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 set up and to compensate for tow vehicle “squat,” which occurs after the trailer coupler is lowered onto the ball.



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


Anode Rod

An anode rod, when used in a water heater, attracts corrosion causing products in the water. These products attack the anode rod instead of the metal tank itself. The anode rod should be inspected yearly and changed when it is reduced to about 1/4 of its original size. The rods are used in steel water heater tanks – an aluminum tank has an inner layer of anode metal to accomplish the same thing.


Auxiliary Battery

A battery on all RV’s to run 12 volt equipment that is part of the RV not part of the vehicle. Many RV’s will have two auxiliary batteries.


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.


Backup Viewing Monitor

A video monitor (mounted near and viewable from the drivers seat)used to assist the driver showing a live rear view of the vehicle and its surroundings (width/depth of viewing angle depends on unit).


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 Model

Extra Large storage units underneath a raised chassis of an RV.


Black Water

Non-potable water and sewage from the toilet stored in the sewage water tank which frequently can be black in color.



Camping in an RV without fresh water, electricity or sewer utilities in other words roughing it.



The living space on a class A motorhome which is built on the Chassis.


Breakaway Switch

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



Term used to describe loose paint or laminate on RV or vehicle exteriors example is there is a bubble in the paint. Also refers to how level your RV is when parked while reading the bubble level gauge attached to the RV.


Bumper Mounted Hitch

A ball mounted directly to the bumper or on a bracket mounted on the bumper. This method is not used in most RV towing situations. This is not a very secure way to mount a hitch for RV purposes they should normally be frame mounted.



Bunk bed sleeping quarters found in many RV’s.


Bus Conversion

A type A motorhome in which a bus shells interior is remodeled for motorhome travel. Often bus shells are also purchased new and used in the same manner



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 that covers the bed of a pickup truck.



Any group of RV’s traveling together on the same highway using similar communication equipment (cell phones, walkie-talkies, cb radios, etc.) to stay in touch and maintain safety. Frequently used to travel through other countries while a tour guide leads out.


Chassis Battery

Used to operated 12 volt drivetrain components. This battery acts as your standard automobile battery would act.


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.


Class C Motorhome

This unit is built on an automotive manufactured van frame with an attached cab section most common chassis would be Ford. While Chevy’s are the second most common. The RV manufacturer completes the body section containing the living area and attaches it to the cab section. Range anywhere from 22’ to 32’



Used most commonly to refer to a Class A motorhome but may also refer to any motorhome.


Conventional Travel Trailer

Rigidly constructed units offering in a Trailer more of the conveniences of home including a kitchen sink, dinette, shower, refrigerator and flush toilet. Sizes range from approximately 12 to 40 feet long.


Conversion Vehicle


Conversion Vehicle Vans, pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles manufactured by an automaker then modified for recreational use by a customized vehicle specialist.



An electrical device used to convert AC (alternating current) power into DC (direct current) power.



The front portion of a trailer A frame that attaches to the ball hitch. The coupler coves the ball hitch when it is on correctly and then locks in place.



The side of an RV facing the curb.


Diesel Puller


Diesel engine is in the front of the motorhome.


Diesel Pusher

Diesel engine is in the rear of the motorhome.


Dry Camping

Camping without hooking up to any available electrical outlet, water line, sewer line, phone line or cable TV. This is similar to Boondocking


Dump Station

An underground holding tank & sewage system for wastewater and sewage water from RV’s. This is a place where you are able to empty the RV’s holding tanks.


Engine Oil Cooler

A mechanical device similar to a water radiator used to cool engine oil by flow of air, whether forced air by driving and/or fan driven air.


Fifth Wheel Trailer

A trailer that is constructed with a raised forward section that makes a bi-level floor plan extending over the rear section of the towing vehicle. It is designed to be towed by a hitch mounted in the bed of a truck or hitch system mounted above the tow vehicle rear axle, known as a fifth wheel hitch.



Water that is OK to drink (Potable Water)


Folding Camper

A lightweight RV camping unit designed for temporary living quarters which trailer is mounted on wheels and connected with collapsible side walls that fold for towing. Sizes range from approximately 8 to 16 feet long.


Full Hook up

Term used to describe an RV that can use, or a campground that offers, electric, sewer and water.


Full Timer

People whose year round home is an RV.



An RV’s kitchen facilities.



An electrical device used to generate 120 volt AC (alternating current) power and powered by propane, gasoline or diesel fuel.



Name sometimes used to describe fifth wheel travel trailers.


