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  »  rv terms that every RVer should know



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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.

Boondocking
Also known as dry camping, boondocking refers to camping without any hook-ups, 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.

Black (Water) Tank
The gallons of black water waste that can be held. Black water is the waste from the toilet.

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.

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
The term for a vehicle that you are towing with your motorhome. It is also known as a 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.

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

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.

Fiver
Another name for a fifth-wheel RV.

FMCA
Family Motor Coach Association

Fresh (Water) Tank
The gallons of fresh water that can be stored for later use.

Full Hookup
The ability to connect to all three of the campground's facilities; electric, water and sewer.

Full-Timers -or- Full-Timing
The term used for people who live in their RV full time, or at least the vast majority of their time.

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

Genset
An abbreviation for Generator Set.

Gray (Water) Tank
The gallons of gray waste that can be held in the RV. Gray water is waste from the sinks and shower.

Hitch Rating
The weight, assigned by the manufacturer, that the hitch is designed to handle.

Hitch Weight
The amount of a trailer's weight that rests on the tow vehicle's hitch. For travel trailers this weight should be 10% to 15% of the total weight of the trailer. For fifth wheels this weight should be 15% to 20% of the total weight of the trailer.

Holding Tanks
There are three different holding tanks on most RVs: fresh water tank, gray water tank and black water tank. See a detailed description of each of these tanks elsewhere in this list.

Hookups
The ability of connecting 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.

Hula Skirt
A skirt placed on the back bumper of a motorhome to stop debris that is thrown from the rear wheels from damaging vehicles behind the motorhome, either the vehicle you are towing or other vehicles behind the motorhome.

Inverter
An electrical device for converting 12-volt DC power into 120-volt AC power.



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