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Guest Author: Kimberly & Jerry Peterson

Amps - 20, 30 & 50 Amp is the most common used for your electric usage when you hookup at the parks.

Black Tank and Black Water - A holding tank located under your rig that holds the toilet waste, also called black water.

Blacktop Boondocking - This is a fairly new term and refers to boondocking but in a very different way. This is just a temporary stay, usually one night at Wal-Mart’s or Casinos, and anywhere else that you are actually camping on the blacktop. It is important to understand the difference between the two types of boondocking and the proper etiquette to be used. For Blacktop Boondocking it is never appropriate to set up camp, no letting out awnings, no barbecues or lawn chairs, no stabilizers on the asphalt, absolutely no generators and even the use of your slide outs are questionable. It is always a good thing to do some business in the establishment either by shopping, gambling or eating at their restaurants.
BLM - Bureau of Land Management - Public land primarily located in the West part of the country where you may boondock for free. See website for more information

Boondocking - Also referred to as dry camping. Among RVers there are several definitions, for the sake of argument we will define the most popular. Camping without any hookups, no water, electric or sewer, using only your rig to provide what you need. Most rigs are set up to boondock for a few days while others have been converted to be able to do it for a longer period of time.

Bus Conversion - A bus, either transit types or a school bus that has been converted into a motorhome.

Class A - This version is a motorhome that usually has the wide open front windows, (fish tank look) as we like describing it. They usually range from 30’ to 45’ in length.

Class B - This one is built using a conventional van that has a raised roof. They are usually smaller then the other rigs but the gas mileage well makes up for the size.

Class C - This is considered a motorhome that is built on a truck chassis with an attached cab section, usually characterized by a distinctive cab-over sleeping bunk or entertainment area.

Converter - A converter is a device that converts 120 volt A/C (alternating current) to 12 volt DC (direct current). The RV devices mostly run on 12 volt DC power that is supplied by the battery, which allows the RV to function independently. When "shore power" is available, the converter changes the voltage from 120 to 12 volt to supply the appliances and to recharge the battery.

Dinghy/Toad - Vehicle that you tow behind your motor home.

Dump Station - A facility for dumping or emptying your black water and gray water holding tanks.

FHU - Full Hook Up which in most cases is water, electric and sewer and sometimes include cable and phone as well.

Fifth Wheel style RVFifth Wheel Travel Trailer - Designed to be towed by a pickup or medium duty truck equipped with a special hitch mounted in the truck bed.

Fiver - A term used to describe a Fifth Wheel Travel Trailer.

Full-timer - A person who travels full time and their only home is on wheels. Click here for more about full-timing.

Generator - An engine powered device fuelled by gasoline or diesel fuel, and sometimes propane, for generating 120-volt AC power.

Gray Tank and Gray Water - A holding tank attached under your rig that holds the water (considered gray) that comes from your sinks and shower.

Hi-Lo Trailers - This type of trailer is when the top section of walls and its roof can be lowered over its bottom section to reduce its height for towing and can usually be towed by any type of vehicle.

Holding Tanks - There are three different holding tanks, they are fresh water tank, gray water tank and black water tank. The fresh water tank holds fresh water that can be stored for use when a water hookup is not available. The gray water tank holds the waste water from the sinks and shower. The black water tank holds the waste from the toilet.

Honey Wagon - Is a portable holding tank that is on wheels that you dump your rig’s tanks into and roll it to a dump station to empty.

Hookups - The major types of hookups are electrical, water and sewer but may also include telephone and cable TV in some campgrounds.

Inverter - An inverter is a device that changes 12 volt battery power to 120 volt AC power. It is used when boondocking to power certain 120 VAC only devices like a microwave oven. The amount of available power depends on the storage capacity of the batteries and the wattage rating of the inverter.

LP Gas / Propane - Liquefied Petroleum Gas. LP gas is used to fuel appliances in the RV, such as the stove, oven, water heater, heater and refrigerator. Propane tanks are usually rated as pounds or gallons.

Pop-Up - Also known as a Folding Camping Trailer, is a light-weight unit with sides that collapse for towing and storage. Suitable for towing by most vehicles.

Rig - What many RVers call their units.

RV - Short for Recreation Vehicle, a generic term for all pleasure vehicles which contain living accommodations. Multiple units are RVs and persons using them are RVers.

Self Contained - A rig that needs no external electrical, drain or water hookup. Thus, it can park overnight anywhere. Of course, self-contained units can also hook up to facilities when at campgrounds.

Shore Power - Plugging in to an outlet for use in your rig.

Toy Hauler - A motorhome, 5th wheel or travel trailer designed to be part living space & part garage for storing things such as motorcycles and ATV's.

Workamper hard at workTravel Trailer - A pull behind trailer with living space that is designed to be towed many different vehicles. Most are totally hard sided but some have soft fold outs (usually beds).

Truck Camper - A camper shell unit that is affixed to the bed or chassis of a pickup truck.

WiFi - Wireless Internet that is provided by many campgrounds that you are able to connect to with your laptop (if your laptop is set up for it).

Workamper - A person that works while traveling. More about Workamping can be found here.

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