The Lug_Nut RV Whacky Glossary. The Real Meanings

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March 22, 2010

Ever wondered the real meaning of some of the common RV phrases and lingo? If so, you need to read the Lug_Nut Whacky Glossary for Recreational Vehicles.  It isn’t quite the “RV Language for Dummies”, but should help you in understanding the real meanings of some of the more common words and phases associated with RVing.


 Air Brakes:  Useful if awnings deploy during high speed travel. (See Awnings)

Air Horns: Used late at night in campgrounds by Air Heads.

Allison Tranny:  The girl that works the RV show information booth that is married to Joe Tranny.

Awnings: Wing like appendages that can deploy at high speeds in heavy wind to add lift and reduce vehicle weight. (Also see Air Brakes)

Back Up Camera:  Always a good idea.  Your Canon single lens reflex could crap out.

Batteries: Black square things that are capable of lighting your coach for about 15 minutes when it is not plugged in.

Blown Fuse: A fuse located in an unaccessable secret location that powers everything.

Boondocking: Being unable to figure out how to plug the RV in to an electrical outlet.


Campsite Power Pedestal: A place to anchor your RV using wires and hoses.  Also acts as a bumper if you drive too far off the pad.  Sometimes seen dragging behind a departing RV.

Charger: A small piece of plastic that that is frequently used to fix stuff on your RV that breaks, also called Visa.

Clearance Lights:  Electrical light bulbs on sale.


Departure Angle:  A scheme to skip camp before your new found friend, Cousin Eddy, wakes up.

Diesel Engine: Sounding like a herd of knock kneed cattle, it serves as a sign of departing camp within the next hour or two.

Diesel Pusher:   A class “A” motor home with a diesel engine mounted in the rear, thereby pushing it.

Diesel Puller: A tow truck or wrecker attached to the front of a class “A” motor home.

Dipstick: A 5 foot metal device invented by a urologist.

Discount RV Resort: Walmart.  (Note: At this time there are no class “A” only Walmarts)

Docking Lights: Handy for RVing after dark in flood prone regions.

Dump Station: A bad place to wear thongs.


Fantastic Fan: Any electric table fan you can find if your air conditioning breaks down.

Fifth Wheel:  Your mother-in-law on an otherwise, nice camping weekend.

Full Body Paint: Great for Halloween, but hard to wash off.


GPS Navigation: A video game that is legal to play while driving.


Halogen Ceiling Lights:  Good lighting that can illuminate an RV for about 2 hours before the bulb burns out.

Head: Also referred to as “The John”, “The Great White Thrown”, “The Thunder Bowl”


In-Motion Dish: A round like salad bowl with rubber on the bottom to prevent sliding while moving.  Great for popcorn.  Also a name for a dish left on the counter during a panic stop event.

Inner Dual: Always the first tire to go flat.  Also stores uniflated tires.


Jake Brake:  Similar to a smoke break but Jake is usually smoked in a pipe.


K.O.A.: Kertainly a great plake to kamp.  You kan usually rely on konsisent kamping servikes.  They kan be found in the U.S. and Kanada.


Leveling Jacks: A camping board game played with a level bubble and a dice.  If a player breaks the windshield the other players win by default.

Level Campsite: A campsite that the vehicle does not tip over on.


Mouse: Usually accompanied by other ones, thereby better described as mice.  These normally occupy the little inhabited RV basement.


No Address Found: Standard response to any location entered in the GPS navigating.  Usually followed by “Make A U-Turn If Possible”.


Outdoor Entertainment Center: Grey screen that provides hours of entertainment trying to determine what’s on during a normal bright sunny day.


Pop-Up:  An annoying page that pops up while on your computer.


RV Refrigerator: An enclosure that is sometime slightly cooler than hot capable of holding 2 beers.


Sewer Hose:  Colorful leaky hose, much like a soaker hose, but smellier.

Shower (RV Shower): It is difficult to express the showering experience felt in an entry level RV, but, perhaps it could be best described as standing naked in a closet with a wet dog.

