Basic RV Terms and Definitions

Basic RV Terms and Definitions


Are you new to RVing? If so, chances are that you've noticed a certain lexicon of words and phrases that other RV enthusiasts throw about regularly. Do you not want to appear like a newbie, but have no clue what people are talking about? Look no further! Here is a crash course in RV terminology 101. 

Dry Camping - Camping without hookups for electricity, water or sewage. 

Boondocking - Dry camping in remote areas, typically with no fees associated for camping. 

Moochdocking - Dry camping for free on someone else's property, like a driveway belonging to a friend or relative. 

Gray Water - Waste water that goes down the sink, shower or bath. 

Black Water - Waste water and waste that goes down the toilet. 

Shore Power - Electrical hookup for power, often in the absence of water and waste water hookup. 

Full Hookup (FHU) - A campsite that has RV hookup for electricity, water, and sewage. 

Converter - A device that changes 110v AC power into 12v DC power.  

Inverter -  A device that changes 12v battery power to 110v AC power.  

Dinghy or Toad - A vehicle that is towed behind an RV. 

Dry Weight - The weight of an RV without any fuel, fresh water, waste water, propane, passengers or supplies.  

Dual Electrical System (DES) - An RV electrical system that runs both hookup electricity and/or self-contained battery or generator power. 

Dump Station - Location where gray water and black water tanks can be emptied. 

Full-Time (Full-Timer, Full-Timing) - Living full-time out of an RV. 

Generator - A power supply that is run by gasoline, diesel, or propane to provide self-contained 110v AC electrical power to an RV. 

Honey Wagon or Honey Dipper - A mobile service that will empty black water and/or gray water tanks from where you are camped if sewage hookup or dump station is not available. 

Hula Skirt - A skirt installed on the rear bumper of a motorhome to prevent debris kick-up while driving. 

Kingpin -  A device that connects a fifth wheel to a towing vehicle.  

Reefer - Slang for refrigerator. 

Rig - Slang for RV. 

Self-Contained - An RV that is able to supply water, drain, and electrical needs without hookups. 

Snow Bird - Someone who travels in an RV to warm climates during winter months. 

Toy Hauler - An RV capable of indoor storage of all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), motorcycles, golf carts, or other large recreational equipment. 

Winterizing - The process of making an RV safe for winter storage. 

Workamping (Workamper) - Working remotely to operate, contribute to, or volunteer either on-line or on-site, while living and traveling in an RV.