correcting serious manufacturing oversights


Bumper-Mount Hitch

This type of hitch is available in two configurations: A bracket with a ball mounted to the bumper or a ball is attached to the bumper (typically on pickup trucks). These hitches have very limited RV applications


Bumper Pull

A Rv that is pulled by a hitch mounted to the rear of a vehicle by use of a hitch and receiver system


Bunk House

An area of the Rv that uses bunk beds as opposed to regular beds


Cab Over

The area of a class C motorhome that stretches out over the top of the vehicle’s cab, This area usually contains a sleeping or storage room


Camber – Wheel alignment

Camber is the number of degrees each wheel is off of vertical. Looking from the front, tops of wheels farther apart than bottoms means “positive camber”. As the load pushes the front end down, or the springs get weak, camber would go from positive to none to negative (bottoms of wheels farther apart than tops)


Camper Shell

Removable unit to go over the bed of a pickup truck


Caravan

A group of RVers traveling together with their various RVs


Cassette Toilet

Toilet with a small holding tank that can be removed from outside the vehicle in order to empty it


Castor – Wheel alignment

The steering wheels’ desire to return to center after you turn a corner


Chassis Battery

The Battery in motorized Rv for operating the 12-volt components of the drivetrain


Class A Motorhome

An RV with the living accommodations built on or as an integral part of a self-propelled motor vehicle. Models range from 24 to 40 feet long. Click here for a more in depth look at these types of RVs


Class B Motorhome

Also known as a camping van conversion. These RVs are built within the dimensions of a van, but with a raised roof to provide additional headroom. Basic living accommodations inside are ideal for short vacations or weekend trips. Models usually range from 16 to 21 feet. Click here for a more in-depth look athese RVs


Class C

An Rv motorhome that is built on a cutaway van chassis. You can usually recognize them by the area of the Rv that stretches over the cab of the Rv. Sometimes these Rv’s are called mini motorhomes. Click here for a more in-depth look at these types of RVs.


Coach

Just another name for a motorhome


Cockpit

The front of a motorized RV where the pilot (driver) and co-pilot (navigator) sit


Condensation

Condensation is a result of warm moisture laden air contacting the cold window glass. Keeping a roof vent open helps to reduce the humidity levels. That added roof vent covers help to prevent cold air from dropping down through the vent while still allowing moist air to escape. Using the roof vent fan when showering or the stove vent fan when cooking also helps prevent excess moisture buildup


Converter

A device for converting 120-volt AC power into 12-volt DC power. Most RVs with electrical hookups will have a converter since most of the lights and some other accessories run on 12-volt DC. Many of your Rv outlets will be AC only


Coupler

The part of a trailer A-frame that attaches to the hitch ball


Crosswise

A piece of furniture arranged across the RV from side to side rather than front to rear


Curbside

The side of the RV that would be at the curb when parked


Curb Weight

The weight of an RV unit without fresh or wastewater in the holding tanks but with automotive fluids such as fuel, oil, and radiator coolant





Diesel Pusher

A motorhome with a rear diesel engine


Dinette

A booth-like dining area. The table usually drops to convert the unit into a bed at night


Dinghy

A vehicle towed behind a motorhome, sometimes with two wheels on a special trailer called a tow dolly, but often with all four wheels on the ground


Dually

A pickup truck, or light-duty tow vehicle, with four tires on one rear axle


Ducted A/c

Is air conditioning supplied through a ducting system located in the ceiling. This supplies cooling air at various vents located throughout the RV


Ducted Heat

Is warm air from the furnace supplied to various locations in the RV through a ducting system located in the floor


Dump Station

Usually a concrete pad with an inlet opening connected to an underground sewage system at a campground or other facility offering dumping service to RV travelers


DW

Dry weight. The manufacturer’s listing of the approximate weight of the RV with no supplies, water, fuel or passengers


Engine Oil Cooler

A heat exchanger, similar to a small radiator, through which engine oil passes and is cooled by airflow


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. The hitch is also known as a weight-distributing hitch


Fifth-Wheel Trailers

Fifth-wheel trailers are designed to be coupled to a special hitch that is mounted over the rear axle in the bed of a pickup truck. These trailers can have one, two or three axles and are the largest type of trailer built. Because of their special hitch requirements, fifth-wheel trailers can only be towed by trucks or specialized vehicles prepared for fifth-wheel trailer compatibility. Click here for a more in-depth look at fith-wheel trailers.


