When you’re just starting out as an RV traveler, there are a lot of things that you need to learn. You need to learn how to set up camp, how to operate the vehicle, and how to plan and pack for a trip. You also should pick up a working grasp of the terminology. Chances are you will come across this camper slang when speaking to fellow travelers and when reading online information about RV travel. Those traveling in RV rentals will gradually pick a lot of the terminology needed, but there are some basic terms you should know before setting out. So when you’re packing for your trip, make sure to go over these terms.
Basement – This is the storage area that sits right underneath the main cabin.
Batwing – This is the television rod that extends from the roof, called such because it resembles a pair of wings.
Black Water Tank – This is the area where the waster water is stored.
Blue Boy – This is the plastic container used to transport sewage from the RV to a dump station.
Boondocking – This is camping in the rough, without the convenient hookups and comforts of a well-serviced RV park.
Chucking – This is what happens when an RV rocks back and forth when being towed, an indication that it is not secured correctly.
Coach – This is a large, class A RV.
Cockpit – The cockpit is the driver’s seat, much like the airplane term.
Dinghy – This is any smaller vehicle that is being towed by your camper.
Dump Station – A dump station is a spot where you can empty your sewage tanks. Many RV parks feature these.
Chassis – The chassis is the framework that keeps your entire RV together.
Extended Stay Site – This is a campsite where you are meant to stay for a long time, even up to an entire season.
Fiver – A fiver is a five-wheel RV.
Fresh Water Tank – Your drinking water is held in this fresh water tank, definitely different from the black water tank.
Full Hookup– A full hookup site has all of the necessary hookups that make life comfortable for any camper.
Full-Timers – A full-timer is a type of RV enthusiasts who lives in their RV year-round. These are the most hardcore travelers.
Galley – A galley on an RV is a kitchen.
Gray Water Tank – This tank is where the water from showers and sinks in RV rentals is stored.
Honey Wagon – This is a large truck that comes around and pumps out waste from RVs.
Hose Bib – The hose bib is the faucet at campsites where campers can pick up their fresh water.
Hula Skirt – Have you ever seen the overhang strips that hang down over the back wheels on an RV? This is known as the hula skirt, which keeps road debris from flying into the wheels.
Jake Brake – Diesel campers have these special breaks, much like an E break on a camper.
Newbie – An individual who is new to the RV world is considered a newbie.
Part-Timers – A part-timer is an individual who lives for long periods of time in an RV but still maintains a permanent residence.
Puller – The puller is the diesel motorhome that has the diesel motor located in the front of the rig.
Pusher – The pusher is the diesel motorhome that has the diesel motor located in the rear.
Pull-Through – This is the type of site where you can roll in and out easily. This isn’t a place to spend long periods of time.
Reefer – The fridge in your camper is known as the reefer.
Rig – This is just another name for a motorhome, derived from trucker slang.
Sani-Dump – This is a sewer dump where campers dump out their waste.
Slideout – Many motorhomes have slideouts, which are extensions built into the main cabin that expand to make more living space.
Snowbirds – These are the hordes of travelers that drive south in the winters to experience the warmer climates.
Sticks N Bricks – A permanent residence or house is known as a stick n brick.
Tail Swing – This is the amount of space behind the rear wheels when turning. Knowing your tail swing is very important, especially when making close turns.
Tow Dolly – The tow dolly is the device that connects the RV to the dinghy that is being towed behind it.
Triple Tow-This is the rare practice of towing two vehicles behind the main vehicle.
WallyDock– A seasoned RVers term for parking your RV overnight at Walmart
These are the main terms that those traveling in RV rentals should get familiar with when starting out with road tripping. Of course there is a whole pantheon of terminology beyond these words that more experienced campers use, but you will pick that up as you go along. Until then, these terms will help you get started.