Glossary A-Z of Motorhome Terms

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Back In

A slot in an RV park with a single entrance, designed to be backed into with the RV.


Base vehicle

The vehicle - usually either a panel van or a chassis cab - that provides the base for a motorhome conversion. Leading base vehicle suppliers include Citroen, Fiat, Ford, Mercedes, Peugeot, Renault and Volkswagen



A common term for a series of low-level exterior-access lockers on a American RV motorhomes.


Battery Charger

Required to keep a leisure battery charged. Most motorhomes include a charging facility which operates from/via the mains hook-up, and slso have the ability to recharge from the motorcaravan's or towcar's alternator while traveling. Less commonly, solar panels, portable generators or even small windmills are used to provide power fpr recharging.


Batwing Antenna

TV antenna on the roof of  RV is characterized by two horizontal elements. Batwing antennas are generally raised and rotated with a hand crank from inside the RV living compartment



Refers to the number of people a caravan or motorcaravan can accommodate for sleeping.


Bi - Pot

Bi- Pot is a simple, strong self-contained fresh water flush portable toilet. A very simple system that is both strong and easy to clean. A quality motorhome product.


Black Water

Water from a toilet system held in an onboard holding tank until a means of disposal is available


Blown air heating

A method of heating the living quarters of a motorhome. Common trade names are Carver, Truma and Propex.



 boondocking is camping far away from civilization without  facilities such as water or electricity; roughing it. In a  general sense it  means camping or parking anywhere without facilities, relying strictly on the comforts provided by the RV. Many RVers refer to spending the night in an interstate rest area, shopping center parking lot, or truck stop, as boondocking.


Brake Actuator

A device mounted under the dash of a towing vehicle to control the braking system of the trailer. Most Brake Actuators a based on a time delay, the more time the tow vehicle brakes are applied the "harder" the trailer brakes are applied.


Brake Controller

a device mounted under the dash of a towing vehicle to control the braking system of the trailer. The Brake Controller senses the amount of braking force of the tow vehicle and applied a proportional force to the trailer braking system.


Brake Controller

Electronic device mounted in the tow vehicle to control the trailer brakes.  connected to the tow vehicle brake system to sense when braking needs to be applied to the trailer. It has a lever for manually engaging the trailer brakes


Breakaway Switch

A safety device that activates the trailer brakes in the event a trailer becomes accidentally disconnected from its hitch while traveling.


Break-away System

Referring to a system that allows the "towed vehicle" to break-away from the towing vehicle in the event of an accident, an add-on safety feature.


British thermal unit (Btu):

The quantity of heat needed to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. Air conditioners and furnaces are rated in Btus.



A sleeping place, usually higher up than a conventional bed. Often (but not always) this can be folded or removed to provide additional living space



A brand of motorhome, see our manufacturer links



A personnel carrier but commonly used term for all Splitties or Bays campervans



Gas usually in blue bottles. Most commonly used by UK motorcaravanners, although many switch to propane in severely cold weather conditions.


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