Final Drive Ratio

The reduction ratio found in the gearset that is located farthest from the engine. This is the same as the axle ratio


Fiver

Another name for a fifth wheel


FMCA

Abbreviation for Family Motor Coach Association. Frame-Mount Hitch – Class II and higher hitches are designed to be bolted to the vehicle frame or cross members. This type of hitch may have a permanent ball mount or may have a square-tube receiver into which a removable hitch bar or shank is installed


Freshwater

Water suitable for human consumption


Full hookup

A Term for campground accommodations offering water, sewer/septic, and electricity; also refers to an RV with the abilities to use ‘full-hookups’


Full-Timing

Living in one’s RV all year long. These RVers are known as full-timers


Galley

The kitchen of an RV


Gas Pusher

Slang for rear gasoline engine mounted chassis on a motorhome


Gaucho

Sofa/dinette bench that converts into a sleeping unit; a term less used now than formerly


GAWR (Gross Axle Weight Rating)

The manufacturer’s rating for the maximum allowable weight that an axle is designed to carry. Gawr applies to a tow vehicle, trailer, fifth-wheel, and motorhome axles


GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating)

The maximum allowable weight of the combination of tow vehicle and trailer/ fifth-wheel, or motorhome 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.)


Gear Vendor

Brand name for an auxiliary transmission designed to give the driver control of the vehicle’s gear ratio and being able to split gears for peak performance and at the same time have an overdrive


Generator

An electrical device powered by gasoline or diesel fuel, and sometimes propane, for generating 120-volt AC power


Genset

Abbreviation for generator set


Gooseneck

A colloquial name for fifth-wheel travel trailers


Gray Water

Used water that drains from the kitchen and bathroom sinks and the shower into a holding tank, called a gray water holding tank, that is located under the main floor of the 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


Hard-Sided

RV walls made of aluminum or other hard surfaces


Heat Exchanger

A heat exchanger is a device that transfers heat from one source to another. For example, there is a heat exchanger in your furnace – the propane flame and combustion products are contained inside the heat exchanger that is sealed from the inside area. Inside air is blown over the surface of the exchanger, where it is warmed and then blown through the ducting system for room heating. The combustion gasses are vented to the outside air


Heat Strip

A heat strip is an electric heating element located in the air conditioning system with the warm air distributed by the air conditioner fan and ducting system. They are typically 1500 watt elements (about the same wattage as an electric hair dryer) and have limited function. Basically they “take the chill off”


High Profile

A fifth-wheel trailer with a higher-than-normal front to allow more than 6 feet of standing room inside the raised area


Hitch

The fastening unit that joins a movable vehicle to the vehicle that pulls it


Hitch Weight

The amount of weight imposed on the hitch when the trailer/fifth-wheel is coupled. Sometimes referred to as conventional trailer “tongue weight.” Hitch weight for a travel trailer can be 10-15 percent of overall weight; fifth-wheel hitch weight is usually 18 to 20 percent of the overall weight


Holding Tanks

Tanks that retain waste water when the RV unit is not connected to a sewer. The gray water tank holds wastewater from the sinks and shower; the black water tank holds sewage from the toilet


Hookups

The ability to connect to a campground’s facilities. The major types of hookups are electrical, water and sewer. If all three of these hookups are available, it is termed full hookup. Hookups may also include telephone and cable TV in some campgrounds


House Battery

Battery or batteries in a motorhome for operating the 12-volt system within the motorhome, separate from the chassis


HP

Abbreviation for “horsepower”


