What’s This For?

This week’s blog is a rather short one.  I was out of the office for a few days but I’m back in full force!

I decided since I will be becoming an RVer in the future to look up some terms and definitions.  So, for you new RVers and Dreamers, here is a list of the most common terms defined.  Enjoy!

4 Pin Electrical Connector – This provides power from your tow vehicle to your RV for the lights only.

7 Pin Electrical Connector – This provides power from your tow vehicle to your RV for the lights as well as the electrically operated brakes.

Auxiliary Battery – An extra battery to run your 12-volt equipment.

Black Water Capacity – The amount of waste water from the toilet your RV’s black water tank can hold.

Brake Controller – A device mounted inside the tow vehicle that will apply the trailer brakes simultaneously with the tow vehicle brakes.

Breakaway Switch – If your trailer becomes separated from the tow vehicle, this safety switch will automatically activate the brakes on the trailer.

BTU – British Thermal Unit – RV A/C and Furnace units are BTU-rated. It’s a measurement of heat that is the quantity required to raise the temperature of one pound of water 1-degree F.

CCC – Cargo Carrying Capacity – This is your RVs maximum weight limit for personal items you add.

Chassis – Framework your RV is built on. In motor homes it generally includes the engine & transmission>

Chassis Battery – The battery in your motor home that operates 12-volt components of the drive train.

Converter – Converts your 120-volt AC power to 12 volt DC power and also charges your 12 volt battery

Dry Weight – This is the weight of just your RV when it’s finished being built. Doesn’t include supplies, water, fuel, or passenger weights.

DSI Ignition – Direct Spark Ignition – This term is used to describe the method of igniting the main burner on a propane fired appliance.

Dump Station – Refers to an area, a concrete pad with a tank underneath the ground, where you can dump your black and gray water tanks.

Fresh Water Capacity – The amount of drinkable water your RV’s fresh water tank can hold.

Full Hookup – FHU – This is when an RV campsite offers a water supply, sewer/septic, and electricity.

Full-timers – When you live in your RV year-round.

Galley – This term refers to the kitchen of your RV.

GAWR – Gross Axle Weight Rating – This is the total allowable weight on each individual axle which includes the weight of tires, wheels, brakes, and the axle itself

GCWR – Gross Combination Weight Rating – This is the total allowable weight of your tow vehicle, your trailer, the cargo in each, hitching, fluids, and occupants.

Generator – Provides 120-volt AC power to your RV. Runs on gas, diesel, or propane.

Gray Water Capacity – The amount of used water from the kitchen sink, bathroom sink or shower, your RV’s gray water tank can hold.

GVWR – Gross Vehicle Weight Rating – The maximum weight your RV can be to ensure safe traveling. Includes the vehicle’s chassis, body, engine, fluids, fuel, accessories, passengers, cargo, etc.

Hitch – The connection used between your tow vehicle and your RV.

Hitch Capacity –  references the towing capacity of your receiver hitch.

Holding Tanks – This term refers to your fresh water tank, gray water tank, and black water tank.

House Battery – The battery in your motor home that operates 12-volt system within the motor home.

Inverter – Converts your 12-volt DC power to 110-volt AC power.

King Pin Weight – The actual weight pressing down on the 5th wheel of your tow vehicle. Generally, 15% – 25% of the GVW wheel hitch located in the back bed.

Leveling Jacks – These will make sure your RV sits level on the ground.

LP Gas – Liquid Petroleum – Another term for Propane.

Slide-Outs – Additional area made for each floor plan that slides out to provide you more living space.

Sway Bar System – Designed to reduce or eliminate side to side sway movement of your trailer.

Tongue Weight – The actual weight pressing down on the hitch ball located on the tow vehicle. Generally, 10% – 15% of the GVW.

Tow Rating – The maximum weight your tow vehicle can safely tow set by the vehicle manufacturer.

Weight Distribution System – Takes weight from the tongue of your trailer and redistributes it to the front of the tow vehicle.

Wheel Base – This is the distance between the center lines of the primary axles on your RV.


There you have it.  Now we are all a bit more knowledgeable in the RV world. Go forth and drive!

Safe Travels!

Robyn Author

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