RV Terms & Acronyms

Sewer Doughnut – A rubber ring that seals one’s dump hose and the campsite sewer connection so that gases and odors do not escape. Sewer doughnuts are required in many locations.

Shore Power  –  Electricity provided to the RV by an external source other than the RV batteries.

SlideIn  –  The term for a type of camper that mounts on a truck bed, because this type of camper slides in to the truck bed.

SlideOut  –  A room or area in your RV that slides out to make additional space for living.

Thermocouple – A device that monitors the pilot flame of a pilot model propane appliance. If the pilot flame is extinguished the thermocouple causes the gas valve to shut off the flow of gas to both the pilot flame and the main burner.

TipOut  – The term used for an area or room in an RV that tips out for additional living space.  The Tip-Out was generally used in older RVs.  Newer RVs mainly use a slide-out.

Toad – A “toad” is an RVers term referring to a vehicle that is towed behind a motor home. Some vehicles can be towed without any modifications – others cannot be towed at all, or at least without extensive alterations.

Toe – Wheel alignment – Toe is the measure of whether the front of the wheels (looking down from the top) are closer (toe-in) or farther (toe-out) than the back of the wheels.

Tongue Weight – Tongue weight (TW) is the downward force exerted on the hitch ball by the trailer coupler. In most cases, it is about 10 to 15 percent of GTW. TW of up to 300 lbs. can be measured on a household scale by resting the trailer coupler on the scale and placing the scale on a box so that the coupler is at its normal towing height. The trailer must be fully loaded and level.

Tow Bar  – A bar used for connecting a towed vehicle to the motor home for towing with all four wheels on the ground.

Trailer Brakes  –  Brakes that are built into the trailer and are activated either by electric impulse or by a surge mechanism.

Underbelly – The RV’s under floor surface, which is protected by a weatherproofed material.

Unloaded Vehicle Weight (UVW)  –  Sometimes called the Dry Weight, it is the weight of the RV without adding fuel, water, propane, supplies and passengers.  The manufacturers UVW will not include any dealer-installed options.

Waste water tanks – The gray water tank holds the waste water from the sinks and showers. The black water tank holds the waste from the toilet.

Weight Carrying Hitch  –  A hitch designed to accept the entire hitch weight of the trailer.  This hitch is also known as a dead weight hitch.

Weight Distributing Hitch  –  A hitch that utilizes spring bars that are placed under tension to distribute a portion of the trailer’s hitch weight to the tow vehicle’s front axle and the trailer’s axles. This hitch is also known as an equalizing hitch.

Weights – What weighs what?

  • Propane weighs 4.25 pounds per gallon
  • Water weighs 8.3 pounds per gallon
  • Gasoline weighs 6.3 pounds per gallon
  • Diesel fuel weighs 6.6 pounds per gallon

Legend of America on the road.

Wet Weight  –  The weight of the RV with the fuel, freshwater and propane tanks full.

Wheelbase – Distance between center lines of the primary axles of a vehicle. If a motor home includes a tag axle, the distance is measured from the front axle to the center point between the drive and tag axles.

Wide Body  –  The term for an RV exceeding the normal eight feet wide.  Wide Bodies are usually 102″ (8′ 6″) wide.

Also See:

RV Tips, Tricks, Travel Information & More

American Transportation


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