HR

Abbreviation for Holiday Rambler, a well-known RV manufacturer


Hula Skirt

A term used for a type of dirt skirt accessory some RVers use on the back of their motorhome to aid in the protection from debris thrown from their rear wheels to the vehicles directly behind them or being towed behind them. This dirt skirt is usually the length of the rear bumper and resembles a ‘short’ version of a Hawaiian ‘hula-skirt’, hence the term


Inverter

A unit that changes 12-volt direct current to 110-volt alternating current to allow operation of computers, TV sets, and such when an RV is not hooked up to electricity


Island Queen

A queen-sized bed with walking space on both sides


Jackknife

90% angle obtained from turning/backing fifth wheel or travel trailer with tow vehicle. Jackknifing a short bed truck towing the fifth wheel without the use of a slider hitch or extended fifth wheel pin box can result in damage to the truck cab or breaking out the back window of the truck cab from the truck and the fifth wheel “colliding”


KOA

Kampgrounds of America, a franchise chain of RV parks in North America that offers camping facilities to vacationers and overnighters


Laminate

A sandwich of structural frame members, wall paneling, insulation, and exterior covering, adhesive-bonded under pressure and/or heat to form the RV’s walls, floor and/or roof


Leveling

Positioning the RV in camp so it will be level, using ramps (also called levelers) placed under the wheels, built-in scissors jacks, or power leveling jacks


Limited-Slip Differential

A differential that is designed with a mechanism that limits the speed and torque differences between its two outputs, ensuring that torque is distributed to both drive wheels, even when one is on a slippery surface


Livability Packages

tems to equip a motorhome for daily living, which may be rented at nominal cost from the rental firm, rather than brought from home. Include bed linens, pillows, and blankets, bath towels, pots and pans, kitchen utensils, cutlery


LP Gas

Propane; abbreviation for liquefied petroleum gas, which is a gas liquefied by compression, consisting of flammable hydrocarbons and obtained as a by-product from the refining of petroleum or natural gas. Also called bottled gas, LPG (liquid petroleum gas) and CPG (compressed petroleum gas)





MH

Abbreviation for “motorhome”


Minnie Winnie

A brand model of Winnebago


Motorcoach

Term for motorhome on “bus-type” chassis


NADA

Abbreviation for National Automotive Dealer’s Association


NCC (Net Carrying Capacity)

Maximum weight of all passengers (if applicable), personal belongings, food, fresh water, supplies — derived by subtracting the uvw from the gvwr


Nonpotable Water

Water not suitable for human consumption


OEM

Original Equipment Manufacturer


Park Model

Type of RV that is usually designed for permanent parking but is shorter in length than a traditional mobile home. All the amenities of a mobile home but not built for recreational travel


Part-Timers

Type of RV that is usually designed for permanent parking but is shorter in length than a traditional mobile home. All the amenities of a mobile home but not built for recreational travel


Patio Mat

Carpet or woven mat for use on the ground outside of RV. Used whether or not a concrete patio pad is available where camping


Payload Capacity

The maximum allowable weight that can be placed in or on a vehicle, including cargo, passengers, fluids and fifth-wheel or conventional hitch loads


Pilot

A pilot is a small standby flame that is used to light the main burner of a propane-fired appliance when the thermostat calls for heat. Pilots can be used in furnaces, water heaters, refrigerators, ovens, and stovetops


Pitch-in

A term for an RV campground “get-together”, usually means “pitching-in” a covered dish or casserole


PO

Abbreviation for “pop-up” camper


Pop-out

A term for room or area that ‘pops out’ for additional living space in RV. This type of expanded living area was more common before the technology of slide-out rooms became popular and available


Popup/Pop-Up

Folding camping trailer


Porpoising

A term used to define an up and down motion with an RV


Primitive Camping

Also known as “dry camping”, boondocking. Camping without the modern convenience of full-hookup facilities of city/well water, sewer/septic, and electricity. Primitive campers rely on onboard systems for these conveniences; generator, batteries, stored water, etc


