/Understanding Motorhome Jargon

Understanding Motorhome Jargon

Understanding Motorhome Jargon

So, what does understanding motorhome jargon all mean? Here are some explanations to help you understand things better, if you cannot find the right motorhome that is a job in itself. We add this FAQ jargon buster for FREE. Hence, the motorhome concierge idea is on hand to help you. So feel free to ask us about motorhome jargon “happy to help”. There are many different dimensions and weights to understand especially, payloads, mass in running order and other technical references. If you need help, then by all means contact us here on motorhomes campervans. Before you ask us about VAT FREE Sales. All new motorhomes are subject to VAT, at the moment in time it is 20%. There were VAT free sales for genuine disabled people. Today, there remains a lot of uncertainty and many dealers will not do VAT free sales.

Now how do we begin to answer so many questions about understanding motorhome jargon? Well we decided to give it our best shot alphabetically. If we have missed something and we are bound to have done that. Many people get very frustrated that they cannot find an answer to a motorhome or campervan question. We want to drive those problems away and sooner that later. If you have a question or jargon buster, then please let us know. You can contact motorhomes campervans by email. We will add anything that helps people. We like to help people find things ASAP, that is jargon for as soon as possible! Don’t you just love when something works!

You may well want to know something very simple or not quite as simple as you thought. There is no doubt it may be important at the time. However, if it is to do with anything gas or electric or safety ask an expert! We will always try and pass on an answer. But, when it comes to safety first we will flag it up in red. So, please do not rely on safety things ask an expert at a motorhome dealers first! Here are a few guidelines what we are doing;

  1. Safety first
  2. motorhome general questions
  3. guiding to a supplier
  4. motorhome tips
  5. accessories
  6. retrofit specialist
  7. who is questions
  8. service work
  9. motorhome dealers
  10. motorhome manufacturers

Motorhome Jargon A to E

A Class

A luxury top of the range motorhome. A-class motorhomes weigh between 3.5 and 7 tonnes. Make sure that your licence entitlements are in order. Certainly before committing to buy one. However, many manufacturers now produce A-class motorhomes under 3.5-tonnes. Also, make sure that you check the payload is sufficient for your needs.


Automatic energy selection, this is found on fridges. It enables them to automatically switch between 12V, 240V and gas. Something that makes life a little easier.


Anti locking braking system. This braking system has been round a long time. It would be a little difficult to stop a motorhome without it. As with many cars and motorhomes it comes standard now.

Air Con

Air conditioning.This also may be found in the cab and in the actual habitation area of the motorhome. Many would not leave home without it in summer. There is no doubt when driving and keeping cool makes a difference. Having air con, in a motorhome habitation area, is at times heaven sent.


ALKO chassis are one of the leading chassis makers and many motorhomes are built on there platformes. ALKO are one of the largest in Europe and provide options to many motorhome manufacturers.


Awnings come in many shapes and sizes. Some are free standing as an extension to space. Many are in a form of attachment to provide cover and shade outside the motorhome. Many motorhomes have factory fitted awning, with some electrically operated.

B Class

American term for a size of Motorhome (RV). The B class motorhome is a smaller version on an A class motorhome. Ideal for a first time buyer to get used to the size of a motorhome.


The number of beds in the motorhome. The size of berths are worth taking down, as some layouts and berths take up space. This is important when planning who will be using and sleeping in the motorhome.

Bike Racks

The bike rack has become a very popular feature on a motorhome for carrying one or more bikes. As the popularity of cycling continues to grow, so does the need for bike racks. There are some very secure and safety bike racks now available.

Black Waste

Toilet waste stored in either a removable tank or cassette. Making sure that you handle the black waste and empty in the right place is important. Sometimes referred to grey waste.


The bluetooth connection method has developed to provide quick connectivity to your mobile device. Also, used in many different forms of applience connections. A simple way to remain in touch with others.

Captains Chair

The captain’s chair is a standard design that has been around for a very long time. The ideal relaxing position using the arm rest is well know for comfort. Stand-alone seats that have a swivel base and arm rests are also referred to as captains chairs.

Cassette Toilet

The cassette toilet has to be one of the most cleaver inventions for waste control. The waste is captured and contained in a sealed container. With chemicals breaking down the waste and making it easy to empty.


Most motorhomes manufacturers have a coachbuilt range. The coachbuilt is built on chassis like on a coach. Varying in sizes, designs and layouts the coachbuilt motorhome remains very popular.