Service (RV Service):  A mythical belief which its existence is yet to be confirmed.  Much like the Abominable Snowman.

Slide Out:  Great for meeting new people while getting leaks and malfunctions fixed in service shops.

Spring Park Brake:  Actually pronounced “Spring Break Park”, a gathering place for spring breakers near Fort Lauderdale.


Tag Axle: An axle on sale at a dealer usually associated with a red tag special.

Trailer Hitch Ball: Wild wedding party in a trailer park.


Warranty: This is a period of time after which the vehicle self destructs.

Wet Hubs:  Found on the front axle.  Most common cause is a large male dog.

Well, learn anything? If you have some to add to this, let’s hear them in the comments section at the bottom.

As It Appears To Me     –      Lug_Nut     –     Peter Mercer

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  27. I am sure there are tons of people who dont know meanings of most of the terms you mentioned. I appreciate you effort to let us know some unusual terms. The most important in my opinion is “Back Up Camera”. I consider this as the most important tool while you are driving.

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  29. Dirk

    Doc, you’ve out done yourself!

  30. Lug_Nut

    Gandalf42, Now that’s catchy! Thank for your input.

  31. Gandalf42

    Spare Tire: a camper who can roll with the paunches

  32. Lug_Nut

    Doc Scott, They are for sure. Notice the way A/C units are kind of wedge shape, tapering up from the front. This is to prevent them from being torn off in favor of being forced through the roof. Thank you for you input.

  33. Doc Scott

    Roof AC – Is a low clearance detector.

  34. Lug_Nut

    Hey John, I’m glad you got a kick out of it. I can imagine your trucking stories. Thanks for your always welcome input.

  35. John

    Hi Lug_Nut,

    Funny stuff! We split a gut laughing so hard.
    Had to pick my wife up off the floor.

    I have some phrases from my trucking days but they can’t
    be repeated on this blog site. Best kept for chat around the campfire.


  36. Lug_Nut

    Charlotte Party Bus, Yes, this game gained in popularity when the one piece windshield came out and is still played all over the country every year. Thank you for your input.

  37. A camping board game played with a level bubble and a dice. If a player breaks the windshield the other players win by default.
    wow it excite me a lot.

  38. Lug_Nut

    Bob in Florida, Glad you enjoyed the list. Throne may better describe it sometimes, but, as you pointed out, not all the time. Thanks for posting.

  39. I think your definition of Head should be spelled ” throne ” unless you are on it while someone else is driving on a rough,crooked road,at which you could be thrown from the throne.Got a good laugh at your definitions.

  40. Lug_Nut

    Gerald Ames, Great list. I’m sure there are ones in your list that many of us have also done. Thanks for posting it, it was funny and enlightening.

  41. Gerald Ames

    Yes, Enjoyed the list. i had made a list of my own a short couple years after starting RVing. I don’t know if this space will hold it all.

    When one begins a full-time RV life style there are certain rules and sayings that either no longer apply to the words used, or have a drastically different or exaggerated meaning. Note: not all items have been learned by experience.