Propane

LPG, or liquefied petroleum gas, used in RVs for heating, cooking, and refrigeration. Also called bottle gas, for the manner in which it is sold and stored


Puller

Slang for front engine motorhome. A term most often used to refer to front-mounted diesel engine motorhomes


Pull-Through

A campsite that allows the driver to pull into the site to park, then pull out the other side when leaving, without ever having to back up


Pusher

Slang for rear engine motorhome. A term most often used to refer to diesel engine motorhomes


Pyramids Of Poop

A condition you get in your black tank when only the valve is left open and the liquids drain and the solids remain on the bottom of the tank. The solids pile on top of each other forming somewhat of a pyramid. Click here to see our post on how to prevent this condition and proper care of your black tank.

Receiver

The portion of a hitch that permits a hitch bar or shank to be inserted. The receiver may be either 11/2-, 15/8- or 2-inch square; the smallest being termed a mini-hitch


Reefer

Slang for “refrigerator”. Refrigerators are often found in either a “two-way” or “three-way” operating mode. Two-way: has a gas mode and an AC mode. Three-way has a gas mode, AC mode, and 12v DC mode. The coolant used in RV refrigeration is ammonia. The two most common manufacturers of RV refrigerators are Norcold and Dometic


RIG

What many RVers call their units


Road Wander

Term used to describe a lack of ability to maintain the motorhome in a straight, forward travel without constant back and forth motion of the steering wheel


Roof Air Conditioning

An air conditioning unit located on the roof of your Rv


RV

Short for Recreation Vehicle, a generic term for all pleasure vehicles which contain living accommodations. Multiple units are RVs and persons using them are RVers


RVDA

Abbreviation for Recreational Vehicle Dealer’s Association


RVIA

Abbreviation for Recreational Vehicle Industry Association


Safety Chains

A set of chains that are attached to the trailer A-frame and must be connected to the tow vehicle while towing. Safety chains are intended to keep the trailer attached to the tow vehicle in the event of hitch failure, preventing the trailer from complete separation. They should be installed using an X-pattern, so the coupler is held off the road in the event of a separation


Screen Room

A term for screen enclosure that attaches to the exterior of an RV for a “bug-free” outside sitting area. Some screen rooms have a canvas type roof for rain protection as well


Self-Contained

An RV that needs no external connections to provide short-term cooking, bathing, and heating functions and could park overnight anywhere


Shank

Also called a hitch bar or stinger, the shank is a removable portion of the hitch system that carries the ball or adjustable ball mount, and slides into the receiver


Shore Cord

The external electrical cord that connects the vehicle to a campground electrical hookup


Shore Power

Electricity provided to the RV by an external source other than the RV battery


Slide-In

A term for a type of camper that mounts on a truck bed, because often this type of camper “slides-in” to the truck bed


Slide-Out

Additional living space that “slides-out” either by hydraulics, electricity or manually, when the RV is set up for camping


Slider

Slang for slider-hitch


Slider-Hitch

Referring to a sliding hitch used on short bed trucks for enabling them to tow fifth wheels, allowing them sufficient clearance to jack-knife the trailer


Snowbird

A term for someone in a northern climate that heads “south” in winter months


Soft-Sides

Telescoping side panels on an RV that can be raised or lowered, usually constructed of canvas or vinyl and mesh netting


Spring Bar

Component parts of a weight-distributing hitch system, the spring bars are installed and tensioned in such a manner as to distribute a portion of the trailer’s hitch weight to the front axle of the tow vehicle and to the axles of the trailer


Stinger

See shank


Stinky Slinky

Slang for the hose used to empty your waste tanks


Streetside

The part of the vehicle on the street side when parked


Sway

The Fishtailing action of the trailer caused by external forces that set the trailer’s mass into a lateral (side-to-side) motion. The trailer’s wheels serve as the axis or pivot point. Also known as “yaw”


Sway Control

Devices designed to damp the swaying action of a trailer, either through a friction system or a “cam action” system that slows and absorbs the pivotal articulating action between tow vehicle and trailer





