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Recreational vehicle

Recreational vehicle

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Encyclopedia
"RV" redirects here. For other uses, see RV (disambiguation)
RV (disambiguation)
RV commonly refers to recreational vehicle, a motorhome.RV or Rv may also refer to:- Electronics, mathematics and science :* Random variable* Radial velocity, the velocity of an object in the direction of the line of sight...

.

Recreational vehicle or RV is, in North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

, the usual term for a Motor vehicle
Motor vehicle
A motor vehicle or road vehicle is a self-propelled wheeled vehicle that does not operate on rails, such as trains or trolleys. The vehicle propulsion is provided by an engine or motor, usually by an internal combustion engine, or an electric motor, or some combination of the two, such as hybrid...

 or trailer equipped with living space and amenities found in a home
Home
A home is a place of residence or refuge. When it refers to a building, it is usually a place in which an individual or a family can rest and store personal property. Most modern-day households contain sanitary facilities and a means of preparing food. Animals have their own homes as well, either...

.

Features


A recreational vehicle normally includes a kitchen, a bathroom, a bedroom and a living room. In other countries the terms caravan
Travel trailer
A travel trailer or caravan is towed behind a road vehicle to provide a place to sleep which is more comfortable and protected than a tent . It provides the means for people to have their own home on a journey or a vacation, without relying on a motel or hotel, and enables them to stay in places...

, camper van or motorhome
Motorhome
A motorhome is a type of self-propelled recreational vehicle or RV which offers living accommodation combined with a vehicle engine. The term motorhome is most commonly used in the UK, US, and Canada.-Features:...

 are more common, and the vehicles themselves vary, although typically being smaller than those in North America.

Function


RVs are intended for everything from brief leisure activities such as vacations and camping, to full-time living. RVs are usually found in RV Parks or campgrounds although they are sometimes parked in special trailer park
Trailer park
A trailer park is a semi-permanent or permanent area for mobile homes or travel trailers. The main reasons for living in such trailer parks are the often lower cost compared to other housing, and the ability to move to a new area more quickly and easily, for example when changing jobs to another...

s. (However, many trailer parks are reserved just for mobile home
Mobile home
Mobile homes or static caravans are prefabricated homes built in factories, rather than on site, and then taken to the place where they will be occupied...

s, not to be confused with RVs and motorhomes.) RVs can also be rented in most major cities and tourist areas. They are occasionally used as mobile office
Mobile office
A mobile office is an office built within a truck, motorhome, trailer or purpose built shipping container. Most common are towable offices built on an axled iron frame for easy relocation. Mobile field offices are often found on construction sites, or at disaster scenes where a temporary office...

s for business travelers and often include customizations such as extra desk space, an upgraded electrical system, a generator, and satellite Internet
Internet
The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet protocol suite to serve billions of users worldwide...

. Other RVs serve as traveling permanent homes.

History




Most modern dictionaries
Dictionary
A dictionary is a collection of words in one or more specific languages, often listed alphabetically, with usage information, definitions, etymologies, phonetics, pronunciations, and other information; or a book of words in one language with their equivalents in another, also known as a lexicon...

 give one of the meanings for the word caravan as "a camper equipped with living quarters". They in turn give one of the meanings for camper as "a recreational vehicle equipped for camping out while travelling". The earliest caravans were used for practical purposes rather than recreation, such as providing shelter and accommodation for people travelling in search of an audience for their art, or to offer their services to distant employers, or to reach a new place of abode.

In Europe, wagon
Wagon
A wagon is a heavy four-wheeled vehicle pulled by draught animals; it was formerly often called a wain, and if low and sideless may be called a dray, trolley or float....

s built to live in, rather than just to carry persons or goods, were developed in France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 around 1810. They were used in England by showmen and circus performers from the 1820s; but Gypsies only began living in caravans (vardo
Vardo (gypsy wagon)
A vardo is a traditional horse-drawn wagon used by British Romani people .The design of the vardo included large wheels running outside the body of the van, which slopes outwards considerably towards the eaves...

s) from about 1850.

The covered wagon
Covered wagon
The covered wagon, also known as a Prairie schooner, is an icon of the American Old West.Although covered wagons were commonly used for shorter moves within the United States, in the mid-nineteenth century thousands of Americans took them across the Great Plains to Oregon and California...

 that played a significant part in opening up of the interior of the North American
North American
North American generally refers to an entity, people, group, or attribute of North America, especially of the United States and Canada together.-Culture:*North American English, a collective term used to describe American English and Canadian English...

 continent to white settlement from about 1745 was a type of caravan. A well set-up wagon provided its occupants with living quarters as well as a means of transportation for themselves, plus their supplies and equipment.

In Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, the earliest motorhomes were built on car
Čar
Čar is a village in the municipality of Bujanovac, Serbia. According to the 2002 census, the town has a population of 296 people.-References:...

 or truck
Truck
A truck or lorry is a motor vehicle designed to transport cargo. Trucks vary greatly in size, power, and configuration, with the smallest being mechanically similar to an automobile...

 bodies from about 1910. By the 1920s the RV was well established in the U.S., with RV camping clubs established across the country, despite the unpaved roads and limited camping facilities.

In Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

, the earliest known motorhome
Motorhome
A motorhome is a type of self-propelled recreational vehicle or RV which offers living accommodation combined with a vehicle engine. The term motorhome is most commonly used in the UK, US, and Canada.-Features:...

 was built in 1929. It is now in the Goolwa Museum
Museum
A museum is an institution that cares for a collection of artifacts and other objects of scientific, artistic, cultural, or historical importance and makes them available for public viewing through exhibits that may be permanent or temporary. Most large museums are located in major cities...

, where it has been partially restored. It is recognized by both the National Museum of Australia
National Museum of Australia
The National Museum of Australia was formally established by the National Museum of Australia Act 1980. The National Museum preserves and interprets Australia's social history, exploring the key issues, people and events that have shaped the nation....

 and the (Australian) National Motor Museum as being the first motorized caravan in Australia.

Between the late 1920s and the early 1960s, some South Australian railway maintenance gangs working in country areas where they were required to live on-site, were accommodated in caravans built by the department instead of the tent
Tent
A tent is a shelter consisting of sheets of fabric or other material draped over or attached to a frame of poles or attached to a supporting rope. While smaller tents may be free-standing or attached to the ground, large tents are usually anchored using guy ropes tied to stakes or tent pegs...

s they had previously used. These caravans were built like short railway carriages, about 6.1 metres (20 feet) long; but had wooden wheels with solid rubber tyres and ball bearings.

