RV Jargon

Light Duty Truck

Personal truck designed for light duty, typically rated at one ton and below. Light trucks are suitable for towing small to medium trailers. A few examples: Chevrolet Silverado 3500, Ford F-250, Dodge RAM 1500. For additional details see Truck Classification.

Limit Switch

Furnace safety switch, a normally closed switch that opens if it gets to hot, opening turns off power to the gas valve and igniter board.


Liquefied Petroleum Gas, commonly written as "LP gas". Two examples of LPG are propane and butane. LPG is heavier than air in gas form and about half the weight of water in liquid form.

Medium Duty Truck (MDT)

Commercial truck designed for medium duty, typically rated above one ton. Medium duty trucks are built with heavier frames, brakes, and transmission compared to light trucks. A few examples: Chevrolet Kodiak C4500, Ford F-450/F-550, International 4200. For additional details see Truck Classification.

Motor Home (MH, Motor Coach)

A motor vehicle built on a truck or bus chassis and designed to serve as self-contained living quarters for recreational travel. Also commonly spelled as motorhome.


Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price


Net Carrying Capacity (NCC) is the maximum number of persons, personal cargo, optional equipment, and Tongue or King Pin weight that can be added to an RV. The formula for NCC is GVWR - UVW. NCC differs slightly from the more widely used "payload" term, by including full fresh water and propane tank weights.

One Ton

Truck rating originally conceived to indicate cargo carrying capacity of one ton (2,000 lbs). Today, tonnage rating is no longer an accurate indication of cargo carrying capacity - it is more of a relational indication among trucks in different categories. Common one-on pickup truck models are the Chevrolet 3500, Dodge 3500, Ford F-350, and GMC 3500.

Park Model

A travel trailer that requires park facilities to function. It lacks holding tanks and dual-voltage appliances, requiring to be plugged into water, sewage, and electrical facilities. A park model is more of a small mobile home than a recreational vehicle, in appearance and function.


Payload is a weight rating. It is the maximum weight that persons plus cargo should never exceed.

Pop-Up Trailer (Folding Trailer)

Small, light-weight trailer that folds or collapses into a low profile, suitable for towing behind light vehicles such as cars, SUV's, and mini pickup trucks. For additional details see Popup Trailer on RV Types page.

Pressure Regulator

Device installed on water hose attached to city water to limit the water pressure entering the RV. Most regulators limit water pressure to 40 psi.


A slot in an RV park with an entrance and an exit, designed to pull the RV in one end and out the other, without having to back up.


Motor home with rear mounted engine. Most pushers are equipped with diesel engines, but some gas engine models are also available.

Pyro (Exhaust Temperature Gauge)

Gauge indicating engine exhaust gas temperature as measured by a probe inserted into the gas flow. Temperature is generally measured directly after the exhaust manifold or after the turbo. Useful in preventing engine overheating.

Rear Differential (Rear End)

A set of gears found in the rear axle of vehicles, designed to distribute drive shaft power to the two wheels. It applies power to both wheels while allowing each to spin at different rates during cornering.

Recreational Vehicle

Vehicle or trailer with living accommodations used for traveling and recreational activities.


Rear Gross Axle Weight (GAW) is the actual weight placed on the rear axle.


Rear Gross Axle Weight Rating (RGAWR) is the maximum number that the GAW of the rear axle should never exceed.


pecial equipment or gear used for a particular purpose. In the RV world it generally refers to an RV or truck.

RV (Recreational Vehicle)

Vehicle or trailer with living accommodations used for traveling and recreational activities.


Abbreviation for the RV Consumer Group organization.

Shore Power

A boating term adopted by the RV community to mean an electrical power hookup supplied to the RV by a fixed, external source (not by a portable generator). A full hookup RV site has shore power.

Slide-In Truck Camper (Truck Camper)

Living quarters designed to slide into the bed of a truck. The camper is fastened to the truck frame during transport and slides out onto its own legs at the camp site.

Slide-Out (Slide)

A compartment added to an RV to increase interior space. It slides into the body during travel and slides out when parked.


A person who moves from cold weather to warm in an RV, generally staying a season.

Solar Panel

Device containing an array of solar cells which convert sunlight to electricity. Typically mounted on the roof of RV's and used for charging the batteries.

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