Tail Swing

Motorhomes built on chassis with short wheelbases and long overhangs behind the rear axle are susceptible to tail swing when turning sharply. As the motorhome moves in reverse or turns a corner, the extreme rear of the coach can move horizontally and strike objects nearby (typically road signs and walls). Drivers need to be aware of the amount of tail swing in order to prevent accidents


Tailgunner

The end RV or vehicle in a caravan


Telescoping

Compacting from front to back and/or top to bottom to make the living unit smaller for towing and storage


Thermocouple

A thermocouple is a device that monitors the pilot flame of a pilot model propane appliance. If the pilot flame is extinguished the thermocouple causes the gas valve to shut off the flow of gas to both the pilot flame and the main burner


Three-way Refrigerators

Appliances that can operate on a 12-volt battery, propane, or 110-volt electrical power


Tip-Out

A term for a room (generally in older RVs) that “tipped-out” for additional living space once RV was parked. Newer RVs mainly use ‘slide-out’ rooms


Toad

A term used to describe the vehicle that you tow behind your motorhome, not the truck used to pull a travel trailer or 5th wheel. Once your motorhome is parked, you can now unhook the “toad” from your motorhome and use it for your daily transportation


Toe

Wheel alignment – Toe is the measure of whether the front of the wheels (looking down from the top) are closer (toe-in) or farther (toe-out) than the back of the wheels


Tongue Weight

The amount of weight imposed on the hitch when the trailer is coupled. See “hitch weight”


Tow Bar

A device used for connecting a dinghy vehicle to the motorhome when it’s towed with all four wheels on the ground


Tow Rating

The manufacturer’s rating of the maximum weight limit that can safely be towed by a particular vehicle. Tow ratings are related to overall trailer weight, not trailer size, in most cases. However, some tow ratings impose limits as to a frontal area of the trailer and overall length. The vehicle manufacturer according to several criteria, including engine size, transmission, axle ratio, brakes, chassis, cooling systems, and other special equipment, determines tow ratings


Towcar

A car towed by an RV to be used as transportation when the RV is parked in a campground


Toy-Hauler

A term for a fifth wheel, travel trailer or motorhome with built-in interior cargo space for motorcycles, bikes, etc. Click here for more information on Toy Haulers.


Trailer Brakes

Brakes that are built into the trailer axle systems and are activated either by electric impulse or by a surge mechanism. The overwhelming majority of RVs utilize electric trailer brakes that are actuated when the tow vehicle’s brakes are operated, or when a brake controller is manually activated. Surge brakes utilize a mechanism that is positioned at the coupler, that detects when the tow vehicle is slowing or stopping, and activates the trailer brakes via a hydraulic system (typically used on boats)


Transmission Cooler

A heat exchanger similar to a small radiator through which automatic transmission fluid passes and is cooled by airflow


TT

Abbreviation for “travel trailer”


Travel Trailer

Also referred to as “conventional trailers,” these types of rigs have an A-frame and coupler and are attached to a ball mount on the tow vehicle. Travel trailers are available with one, two or three axles. Depending upon tow ratings, conventional trailers can be towed by trucks, cars or sport-utility vehicles. Click here to learn more about Travel Trailers.


Triple Towing

A term for three vehicles attached together. Usually, a tow vehicle pulling a fifth wheel and the fifth wheel pulling a boat


TV

Abbreviation for “tow vehicle”


Umbilical Cord

The wiring harness that connects the tow vehicle to the trailer, supplying electricity to the trailer’s clearance and brake lights, electric brakes and a 12-volt DC power line to charge the trailer’s batteries. An umbilical cord can also be the power cable that is used to connect to campground 120-volt AC electrical hookups


Underbelly

The RV’s underfloor surface, which is protected by a weatherproofed material


UTQGL (Uniform Tire Quality Grade Labeling)