In the U.S., the modern RV industry had its beginnings in the late 1920s and 1930s (shortly after the advent of the automobile industry), where a number of companies began manufacturing house trailers or trailer coaches, as they were then called. Often, these started out as mom and pop operations, building their units in garages or back yards. (One of these early manufacturers, Airstream
Airstream
Airstream is a brand of luxury recreational vehicle manufactured in Jackson Center, Ohio, USA. It is currently a division of Thor Industries. The company, which now employs fewer than 400, is the oldest in the industry. Airstream trailers are easily recognized for their distinctive rounded...

, is still in business today.) Though tied to the mobile home
Mobile home
Mobile homes or static caravans are prefabricated homes built in factories, rather than on site, and then taken to the place where they will be occupied...

 industry in the early years—when few units were longer than 9 metres (30 ft) long, and thus easily transportable—the 1950s saw a separation of the two, as (what are now referred to as) mobile homes became larger and more immobile, and thus largely became an entirely separate industry. During the 1950s, in addition to travel trailers or trailer coaches, manufacturers began building self-contained motorhomes.

RV lifestyle



The RV lifestyle is made up of those interested in traveling and camping
Camping
Camping is an outdoor recreational activity. The participants leave urban areas, their home region, or civilization and enjoy nature while spending one or several nights outdoors, usually at a campsite. Camping may involve the use of a tent, caravan, motorhome, cabin, a primitive structure, or no...

 rather than living in one location, as well as by vacationers. Some travel nearer the equator
Equator
An equator is the intersection of a sphere's surface with the plane perpendicular to the sphere's axis of rotation and containing the sphere's center of mass....

 during the winter
Winter
Winter is the coldest season of the year in temperate climates, between autumn and spring. At the winter solstice, the days are shortest and the nights are longest, with days lengthening as the season progresses after the solstice.-Meteorology:...

 months in their RV and return in spring. This is sometimes referred to in the USA as snowbirding
Snowbird (people)
The term snowbird is used to describe people from the U.S. Northeast, U.S. Midwest, or Canada who spend a large portion of winter in warmer locales such as California, Arizona, Florida, Texas, the Carolinas, or elsewhere along the Sun Belt region of the southern and southwest United States,...

.

There are a large and growing number of people who live full time in their RV/motorhome; these are known as fulltimers
Fulltiming
Fulltiming has become a term used in the motorhome world for individuals and families who live "fulltime" in their motorhome or RV. It is a world-wide activity, and there are many bloggers who record their day-to-day life on the road....

. There is another subculture
Subculture
In sociology, anthropology and cultural studies, a subculture is a group of people with a culture which differentiates them from the larger culture to which they belong.- Definition :...

 of the RV lifestyle known as workampers. These are people that work at the campgrounds/RV parks they stay at for site and perks.

While many RVers may be retirees, other individuals and families are choosing RV travel as a way to see parts of the world while maintaining their incomes via technology available from the RV (such as the Internet
Internet
The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet protocol suite to serve billions of users worldwide...

, phone
Phone
Within phonetics, a phone is:* a speech sound or gesture considered a physical event without regard to its place in the phonology of a language* a speech segment that possesses distinct physical or perceptual properties...

s, fax
Fax
Fax , sometimes called telecopying, is the telephonic transmission of scanned printed material , normally to a telephone number connected to a printer or other output device...

es, etc.).

Some choose to park in locations without camping sites for a variety of reasons, including saving money
Money
Money is any object or record that is generally accepted as payment for goods and services and repayment of debts in a given country or socio-economic context. The main functions of money are distinguished as: a medium of exchange; a unit of account; a store of value; and, occasionally in the past,...

, more choice of location, isolation, privacy, adventure, more self-sufficiency and to be nearer a target location.

There is a growing community of Burners (as Burning Man
Burning Man
Burning Man is a week-long annual event held in the Black Rock Desert in northern Nevada, in the United States. The event starts on the Monday before the American Labor Day holiday, and ends on the holiday itself. It takes its name from the ritual burning of a large wooden effigy on Saturday evening...

 participants are called) who have taken recreational vehicles and modified them so as to fit their beliefs. The conversion of old schoolbuses to this end is a popular choice. Some take old diesel
Diesel engine
A diesel engine is an internal combustion engine that uses the heat of compression to initiate ignition to burn the fuel, which is injected into the combustion chamber...

 vehicles and burn biodiesel
Biodiesel
Biodiesel refers to a vegetable oil- or animal fat-based diesel fuel consisting of long-chain alkyl esters. Biodiesel is typically made by chemically reacting lipids with an alcohol....

 or waste vegetable oil in them in order to make them more environmentally friendly than conventional RVs.

The RV Lifestyle is particularly popular among senior citizen
Senior citizen
Senior citizen is a common polite designation for an elderly person in both UK and US English, and it implies or means that the person is retired. This in turn implies or in fact means that the person is over the retirement age, which varies according to country. Synonyms include pensioner in UK...

s. Like many other RVers, they have often sold their homes and often travel to warm climates in the winter. In Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

, these travellers are known as grey nomads.

Family Motor Coach Association


The Family Motor Coach Association
Family Motor Coach Association
The Family Motor Coach Association is an international organization of families who own and enjoy the recreational use of motorhomes. Since 1963 FMCA has issued more than 390,000 memberships to families who look to the association as their source of information about all facets of motorhome...

 (FMCA) is an international organization of families who own and enjoy the recreational use of motorhomes. Since 1963, FMCA has issued more than 390,000 memberships to families who look to the association as their source of information about all facets of motorhome ownership and travel. FMCA is a member-owned association that maintains its headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio
Ohio
Ohio is a Midwestern state in the United States. The 34th largest state by area in the U.S.,it is the 7th‑most populous with over 11.5 million residents, containing several major American cities and seven metropolitan areas with populations of 500,000 or more.The state's capital is Columbus...

, and employs a full-time office staff. FMCA is governed by volunteer officers who are elected from within the ranks of the association.

Good Sam Club



The Good Sam Club, owned by the Affinity Group Inc.
Affinity Group Inc.
Affinity Group is a provider of membership clubs, as well as subscription-based products, services and publications, targeted toward recreational vehicle and other outdoor enthusiasts in the United States...

, is an American community of RV owners and its stated primary goals are to make RVing safer and more enjoyable, and claims over a million members.

