Glossary A-Z of Motorhome Terms

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Safari Room

An awning that has panels which can be affixed to create a complete room protected on all sides



Name given by enthusiasts to the deluxe Microbus Splittie from 1951


Sandwich construction

A standard method of constructing the walls/ roof/floor for many coachbuit motorhomes. The sandwich for a sidewall is usually of an aluminium or glass fibre exterior, backed plywood interior and insulation filler such as Styrofoam


Sat Nav

Satellite navigation units come in many different forms, some build in, some as handheld units, add-ons for PDA's or even for the latest generation mobile phones. Prices for the cheapest units start at £150, and provide both on-screen street level positioning & voice guidance. Maps are available for the UK and most of Europe. Some of the top names are Garmin, Tom Tom and Navman, and the latest units also include optional links for live traffic information and weather information.


Screen Room

A screened enclosure attached to the exterior of an RV  provides a bug-free sitting area outside. Some screen rooms have a canvas type roof for rain protection as well.


Security Devices

Electronic alarms and tracking devices are often classified by the Thatcham Vehicle Research Centre. For more information about Thatcham apporved devices visit their website.
Also  the Sold Secure approval of devices such as wheelclamps and hitchlocks as these will have gone through meticulous testing in order to get this stamp of approval



A motor caravan which is converted by a private individual or a converter that is not recognised by some insurances. although some accept such vehicles if you shop around for an insurer that does.


Shore Power

Electricity provided by an external plug to external power source



Sometimes used for beds. Improves ventilation to mattress cushions.



Sometimes used for beds. Improves ventilation to mattress cushions



Additional living space that "slides-out" either by hydraulics, electricity or manually, when the RV is setup for camping.


Slide-out unit, or slider

Found on some American motorhomes, this is literally a slide-out section to create extra lounge space when parked up



The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders - a body which has incorporated a Motorcaravan section since 1984. Represents the motor industry at government, European, consumer group and media levels. Also operates an arbitration service for consumer disputes. Leading UK motorhome manufacturers are members of the SMMT as well as the National Caravan Council



 Type of toilet where toilet where chemicals are not used, utilising forced air system instead.


Space heater

Type of heating equipment used in the living quarters



1st generation VW transporter with the iconic split winds



Home is often considered the safest place to store your caravan or motorhome. At home, security such as a locking gate or drive post can greatly reduce caravan and motorhome theft.
Or consider using a storage site. The Caravan Storage Site Owners Association (CaSSOA)(link) regulates the standards of storage sites. 
Some insurance co offer up to a 30% discount for approved security devices fitted to your motorhome or touring caravan.


Storm Damage

Not all insurers cover storm damage to awnings and with some awnings costing in excess of £500 it is important to check that cover is included. There are companys that do cover storm damage to awnings provided the awning is covered in your sum insured.



 Panels that generally comprise the floor of a motorhome's storage area. Basement floor.


supplemental braking system:

 A separate functioning brake system designed to control the brakes of the towed vehicle to help slow and/or stop the combination of coach and towed vehicle. A motorhome's braking system is rated for opeation at GVWR -- not GCWR. Therefore, some chassis manufacturers recommend that a separate functional brake system be used when towing a vehicle that exceeds a given weight, as low as 1,000 pounds.



Usually refers to a fitting to one or both cab seats which means they can be turned around to face the rest of the living quarters when the vehicle is parked


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