Continuing our quest to not look like a total newbie, this is the second part of a three-part series on RV lingo to help you talk like a pro. You were born to do this, right? It’s a primal instinct that you should know how to make camp and live in the great outdoors. Make sure you’re not “that guy” that should have stayed in the concrete jungle when you’re out trying to set up your ride at your first campsite. Here are a few more words that you should know.
First things first. Let’s get the most important word out there before we go any further on this learning adventure. The galley. This is the kitchen. Essential for survival and the center of most homes, the galley is the place to be.
Next up, the gray water tank. This is where dirty (but not filthy dirty) water goes. For example your dirty dishwater, water from your shower, cooking, basically any dirty water that’s not a biohazard goes into your gray tank. Some RVs have a combined black and gray water tank with two separate valves. Regardless, the gray water tank is generally emptied out with your black water tank when you pump it.
Here’s a bunch of alphabet soup (important, but lots of letters). Gross Combined Weight Rating, or GCWR, is themostweight you can have. This includes the towing vehicle, trailer weight, passengers, cargo and anything else that can contribute to the vehicles’ overall weight.
This one is similar, but there is a slight difference to the one above. The Gross Vehicle Weight Rating, or GVWR, is how much a single vehicle weighs. It includes the weight of the actual vehicle, fuel, passengers, cargo, and anything else that contributes to the vehicle’s weight except towed trailers.
Moving on to “h,” the hitch rating is the weight that you can tow based on the hitch’s parts. There are usually more than one part to a total hitch. The weakest part determines how much you can tow.
Hose bibs are regular, old, standard outdoor faucets. They are threaded on one end, like what you might find in a garden for a hose.
This one sounds fancy – a hula skirt. While it sounds like you might be dressing up your rig for a Halloween party, it’s actually a rock guard to protect any vehicles you might be towing or those following behind you. It looks kind of like a corn broom’s bristles and goes all the way around your tires. The grass-like appearance gave it it’s “hula skirt” name.
The Jake brake. Some rigs have this. Others don’t. They’re generally found on large diesel RVs and act as an engine brake to slow down your vehicle.
A kingpin connects a the towing vehicle to your fifth wheel. The kingpin weight is the actual amount of weight applied to your fifth wheel hitch. According to the Dodge RAM website, the maximum kingpin weight is 25% of the GTW.
Another super important term is leveling. It’s really important to make sure that your RV is parked on level ground. It can damage your heating and cooling units, refrigerator and more, which adds up to lots of dollars.
Liquid propane (LP) gas is common old propane. It’s used to run your cooking appliances, create hot water and even run the refrigerator in your RV. Call it the Swiss army knife of modern camping.
Last but not least, the lug nut. Keeps your tires on. Keeps you on the road. Plain and simple.
These basics are a healthy start to your RV adventures. Keep them in mind when you go to purchase that dream rig and set up for the first time on the campground. It’ll have you looking and sounding like a pro just in time for you to celebrate your Good Life. Stay tuned for our third edition of RV slang coming soon.