RV Advice RV Terminology


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Airstreaming: using an Airstream travel trailer as RV of preference. Towing an Airstream travel trailer.

Arctic package: an RV that has been equipped with extra insulation and heat pads for holding tanks for winter time use.

Axle Lock: a replacement right front axle built to freel wheel the front wheel when towing (on towed car).


Back-up monitor: video camera mounted on rear of motor home to assist the driver visually with backing up the motor home, 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 motor home and in watching a "towed" vehicle.

Basement: referring to storage area accessible from the outside, usually from the door threshold area down.

Black tank: holding tank of RV for storing toilet waste.

Blueboy/Blue-Boy: term for portable waste holding tank, often this plastic tank comes in a bright shade of blue, hence the term.

Boondocking/Boon-Docking: Also known as "dry camping" and "primitive camping", camping without using the modern conveniences of hooking up to electric, sewer or water. Term also implied for folks staying at a campground, but due to short length of stay, do not hook-up to the utilities even though these utilities are provided. See also: Boondocking, Boondocking Suite 101, Movin' On-View from the Driver's Seat, Roundtable Discussion on Boon-docking

Bowtie: reference to Chevrolet because of the "bowtie" trademark. See also: Chevrolet Trucks

Box: reference to motor home's "living space" on a class A, built from the chassis up.

Braking system: referring to a brake system for a "towed" vehicle. Required in many states and Canadian provinces and definitely an add-on safety feature.

Break-away system: referring to a system that allows the "towed" vehicle to 'break-away' from the towing vehicle in the event of accident, an add-on safety feature.

Bubble: 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 desribe a delamination condition. (See delamination definition listing), and can also be used to describe a condition on a rubber roof.

Bumper-Pull: slang term regarding the hitch or towing method for a conventional travel trailer or popup; receiver and ball-mount type hitch.

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 through the steering column and steering wheel. There can be several different causes to 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.


Caravan: a group of RVers traveling together with their various RVs. Large caravans often space RVs five minutes or so apart with CB radios used for communication between the various RVers. The end vehicle is sometimes called the "tailgunner" and is the occupants watch out for a caravan member that may have had road trouble in order to assist however possible.

Chassis Battery: battery in motor home for operating 12 volt components of drive train.

Class A: class of motor home referring to motor home (box) built on chassis frame up.

Class B: class of motor home referring to conversion vans.

Class C: class of motor home referring to RV built using van-type chassis and cab.


Delam/Delamination: a term for the seperation of the paneling of Filon and luan constructing a fiberglass sidewall of a RV. Usually caused by waterleaks and gives the exterior fiberglass skin a 'wavy' or 'bubbled' appearance. Depending on the size of the delamination, can typically be an expensive repair. See also: definition of Filon and definition of luan.

Diesel Puller: term for front engine diesel motor home.

Diesel Pusher: term for rear engine diesel motor home.

Dinghy: term for "towed vehicle", also known as "toad".

Dry Camping: also known as "boondocking" or "primitive camping", camping without hooking up to modern utilities as such provided at most campgrounds: water, septic/sewer and electricity. See also: Boondocking definition.

Dry Weight: weight of RV without adding fluids in storage holding tanks or by loading personal effects. See also term for "wet weight".

Dump station: place where holding tanks can be emptied either by paying a small fee or free. See also: About Camping


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This page last updated February 19, 2012

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