Wingin' It!, Episode 56: Things RVers Say
The RVing community has a language all our own. Sometimes the words are completely different from the words we use outside of RV life.
We recently met Bill and Susan. As a new RVer, Susan told us it would be helpful for her to have a list of definitions for some of the unique RVing terms. And we thought that would make a great Wingin' It! So Thanks Susan! Here you go...
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Definitions of RV Slang Terms
Back-In: A campsite that you back your RV into. This is the most common type of campsite.
Basement: Storage located under the RV living area, accessible from exterior compartment doors.
Black Water: The water that comes from your black tank... typically sewage from your toilet.
Blue Boy: External waste water storage container. Can be used to take waste water to the dump station without having to move the RV. Some folks use it for black water. We only used it for grey water. Here's an example of a Blue Boy.
Boondocking: Camping without any hook-ups. Also called dry camping.
Bumper Pull: A travel trailer.
Bunkhouse: Any RV that includes bunk beds.
Bus: Typically refers to a large Class A motorhome.
Camp Side: The side of your RV that usually faces your camping area. Also known as the door side.
Captain: The driver.
Caravan: A group of RVs traveling together.
Cassette: Short for cassette toilet. This type of toilet does not deposit into a larger black tank. It has a cassette that you remove and carry to the restroom to dump. Here's an example of a Cassette Toilet.
CCC: In parks, this often stands for Civilian Conservation Corps, camps of men who helped to build public areas during the Great Depression. In RVs, CCC stands for Cargo Carrying Capacity. This is the amount of cargo that the RV is rated to carry. With motorhomes, this includes people and pets.
Coach: Another name for a Class A motorhome.
Cockpit: The driver and front passenger area of a motorhome.
Crackerdocking: Parking your RV overnight at a Cracker Barrel. (Thanks Stan K.)
Diesel Pusher: A motorhome with a diesel engine in the rear. Also called a Pusher.
Dinghy: Another name for a vehicle pulled behind a motorhome. Some folks use Dinghy to refer specifically to cars being towed on a dolly.
Dispersed Camping: Camping on public lands but not within a traditional campground. There are no defined campsites in dispersed camping.
Dogbone: Electrical adapter used to connect a 30amp RV to a 50amp electrical plug or a 50amp RV to a 30amp electrical plug. Here's an example of a Dogbone.
Dolly: A trailer used to tow a vehicle behind a motorhome. Short for Tow Dolly.
Donut: Thick rubber gasket used to get a good seal between the sewer hose and the dump. Some dump stations require this. Here's an example of a Donut.
Dually: The rear axle on a heavy duty truck or motorhome that has 4 tires (2 on each side) instead of 2. Also used to refer to the truck that is equipped with this axle.
Dump Station: A station set up specifically for dumping RV waste. Located inside many campgrounds, RV parks, and in some truck stops and rest stops.
Fiver: A fifth wheel trailer.
Flat Towing: Towing a vehicle behind a motorhome without using a trailer. Also called 4 Wheels Down or simply Four Down.
Fresh Water: The tank in the RV that stores clean water that has not yet been used.
Full Hook-Ups: Refers to a campsite that includes electrical, water and sewer hook-ups at the individual campsite. Also noted as FHU.
Full-Timers: Folks who live in their RVs full-time.
Galley: Kitchen in the RV.
Gasser: A gas motorhome.
Glamping: Another term for RVing. Short for Glamorous Camping.
Go-Go Juice: Fuel.
Grey Water: The water that comes from the sinks and shower within the RV.
GVWR: Gross Vehicle Weight Rating. This is the total weight (both the camper and all cargo) that the RV is rated to carry.
Head Banger: The name for an RV slide when you are getting something from storage underneath it and you come up too quickly. A few choice words might be said. (Thanks Don C.)
Hitching Post: Another term for the electrical pedestal that you plug your RV into. (Thanks Ben)
Honey Bucket: Another name for a portable waste water tank. Honey Bucket is a reference back to the days when you carried the bucket from the house to the outhouse in the morning. (Thanks Jennifer L.)
Honey Wagon: Often seen at large RV rallies and gatherings where there are no sewer hook-ups. Refers to a truck that comes to your RV to dump your tanks without you having to visit a dump station. Some supply fresh water as well.