Campground membership clubs


Over the years, there have been several membership-only campground club
Club
A club is an association of two or more people united by a common interest or goal. A service club, for example, exists for voluntary or charitable activities; there are clubs devoted to hobbies and sports, social activities clubs, political and religious clubs, and so forth.- History...

s; some offering good values on a network of well-located, well-run campgrounds, some not offering nearly as much. Some of the latter cost thousands of dollars to join, plus annual membership fees. Some RVers who want to join a club after checking out its campgrounds have searched for the ads of current members wanting out. A club membership that originally cost its owner as much as $7500 to join has, in some cases, changed hands for $500 or $600.

Brand enthusiast clubs and forums


Many clubs have been founded around common interests of owners of particular brands of RVs. While some of the information is particular to one brand, many of the concerns and issues are common to users of all makes. One of the first brand clubs was the Wally Byam Caravan Club founded in 1955 to organize travel caravans of Airstream
Airstream
Airstream is a brand of luxury recreational vehicle manufactured in Jackson Center, Ohio, USA. It is currently a division of Thor Industries. The company, which now employs fewer than 400, is the oldest in the industry. Airstream trailers are easily recognized for their distinctive rounded...

 trailers. The Airstream and Wanderlodge forum
Internet forum
An Internet forum, or message board, is an online discussion site where people can hold conversations in the form of posted messages. They differ from chat rooms in that messages are at least temporarily archived...

s are dedicated to those brands, but also represent a community of users with experience in RV travel for non-owners and owners of "SOB" (some other brand) RVs.

Other meanings


Australian English
Australian English
Australian English is the name given to the group of dialects spoken in Australia that form a major variety of the English language....

: The term "recreational vehicle" may refer to a sport utility vehicle
Sport utility vehicle
A sport utility vehicle is a generic marketing term for a vehicle similar to a station wagon, but built on a light-truck chassis. It is usually equipped with four-wheel drive for on- or off-road ability, and with some pretension or ability to be used as an off-road vehicle. Not all four-wheel...

 (SUV or 4x4).

British English
British English
British English, or English , is the broad term used to distinguish the forms of the English language used in the United Kingdom from forms used elsewhere...

: The term "recreational vehicle" may refer to a sport utility vehicle
Sport utility vehicle
A sport utility vehicle is a generic marketing term for a vehicle similar to a station wagon, but built on a light-truck chassis. It is usually equipped with four-wheel drive for on- or off-road ability, and with some pretension or ability to be used as an off-road vehicle. Not all four-wheel...

, Dune buggies
Dune buggy
A dune buggy is a recreational vehicle with large wheels, and wide tires, designed for use on sand dunes or beaches. The design is usually a modified vehicle and engine mounted on an open chassis. The modifications usually attempt to increase the power-to-weight ratio by either lightening the...

 or ATVs
All-terrain vehicle
An all-terrain vehicle , also known as a quad, quad bike, three wheeler, or four wheeler, is defined by the American National Standards Institute as a vehicle that travels on low pressure tires, with a seat that is straddled by the operator, along with handlebars for steering control...

. Terms covering some of the vehicles classified as "recreational vehicle" in North America are camper van
Campervan
A campervan , sometimes referred to simply as a camper, or a caravanette, is a self-propelled vehicle that provides both transport and sleeping accommodation. The term mainly describes vans that have been fitted out, often with a coachbuilt body for use as accommodation...

 or motorhome
Motorhome
A motorhome is a type of self-propelled recreational vehicle or RV which offers living accommodation combined with a vehicle engine. The term motorhome is most commonly used in the UK, US, and Canada.-Features:...

(see below) and caravan
Travel trailer
A travel trailer or caravan is towed behind a road vehicle to provide a place to sleep which is more comfortable and protected than a tent . It provides the means for people to have their own home on a journey or a vacation, without relying on a motel or hotel, and enables them to stay in places...

. The term RV is used for imported North America vehicles.

Other languages


French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

: The French-made English term "camping-car" is used, and term has also spread to Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

. It is also named "véhicule récréatif" in French-Canada.

German
German language
German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

: A "recreational vehicle" is called "Wohnmobil" or "Wohnwagen" (trailer type). Wohnen means live or reside;".

Spanish
Spanish language
Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...

: A "recreational vehicle" is called autocaravana . The word "caravaning" is also (albeit rarely) used to mean "travelling together as a group" in British English
British English
British English, or English , is the broad term used to distinguish the forms of the English language used in the United Kingdom from forms used elsewhere...

, leading to a different meaning. In Guatemala
Guatemala
Guatemala is a country in Central America bordered by Mexico to the north and west, the Pacific Ocean to the southwest, Belize to the northeast, the Caribbean to the east, and Honduras and El Salvador to the southeast...

, Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

 and other Latin America
Latin America
Latin America is a region of the Americas where Romance languages  – particularly Spanish and Portuguese, and variably French – are primarily spoken. Latin America has an area of approximately 21,069,500 km² , almost 3.9% of the Earth's surface or 14.1% of its land surface area...

n countries, the word used to describe this kind of vehicle is "Casa Rodante" (Rolling House).

Portuguese
Portuguese language
Portuguese is a Romance language that arose in the medieval Kingdom of Galicia, nowadays Galicia and Northern Portugal. The southern part of the Kingdom of Galicia became independent as the County of Portugal in 1095...

: A "recreational vehicle" is called caravana (trailer type), or if self-propelled, auto-caravana .

Finnish
Finnish language
Finnish is the language spoken by the majority of the population in Finland Primarily for use by restaurant menus and by ethnic Finns outside Finland. It is one of the two official languages of Finland and an official minority language in Sweden. In Sweden, both standard Finnish and Meänkieli, a...

: A "recreational vehicle" is called matkailuauto.
The term can be translated as "Travelling car" (Matkailu = Travelling, Auto = Car).

Chinese
Chinese language
The Chinese language is a language or language family consisting of varieties which are mutually intelligible to varying degrees. Originally the indigenous languages spoken by the Han Chinese in China, it forms one of the branches of Sino-Tibetan family of languages...

: A "recreational vehicle" is called 房车 (fáng chē).
The term can be literally translated as "house car".

Terms


Awning
Awning
An awning or overhang is a secondary covering attached to the exterior wall of a building. It is typically composed of canvas woven of acrylic, cotton or polyester yarn, or vinyl laminated to polyester fabric that is stretched tightly over a light structure of aluminium, iron or steel, possibly...

