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Basic RV Terms and Definitions



Are you new to RVing? If so, chances are that you've noticed a certain lexicon of words and phrases that other RV enthusiasts throw about regularly. Do you not want to appear like a newbie, but have no clue what people are talking about? Look no further! Here is a crash course in RV terminology 101.


Dry Camping - Camping without hookups for electricity, water or sewage.


Boondocking - Dry camping in remote areas, typically with no fees associated for camping.


Moochdocking - Dry camping for free on someone else's property, like a driveway belonging to a friend or relative.


Gray Water - Waste water that goes down the sink, shower or bath.


Black Water - Waste water and waste that goes down the toilet.


Shore Power - Electrical hookup for power, often in the absence of water and waste water hookup.


Full Hookup (FHU) - A campsite that has RV hookup for electricity, water, and sewage.


Converter - A device that changes 110v AC power into 12v DC power.


Inverter - A device that changes 12v battery power to 110v AC power.




Dinghy or Toad - A vehicle that is towed behind an RV.


Dry Weight - The weight of an RV without any fuel, fresh water, waste water, propane, passengers or supplies.


Dual Electrical System (DES) - An RV electrical system that runs both hookup electricity and/or self-contained battery or generator power.


Dump Station - Location where gray water and black water tanks can be emptied.


Full-Time (Full-Timer, Full-Timing) - Living full-time out of an RV.


Generator - A power supply that is run by gasoline, diesel, or propane to provide self-contained 110v AC electrical power to an RV.


Honey Wagon or Honey Dipper - A mobile service that will empty black water and/or gray water tanks from where you are camped if sewage hookup or dump station is not available.


Hula Skirt - A skirt installed on the rear bumper of a motorhome to prevent debris kick-up while driving.


Kingpin - A device that connects a fifth wheel to a towing vehicle.



Reefer - Slang for refrigerator.


Rig - Slang for RV.


Self-Contained - An RV that is able to supply water, drain, and electrical needs without hookups.


Snow Bird - Someone who travels in an RV to warm climates during winter months.


Toy Hauler - An RV capable of indoor storage of all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), motorcycles, golf carts, or other large recreational equipment.



Winterizing - The process of making an RV safe for winter storage.


Workamping (Workamper) - Working remotely to operate, contribute to, or volunteer either on-line or on-site, while living and traveling in an RV.