20 Commonly Used RV Terms & Definitions

There are a lot of names and terms used among RV'ers that are related to your rig, if you are a new RV owner you may not be familiar with some of these terms. Here is a guide for common terms and descriptions that will leave you feeling like a professional RV'er in no time!

1.) Sway Bar System:

A Sway Bar System is designed to reduce or eliminate side to side sway movement of your trailer.

2.) Tow Rating:

The maximum weight your tow vehicle can safely tow (Set specifically by the vehicle manufacturer).

3.) Wheel Base:

The distance between the center lines of the primary axles on your RV. 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.

4.) Weight Distribution System:

The Weight Distribution System takes weight from the tongue of your trailer and redistributes it to the front of the tow vehicle.

5.) Boondocking:

Camping in an RV without benefit of fresh water, electricity and sewer utilities.

6.) LP Gas:

Another term for Propane; abbreviation for liquefied petroleum gas.

7.) Holding Tanks:

This term refers to your black water tank, fresh water tank, and gray water tank.

8.) GVWR:

Gross Vehicle Weight Rating – the actual weight of the fully loaded RV, including all fluids, cargo, passengers, and optional equipment.

9.) GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating)

This is the total allowable weight of your tow vehicle, your trailer, the cargo in each, hitching, fluids, and occupants.

10.) GAWR (Gross Axle Weight Rating)

This is the total allowable weight on each individual axles which includes the weight of tires, wheels, brakes, and the axle itself.

11.) Dry Weight:

This is the weight of your RV when it’s finished being built. It does not include water, fuel, supplies or passenger weights.

12.) Diesel Pusher:

When your diesel motorhome’s engine is located in the rear of the RV.

13.) Diesel Puller:

When your diesel motorhomes engine is located in the front, (Front Engine Diesel).

14.) Chassis:

The Chassis is the framework your RV is built on.

15.) Breakaway Switch:

If your trailer becomes separated from the tow vehicle, this safety switch will automatically activate the brakes on the trailer.

16.) Brake Controller: A safety device that will apply the trailer brakes simultaneously with the tow vehicle brakes in the event that the trailer accidentally detaches from the hitch in travel.

17.) 7 Pin Electrical Connector:

This provides power from your tow vehicle to your RV for the lights as well as the electrically operated brakes.

18.) 4 Pin Electrical Connector:

This provides power from your tow vehicle to your RV for the lights only.

19.) House Battery:

The battery in your motorhome that operates 12 volt system within the motorhome.

20.) Cockpit:

Term used to describe the front of your motorhome where the driver and passenger seats are located.

Would you like to know a definition to an RV term that you have heard? Comment below and we will get back to you with the definition!

Source: RV Glossary, Affinity RV Technicians.

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