You’re not alone if you’ve ever felt like you needed a dictionary or a translator app after hanging out with a group of experienced RVers. Long-time RV enthusiasts have a lingua franca that’s all their own — and conversations can sometimes require an RV lingo glossary.
That’s why we put together a list of 30 common RV lingo terms. From boondocking to mooch docking, toads to TTs, schoolies to sticks and bricks, read on for key definitions to help demystify RVing for beginners.
Camping outside a designated campground off-grid, without any electricity, sewer, or water hookups. You can boondock in a remote spot, an urban setting, a forest, a beach, or even a city. Also known as “dry” or “wild” camping.
Towing an RV using a ball and hitch on the towing vehicle.
A group of RVers that travel and camp together in groups, each with their own vehicle.
The largest, self-contained, motorized RVs; may be powered by a gas or diesel engine—usually 26 to 45 feet in length and sometimes known as coaches.
Smaller, self-contained, motorized RVs are sometimes known as camper vans.
Class C: The middle-size class of self-contained, motorized RVs. Usually, 21 to 41 feet long.
Any vehicle towed by another vehicle; may be a towed car (see “toad”) or a travel trailer (see “TT”).
Camping on public land that’s managed but doesn’t offer hookups or other amenities. Some spots may have designated sites, while other dispersed areas are open.
An adapter that lets you hook your RV up to different types of electrical outlets.
The trailer towed behind a truck with a coupler over the truck bed.
One who lives in their RV full-time, with no home base (see “sticks and bricks”).
RVs with gas-powered engines.
A generator used to provide electricity to your rig when hookups aren’t available.
The holding tank contains water used in your shower and sinks.
Staying for free on someone’s property (often family or friends), with or without electrical hookups. Also known as “driveway surfing.”
One in, one out:
A rule of thumb that says when you bring an item into the RV, an item must go out. It’s a way to keep organized in a small space.
One who spends a lot of time travelling in their RV but also has a stationary home base to return to between trips.
A towable camper that expands to create more interior space and collapses for travel.
A school bus that’s been converted into an RV.
RVers who chase the warm weather, heading south in winter and north in summer.
Surreptitiously spending the night in one’s camper while keeping lights and noises to a minimum. Some cities allow campers without occupants to park on streets overnight, and many municipalities don’t allow anyone to sleep in their RV outside legally designated sites.
Sticks and bricks:
A home base that’s in a fixed location, i.e., a home on land, not a home on wheels.
The hose that connects your holding tank to a sewer inlet.
Those who use digital technology to work while on the road. It often refers to full-timers who work for a living using the internet.
A “towed car” pulled behind an RV.
Friendly RV lingo for the RVing community; an affectionate term for a group of full-timers.
A non-motorized camper pulled by a vehicle.
A rule of thumb followed by many experienced RVers: Limit driving to 200 miles per day or less; arrive by 2 pm, so you have plenty of time to set up and enjoy the afternoon; and stay in each location at least two nights so that you can explore the area.
Parking overnight in a Walmart parking lot. (Be sure to check each store’s policy before settling in for the night!)
Nickname for those who live in stationary homes (“sticks and bricks”) during the week and venture out in their RVs on the weekends.
Whether you’re a long-time road warrior or just getting started, one thing’s for sure: RV insurance is a must. Contact us today to learn how to protect your home away from home.