Corner steadies

Making sure that when you park up your motorhome is on the level. The corner steadies are easy to use via a wind down handle. They simply drop down supports to stop suspension movement, when parked up.


A dinette is part of many layouts and very popular style for motorhomes when wanting to dine. The seating layout with table and twin seats provide the perfect place to eat.


The DM refers the dis-mountable body you can leave on a campsite. Sometimes, they are like trailers or a fifth wheel arrangement. The idea is simple that provide the use of the vehicle as well as remaining in your campsite slot.


The UK has a large administration of all sort of vehicles including motorhomes and campervans. The driver and vehicle licensing agency provides a wide range of services.

Electric hook up

The most important thing not to forget is the electric hook up lead. In fact, it is always worth carrying a spare one with you. Many get left behind on campsites. They connect to the electrical sockets. Some are standard fittings whilst some are special cables plug in for electric supply.


When the washroom is at the rear of the motorhome. Some refer to them as EB end bathroom layouts are popular and vary in sizes.


The cooking all at the rear is what many people proffer. Keeping all of the cooking smells at the rear of the motorhome. EK end kitchen layouts work well if adjacent to the rear door and eating outside.


There are some different types of safety features. The ELCB earth leakage contact breaker is a good safety device. Many have trip switches and are close to the control panels.


The way manufacturers sometimes refer to the basic price of the motorhome. The ex works price is what it says on the fact sheet, an ex works price. Pricing jargon excludes on-the-road costs, such as road fund license, delivery charge and number plates.

Motorhome Jargon F to P


The FB has 2 meanings the fixed bed layout or the French Bed with a curved end. Both types of fixed beds remain very popular. Many proffer a fixed or French bed layout. This is because, they do not have to be made up every night.


The FR is usually found on a campervan and may be also referred as a high roof. Fixed roof campervans are all about being able to stand up in. The idea is all about being able to cook inside the camper.

Fresh Water Tank

The size of the freshwater tanks vary on different models. Most are slightly more than waste water tanks. All fresh water tanks are for water to be stored for washing and cooking.


The most important thing in any motorhome or campervan is for safety. Having a flame failure device for gas appliances, this is to stop gas escaping into a vehicle if a flame goes out.

Fridge – Three Way Fridge

Many motorhome fridges have the ability to run on mains electricity, gas and 12V leisure battery. The three way fridge is on lots of motorhomes and is an ideal way to maintain fridge and freezer temperatures.


The word glamping is a posh word for having the very best on offer. This is really all about getting the very best way to go on a motorhome holiday! Taking luxury with you when in the outdoors, is what glamping is all about.

Grey Waste

As with black water the terminology of grey waste ie dirty water from sink, bathroom. This is not the black toilet waste held in a cassette. This is the grey water that has drained into the waste water tank. This usually is emptied from the motorhomes underneath.

Habitation Checks

The habitation check is all about making sure that your motorhome is in good working order. This is not the mechanical service. But, this does include the safety aspects of checking gas and electric appliances. Draining and cleaning the tanks and making sure all the appliances, heating etc is working correctly. Habitation checks also, are to keep motorhome warranty up to date.


As with a fixed roof, the HT high top roof conversions are to allow standing room inside the campervan mainly. The standing room provides for someone to cook and use the facility easily.


Liquid petroleum gas alternative fuel to gas. The real way to help the planet is to use LPG both economically as well. More motorhomes are mooving towards this way to fuel a motorhome.

Lay Out

The lay out is all about how you want to find things and a good layout helps sell motorhomes. How things are arranged in the motorhome, becomes a personal choice. Selecting the layout that fits your needs may be easy but sometimes people want a change of layout.

Leisure Battery

Many times when parked up you are using the leisure battery. Often referred to as a second battery. The batteries charge as you go along. Many are power saving and used to power 12V lights, electrical devices saving the main vehicle battery.


Low profile motorhomes are a popular alternative to that of a coachbuilt motorhome. The difference being the overcab on the conventional coach built motorhome is dispensed with. This then helps to allow extra storage. The lower profile is different in appearance with sleek looks. This also provides lower fuel consumption. The low profile coach built motorhome is ideal vehicle for two people who want space.

LPG – Tank

From having to have gas bottles, the whole idea of bottles, is becoming a thing of the past. Liquid Petroleum Gas is now held in a tank usually under the motorhome.


The fact is that because of the whole of Europe, drives on the right side of the road. This makes nearly all motorhomes LHD left hand drive. In the UK right hand drive is standard and the most popular choice.

