RV Dictionary

RVing has some specific terms that are helpful to understand. We have put this list together to help you gain a better understanding of RVing.  You will note that RVing makes use of a lot of nautical terminology.

Black Waste (also Black Water) – the waste from your toilet(s).  It is stored in a separate tank from your Grey Waste.  Special chemicals are added to this tank to help break down any solids. Some RVs have more than one black waste tank.

Boondocking – Living on the road without use of any external resources.  Often overnight stops for rest are made at large department store parking lots, Cracker Barrel, truck stops, and rest areas.  The self-contained nature of recreational vehicles makes it easy to find a stop no matter where you are.

Diesel Pusher – A motorhome with a diesel engine.  Earlier models were adapted from the bus chassis which commonly had the diesel at the rear of the RV.

  • FED – Front Engine Diesel – The engine is at the front of the RV.
  • MED – Mid Engine Diesel – The engine is in the middle of the RV.  These are not as common as FED or RED.
  • RED – Rear Engine Diesel – The engine is at the rear of the RV.  This is the most common type of diesel pusher.

Dinghy – The vehicle towed behind a motorhome.  It is easily detached and serves as a way to get around when your RV is setup away from where you want to visit.

Four-down – Towing a vehicle behind your motorhome with all four wheels on the ground.  Also referred to as flat towing, four-down towing, or dinghy towing.

Grey Waste (also Grey Water) – The waste from your sinks and shower. It is stored in a separate tank from your Black Waste. Some RVs have more than one grey waste tank.

Motorhome – A recreational vehicle that is on a drivable chassis.  The RV is driven instead of towed behind a truck and often tows a dinghy behind it for additional exploring beyond the campground.

RV – Short for Recreational Vehicle.  More specifically, any vehicle that has its own sleeping quarters, restroom, and kitchen.

Shore Power – When your RV is hooked up to an external power source, such as a campground hookup.  Shore power often includes other external hookups such as water, sewer, and cable TV.

Toad – Another term for dinghy.

Tow Dolly



RV Dictionary was last modified on 07/25/2015 by Rick

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