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Glossary

A (5) | B (6) | C (12) | D (13) | E (1) | F (6) | G (10) | H (10) | I (3) | J (1) | K (2) | L (6) | M (1) | N (2) | O (1) | P (10) | R (7) | S (10) | T (7) | U (5) | W (9) | Y (1)

E

E
EGRESS WINDOW The formal name for the emergency escape window. Egress windows are identified by their labeling.

F

F
FIFTH WHEEL (FW) A trailer and hitch configuration connected to the tow truck directly above the rear axle by way of a special fifth wheel hitch. This causes several feet of the connected trailer to hang over the tow truck, placing about 15 to 25% of the trailer's weight on the rear axle of the truck. Commercial trucks and trailers use this hitch configuration. Also commonly spelled as 5th wheel.
FIVER Another name for a fifth wheel RV.
FRESH WATER The fresh water system provides potable water to the fresh water tank, kitchen sink, shower, bathroom lavatory, toilet, water heater and outside shower.
FRESH WATER TANK Tank for holding fresh water for drinking, cooking, and bathing while not connected to a city water supply.
FULL HOOK-UP SITE A campsite that has city water, shore power and sewer hook-ups or connections available
FULL TIMERS OR FULL TIMING The term used for people who live in their RV full time, or at least the vast majority of their time.

G

G
GALLEY The kitchen in an RV.
GENERATOR An engine powered device fuelled by gasoline or diesel fuel, and sometimes propane, for generating 120-volt AC power.
GENSET Abbreviation for generator set.
GOOSENECK A trailer and hitch configuration connected to the tow truck directly above the rear axle by way of a standard ball hitch in the truck bed and a vertical, slender arm on front of the trailer. Gooseneck hitching is common on horse and utility trailers, but rarely found on RV's.
GRAY WATER Term associated with the waste water holding tank. Water from the sink drains, shower and washer/dryer (if so equipped) go into this tank.
GROSS AXLE WEIGHT RATING (GAWR) The MAXIMUM ALLOWABLE WEIGHT each axle assembly is designed to carry, as measured at the tires, therefore including the weight of the axle assembly itself. GAWR is established by considering the rating of each of its components (tires, wheels, springs, axle), and rating the axle on its weakest link. The GAWR assumes that the LOAD IS EQUAL ON EACH SIDE.
GROSS CARRYING CAPACITY (GCC) Means the maximum carrying capacity of your camper. The GCC is equal to the GVWR minus UVW. The GCC will be reduced by the weight of fresh water or other tanks, propane, occupants, personal items or dealer installed accessories.
GROSS COMBINED WEIGHT RATING (GCWR) The MAXIMUM ALLOWABLE COMBINED WEIGHT of the tow vehicle and attached towed vehicle. GCWR assumes that both vehicles have functioning brakes, with exceptions in some cases for very light towed vehicles, normally less than 1,500 pounds. (Check your tow vehicle's towing guide.)
GROSS TRAILER WEIGHT RATIING (GTWR) The MAXIMUM TOWED VEHICLE WEIGHT. Each component (receiver, drawbar, ball) of a ball-type hitch has its own rating. Some ball-type hitches have separate ratings when used with a weight distributing system.
GROSS VEHICLE WEIGHT RATING (GVWR) The MAXIMUM ALLOWABLE WEIGHT of the fully loaded vehicle, including liquids, passengers, cargo, and the tongue weight of any towed vehicle.

H

H
HEAT EXCHANGER A device that transfers heat from one source to another. For example, there is a heat exchanger in your furnace - the propane flame and combustion products are contained inside the heat exchanger that is sealed from the inside area. Inside air is blown over the surface of the exchanger, where it is warmed and the blown through the ducting system for room heating. The combustion gases are vented to the outside air.
HEAT STRIP A heat strip is an electric heating element located in the air conditioning system with the warm air distributed by the air conditioner fan and ducting system. They are typically 1500 watt elements (about the same wattage as an electric hair dryer) and have limited function. Basically they "take the chill off."
HIGH PROFILE A fifth-wheel trailer with a higher-than-normal front to allow more than 6 feet of standing room inside the raised area.
HITCH The fastening unit that joins a movable vehicle to the vehicle that pulls it.
HITCH WEIGHT The amount of the camper's weight that rests on the tow vehicle. It should be approximately 12% - 15% with conventional trailers; approximately 18% -21% for fifth wheels.
HOLDING TANKS There are three different holding tanks on most RVs; fresh water tank, gray water tank and black water tank. The fresh water tank holds fresh water that can be stored for later use. The gray water tank holds the waste water from the sinks and showers. The black water tank holds the waste from the toilet.
HONEY WAGON Euphemism for the sewage pumping truck. Honey wagons are used to empty RV holding tanks in places where full hookups and dump stations are not available.
HOOKUPS The ability of connecting to a campground's facilities. The major types of hookups are electrical, water and sewer. If all three of these hookups are available, it is termed full hookup. Hookups may also include telephone and cable TV in some campgrounds.
HOUSE BATTERY One or more batteries in a RV for operating the 12 volt lights, appliances, and systems. House batteries can be 12 volt units tied in parallel or pairs of 6 volt batteries tied in series (to double the voltage). The term house battery is of more significance in motor homes because they contain one or more other batteries for the operation of the engine, referred to as the chassis or starting batteries.
HULA SKIRT Term used for a type of dirt skirt accessory some RVers use on the back of their motorhome to aid in the protection from debris thrown from their rear wheels to the vehicles directly behind them or being towed behind them. This dirt skirt is usually the length of the rear bumper and resembles a 'short' version of a Hawaiian 'hula-skirt', hence the term.

I

I
INVERTER An inverter is a device that changes 12 volt battery power to 120 volt AC power. It is used when "boon docking" (camping without hookups) to power certain 120 VAC only devices like a microwave oven. The amount of available power depends on the storage capacity of the batteries and the wattage rating of the inverter.
IRON RANGER A fee collection box used at campgrounds that do not have full time attendants. Upon entrance to the campground, you deposit your nightly fee(s) in an envelope with your name and site number and drop this in the collection box. At some time during the day, a park ranger will make rounds of the campgrounds and collect the fees. You will often see these in National Park and National Forest campgrounds.
ISLAND QUEEN OR ISLAND KING A king or queen-sized bed with walking space on both sides.

J

J
JACKKNIFE 90% angle obtained from turning/backing fifth wheel or travel trailer with tow vehicle. Jackknifing a short bed truck towing a fifth wheel without the use of a slider hitch or extended fifth wheel pin box can result in damage to the truck cab or breaking out the back window of the truck cab from the truck and fifth wheel "colliding".

K

K
KING PIN The pin by which a fifth wheel trailer attaches to the truck. It slides into the fifth wheel hitch and locks in place.
KING PIN WEIGHT The actual weight pressing down on the fifth wheel hitch by the trailer. The recommended amount of King Pin Weight is 15%-25% of the GTW, also called Pin Weight.

L

L
LAMINATE A sandwich of structural frame members, wall paneling, insulation and exterior covering, adhesive-bonded under pressure and/or heat to form the RV's walls, floor and/or roof.
LANDING GEARS See Leveling Jack.
LEVELING Positioning the RV in camp so it will be level, using ramps (also called levelers) placed under the wheels, built-in scissors jacks, or power leveling jacks.