 : On most newer RVs, the manufacturer includes a roll-out awning. The awning is attached to the door-side of the RV and is often about 75% of the length of the RV. Another type of awning used by RVers is a portable pop-up canopy or tent (like an E-Z UP) that provides a temporary solution to people who want to be outdoors and enjoy shade. The frame usually incorporates an accordion style truss which folds up compactly. Some of these awnings have side curtains that can keep out wind and bugs.

Bull-nose Front End: Commonly seen on Class A motorhomes where the angle of the front of the vehicle leans forward.

Battery Disconnect: A solenoid which is wired first in the 12v system that, when activated, opens or closes and turns 12v power on or off to that system. Found mostly on motorhomes which will incorporate 2 disconnect systems - 1 for the house batteries and 1 for the chassis batteries. usually controlled by either manually opening or closing the solenoid by turning it or moving a lever, or electronically operated via a remote switch mounted inside the RV. with a disconnect turned off, that battery
Battery (electricity)
An electrical battery is one or more electrochemical cells that convert stored chemical energy into electrical energy. Since the invention of the first battery in 1800 by Alessandro Volta and especially since the technically improved Daniell cell in 1836, batteries have become a common power...

 circuit is 'dead' and no power will be available from the batteries. Generators and starter motors usually bypass these systems due to high power demands.

Battery isolator
Battery isolator
A battery isolator is an electrical device that divides direct current into multiple branches and only allows current in one direction in each branch. The primary benefit of such an arrangement is the ability to simultaneously charge more than one battery from a single power source without...

: A rectifier or solenoid switch based module of a recreational vehicle that provides charging power from the engine to the house battery and vice versa. (A one-way version of this may be mounted on the engine and provide power only one way, from engine to house battery.) The isolator also prevents power use by the circuits drawing on the house battery from also draining the engine or vehicle battery. Some RVs provide a momentary-on switch that flips a relay to form a temporary high-current connection between the two sets of batteries, enabling the driver to use the house batteries to help start the engine should the engine batteries prove weak. RVers that lack such a switch will often carry a set of high-current-rated jumper cables to stretch between the two batteries to accomplish the same end.

Blackwater
Blackwater (waste)
Blackwater is a term dating to at least the 1970s used to describe wastewater containing fecal matter and urine. It is also known as brown water, foul water, or sewage...

: Wastewater from the RV toilet. Body waste. Called blackwater because, if left in the blackwater tank long enough, it turns black.

Blackwater tank: The tank that stores the blackwater. When full, the operator of the RV will connect a sewer hose from the blackwater tank to a suitable sewer connection at their camp site or a dump station for emptying. This connection cannot simply be left open: If the water is allowed to constantly drain off, the solids tend to remain behind, eventually producing what is termed "the brown pyramid of death." It can cost hundreds, if not thousands of dollars to replace the blackwater tank in this eventuality. Ensure the tank approaches full; then empty it all at once, followed always by the graywater.

Blackwater tank flush: A pipe built into the blackwater holding tank that is connected to a source of pressurized water via a hose that is used to help flush solids from the holding tank at a dump site. If using a black water tank flush system in a campsite, the use of a back-flow preventer on the end of the hose to prevent sewage from flowing into the potable water system is recommended. The tank should be flushed with water upon every second tank draining, with normal use. The tank should also be sprayed any time the sensors appear erratic.

Brake Controller: A device used to control the electric brakes on the trailer. Taking power from the tow vehicle's battery, it is activated by sensing voltage to the brake lights. upon this signal it sends power, through the 7way plug at the rear, to the electro magnets inside the trailer's brake drums, activating the brakes. Usually adjustable to control the amount of braking power applied as well as incorporating manual operation to allow the trailer brakes to be activated independently from the tow vehicle brakes. Some models also incorporate G-force sensors which will apply the trailer brakes when it senses a deceleration.

Chemicals (for wastewater tanks): A variety of commercially produced chemicals that are added to the blackwater and graywater tanks to control odours. Commonly referred to as "blue" or "green," the latter being designed to be less harmful to the environment. "Blue" chemicals may or may not kill the bacteria in the tanks and may or may not have an adverse effect on septic systems. Some "green" wastewater tank chemicals contain enzymes that are supposed to control odors and help breakdown the organic materials in the wastewater. Many chemicals are available with either a strong masking scent or odor-free. Lower-priced RV toilets may require the masking scent.

City Water Hookup: A fitting on the outside of the RV, allowing a water hose to be connected to provide fresh water from an external, pressurized, supply. The quality of such supplies are variable. Many RVs have built-in water filters. Some owners carry a simple external filter they use when the need arises.

Converter
Voltage converter
A voltage converter changes the voltage of an electrical power source. It may be combined with other components to create a power supply.-AC and DC:...

: An electrical device that is usually supplied built-in the RV by the manufacturer. The converter takes AC power from a campground electrical hookup (shore power) or generator and converts that power to 12 volts DC for use in the vehicle. Converters also charge the house batteries.

Dog House: A cover for the Engine compartment, between the Driver & Passenger Seat, could possibly be covered in yellowish-green shag carpet and have a small card table propped above it.

Diesel pusher: A motorcoach with its engine in the rear, instead of the front. For many years, all such coaches featured diesel engine
Diesel engine
A diesel engine is an internal combustion engine that uses the heat of compression to initiate ignition to burn the fuel, which is injected into the combustion chamber...

s. Later, some manufacturers began placing their conventional gasoline
Gasoline
Gasoline , or petrol , is a toxic, translucent, petroleum-derived liquid that is primarily used as a fuel in internal combustion engines. It consists mostly of organic compounds obtained by the fractional distillation of petroleum, enhanced with a variety of additives. Some gasolines also contain...

 engines in the rear, as well. In both cases, the generator
Generator
Generator may refer to:* Electrical generator* Engine-generator, an electrical generator, but with its own engine.* Generator , any of several closely related usages in mathematics.Computing:...

 is displaced to the front of the coach. The most notable benefit of this scheme to the travelers is noise reduction. When traveling, the occupants sit in the front, with the engine typically 20 to 30 feet behind them, instead of roaring between them. When the occupants settle into the back bedroom at night, the generator, typically 25 to 35 feet in front of them, becomes virtually silent to them.

Dry camping (boondocking): Is camping in a campground or any area without water
Water
Water is a chemical substance with the chemical formula H2O. A water molecule contains one oxygen and two hydrogen atoms connected by covalent bonds. Water is a liquid at ambient conditions, but it often co-exists on Earth with its solid state, ice, and gaseous state . Water also exists in a...

