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Old 11-27-2006, 04:25 AM   #1
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Default RV Terminology T through W

RV Terminology T through W
By Mark Polk

I guess because I work in the RV Industry and around RVs almost everyday I take some things for granted. One of those things is RV terminology. When you hear these terms everyday you just assume that everybody understands them. For the new RVer terminology may be a bit confusing. To help clear things up, I’d like to offer some common RV terms that you will encounter during your RVing experiences.


Tag Axle - A non-drive axle located behind the rear drive axle that is used to support the weight of the RVs overhang.

Three Way Refrigerator - An RV refrigerator that can operate off of 12-volt DC, 120-volt AC and LP gas.

Toad - Another term used for the vehicle towed behind a motor home. Also called a dinghy.

Tongue Jack - The jack mounted on the A frame of the trailer that supports the front of the trailer and is used to raise and lower the trailer when hitching and unhitching.

Tongue Weight -Tongue Weight or Hitch Weight is the amount of weight pressing down on the vehicle’s hitch from the coupler of the trailer when the trailer is fully loaded for travel. For trailers that weigh over 2,000 pounds TW should be 10 to 15 percent of the loaded trailer weight.

Tote tank - A portable tank used to dump the contents of a holding tank in to and then transport it to a dump station to be emptied.

Tow Bar - A tow bar is used to connect a towed vehicle to a motor home when the vehicle is towed with all four wheels on the ground.

Tow Dolly - A trailer used to tow a vehicle behind a motor home when the vehicle cannot be towed with all four wheels on the ground. Two of the vehicles wheels are on the tow dolly and two are on the road surface.

Toy Hauler - An RV that has a ramp door on the back and cargo space to load motorcycles, ATVs or other toys inside.

Transmission Oil Cooler - A small heat exchanger or radiator designed to protect your transmission from overheating. Automatic transmission fluid circulates through the oil cooler and is cooled by the airflow.

Travel Trailer - An RV that is towed by a car, van, or pickup, by means of a hitch. Travel Trailers are a popular choice among RVers because of the wide array of floor plans available. Whether it’s for two people or eight you can find a model that will suit your needs. They range in size from 15 to 37 feet and offer all the comforts of home. They can be unhitched from the tow vehicle when you arrive at your destination.

Truck Camper - Truck campers are campers loaded onto the bed of a pickup truck. The tailgate is removed and the truck camper is attached to the truck with tie-downs. This makes for a very versatile RV that can access back roads and remote areas other RVs can’t get to.

TT - Abbreviation for travel trailer.

TV - Abbreviation for tow vehicle.


Water Pressure Regulator - A water pressure regulator is used to prevent too much water pressure from entering the RV and damaging the plumbing system. You attach the pressure regulator to the campground water supply and then attach one end of your drinking hose to the regulator and the other end to the city water inlet on the RV.

Weight Carrying Hitch - When all of the tongue weight of the trailer is supported by the hitch itself. WC hitches are normally used for lighter trailer applications. Too much weight directly on the hitch can affect the steering and handling of the tow vehicle.

Weight Distributing Hitch - when additional hardware is used to distribute a percentage of the trailers tongue weight to the axles of the tow vehicle and the axles of the trailer. WD hitches are used to tow heavier trailers and allow the tow vehicle to handle better. Also referred to as an equalizing hitch.

Wheelbase - The distance between the centerlines of the primary axles of a vehicle.

Wide Body - An RV that is wider than 8’. The majority of RVs are 8’ wide. A wide body RV is usually 8’ 6” wide.

This list is not all-inclusive, but if you learn these terms you will soon be understanding RV terminology.

Happy Camping,


Copyright 2006 by Mark J. Polk owner of RV Education 101

RV Expert Mark Polk, seen on TV, is the producer & host of America's most highly regarded series of DVD's, videos, books, and e-books.

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