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These terms and references that are common in the USA . If you would like to add terms and references used in other countries, click HERE.


amp - Short for "ampere". If your solar panels produce 15 amps of power an hour and your computer draws 2.5 amps of power an hour, you are producing more energy than you consume.

basement storage - Storage in outside compartments of motorhomes. Not usually found in Class B motorhomes.

black water - Refers to waste water containing human waste

boondocking - Camping without access to outside utilities, such as water and electricity. Same as "dry camping".

catamaran - A boat with a double hull. Each hull may contain sleeping berths or storage areas. Image...

Class A - Designation for a motorhome built on a bus chassis. They are the longest and can be luxurious.

Class B - Designation for a motorhome built on a van chassis. They are the smallest and can be parked in a regular parking spot.

Class B+ - A motorhome built on a van chassis but with an enlarged living area.

Class C - Designation for a motorhome built on a truck chassis, usually with an extension over the cab. They are sized between Class A and Class B motorhomes.

dead reckoning - the process of calculating one's position, especially at sea, by estimating the direction and distance traveled

davit - A cranelike device used on a ship for supporting, raising, and lowering boats, anchors, etc

diesel - In the US diesel fuel is generally more expensive than gasoline / petrol. However, fuel mileage is better than with gas. In the US all diesel vehicles built after 2010 must use an additive called DEF to reduce exhaust emissions.

diesel pusher
- A Class A motorhome powered by a diesel engine.

dinghy - A small boat attached to a another boat too large to land on shore. Image...

DEF - Diesel Exhaust Fluid. Used to reduce harmful exhaust emissions from diesel engines. Required in US since 2010. More...

DIY - Do It Yourself

dry camping - Camping without access to any external utilities, such as water and electricity. Also called boondocking or off the grid.

dumping station - A location found at a campground that allows dumping of blackwater.

multiplex wiring - Wiring for built-in electrical devices that connects to a central control panel.

GPS - Global Positioning Satellite. Refers to a device that uses satellite signals to navigate. Used on both land and sea.

gray water - Refers to waste water from showers, doing dishes, laundry, etc. Does not contain human waste.

honey wagon  - A portable wagon on wheels used to carry black water from an RV to a dumping station.

inverter - Allows the use of 110 volt appliances using 12 volt batteries.

jackknife sofa - A sofa that folds open to make a bed. Video...

LPG - The acronym for Liquid Propane Gas.

macerator - Used in some RV toilets to churn up human waste for easier emptying.

refrigerator - RV refrigerators often work off multiple power sources, such as shore power, 12 volt batteries, and liquid propane gas. Some RVs use compression refrigerators, which do not work off of propane, but can run off of shore power, batteries and the vehicle alternator.

sailing terms - Sailors have their own language. Click HERE for an extensive glossary.

shore power - Electrical power that is available at marinas and campgrounds. Many RVs have an outlet on the outside to connect to shore power.

stealth camping - Camping unobtrusively in places that are not used for camping, such as parking lots at shopping centers.

toad - From 'towed'. Something that you tow behind your RV, for example, a car.

watt - A measure of power. Click HERE for details relating to RVs.



Click HERE for more terms.


Update: 31 July 2017