RVing comes with jargon and terminology that can be difficult to understand at first. Before you begin your RV adventure, stock up on your RV vocabulary and know the definitions of common RV words found on blogs and forums.


Boondocking is another word for dry camping (camping minus hookups), which is common in isolated places with no campground lodging fee.


A unit of measurement that is commonly used to estimate your RV’s heating and cooling capacity.


The front part of a campervan where the driver’s and passenger’s seats are located; is also known as the cockpit.


The maximum weight limit for personal belongings that can be transported in an RV.

The captain’s chair

A van’s driver’s seat generally includes comfy features that make it more pleasant than a standard vehicle driving seat.


It’s a colloquial term for a fifth-wheel mobile home.


These are campsites in which you have access to grid power, clean water, and sewer facilities.


This part of the RV is seen in RV haulers and is used for carrying outside items.

Gray water

This is the term for all dirty water other than the one you use to flush the toilet, including from the kitchen and shower.

Holding tanks

This is the general terminology used to label any water container on your RV.

Hula skirt

A grass-like sheet that hangs at the back of a campervan and sways while driving, hence the name. It also serves as a mudguard.

Jackknife sofa

When traveling, this RV sofa can be stretched out flat to become a bed.


The RV’s internal space may be elevated above another area.


When set up for camping, these sections of an RV can be enlarged.


A hole in the roof of an RV, usually in the shower, allows natural light to enter the interior.

Toad Transport

A vehicle trailed behind your main camper to facilitate shorter daylight trips, also known as a “dinghy” at times.

Wet bath

A single bathroom construction with a shower on top and a toilet with a lid on the bottom.


This is when people camp in a front yard or any other residential area.

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