Maximum Gross Weight

The maximum weight a motorhome can be loaded up to. Accordingly, the gross vehicle weight (GVWR), or gross vehicle mass (GVM) is the maximum operating weight/mass of a vehicle. This is specified by the motorhome manufacturers. This is also, including the vehicle’s chassis, body, engine, engine fluids, fuel, accessories, driver, passengers and cargo. However, excluding that of any trailers.

Over Cab Bed

The overcab bed remains a very popular layout. This is because it may be used two fold. As extra storage and as a permanently made up bed. Located over the cab of coachbuilt motorhome. The overhang has to be taken into consideration.

Panel Van Conversion

The driving force in panel van conversion. Has to be the converting of vans more than campervans. Simply taking a van and fitting it out into motorhome specification. This has come from converting the humble panel van. Vehicles that are converted and started life as a panel van! Many makes have become popular the Peugeot Boxer, the Fiat Ducato van and many more.


Payload is a dimension of weight for a motorhome. The gross vehicle weight rating better known as (GVWR) or gross vehicle mass (GVM). This is the maximum operating weight/mass of a vehicle. This is as specified by the motorhome manufacturer. This is including the vehicle’s chassis, body, engine, engine fluids, fuel, accessories, driver, passengers and cargo. However, excluding any trailers.


The weight of any motorhome dictates that they will need PAS (Power assisted steering).This makes maneuvering the motorhome easy. Especially, useful when in tight spaces and parking.

Pop Top

The Pop Top is what it says on the tin a pup up roof. This usually is the space for an extra bed inside campervans and van conversions. Also, very easy to use, it has canvas sides with ventilation zipp windows. An ideal place to sleep on hot nights.

Motorhome Jargon S to W


Statutory off road notification, SORN applies to any vehicle taxed on or after 31 January 1998. If it is not taxed, with a current road fund licence. The vehicle must be declared off the road. This takes into consideration that the vehicle is in storage. Bit off the road. Administered by the DVLA.


The skirt panels are built around the lower edge of a motorhome. They are used as additional locker space and are often used as storage areas. They are accessed from both inside and outside the motorhome in some cases. Referred to as skirt lockers, they add storage options for quick access from outside.

Roof Light

Many motorhomes have conventional LED lighting fitted. This does not provide fresh air and lighting. However, the roof light or sky roof does both. The window in the roof let’s light in and provides ventilation.


Right hand drive, simply the driving position for motorhomes driving on the left hand side of the roads in certain companies.


Rising roof an ideal way to provide space and headroom in a motorhomes.


American term for a motorhome in the USA recreational vehicle! RV certainly known as large motorhomes and very spacious.


Twin benches are an ideal space saving way to use as beds and as lounge seats.

Thetford Toilet

The most common type of motorhome toilet made by Thetford. They are space saving and used in a lot of motorhomes.

Traveling Seats

The travelling seats are all about being legal to travel and sit on in safety. With seat belts fitted that are approved for traveling.

Van Conversion

The van conversion market has grown immensely. Quite simply taking a panel van and get it converted into motorhome. This is all about converting panel vans and small, medium and extra long wheel bases. Converted panel vans are carried out on all sorts of panel vans. Many manufacturers now provide all sorts of cabs to convert such as Peugeot Boxer.

Waste Water Tank

The waste water tank is usually fitted under the vehicle. Easily operational, to be emptied usually buy a pull leaver or drain plug. The tank holds wastewater from the sink, basin and shower.


Many motorhomes are now good to go out in the winter. Many are tested to experience extreme cold and freezing conditions. Grade 3 winterisation making your motorhome winter proofed. This is a set of measurement at special centres who test winterisation on motorhomes. Retro fit accessories are available like tank blankets and many pipe insulation materials.

Understanding Motorhome Jargon
Understanding Motorhome Jargon
By |2018-12-20T14:09:30+00:00December 18th, 2018|Comments Off on Understanding Motorhome Jargon

About the Author:

Yes, it works well I told you so! Here at motorhomes campervans .net we like to try and be that bit different. So, after 30 years flogging cars we discover motorhomes and as they say the "rest is history"! When it comes down to motorhome articles, motorhome buying can be a very large subject, With the likes of motorhomes for sale and where to find them. We set out not just to track motorhomes for sale, but, link to where to find good honest motorhome advice. Especially, for first time buyers and how to find motorhome finance and other key parts of the motorhome supply chain. We hope you find some motorhome blogs that are topical and helpful. That is what I want to see happen. Please let us know anything that will help any motorhome owner or potential customer. Regards John