Shopping for an RV? Get to Know Common RV Terms and Definitions: - Blog

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Shopping for an RV (also known as Rig or Coach) can be a daunting experience, especially when you don’t know your cockpit from your chassis. If you’re a newbie to the RV world, and you’d like to get out of your Stick ‘n Brick*, we’ve got you covered with the essential guide to RV terms and definitions. 

* RV enthusiast’s term for a regular house


Common RV Terms and Definitions

  • Auxiliary Battery

An extra battery to power 12 Volt equipment. This can be either 1, 12 Volt battery or 2, 6 Volts batteries.

  • Basement

The storage area located under the Fifth Wheel trailer.

  • Black Water

The wastewater from the toilet (held in a Black Water Tank).

  • Boondocking

Camping without external electricity, water or sewage (also called “roughing it” or “dry camping”).

  • Bunkhouse

The floor plan in an RV with bunk beds.

  • Chassis

The support framework of the RV.

  • Hitch (also called a coupler): 

This connects a trailer to the hitch of the tow vehicle.

  • Dry Weight (also called curb weight): 

The weight of the RV which excludes water or belongings.

  • Fresh Water Tank

A tank for fresh water.

  • Grey Water

The water from the sinks and showers (held in a grey water tank).

  • Hose Bib

The freshwater faucet at a campsite.

  • Stabilizer Jacks

The mechanical (or scissors) jacks used to prevent the RV from shaking while camping. Not used for leveling a trailer.

  • Levelling Jacks

The electric or hydraulic jacks used to get the RV level with the ground.

  • Weight Distribution Hitch:

Replaces the traditional ball hitch and is used to equalize the dip occurs between the trailer and tow vehicle. A highly recommended option.

  • Sway Control:

Can be used with a Weight Distribution Hitch or separately. This helps to minimize the side to side movement a trailer experiences during towing.

  • Fifth Wheel Hitch:

A mechanical device that is installed in the bed of a truck. Used to tow a fifth wheel trailer. There are three basic types, fixed, manual slider and auto slider types.

  • Pop-Up

Small trailer (or tent trailer) where the roof is cranked up to add standing room to the RV.

  • Quick Disconnect

Fittings that allow you to quickly connect and disconnect parts of the RV (such as water or propane lines ) without tools.

  • Reefer

A refrigerator.

  • Sani-Dump(also called a Dump Station): 

A place where RV waste tanks can be emptied.

  • Self-Contained

RV with indoor plumbing.

  • Slideout

RV that has expanding walls or sections to create more living space.

  • Underbelly

The surface underneath the RV. Some trailers have enclosed underbellies.

  • Wheel Chocks

Blocks made from plastic or wood that stop the RV from rolling.

  • Winterizing

Preparing an RV for winter storage.

We have a wide range of travel trailers and custom RVs for sale in Ontario, including the Retreat destination trailer brand, Keystone RV’s top of line park model.  For more information contact us today.

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