, electricity
Electricity
Electricity is a general term encompassing a variety of phenomena resulting from the presence and flow of electric charge. These include many easily recognizable phenomena, such as lightning, static electricity, and the flow of electrical current in an electrical wire...

 and sewage
Sewage
Sewage is water-carried waste, in solution or suspension, that is intended to be removed from a community. Also known as wastewater, it is more than 99% water and is characterized by volume or rate of flow, physical condition, chemical constituents and the bacteriological organisms that it contains...

 hookups, including parking lot
Parking lot
A parking lot , also known as car lot, is a cleared area that is intended for parking vehicles. Usually, the term refers to a dedicated area that has been provided with a durable or semi-durable surface....

s or driveway
Driveway
A driveway is a type of private road for local access to one or a small group of structures, and is owned and maintained by an individual or group....

s. In the USA, most campgrounds operated by the US Department of the Interior (BLM, National Park Service
National Park Service
The National Park Service is the U.S. federal agency that manages all national parks, many national monuments, and other conservation and historical properties with various title designations...

, National Monuments, National Wildlife Areas, National Forests) and most state and county campgrounds do not have full hookups for water, sewage or electricity. Dry camping is made more comfortable by having:
  1. A supply of potable water storage within the RV
  2. Enough house-battery power to supply basic camping needs (low voltage lights, water pump, control portion of refrigerator, etc.)
  3. A means of recharging the house battery(s), such as solar panels or generator
    Generator
    Generator may refer to:* Electrical generator* Engine-generator, an electrical generator, but with its own engine.* Generator , any of several closely related usages in mathematics.Computing:...

    s
  4. Enough wastewater tank capacity to contain the wastewater for several days of camping

Dump station: A place where RV waste-water tanks are emptied. Usually a small concrete pad with a 3 to 4-inch brass fitting embedded into the concrete. The fitting accepts a sewer hose from the RV. Sewage dumped into the station goes into a sewer or a septic system. The brass fitting usually has a pivoting cover to keep rocks and other objects out of the dump station piping. Dump stations are usually situated so that an RV can be driven next to the receptacle. Dump stations often have running water for rinsing the RV's sanitary pipes and for cleaning up the dump station pad. This water should not be used to fill an RV's potable water tank. RV etiquette
Etiquette
Etiquette is a code of behavior that delineates expectations for social behavior according to contemporary conventional norms within a society, social class, or group...

 demands that the user of an RV dump station cleans up any spills.

Dumping, dumping tanks: The act of emptying the waste tanks. Tanks should always be emptied in sequence, with blackwater first, graywater second. This enables the soapy graywater to wash the blackwater out of the sewer hose strung from RV to receptacle, leaving the hose (relatively) clean.

Electric trailer brakes: On travel trailers and fifth-wheel trailers, usually over a certain weight, a supplemental system of stopping the rig is needed. Within the towing vehicle's cab is a trailer brake device that uses the towing vehicle's 12 volt DC current to apply a current to electrically-operated wheel brakes on the trailer's wheels. The braking device senses the slowing momentum of the vehicle, usually with a small pendulum, to send a current to the trailer wheel brake actuators to help stop the rig. The current sent to the actuators is proportional to the rate of slowing of the vehicle.

Engine battery(s)
Battery (electricity)
An electrical battery is one or more electrochemical cells that convert stored chemical energy into electrical energy. Since the invention of the first battery in 1800 by Alessandro Volta and especially since the technically improved Daniell cell in 1836, batteries have become a common power...

: Batteries in a motor home dedicated to the operation of the vehicle's engine, as opposed to the living quarters, they being supplied with their own separate "house batteries." Engine batteries have thin plates with lots of surface, a design that ensures they can deliver the high currents needed to start a motor vehicle. These thin plates, however, are quickly destroyed when the battery is deeply discharged, making them unsuitable as house batteries.

Fifth wheel coupling
Fifth wheel coupling
The fifth wheel coupling provides the link between a semi-trailer and the towing truck, tractor unit, leading trailer or dolly. Some recreational vehicles use a fifth wheel configuration, requiring the coupling to be installed in the bed of a pickup truck as a towing vehicle...

 : The fifth wheel coupling or hitch provides the link between a fifth-wheel trailer and the towing truck. Newer fifth-wheel hitches are pivoted in two dimensions to ease hitching up and to give the truck and trailer more freedom of movement together. Some models are called sliding-fifth-wheel hitches because the entire hitch assembly can be rolled from its forward towing position to a more rearward position for backing up and maneuvering in tight situations. This allows the driver of a fifth-wheel trailer more leeway in making sharp turns and not having the front of the trailer impact the cab of the truck.

Fresh water tank: Storage tank for fresh water when "Dry Camping" or on the road. This water should be used or drained periodically to ensure it stays fresh, and the manufacturer's instructions for "winterizing" the coach should be followed if this tank or any piping within the RV is subject to freezing.

Full Hookup: A campsite featuring water, electric, and sewer connections.

Full Timer: In RV parlance, a person who lives 100% of the time in the RV. Typical full timers would include retired couples who have sold or rented out their immovable domiciles, favoring a life on the road. (USA insurance companies specializing in RV insurance normally set the threshold between full time and part time at five or six months, depending on the carrier, so from the standpoint of insurance, someone spending as little as five months and one day on the road in a single year might be considered full time, paying an increased premium.)

Gasoline pusher: See Diesel pusher

Generator
Electrical generator
In electricity generation, an electric generator is a device that converts mechanical energy to electrical energy. A generator forces electric charge to flow through an external electrical circuit. It is analogous to a water pump, which causes water to flow...

: A gasoline
Gasoline
Gasoline , or petrol , is a toxic, translucent, petroleum-derived liquid that is primarily used as a fuel in internal combustion engines. It consists mostly of organic compounds obtained by the fractional distillation of petroleum, enhanced with a variety of additives. Some gasolines also contain...

, diesel
Diesel generator
A diesel generator is the combination of a diesel engine with an electrical generator to generate electrical energy....

 or propane
Propane
Propane is a three-carbon alkane with the molecular formula , normally a gas, but compressible to a transportable liquid. A by-product of natural gas processing and petroleum refining, it is commonly used as a fuel for engines, oxy-gas torches, barbecues, portable stoves, and residential central...