    1. Dishwasher Safe: He washes the dishes in our RV sinks???
    2. It’s okay to back up now: Nothing visible in any of the mirrors does not exclude a Honda civic one foot behind within 4 seconds of looking (distance & time confessed by the injured Honda’s uninjured driver).
    3. Okay, I shut off the Black Water tank: A flooded bathroom results if the spray rinse-valve is not closed too. Wow! up the vent and subsequent seepage into the closet too? Oops!
    4. All tire pressures are good: Parking with a nail exactly on the bottom can seal off (temporarily) any leakage, thus no low tire is detected upon inspections. Destroyed tire soon follows in travel.
    5. Low tire pressure: No real problem right? — Wrong! An RV tire can warm, heat, burn and disintegrate in a few short miles.
    6. Property Taxes: What’s that you may ask? [It’s in there–incorporated into the camping fees wherever you may park.]
    7. Use the parking garage: Fifth-wheel travelers know the quandary in that simple statement, even without the trailer.
    8. In-street parallel parking: See #7 above,
    9. “No Outlet”: Sign seen after turning into narrow dead-end street.
    10. Exercise regime: Setup on site & travel prep– no problem. Take a bike ride or hike. Extended stay–Clean & wax truck and trailer, help CG owners at odd jobs, repair inevitable new problem, help near-by relatives, lift drink glass or bottle at least 6 x at 5 pm.
    11. Plenty of room: where did that post come from? Rear end of trailer can swing opposite of turn as much as 5-6 feet.
    12. Plenty of tread left: Or course! Tires on an RV never get a chance to wear out.
    13. Semi: Big brother of Fifth-wheel trailer–having wheel positions and tractor designed for better back-up maneuverability in spite of size.
    14. Semi: Cause of that sudden sway and suck, particularly noted by Class C RVs and trailers on 60 mph posted highways.
    15. Semi: Vehicle driven by the only person to notice and offer help when you are having a problem.
    16. Tow/haul package: No, not via the mails; a vehicle-imbedded computer package to force your truck auto-shifting at a higher regime. Hold on to your seat!
    17. Crack-the-hood diagnostics: This went out when vehicle computers came it. Open the hood, stare and scratch your head.
    18. Change awareness: All those quarters you horde, purchase, purloin, or borrow to be able to do your laundry. A new awareness.
    19. Change of clothes: Shifting clothes from one storage or another to down-sized closets. Where is that blue long sleeved shirt now?
    20. Arizona Shade: Awnings out (if not too windy), on west side of the trailer in PM, east side in AM. Careful to have N-S parking.
    21. Happy reunion: Seeing someone in a campground, you met and bonded with at this or another CG before. “Great to see you. What’s your name again?”
    22. “Ding!” Diagnostic sound from console to let you know that you need truck service–“SEE DEALER!”
    23. “Whack, Wap, Wap, Wap!” Too late. See 4 and 5 above.

  42. Lug_Nut

    Don MacConnel, Those are great! I’m going to add some of them to it when time allows. Thank you some much for supplying some great additions. Thank you for the great input.

  43. Don MacConnel

    Those are hilarious–thanks for the great laugh!

    Here’s my thoughts.

    Blown Fuse: Electrical device in an unknown place that shuts off everything.
    Crank-up Antenna: Device to find low tree limbs.
    Dip Stick: Five-foot metal device invented by a urologist.
    Dump Station: Bad place to wear thongs.
    Inner Dual: The one that goes flat first.
    Level campsite: One where the rig doesn’t quite tip over.
    Refrigerator: Slightly cool container capable of holding two cans of beer.
    Spare Fuse: A blown fuse carefully kept in a small box.
    Toolbox: Contains all tools except the one you need.
    Tools: Everywhere except in the toolbox.

  44. Lug_Nut

    sharig, Glad you found the piece of interest, or at least some fun. I appreciate your comment. Thank you.

  45. Lug_Nut

    Barry Engleman, Great input. We can always use some humor. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  46. Lug_Nut

    Retta, Glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for your comment.

  47. Love it, it was a good and needed laugh.

  48. Barry Engleman

    You spent a lot of energy and thought coming up with that dictionary. It is probably time for you to grab Allison Tranny, her husband Joe and some of those Air Heads with Air Horns and go have a good time taking a Jake Brake at one of those Spring Park Brakes (better known as Spring Brake Parks) while all the time hoping you won’t need a Diesel Puller to get you all out of that Park so you kan get on to one of those klassy, krazy KOAs and have another kool, komfortable time in your kamper.

    That’s about all I have to say about that.

    Thanks for the laugh

  49. Retta

    Lug_Nut That was Hilariious! I am going to try to copy and past over to my Old Timers Kampground forum…

    Wish me luck! I am going to check out gravatar…. TTYL!!!