50 Common RV Slang Terms To Learn Before You Hit the Road

Learn 50 of the most common RV slang terms to know before starting your next road trip. Cruise America shares RV lingo every RVer should know!
rv slang terms

You could have been workamping right now. But one thing led to another and you had to find a new pad like some sticks’n’bricks dwelling fool. So, you’d better hitch up that toad before wallydocking your rig for the night! 

You get it. Right?

From Star Trek to pro football, every subculture has its fair share of slang. And the world of RV camping is no different. 

While learning a new word in the wild can be a lot of fun, sometimes it’s best to play it cool and prove you’re in-the-know. So in honor of our 50th anniversary, we’d like to present our ultimate guide to RV slang terms. A brief read-through of these 50 common terms will let you keep up with any road warrior out there.

50 Common RV Slang Terms

A

  1. Airstream - a popular type of retro RV that looks like a polished aluminum tube

B

  1. Back-in Site - a site that needs to be backed into, the opposite of a pull-through
  2. Batwing - the TV antenna of an RV, so named because of their resemblance to a bat’s wing
  3. Blackwater (tank) - dirty waste water from toilets and the tank that holds it
  4. Boondocking - rugged, remote, and isolated RV camping, usually not in a campground and without hookups or amenities of any kind
  5. Bunkhouse - an area of an RV with bunk beds

C

  1. Camper - a generic RV slang term used for all sorts of RVs
  2. Caravan - a travel trailer. Or a group of campers traveling in a large group
  3. Coach - an RV slang term for a class A motorhome (they look like a tour bus)
  4. Curbside/Campside - the passenger’s side of an RV 

D

  1. Dinghy - usually refers to a vehicle but anything towed behind an RV can be called a dinghy
  2. Dump Station - a special area for offloading black and greywater from your RV’s tanks
  3. Dually - a special truck with 4 wheels on the rear axle used to haul RVs
  4. Dry Camping - anytime spent camping without hookups is called dry camping

F

  1. Fifth Wheel - a special travel trailer meant to be towed by a vehicle with a flatbed
  2. Fiver - RV lingo for a fifth wheel
  3. Full Hookups - a campsite offering water, electric, and sewage is said to have full hookups
  4. Full-timer - someone who lives or travels in an RV exclusively
  5. Freshwater (tank) - drinkable water from your RV’s sink and the tank that holds it

G

  1. Glamping - a cross between glamorous and camping, staying at a campground with luxurious amenities
  2. Glamper - a person who loves glamping
  3. Greywater (tank) - dirty water from sinks and showers and the tank that holds it

H

  1. Holding Tanks - the name for the tanks holding black, grey, and freshwater
  2. Honey Wagon - a portable tank that campgrounds use to empty out waste from guest’s RVs

K

  1. KOA - a popular franchise of family-friendly campgrounds, Kampgrounds of America

L

  1. Leveling - making sure the RV is flat on all sides of a site

M

  1. Moochdocking - the act of parking in front of a friend’s house or in their driveway, possibly siphoning their power for your RV
  2. Motorhome - any kind of RV that has its own engine and doesn’t need to be towed

N

  1. NFS - National Forest Service, the administrators of the nation’s 148 national forests
  2. NPS - National Park Service, the managers of all national parks, national monuments, and certain historical recreation areas

P

  1. Part-timer - people who live or travel in an RV for long stretches but also have a traditional home
  2. Pad - the name given to a parking spot for an RV on a campground (usually concrete)
  3. Potable - drinkable water, safe to consume
  4. Pop-up Camper - a type of travel trailer made of canvas that pops open and unfolds into a camper
  5. Pull-through Site - a type of RV site that you can drive straight through, usually easier than a back-in for parking

R

  1. Rig - another generic RV slang term for all kinds of RVs
  2. RV - a “recreational vehicle.” The umbrella term for any vehicle with living quarters whether it’s a motorhome or travel trailer

S

  1. Shore Power - RV lingo stolen from the boating world, power from an external source
  2. Slide - a section of an RV that extends to offer more living space
  3. Snowbird - a person who flocks south in an RV during the winter months to stay warm all year
  4. Sticks’n’bricks - a home, RV lingo used to poke fun at living in a traditional house

T

  1. Teardrop Trailer - a kind of smaller travel trailer that looks like a teardrop shape
  2. Toad - another RV slang term for something towed (get it?) behind an RV
  3. Toy Hauler - an RV with space in the back for other kinds of motorsports gear (ATVs, dirt bikes, etc.)
  4. Truck Camper - a normal pickup truck with living space mounted on the flatbed

W

  1. Wallydocking - Walmart is one of the few big chains that allow overnight parking. RVers taking advantage of this are wallydocking
  2. Winnie - RV lingo for a Winnebago
  3. Workamping - exchanging labor for the right to camp and hookups, a small amount of pay may be up for grabs too
  4.  WES - the three hookups RVers look for in campground accommodations: water, electric, sewer

Y

  1. Yamping - another RV slang term for camping in someone’s front driveway

Now that you know all the RV lingo, you’re ready to hit the road in an RV rental! Contact Cruise America to reserve an RV for your next road trip. Pick up your rental at one of our many convenient rental locations across the country and start your adventure!

Find Your Perfect RV To Rent

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A traditional motorhome with the self-contained features you expect. This economical family unit is a traditional favorite for those who want the walk-through convenience of a motorhome.

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A traditional motorhome with the self-contained features you expect, units in the USA even include a power generator. This economical family unit is a traditional favorite for those who want the walk-through convenience of a motorhome.

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Our compact plus unit is a fully self-contained RV. The floorplan features a unique rear kitchen design with all the amenities of a larger unit. The compact RV is the ideal unit for two adults of any age and a dinette folding to an extra bed allows for a child. With 6.5 foot/2 meter ceilings and walk through convenience even tall campers can enjoy the compact plus RV.

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Our compact unit is a fully self-contained RV. The floorplan features a unique rear kitchen design with all the amenities of a larger unit. The compact RV is the ideal unit for two adults of any age and a dinette folding to an extra bed allows for a child. With 6.5 foot/2 meter ceilings and walk through convenience even tall campers can enjoy the compact RV.

Features And Amenities Include:

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4
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This custom built trailer provides the freedom to setup camp and use your own vehicle to get in and out of town.  It has all the amenities of a motorhome, but provides flexibility when you need it.

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