A program that is directed by the government to provide consumers with information about three characteristics of the tire: treadwear, traction, and temperature. Following government prescribed test procedures, tire manufacturers perform their own evaluations for these characteristics. Each manufacturer then labels the tire, according to grade


UVW (Unloaded Vehicle Weight)

The weight of the vehicle without manufacturer’s or dealer-installed options and before adding fuel, water or supplies


Wagonmaster

A leader, either hired or chosen, who guides a caravan of recreational vehicles on a trip. The wagonmaster usually makes advance reservations for campgrounds, shows, cruises, sightseeing, and group meals


Wally World

A slang term used by RVers to describe a Wal-Mart


Weekender’s

People who own their RV’s for the weekend and vacation use


Weekend Warriors

See Weekender’s


Weight-Carrying Hitch

Also known as a “dead-weight” hitch, this category includes any system that accepts the entire hitch weight of the trailer. In the strictest sense, even a weight-distributing hitch can act as a load-carrying hitch if the spring bars are not installed and placed under tension


Weight-Distributing Hitch

Also known as an “equalizing” hitch, this category includes hitch systems that utilize spring bars that can be 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


Weights: – GAWR: Gross Axle Weight Rating

The maximum allowable weight each axle is designed to carry, as measured at the tires, therefore including the weight of the axle assembly itself. GAWR is established by considering the ratio of each of its components (tires, wheels, springs, and axle) and rating the axle on its weakest link. The GAWR assumes that the load is equal on each side. GCWR: Gross Combined Weight Rating. The maximum allowable combined weight of the tow vehicle and the attached towed vehicle. GCWR assumes both vehicles have functioning brakes, with exceptions in some cases for very light towed vehicles, normally less than 1,500 pounds. (check your chassis manual or towing guide). GVWR: Gross Vehicle Weight Rating. The maximum allowable weight of the fully loaded vehicle, including liquids, passengers, cargo, and tongue weight of any towed vehicle. NCC: Net Carrying Capacity. The maximum weight of all personal belongings, occupants, food, fresh water, LP gas, tools, dealer installed accessories, etc., that can be carried by the RV. (Technically, the GVWR less the UVW equals the NCC.) Payload Capacity. The maximum allowed weight that can be in or on a vehicle, including all cargo and accessories, fuel freshwater, propane, passengers and hitch loads. UVW: Unloaded Vehicle Weight. The weight of a vehicle as built at the factory with full fuel, engine (generator) oil and coolants. It does not include cargo, fresh water, LP gas, occupants, or dealer installed accessories. water (weight): 8.3 lbs. per gallon LP gas (weight): 4.5 lbs. per gallon driver (estimated weight): 200 lbs. passenger (estimated weight): 120 lbs. Gasoline: weighs 6.3 pounds per gallon Diesel fuel: weighs 6.6 pounds per gallon Propane: weighs 4.25 pounds per gallon


Wet Weight

A term used by RVers to describe the weight of an RV with all storage and holding tanks full. i.e., water, propane, etc


Wheelbase

The distance between center lines of the primary axles of a vehicle. If a motorhome includes a tag axle, the distance is measured from the front axle to the center point between the drive and tag axles


Widebody

Designs that stretch RVs from the traditional 96-inch width to 100 or 102 inches


Winnie

Nickname for Winnebago, a well-known RV manufacturer


Winterize

To prepare the RV for winter use or storage


World Heritage-Listed Areas

The globally recognized World Heritage list contains some of the most important examples of natural and cultural heritage in the world. More than 600 precious places are on the list, from the Great Barrier Reef to the pyramids of Egypt


Yaw

A Fishtailing action of the trailer caused by external forces that set the trailer’s mass into a lateral (side-to-side) motion. The trailer’s wheels serve as the axis or pivot point. Also known as “sway”


Yurts

Circular, domed tent-like structures with wood floors, electricity, heating, lockable doors, and sleeping accommodations for typically for four or more people



We hope this has helped. If you have heard any terms that you aren’t sure what they mean or have one that we missed, leave them in the comments below and we will add them.

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