Glossary of RV Terms

The RV community is just like any other—it has its own set of words, abbreviations, and slang terms. In this glossary we define the common terms and some of the more unusual slang.

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Half Ton

Truck rating originally conceived to indicate cargo carrying capacity of a half ton (1,000 lbs). Today, tonnage rating is no longer an accurate indication of cargo carrying capacity—it is more of a relational indication among trucks in different categories. Common one ton pickup truck models are the Chevrolet 1500, Dodge 1500, Ford F-150, and GMC 1500.

Hauler Back

Truck body installed on a chassis in place of a bed, designed to tow or haul various loads. Most hauler backs look like a typical car wrecker without the lift. Hauler backs intended for RV towing have a flat surface and a hitch installed above the rear axle. Common options added to hauler backs are storage compartments and tool boxes.

Heavy Duty Truck

Commercial truck designed for heavy duty. Heavy trucks are suitable for towing the heaviest of trailers, though they are rarely used for RV towing. A few examples: semi trucks, Chevrolet Kodiak C8500, Ford F-750, GMC TopKick C8500. For additional details see Truck Classification.

Holding Tank

One of several storage tanks on an RV designed to hold fresh and waste water. Common holding tanks are the fresh water tank, gray tank, and black tank.

Honey Wagon

Euphemism for the sewage pumping truck. Honey wagons are used to empty RV holding tanks in places where full hookups and dump stations are not available.

House Battery

One or more batteries in a recreational vehicle for operating the 12 volt lights, appliances, and systems. House batteries can be 12 volt units tied in parallel or pairs of 6 volt batteries tied in series (to double the voltage). The term house battery is of more significance in motor homes because they contain one or more other batteries for the operation of the engine, referred to as the chassis or starting batteries.

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