RV Lingo

Your Complete Guide To RV Slang

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What is RV slang? For starters, slang is a certain type of language that consists of certain words or phrases that is typically restricted to a group of people. Golf, for instance, has it’s own set of jargon, or slang. An example are the terms “mulligan” or “birdie”. Bowling is another sport that has it’s own set of terms that is specific to the sport. Think “gutter ball” or “split”. Believe it or not, there is even RV slang. You might have heard a group of RV campers talk about a “toad” or “boondocking” and wondered to yourself, “What the heck are they talking about?”. Well, you’re in luck. In this post we are going to introduce you to the dictionary of RV slang and tell you what some of these odd sounding terms mean. Let’s jump in, shall we?

Different Types Of Camping

Did you know there are different slang terms for what type of camping you’re doing? Each type of camping has it’s own RV slang term.


Boondocking is a very popular RV slang term. This type of camping can also be referred to as “dry camping”. Basically, boondocking is camping off-the-grid. Some RVers will tell you that you have to be deep in the wilderness or somewhere in a vast desert, completely away from civilization to be considered to be boondocking. Typically, boondocking simply means camping without hook-ups. No city water, electricity, and sewer. You will be solely dependent on your batteries, portable power stations, and your fresh water holding tank.

Class C Motorhome in the desert


The RV slang term for staying overnight in a Wal-Mart parking lot is Wallydocking. Many RVers traveling cross-country will often pull into a Wal-Mart or Cracker Barrel parking lot for the night. It saves a ton of money on site fees and gives you an opportunity to re-stock any supplies you might be needing. Another benefit of staying at a Cracker Barrel is eating a good breakfast before you hit the road.


This type of camping refers to an RVer staying on a friend or family member’s property, and as a result, may or may not have hook-ups.

Full Hook-up Site

As the name implies, a full hook-up site is just that. It is an RV site that has electricity, water, and sewer connections. Typically, a full hook-up site will have a level pad and is often a pull-through site. A pull-through site is simply an RV slang term for a site you don’t have to back into.

Partial Hook-up Site

A Partial hook-up site is an RV site that only offers some hook-ups. In most cases a partial hook-up site will have everything except sewer.

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Extended Stay Site

An extended stay site is an RV site that can be booked for long periods, usually for a month or more.

Harvest Host

Harvest Host is an RV slang term that refers to a subscription based program that gives RVers access to attractions like wineries, breweries, etc. These “harvest hosts” will allow RVers to stay overnight at these establishments. Although the stay is free, it is customary for the RVer to purchase a bottle or two of wine from the host in return.


Workamping is the RV slang term for working at a park, campground. or resort in exchange for an RV site. A great example of this is a Camp Host at an RV park or campground. Full-timers often “workamp” to off-set some of the expenses involved with traveling full-time.

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RV Slang For Parts

Not much different than the types of RV camping, the different parts of an RV have their own set of RV slang as well.

Stinky Slinky

If this RV slang term makes you giggle, you’re not alone. The name itself is funny, but not what it’s used for. A stinky slinky is the slang term often used for your RV sewer hose.

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Black Water Tank

The black tank is the slang term for the holding tank that stores your sewage.

Gray Water Tank

The gray water tank is not as bad as the black water tank. This is the holding tank for your sink and shower water.

Fresh Water Tank

Your RV’s fresh water tank is a holding tank that allows you to store fresh water for using while you are not hooked up to a city water supply.

Basement Storage

I’m sure you have either read or heard RVers talk about the basement storage. Basically, basement is the RV slang term for the storage compartments on the outside of the rig.


The RVs undercarriage, or underbelly, is the area underneath your camper. Some RVs will have an enclosed and heated underbelly. This not only protects your water pipes, it can also keep them from freezing in the winter.


The word Slide-out is an RV slang term that refers to the feature that allows you to expand your RV’s square footage by “sliding” parts of the wall out.

RV slang term for slide out


The cockpit of a motorhome is the driver’s side of the coach. This area includes all the cool gadgets and features associated with driving, much like the cockpit of an airplane.

Hula Skirt

No this isn’t referring to an actual skirt for dancing the hula in. It is the slang term for the “skirt” mounted on the rear bumper of an RV. This skirt prevents debris and road grime from causing damage to vehicles behind you.

Types Of RVs

RVs come in several different shapes, styles, and floorplans. In fact, the term RV is actually a slang term that refers to all of them. Most people think of the big, bus-like rigs when they hear “RV”. Actually, an RV can be a travel trailer, a fifth wheel, or even a Class A. You can read more about the different types of RVs here.

class c rv
Class C RV

Types Of Rvers

Believe it or not, there are even slang terms that describe what type of RVer you are. At any given time, you can find any, or all, of these types of RVers in the campground.

The RV Newbie

This is the slang term for a brand new RV owner. Hey, we have all been there. Just like starting a new job, you have to start somewhere.

Weekend Warrior

The most common of RVers is the weekend warrior. These are the RVers, like Kellie and I, that work hard through the week and spend every weekend they can at the campground with the family.

The Part-Time RVer

A part-time RVer will travel for several months out of the year and return to their home-base, or “sticks-and-bricks” for the remainder of the year.

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The Full-Timer

As the name suggests, these are RVers that travel the country full time. The live in and work out of their RV and will often home-school the children along the way.

The Snowbirds

Snowbirds is an RV slang term for RVers who follow the weather. During the hot summer months they will travel to the northern part of the country, and during the winter, head south.

Other RV Slang Terms

In addition to the list above, there are a few more RV slang terms that you might hear along the way.

Sticks And Bricks

This refers to a traditional house. It can also refer to an apartment, condo, or other residence that’s not an RV.

Blue Boy

A blue boy is nothing more than a portable waste tank. They are typically blue in color and are used for hauling your RV waste to the dump station without the need to break camp.

Portable RV Waste Tank


The RV slang term for a vehicle being towed behind a motorhome is a toad or dinghy.

The Conclusion Of RV Slang

Now that you are well versed in the area of RV slang, are you ready to hook up your stinky slinky to your blue boy and haul it to the dump station in your toad? I know, that was a stretch. On the other hand, hopefully you have a little better understanding of what RVers are talking about when you hear them chatting around a campfire.

What are your thoughts? Did we miss anything? If so, please leave us a comment below and let us know.

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