-powered device for generating 120 or 240 volts AC electrical power for use when boondocking or dry camping. Generators are rated by their electrical output, usually in watts. A minimum generator size for a small RV would be 1500 to 2000 watts. To run an RV air conditioner, a minimum of 3,000 watts is usually needed. Larger RVs with multiple air conditioners require generators with 6,000 and more watts of capacity. Generators also charge the house batteries. Generators are common in North America but very unusual in Europe, where their noise would be an unpopular intrusion to the rural calm of a campsite. (In North America, organized campgrounds will have "quiet hours," typically stretching from 7pm or 9pm to 7am or 8am, during which generators are not allowed to be run.)

Gravity Fill: An external fill point for filling the fresh water tank made up of a large diameter hose that runs into the tank and incorporates a hole in the side of the RV which allows water to be fed, via a water hose, into the tank using gravity alone. A smaller diameter 'vent' hose is usually installed along side to allow air to escape the tank when filling. Some motorhomes offer both a gravity fill and pressure fill, the latter having an automatic cutoff. The gravity fill may add more water than the pressure fill, making topping off with gravity fill a good option before a long dry-camping session.

Graywater: Waste water from the sinks and showers. It is not truly "clean", but it is not as "dirty" as "blackwater". It is called graywater because it looks gray from detergents in the water. RVers who have ignored the LED
LEd
LEd is a TeX/LaTeX editing software working under Microsoft Windows. It is a freeware product....

 warnings will receive a secondary indication of a full graywater tank when the lowest drain backs up, usually the shower. This can become of particular importance for RVers with washing machines. They should ensure the sewer hose is connected and the graywater valve open before turning on the washer and wandering away from their coach. RV washer/dryers use large amounts of water, and that water will go somewhere.
Graywater has the important role of washing out the sewer hose, as RVers empty the blackwater first, then the soapy graywater in sequence. Problem: While the blackwater tank must be kept closed until full, many campers normally keep the graywater tank open when connected to a sewer pipe. RVers soon learn to monitor the blackwater level and, as it approaches full, they close the graywater valve to store water for when it becomes necessary to empty the blackwater and flush the hose. Otherwise, the operator must literally send fresh water down the (sink) drain until sufficient water has been collected, around a quarter tank, for a good flush.

Older RVs might not have a Gray water tank, in that case an aftermarket will have to be purchased, connect a hose if full service or use a 5 gallon bucket.


High voltage: Refers to shore power, generator power or power from an inverter
Inverter
Inverter may refer to* Inverter , a device that converts direct current to alternating current** Inverter , an air conditioner that can continuously regulate its output by altering the compressor speed in response to cooling demand** Uninterruptible power supply, which often are based on an...

, which is AC at the standard household voltage and frequency of one's country, used to run air conditioners, television
Television
Television is a telecommunication medium for transmitting and receiving moving images that can be monochrome or colored, with accompanying sound...

s and stereo systems, microwave oven
Microwave oven
A microwave oven is a kitchen appliance that heats food by dielectric heating, using microwave radiation to heat polarized molecules within the food...

s, electrical refrigerator
Refrigerator
A refrigerator is a common household appliance that consists of a thermally insulated compartment and a heat pump that transfers heat from the inside of the fridge to its external environment so that the inside of the fridge is cooled to a temperature below the ambient temperature of the room...

s, electric space heaters and electric water heaters. It also powers AC outlets in the RV for electrical devices such as toaster
Toaster
The toaster is typically a small electric kitchen appliance designed to toast multiple types of bread products. A typical modern two-slice toaster draws anywhere between 600 and 1200 W and makes toast in 1 to 3 minutes...

s, hair dryers, computer
Computer
A computer is a programmable machine designed to sequentially and automatically carry out a sequence of arithmetic or logical operations. The particular sequence of operations can be changed readily, allowing the computer to solve more than one kind of problem...

s, printers and so on. (Strictly, "AC" only means that the polarity reverses many times per second, but in an RV it may be assumed to mean high voltage.)

Holding Tanks: Tanks built in or mounted under the floor, used for storage of blackwater and graywater. Separate tanks are used for blackwater and graywater, often adding an extra tank for the shower or washing machine
Washing machine
A washing machine is a machine designed to wash laundry, such as clothing, towels and sheets...

, if equipped. Tank level is monitored by an LED display inside the RV and all tanks drain to a single external hook up point for dumping. Usually found on American RVs where almost every RV in production incorporates holding tanks.

House batteries
Battery (electricity)
An electrical battery is one or more electrochemical cells that convert stored chemical energy into electrical energy. Since the invention of the first battery in 1800 by Alessandro Volta and especially since the technically improved Daniell cell in 1836, batteries have become a common power...

: The batteries, usually 12 volt DC, that are installed on or within an RV and dedicated to operating lights, appliances, etc., within the living area. These are known in the UK as 'leisure batteries'. Usually, there are multiple batteries combined in a parallel circuit which keep 12 volts but increase the amperes, but there may be a single house battery on some smaller RV's. The house batteries are separate and isolated electrically from the vehicle batteries, known in this context as engine batteries that are used to start and operate the motor vehicle part of the RV (motor of a motorhome, car or truck for tow vehicles or campers).
RV batteries differ from car or truck batteries in that they are 'deep cycle' batteries. This means that RV batteries can be drawn down further before recharging than car or truck batteries without damage. For best RV battery life, users should not draw down the charge below 50% before recharging. Deep cycle batteries that are well maintained and cared for can last ten years or more, whereas RV batteries that are poorly maintained and abused will last only a year or two. Batteries are rated in amp-hours; multiplying this figure by the battery voltage yields watt-hours, which indicates the length of time a known load can be run.


Hub & Spoke: A travel pattern of many RVers that reduces their overall fuel expenses and carbon footprint, as well as the frequency (and bother) of breaking camp. RVers will drive/tow their RV from, for example, Phoenix, AZ, to Tucson, AZ, 115 miles (186 km) away. They will then spend a week or two exploring Southern Arizona using their tow vehicle or towed vehicle, leaving the heavy RV parked in their campground. The "hub" is the campground, the "spokes" are the routes fanning out from their campground that they take on their various day-trips. Some RVers extend the hub & spoke pattern one more level by carrying bicycles, Segways, or other low-carbon conveyances on their day-trip vehicle to tour/explore their various day-trip destinations. Again using the above example, a pair of full or part-time RVers might break camp and move the 115 miles (185 km) between Phoenix and Tucson, averaging 8.5 mpg (3.6 kpl); but then travel 300 miles (482 km) in the ensuing fortnight in their towed car, a hybrid, averaging 40 mpg (17 kpl). Add another 50 miles (80 km) together on their two Segways, at the equivalent of 275 mpg (117 kpl) each, and the overall fuel economy for the leg of their trip involving Tucson works out to 21.7 mpg (9.2 kpl) overall.