Hook-Ups: Refers to a campsite that has electrical and/or water hook-ups and/or (much less likely) sewer connection. Unless it says Full Hook-ups, it won't include all three.
Hot Box: Storage underneath the RV's bed. (Thanks Ben)
Improved Campsites: Defined campsites within a campground that usually include some kind of hook-ups.
Land Yacht: Another term for motorhome. Your land yacht pulls your dinghy. (Thanks Ben)
Landing Gear: Leveling or stabilizing jacks.
Lot-Docking: Staying overnight in a parking lot, as in Walmart, Cracker Barrel or Cabela's. (Thanks Roy D.)
Moochdocking: RV camping at a friend or family member's home or property without paying. Many RVers like to give their host an appreciation gift of some kind before they leave.
Navigator: The passenger who charts the travel route and navigates during a travel day. This person is often responsible for finding things like rest stops, fuel stations and lunch stops as well. Also sometimes called the Co-Pilot.
Park Model: An RV that is semi-permanently placed in an RV park and is for rent.
Pigtail: Another name for an electrical adapter used to connect a 30amp RV to a 50amp electrical plug or a 50amp RV to a 30amp electrical plug. Here's an example of a Pigtail.
Pilot: The driver of the RV. Some folks call this person the Captain.
Pull-In: A campsite that has hook-ups on what would normally be the camping side. Allows a motorhome to pull in to the site instead of backing in and still be connected normally.
Pull-Off: A campsite that is similar to a pull-through but without obvious separation from the road. Also refers to an area on the side of a road where an RV can pull off to stop briefly.
Pull-Through: A campsite that an RV can pull all the way through.
PUP: Pop-Up Camper.
Rally: A gathering of RVers. Can be as small as a handful of RVers or as large as several thousand RVs. Typically includes activities.
Rig: Another word for RV. Some folks refer to any RV as a Rig. Others use the term only for motorhomes. And still others use it only when talking about large RVs.
Schoolie (Skoolie): : A former school bus that has been converted into an RV.
Self-Contained: An RV that includes a bed, kitchen and bathroom. An RV is self-contained if it can be lived in for a few days without needing any external assistance like a public restroom.
Shore Power: The electrical pole that an RV plugs into at a campsite.
Sticks and Bricks: A traditional stationary home. Not an RV.
Stinky Slinky: An RV sewer hose. Here's an example of a Stinky Slinky.
Street Side: The side of the RV that typically faces the hook-ups. Usually the driver's side.
TAG: A large motorhome with a third axle of wheels in the rear. The axle is known as the TAG axle and adds additional support to a heavier chassis.
Tail Swing: The length of an RV behind the rear wheels. Keep the Tail Swing in mind when making turns so you don't accidentally swipe something.
Tin Can: Refers to Airstreams and other vintage metal campers. (Thanks Wesley P.)
Tinkle Tote: Yet another term for Blue Boy. (Thanks Doug M.)
Toad: The vehicle that is being towed behind a motorhome. Also called a dinghy.
Toy Hauler: RV that includes a garage and opens in the rear to haul motorcycles or other toys.
Towable: Any RV (travel trailer or fifth wheel) that is pulled behind a vehicle.
UVW: Unloaded Vehicle Weight. Weight of the RV alone. Also called Dry Weight.
Wagon Master: The person who plans routes or activities for a rally or caravan.
Wallydocking: Parking at WalMart for the night in your RV. This is not always allowed. Be sure to check with the store manager and follow all rules.
Weekend Warrior: Someone who is a part-time RVer. They often RV on the weekends and do as much as they to make the most out of the weekend.
Wet Bath: Small bathroom in which the toilet is located in the shower. Typically found in some Class B Vans or very small travel trailers. Also called a Marine Bath.
Wet Bay: The exterior compartment that includes the RV's water and dump connections.
Winter Texans: RVers from other states or countries who spend the Winter in Texas. Also called Snowbirds.
Winterize: Prepare your RV for freezing weather to protect your water lines.
Workamping: Working for a campground, RV park, theme park or any other organization in return for a campsite.