Gray Water

Water that is drained from kitchen sinks, bathroom sinks or showers. It is stored in a gray water tank.



An electrical device used to generate 120 volt AC (alternating current) power and powered by propane, gasoline or diesel fuel.



Name sometimes used to describe fifth wheel travel trailers.


Gray Water

Water that is drained from kitchen sinks, bathroom sinks or showers. It is stored in a gray water tank.


High Profile

A fifth wheel travel trailer with more than 6 feet of standing room inside the front raised area.





House Battery

These are used to power 12 volt systems within the RV and are separate from batteries the chassis batteries.


Hula Skirt

An accessory attached to the rear of a motorhome or trailer, used to protect following vehicles or towed units from debris thrown by the rear wheels of the motorhome or towing vehicle. This skirt is usually the full width of the rear of the unit it is attached to.



An electrical device that converts 12 volt DC (direct current) to 110 volt AC (alternating current) for operation of televisions, computers or other small appliances when no electrical hook up for your RV is available.


Island Queen

Queen size bed that has walking spaces on both sides of it.



Situation where your tow vehicle and travel trailer are at a 90% angle to each other.



Moving your RV into a campsite and positioning it, til level, with the use of ramps under the wheels, power leveling jacks, outriggers or scissors jacks.



Original Equipment Manufacturer.






Motorhome or bus type chassis.


Park Model

A type of RV designed to be permanently parked and is shorter in length than the traditional mobile home. It is not built for travel but has all the amenities of a mobile home. Often used for vacation cabins.


Part Timers

People who use an RV, for any length of time up to a year, that is not their only home.


Patio Mat

Portable surface used by RVer’s outside their unit, designed to be placed on the ground as their “patio”, whether or not a concrete pad is available.


Pop Up

Folding camping trailer or Tent Trailer



Up and down motion of an RV while traveling. This will give



Front engine motorhome/coach.



Rear engine motorhome/coach.


Pull Thru

A drive thru campsite, you can pull in or pull out of without ever having to back up.


Recreational Vehicle/RV

A recreational vehicle, or RV, is a motorized or towable vehicle that combines transportation and living quarters for travel, recreation and camping. RV’s do not include mobile home, off-road vehicles or snowmobiles.





Receiver Hitch

The part of a hitch (female) that allows a hitch bar/shank (male) to be inserted into it.


Safety Chains

Chains attached to the trailer A frame and connected to the tow vehicle while traveling. They are designed to keep the trailer attached to the tow vehicle in the event of hitch failure.


Screen Room

Exterior enclosure attached to an RV for a bug free environment.


Self -Contained

An RV needing NO external connections. It can provide heat, air conditioning, cooking and bathing for short term use and can park overnight anywhere.


Shore Cord

External electrical cord that connects the RV to an electrical campground hookup.


Shore Power

External electricity source not provide by RV battery/batteries.



An RV unit that slides open when it is parked to expand the living area.


Slide In

A camper that mounts on a pickup truck bed by sliding into it. Also known as a truck camper.



Fishtailing motion (side to side) of the trailer.


Three Way

Appliances that can operate on a 12 volt battery, propane or 110 volt electricity.



Towed vehicle.


Tongue Weight

Amount of weight on the hitch when the trailer is coupled.


Tow Bar

Mechanical device used for a towed vehicle, by a towing vehicle, when the towed vehicle has all four wheels on the ground.


Toy Hauler

Term used for an RV that has built in interior cargo space for motorcycles, ATV’s, bicycles, etc.


Transmission Cooler

Similar to a radiator. It allows transmission fluid to pass thru it while being air cooled.


Triple Towing

Three vehicles attached together. Example: Tow vehicle, trailer and boat.


Umbilical Cord

Wiring harness used to connect the tow vehicle to the trailer, providing electricity for the trailers clearance lights, brake lights, electrical brakes and 12 volt DC power line for the trailer batteries. It can also be used to connect to connect to campground 120 volt AC electrical hookups.



The lead RV guide of a caravan who usually handles highway navigation and reservations for campgrounds, entertainment, sightseeing, meals and all scheduling.


Wally World

Slang for Wal-Mart.



People who use an RV for weekends or vacations only.



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 fresh water, 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


Wide Bodies

RV’s designed to stretch wider than the traditional 96 inches.



Preparing your RV for storage or winter use.


This dictionary is not complete please if you see something that is missing email us @ [email protected] so we can check into it and add it to the dictionary. I have stole bits and pieces from different people a long time ago. I wish I could remember who I would give them credit. Thanks for your help.