Inverter/Charger: An inverter/charger, most often called an inverter, both charges the 12 volt house battery(s) and inverts the 12 DC power from the house batteries into AC power at the standard household voltage and frequency for one's country. Inverters are not usually supplied in low-priced RVs by the RV manufacturer. Inverters are rated by their output, in watts.
There are two categories of inverters. The least expensive are called 'modified sine-wave' or 'quasi-sine wave' inverters. The more expensive versions are 'sine-wave' or 'full sine-wave' inverters. The modified- or quasi-sine wave inverters work well for most RV uses, but most inverter manufacturers recommend the use of full sine wave inverters to power televisions, VCR players and recorders, DVD players, computers, printers, fax machines and other electronic devices.
Like a generator, inverters must be sized to accommodate the anticipated electrical load. Most inverters in RVs are rated at 1500–2000 watts. This is enough power to run a microwave oven or run a TV, DVD and computer but not at the same time as the microwave. The number of watt-hours that can be provided; how long a given load can be run; depends on the battery, after allowing for the slight inefficiency of the inverter. Heavy electrical loads like air conditioners, space heaters, water heaters and refrigerator/freezers cannot be powered by an inverter as the house battery(s) do not have enough watt-hours and would be run down quickly.


King-pin support: A king-pin support is used on a fifth-wheel trailer to give the front of the trailer more stability. It is usually a tripod that attaches to the king-pin of the fifth-wheel trailer hitch. Most are adjustable with a hand crank.

Landing gear: On a fifth-wheel trailer these are two jacks that are usually coupled together and are motor driven, that lift the front of the fifth-wheel trailer up so that the truck can be driven under the front and hitch-up. Once hitched up, the landing gear jacks are raised to their stowed position for traveling.

Leveling jacks: Installed under the RV help to get the vehicle level once it has a place to stay. Many newer class A motorhomes and some fifthwheel trailers have computer-controlled leveling jacks that, at the touch of a button, automatically extend and level the RV. (Some high-end motorhomes even use airbags that automatically raise the motorhome into a level position on its own tires, eliminating leveling jacks completely.) On trailers, the manufacturer often installs rear leveling jacks that are either lowered by hand crank or a motor to give the rear of the trailer more stability.

Low voltage: Low voltage refers to electricity supplied to and derived from the house batteries, typically 12 volts DC. This electricity is used to run lights, the water pump, the control portion of a refrigerator, the igniters for cooktops, smoke and gas detectors, fans, jack and slide-out motors, and often the blower and control circuits of a built-in propane furnace.

Part Timer: A person who spends several months per year, but less than full-time in the RV. (USA insurance companies specializing in RV insurance normally set the threshold between full time and part time at five or six months, depending on the carrier.)

Pink water : Refers to water to which 'pink' antifreeze has been added. This is done in cold climates to keep the internal plumbing pipes and tubing from freezing. Pink is used to imply that it is not toxic. Normal antifreeze is colored green or blue to show that it is a toxic chemical.

Refrigerator
Refrigerator
A refrigerator is a common household appliance that consists of a thermally insulated compartment and a heat pump that transfers heat from the inside of the fridge to its external environment so that the inside of the fridge is cooled to a temperature below the ambient temperature of the room...

: Most RV refrigerators are "absorption cycle", rather than "compressor cycle" appliances. These operate by the direct application of heat to the refrigerant, without the use of a pump, unlike most domestic refrigerators. In recent years, specialized 12V DC operated compressor type refrigerators have been developed and are being used in some RVs.
The typical RV (absorption) refrigerator uses either propane
Propane
Propane is a three-carbon alkane with the molecular formula , normally a gas, but compressible to a transportable liquid. A by-product of natural gas processing and petroleum refining, it is commonly used as a fuel for engines, oxy-gas torches, barbecues, portable stoves, and residential central...

 or electricity as a heat source. Most operate on propane or AC (2-way), while some add 12V DC (three-way). Three-way (powered) RV refrigerators draw too many amps to be powered by the house batteries, but may run on 12V DC power while the vehicle engine is running, a generator is running or the RV is connected to shore power. Newer models use 12V DC to control electronics that switch power sources automatically. Absorption refrigerators are very sensitive to being level and do not function unless reasonably level. However, newer RV refrigerators are less sensitive to being run out of level.
Anyone planning a long ferry ride with an RV should bear in mind that it is impossible to run the fridge while on board, where gas bottles must be turned off, and electricity is seldom provided.

RV shower
Shower
A shower is an area in which one bathes underneath a spray of water.- History :...

: Is a method of showering that conserves water, wastewater tankage and battery power in a motorhome, trailer or camper while dry camping. The total time for the water being on is typically under 2 minutes and often less. The RV shower is similar to a Navy shower
Navy shower
A navy shower is a method of showering that allows for significant conservation of water and energy by turning off water during the "middle" portion. An initial thirty seconds or so are used to get wet, followed by soap and lather, which is then rinsed off in a minute or less...

. Owners of smaller vehicles seldom use the shower in the van, preferring to use the campground showers.

Sanitary station: In Europe, black water is usually collected in a portable toilet
Portable toilet
Portable toilet are simple portable enclosures containing a chemical toilet which are typically used as a temporary toilet for construction sites and large gatherings and events. Most of the portable toilets have black open-front-U-shaped toilet seat with cover...

 with a detachable tank which is carried to the sanitary station. Sometimes referred to as a Thetford, Porta Potti or an Elsan (from commercial names), this tank has a small amount of 'blue' or 'green' added to it each time it is emptied, to manage odours. The sign for a sanitary station usually includes the word 'chemical' in one form or another.

Sewer hose: An RVer cannot spend too much money on a proper sewer hose, but can easily spend too little. A cheap, thin-walled hose that has developed small holes either through abrasion or UV damage since its last use does not leak, it sprays: The top of a full blackwater tank may be three feet or more above the level of a failing hose, bearing a lot of pressure. One must particularly be wary of free starter kits given upon RV purchase; even motorhomes approaching half-million dollars in cost may be supplied with a thin hose that starts spraying in less than a week. A proper hose, well maintained, will last for a long time, reducing what could be an onerous task into an abstract, odor-free procedure of pulling a couple valves in sequence, in which the only fluids ever witnessed are a few drops of soapy graywater fresh from the sink or shower, upon disconnecting.

