Allows the ball to be raised, lowered and tilted in small increments to fine tune the spring bar and compensate for tow vehicle "squat," which happens when the trailer coupler is lowered onto the ball.
A roof-like structure made of canvas or other artificial materials which extends from the RV body to provide shade. Awnings are generally placed over entrances. Some extend and stow manually while others are operated electrically.
The number of times the drive shaft must turn for the axle to tun one time. If you have a 4:1 axle ratio, the drive shaft turns 4 times for every turn of the axle. The higher the number, the more pulling power you have and the more gas you will burn.
Camping without using the modern conveniences of hooking up to electric, sewer or water. Also implied for folks staying at a campground; but due to short length of stay, they do not hook-up to the utilities even though these utilities are provided.
a term used to describe a condition where the front axle feels to be rapidly bottoming out on the jounce bumpers and transferred back through the steering column and steering wheel. There can be several different causes to this problem with different cures for each condition. Sometimes, a simple fix such as shocks or a steering stabilizer; sometimes more detailed corrections are needed for correcting serious manufacturing oversights.
Camber angle is the angle made by the wheel of an automobile; specifically, it is the angle between the vertical axis of the wheel and the vertical axis of the vehicle when viewed from the front or rear. It is used in the design of steering and suspension.
Citizens Band radio is a general use, short distance, two-way radio primarily used by truckers. CB's are also helpful to RV drivers to call for help in an emergency and listen for driving conditions. Many CB's on the market today also have weather channels with alerting features.
The method of igniting the main burner on a propane-fired appliance. The burner is lit with an electric spark and the flame is monitored by an electronic circuit board. This ignition system is used in refrigerators, furnaces and water heaters.
The maximum allowable combined weight of the tow vehicle and the attached towed vehicle. GCWR assumes both vehicles has functioning brakes, with exceptions in some cases for very light towed vehicles, normally less than 1, 500 pounds.
A device that attaches to the fifth wheel trailer's king pin and extends down about two feet. It couples with a ball hitch mounted in the bed of a truck, enabling the fifth wheel to be towed like a gooseneck trailer.
Gross trailer weight is the weight of the trailer fully loaded in its actual towing condition. GTW is measured by placing the fully loaded trailer on a vehicle scale. The entire weight of the trailer should be supported on the scale.
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.
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.
A heat exchanger is a device that transfers heat from one source to another. For example, there is a heat exchanger in your furnace - the propane flame and combustion products are contained inside the heat exchanger that is sealed from the inside area. Inside air is blown over the surface of the exchanger, where it is warmed and the blown through the ducting system for room heating. The combustion gases are vented to the outside air.
Term used for a type of dirt skirt accessory some RVers use on the back of their motor home to aid in the protection from debris thrown from their rear wheels to the vehicles directly behind them or being towed behind them. This dirt skirt is usually the length of the rear bumper and resembles a 'short' version of a Hawaiian 'hula-skirt', hence the term.
Hybrid: Term for fifth wheel or travel trailer that has been manufactured to be "different" than the standard interior living box. Usually by having pop-out ends over bedrooms that give a "tent" like area for sleeping.
A 90% angle obtained from turning/backing fifth wheel or travel trailer with tow vehicle. Jackknifing a short bed truck towing a fifth wheel without the use of a slider hitch or extended fifth wheel pin box can result in damage to the truck cab or breaking out the back window of the truck cab from the truck and fifth wheel "colliding".
The landing gear on a fifth-wheel trailer are two jacks that are usually coupled together and are motor driven. Landing gears lift the front of the fifth-wheel trailer up so that the truck can be driven under the front and hitch-up. Once hitched up, the landing gear jacks are raised to their stowed position for traveling.
A jack lowered from the underside of trailers and motor homes for the purpose of leveling the vehicle. A leveling jack is designed to bear a significant portion of the RV's weight, even lifting it off the ground on certain models.
A differential that is designed with a mechanism that limits the speed and torque differences between its two outputs, ensuring that torque is distributed to both drive wheels, even when one is on a slippery surface.
Truck rating originally conceived to indicate cargo carrying capacity of one ton (2,000 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 3500, Dodge 3500, Ford F-350, and GMC 3500.
Camping without the modern convenience of full-hookup facilities of city/well water, sewer/septic and electricity. Primitive campers rely on 'on-board' systems for these conveniences; generator, batteries, stored water, etc.
Term for a camping space (whether in campground or not) that only requires the driver to "pull-through" or "drive-through" to access the camping spot, and upon leaving you again just drive forward to leave or exit the camping space.
A set of gears found in the rear axle of vehicles, designed to distribute drive shaft power to the two wheels. It applies power to both wheels while allowing each to spin at different rates during cornering.
Slang for "refrigerator". Refrigerators are often found in either a "two-way" or "three-way" operating mode. Two-way: Have a gas mode and an AC mode. Three-way: has a gas mode, AC mode, and 12v DC mode. The coolant used in RV refrigeration is ammonia.
Air conditioning unit mounted on roof of RV, to cool the RV when it is parked. When moving, most RVs are cooled by separate air conditioning units which are components of the engine, or they may be cooled by a roof top if a proper size generator is installed.
RV: Short for "recreational vehicle".
An RV that needs no external connections to provide short-term cooking, bathing, and heating functions and could park overnight anywhere. Self-contained units can also hook up to facilities when at campgrounds.
Component parts of a weight-distributing hitch system, the spring bars are installed and tensioned in such a manner as to distribute a portion of the trailer's hitch weight to the front axle of the tow vehicle and to the axles of the trailer.
A jack inserted under or lowered from trailers and motor homes for the purpose of stabilizing the vehicle. A stabilizing jack is not designed to bear a significant portion of the RV's weight, only a small amount to reduce movement during occupancy. Stabilizing jacks are generally found toward the back of trailers, under the king pin of fifth wheels, and under some slides.
Devices designed to damp the swaying action of a trailer, either through a friction system or a "cam action" system that slows and absorbs the pivotal articulating action between tow vehicle and trailer.
A dead axle behind the drive axle that helps support the weight of the overhang and gives you a little more GVW capacity so you don't have to put the full load on the drive axle. Most tag axles are good for supporting 4-5,000 pounds.
A thermocouple is a device that monitors the pilot flame of a pilot model propane appliance. If the pilot flame is extinguished the thermocouple causes the gas valve to shut off the flow of gas to both the pilot flame and the main burner.
Truck rating originally conceived to indicate cargo carrying capacity of three quarter tons (1,500 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 three quarter ton pickup truck models are the Chevrolet 2500, Dodge 2500, Ford F-250, and GMC 2500.
Brakes that are built into the trailer axle systems and are activated either by electric impulse or by a surge mechanism. The overwhelming majority of RVs utilize electric trailer brakes that are actuated when the tow vehicle's brakes are operated, or when a brake controller is manually activated. Surge brakes utilize a mechanism that is positioned at the coupler that detects when the tow vehicle is slowing or stopping, and activates the trailer brakes via a hydraulic system.
The wiring harness that connects the tow vehicle to the trailer, supplying electricity to the trailer's clearance and brake lights, electric brakes and a 12-volt DC power line (to charge the trailer's batteries).
Also known as an "equalizing" hitch, this category includes hitch systems that utilize spring bars that can be 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.