Learning the RV Lingo: A Quick Guide to Some Basic RV Terms
Just like any type of lifestyle or hobby, RVing has its jargons and slangs that are often confusing to those who are new, or unfamiliar, to RV camping. So, before commencing your RVing journey, it’s time to brush up on your RV vocabulary.
We have collected a list of some of the popular terminologies used by regular RVers. You'll learn some standard RV terms, know what they mean, decipher shorthand definitions and navigate your RV trip with ease!
General RV Vocabulary
Here are some terminologies and their corresponding meanings used by frequent RVers around the RVing community.
Black water refers to the black tank inside an RV that holds all filthy water and waste from the toilet.
Blue boy is a portable plastic tote with wheels utilized to transfer waste tanks and sewage from the RV to the dumping station, commonly hauled at slow speed by the tow vehicle.
Boondocking is another term for dry camping, where you are pulling off the highway, road, wilderness, along a beach, or parking space to camp. It is generally done in remote areas that don’t charge a campsite lodging fee.
Chucking is the violent back, and forth movement suffered during towing due to an uneven roadway or unbalanced trailer.
A doughnut is a rubber ring that seals the dump hose and the campsite sewer connection to prevent odours and gases from escaping.
Dually is a pickup truck or light-duty tow vehicle that has four tires and one rear axle.
Extended Stay Site
Extended stay sites are camping grounds where you can camp for several months or even an entire season.
Fiver refers to a fifth-wheel travel trailer. It has similar amenities like a conventional travel trailer and designed with a raised forward section that gives a larger floor plan. Fivers are towed by a pickup truck with a fifth-wheel hitch.
Fresh water is the tank where clean drinking water is stored.
Full hookup refers to a camping ground with all the necessary fixings and access to water, electricity, and sewage.
Full-timers is the term used to call people who live in their RV full-time.
Gray water is the waste and soapy water collected in your RV's plumbing system. It is collected from both the sink, the shower, and the toilet.
A honey wagon is a trailer or truck with a large liquid tank that collects waste and empties the sewage tanks from RV tanks.
The hose bib is the faucet in a camping ground that has fresh water.
A Hula skirt is a cloth or brush-like flap attached to the back bumper of an RV to prevent debris from damaging the vehicles behind the RV.
Jake brake refers to the engine brake on several diesel vehicles.
The Kingpin is the cylindrical shaped piece hanging down at the very front of a fifth-wheel trailer. A king pin connects to the jaws of the fifth wheel hitch in the rear of the tow vehicle.
Moochdocking is camping on private land or driveways. Some campers do this in a place owned by a friend, relative, or even strangers for free without hooking up on water and electricity.
Just like in any hobby or lifestyle, newbie refers to someone new to RVing.
Part-timers are people who live a few months in an RV, but still have a place of residence.
Primitive camping or wild camping is when you camp in the middle of nowhere. It is also synonymous with boondocking or dry camping.
Puller is a class A Diesel RV that has the diesel motor placed in the front.
Pusher is a class A Diesel RV, but the diesel motor is located in the rear.
Pull-through refers to a camping ground with easy entry and departure that will enable you to set up and vacate without ever having to back up.
RV entrepreneurs are RVers who travel while running their own business.
RV Financing or RV loan is a type of long-term loan that you can use to purchase an RV, motorhome, or camper. Since an RV is an expensive purchase, RV financing allows you to acquire your preferred vehicle in more favourable terms.
It's best to find RV financing programs that cater to all types of credit. Just like RV financing with My Financing USA, you can purchase your dream even if you have a bad credit rating.
Slide-outs or pop-outs are sections of the RV that slide out when you park.
Snowbirds are campers who fly south for the winter and return north during summer.
A toad, or sometimes referred to as a dinghy, is a vehicle you tow behind your RV.
A toy hauler is an RV that has a designated space for dirt bikes, motorcycles, ATVs, or any expensive hobby.
Workamping refers to the work you do in a camping ground in exchange for a subsidized or subsidized rent or fees.
RV Acronyms and Abbreviations
Here are some acronyms and abbreviations with their corresponding meanings used in RV communities.
FHU or full hook-up campsites are camping grounds that have access to water, electricity, and sewer.
GVW or Gross Vehicle Weight is the vehicle's weight.
GVW or Gross Vehicle Weight Rating refers to the maximum load weight allowed for the RV.
LP or liquified petroleum are flammable hydrocarbon gas mixtures used as fuel for vehicles and home heating.
NPS or the National Park Service is the department that governs the beautiful preserves and parks where some RVers can camp.
NCC or net carrying capacity is the maximum weight of fuel, water, propane, supplies and passengers that can be loaded to an RV without exceeding the GVWR.
S&B or Sticks-n-bricks are buildings or houses made from sticks and bricks. This is a slang used by RVers to refer to a regular house.
Remember this quick guide if you want to feel more comfortable and understand RV terminologies, but keep in mind that the best way to learn more RV terms is to go camping and interact with fellow RVers. Aside from meeting veteran campers, you'll also know plenty of insider knowledge.
Lauren is a full-time writer who often combines her love for travel and interest in finance. She loves to share her travel stories with her audience and suggests the best travel destinations and various ways to enjoy them, such as camping, RVing, and boating.