Not the one in your steering wheel. Airbags in the suspension system of a truck or RV act as shock absorbers, a pump system allows for higher pressure to accommodate a load. Higher end RVs can also run Air Over Hydraulic leveling systems allowing better leveling when on soft or uneven ground.
Also referred to as a Polar Package. - An optional package typically combining extra insulation and tank heaters for extended season camping. An Arctic Pack-equipped RV is not necessarily safe for four season camping without other preparations such as skirting and heated water hookups.
An extra 12-volt battery is a popular option among dry campers (boondockers) to ensure they have enough power to run fans and lighting while camping away from shore power. These are especially useful for people who have installed solar panels.
A portable wastewater tank used by RVers in sites with only water/power hookups. Typically around 40 gallons a blue boy allows wastewater to be transported to the dump station without having to break camp and move the RV.
A vehicle-mounted control unit for the trailer's brakes allowing them to work with the tow vehicle's brakes. Brake controllers can be adjusted to adjust the trailer brakes sensitivity or to actuate the brakes manually.
A condition where the front suspension bottoms out on the jounce bumpers (rubber stops that limit suspension travel) and that energy is transferred back into the steering system. This may cause the wheels to actually move off track or just be felt in the steering wheel through the steering column.
Colloquialism for towing a travel trailer or pop-up with a conventional receiver and ball mounted to the rear of the tow vehicle. Bumper pull as opposed to a fifth wheel setup (or gooseneck) in the bed of a truck.
An RV build on a straight or drop rail frame. Class A’s typically have a flat front end with gas engines located in the front and diesels in the rear. Diesel Class A’s are known as pushers. Class A coaches are available in front or mid-entry and even some toy hauler floor plans are available.
An RV built on a van cutaway chassis, typically with a bed that overhangs the cab area. Known as a "mini" or "mini-motorhome" Class C’s are a great entry point into motorhome ownership for many people.
Converts 120-volt-AC power into 12-volt DC power when an RV is hooked up to shore power. The 12-volt system in an RV runs many lights, sometimes the refrigerator and other accessories like sound systems.
The weight of an RV including all standard equipment, full fuel tanks, full fresh water tanks, full propane bottes, and all other equipment fluids. This is typically an actual weight taken without passengers or personal cargo. We suggest reading your manufacturer's definition carefully because there can be some variation between RV brands as to what's included in this weight. Curb weight is important to calculating cargo carrying capacity(payload). See also UVW: Unloaded Vehicle Weight and Dry Weight.
A heat exchanger, similar to a small radiator, where engine oil passes through and is cooled by airflow. Trucks towing a heavy load may use an Engine Oil cooler to prolong engine life and help keep the engine within its ideal operating temperature range.
A hitch utilizing spring bars placed under tension to distribute a portion of the trailer's hitch weight to the tow vehicle's front axle and the trailer's axles (also known as 'weight-distributing hitch').
Towable trailers coupled to a special hitch mounted in the bed of a truck over the rear axle. These trailers can have one to three axles and are the largest in the towable class. Due to hitch requirements, they can only be towed by trucks or specialized vehicles prepared for fifth-wheel trailer compatibility.
Gross Combination Weight Rating, the maximum allowable weight of the tow vehicle and towable, or motorhomes and dinghy. This number includes the weight of both vehicle and towable, cargo, passengers and a full load of fluids (water, fuel, etc).
A type of hitch used on fifth wheel trailers, Goosenecks are common for farm and construction equipment but do not generally offer the same stability as a standard fifth wheel pin and capture plate setup. People tend to use a gooseneck only when the truck needs to pull double duty.
A device that transfers heat from one source to another; e.g., your furnace. Propane flame and combustion products are contained inside the heat exchanger that is sealed from the inside area. Inside air is blown over the exchanger's surface, where it is warmed and blown through the RV's ducts to heat the inside of the RV. Combustion gases vent into outside air.
An electrical heating element located in the air conditioning system with the warm air distributed by the air conditioner fan and ducting system. They are typically 1500 watt elements merely functioning to 'take the chill off'.
The amount of weight imposed directly on the hitch when the towable is coupled (also known as 'tongue weight'). For a travel trailer, hitch weight is approximately 10-15 percent of overall weight; for a fifth wheel it is usually 18-20 percent. Also referred to as tongue weight on a bumper pull trailer of pin weight on a fifth wheel.
90 percent angle created by turning towable with tow vehicle. Warning: jackknifing a short bed truck towing a fifth wheel without the use of a slider hitch or extended pin box can result in severe damage to the truck.
A set of chains attached to a trailer’s A-frame that must be connected to the tow vehicle. They’re intended to keep the trailer attached to the tow vehicle in the event of hitch failure. Should be installed in an X-pattern to keep the coupler from dragging on the road if a separation occurs.
Component parts of a weight-distributing hitch system installed and tensioned in such a manner as to distribute a portion of the trailer's hitch weight to the tow vehicle's front axle and the axles of the trailer.
The act of a motorhome's back end to 'fishtail' out when turning sharply. Normally occurs in motorhomes with short wheel bases and long overhangs behind the rear axle. Awareness of the potential for tail swings is the key to prevention.
AKA Maximum Tow Rating, it's the maximum weight limit that can be towed by your vehicle according to the vehicle's manufacturer. Maximum Tow Rating is based upon several criteria including engine size, transmission, axle ratio, brakes, chassis, cooling systems and other special equipment. Some ratings will impose limits on overall trailer length and frontal area of the trailer as well as weight.
Any camper with an A-frame hitch system at its front needing a tow vehicle to move it. They can have from one to three axles and, depending upon weight, mostly towed by a truck or SUV with some light enough to be towed by a car.
The power cable connecting your RV to a campground’s electrical hook-up or the wiring harness connecting your tow vehicle to the trailer so you have brake lights, electric brakes and some juice to charge your trailer’s batteries.
Uniform Tire Quality Grade Labeling, it’s an acronym created by the government (hence why its so long) that stands for a system to classify tires in terms of treadwear, traction and heat resistance. Each manufacturer does the testing then labels their tires. As it is, RV tires are good for about six years.
AKA a Class B. Van Campers’s are built within a van body, sometimes with a raised roof. With all the systems available in a larger motorhome, a Van Camper is considered by many as an ideal adventure vehicle as they are small enough to get around town and typically accepted by HOA covenants. These flexible coaches are a great choice for short trips or Full Timing.