Shore power: Electricity that is available to an RV from a power company. The minimal service in USA campgrounds is a standard 2-prong w/ground 120 volt AC outlet with 15-20 amps. Most newer USA campgrounds with electrical hookups offer three outlets in the connection box: 2-prong w/ground 120 volt AC 20 amp; 3-prong RV 120 volt AC 30 amp; and a 4-prong RV 120/240 volt AC 50 amp (which can power 120 volt loads and the large 240 volt loads at the same time). A variety of plug converters are available from RV supply houses to convert from one type of plug to another. High voltage can injure or kill when wired incorrectly, and the fact that an appliance works does not mean that it's wired correctly. A simple 50-to-30 amp or 30-to-15 amp converter from a major supplier may be assumed safe. A special adapter, picked up at a card-table booth at an RV show that enables the user to plug into two 30 amp circuits at once to get 60 amps for their 50 amp coach may "smoke" the campground's equipment, if not the user.
In the UK and most of Europe, 240 volt power is supplied through a 16 amp socket which is designed for outdoor use. In continental Europe, although the socket is rated at 16 amps, the circuit is often limited to a much lower current, sometimes as low as 3 Amps. Less modern campgrounds may use domestic sockets similar to those found in homes.
Operators of RVs that offer some warning when shore power has been left connected should ensure that their power cord is always laid out and connected first, with water and sewer lines purposely laid to cross the power cord. Because the RV has no way of "knowing" that the operator failed to disconnect either water or sewer, this scheme will ensure that warning is given unless all three lines have been properly put away before the owner is ready to drive off.
The term, "shore power," was borrowed from the boating industry/Navy; no water is involved, at least if all pipe connections are fastened down thoroughly.

Slide-out: A section of the RV that can be expanded outwards from the side of the vehicle, thus making the interior space wider. Many modern North American RVs feature at least one slide-out section. This is typically to widen the kitchen
Kitchen
A kitchen is a room or part of a room used for cooking and food preparation.In the West, a modern residential kitchen is typically equipped with a stove, a sink with hot and cold running water, a refrigerator and kitchen cabinets arranged according to a modular design. Many households have a...

 and better accommodate the seating area. Newer and larger motorhomes and larger fifth-wheel trailers (over 30') often have three slide-outs: one in the kitchen, one in the living room and one in the bedroom.

Slide-Topper: A fixed awning attached to the top of a slide room and the side of the RV. When the room is opened, the awning opens with it, covering the roof of the slide room. Mainly used to keep debris such as leaves and snow from building up on the roof of the slide room. It will open and close with the room by use of spring tension which is applied when rolled out and recoils when the room comes in, closing the awning up.

Solar cell
Solar cell
A solar cell is a solid state electrical device that converts the energy of light directly into electricity by the photovoltaic effect....

 or Photovoltaic panel(s): Solar panels or photovoltaic cells can be installed on the roof of the RV. They produce slightly in excess of 12 Volts DC (12.8 to 13). The panel(s) are used to charge the house battery(s) when the RV is not hooked up to shore power or the vehicle's engine is not working or a generator is not present. Photovoltaic cells used on RVs are often 24" x 36" and produce 100 to 120 watts.

Tag Axle: Particularly heavy 40 to 45 foot motorhomes are supplied with two rear axles, a drive axle and a passive, weight-bearing (tag) axle. Veteran RV-spotters use the presence of a tag axle (as well as large tire size) to separate out the truly expensive motorhomes from those that just look that way. The presence of a tag axle indicates an interior with features like stone floors, heavy, solid wood cabinetry, and a MPG gauge that quickly sticks at 1.4 when going uphill.
The tag axle is lowered automatically at around six miles per hour, taking up half the load of the rear, heavier end, of the motor coach. The axle is raised below six miles per hour to allow better maneuvering: Were the axle to remain down, turning sharply, as is done at low speeds, would drag the tires of the tag axle sideways across the pavement as the coach pivoted on the drive wheels, just in front of that axle. Coaches when driving in RV parks can often be seen with their tag axles up, causing many helpful observers to tell the coach owner there's something wrong with their coach. On the other hand, some tag-axle owners have saved money on tolls by pointing out to the toll-taker that their coach may have three axles, but, as can be plainly seen, they're only using two of them.


Tow ball weight
Tow hitch
A tow hitch is a device attached to the chassis of a vehicle for towing or a towbar to an aircraft nose gear, or paired main gears....

: Also called tongue weight, this is the downward force exerted on the tow ball by the RV trailer coupling with weight-distribution devices, if any, deactivated.

Tow vehicle: The car or truck that is used to tow an RV trailer.

Towed vehicle or "toad": A car
Čar
Čar is a village in the municipality of Bujanovac, Serbia. According to the 2002 census, the town has a population of 296 people.-References:...

 or other vehicle that is towed behind motorhomes for use when the motorhome is set up in a campground and connected to utilities. Also called a "dinghy". Fairly common in the U.S. and Canada, less common in Europe, it becomes a virtual necessity for owners of motor coaches stretching 40 or 45 feet, difficult to maneuver in places like supermarket parking lots.

Umbilical cord: The electrical cord that connects the RV trailer to the towing vehicle (car, van, SUV, or truck). This cord brings electricity from the vehicle's alternator to charge the trailer house batteries. The umbilical cord also brings electrical current from the vehicle to control the electric brakes, stop and turn lights and night running lights on the trailer.

Weight distribution hitch
Tow hitch
A tow hitch is a device attached to the chassis of a vehicle for towing or a towbar to an aircraft nose gear, or paired main gears....

: A system of springs and levers that transfers part of the tow ball weight onto the front wheels of the towing vehicle and, to a lesser extent, the RV trailer.

White water: This is the fresh water directly taken from a clean-water source. It may or may not be potable water, i.e., drinking water.

Wild camping: A U.K. term to refer to staying overnight without a designated camping area.

Winterize: The maintenance of an RV's water system to protect it from damage during cold winter storage. This involves making sure all water is removed from the hoses and tanks using compressed air or adding a non-toxic antifreeze to the system. Some modern RVs are equipped with automatic winterization systems.

See also


External links