Understanding Motorhome Jargon

How do we begin to answer so many questions about understanding motorhome jargon? We decided to give it our best shot alphabetically as we may well have missed something we are bound to have done that. Many people get frustrated that they cannot find an answer to a motorhome or campervan question. We want to drive those problems away, sooner than later. If you have a question or jargon buster, then please let us know. Just contact motorhomes, campervans by email. We will add anything that helps people. We like to help people find things ASAP, jargon for as soon as possible! Don’t you love when something works? When wanting to know something about motorhomes or campervans? There is motorhome jargon that is not quite as simple as first thought? No doubt, important, at the time with gas or electric safety, that first call is to ask for an expert who is qualified to help. Answering questions on what we know about things is OK. However, when it comes to any safety questions, we flag them up as dangerous? Therefore please do not rely on safety question answers. Please ask an expert at a motorhome dealer first a few guidelines for what questions arise.

  1. motorhome questions about the safety
  2. finding a supplier who has an answer
  3. motorhome tips
  4. motorhome accessories
  5. retrofit motorhome specialist
  6. service work on motorhomes
  7. motorhome dealers
  8. motorhome manufacturers

Motorhome Jargon A to E


Actual total weight

Motorhome contents when loaded that includes clothing and water in tanks.



The number of beds in the motorhome for people to sleep in.

Blown an air heating system

That blows heat through a ducting in the motorhome.


Caravan and motorhome club

Providing related services to members offering support and sales facilities online.

Camping and caravanning club

For national members a club that sponsors motorhome shows and events.


Chemical disposal point

Wastewater and chemical drainage often found on campsites and filling stations.


Caravan registration

Identification scheme to check on ownership and thefts of motorhomes and caravans.


Certificated campsites certification

That grades the facilities being used by members in general.


DP Diesel engines

Powering motorhomes virtually all motorhomes have diesel engines.

DH Diesel heating

Using the diesel to heat motorhomes and campervans.



Electric hook up points and cables

Found on sale at camp shops and motorhome accessory shops.

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 to 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 varies on different models. Most are slightly more than wastewater tanks. All freshwater 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 the sink, bathroom. This is not the black toilet waste held in a cassette. This is the greywater that has drained into the wastewater 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 a 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 are 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 moving towards this way to fuel a motorhome.

Lay Out

The layout 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 coach-built motorhome. The difference being the over cab 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 an 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 too. 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 over-cab 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 coach built motorhome. The overhang has to be taken into consideration.


Panel Van Conversion

The driving force in a 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.


The payload is a dimension of weight for a motorhome. The gross vehicle weight rating better is 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 manoeuvring 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 the 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. A 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 motorhome.


American term for a motorhome in the USA recreational vehicle! RV is 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.

Travelling Seats

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

Van Conversion

The van conversion market has grown immensely. Quite simply taking a panel van and get it converted into a motorhome. This is all about converting panel vans and small, medium and extra-long wheelbases. 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 wastewater 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. Retrofit accessories are available like tank blankets and many pipe insulation materials.

Motorhome Jargon Van Conversions

Just what is a van conversion? Quite simply, it was a standard panel van, that left the factory as a van! Yes, a plain old white van man, was destined to drive it. Then along came a clever van man, who fitted a bed for working away. Hey presto, before you knew it he had fitted a kitchen and a shower! The van conversion is just what it says on the tin a “van conversion”! They are ideal dual-purpose vehicles. So, now having specialist, van converters, making van conversions for a bespoke customer. A van conversion is all, part of what is a very popular way of motorhome/van conversion travel!

Motorhome Jargon Van Conversions

When you begin to understand that a chassis for a motorhome may be extended. Then the word AL KO becomes clearer. There are companies like AL KO, who specialise in making chassis for motorhomes. The chassis cab, has been part of may commercial vehicles success over virtually decades. Popular manufacturers have seen the potential of sales via motorhome chassis and cabs. Fiat, Peugeot, Mercedes benz, VW and many specialising in motorhome chassis. The thing is simple, going way back to coach builders. Yes, it meant what it said on the tin, coach built, motorhomes.