The Motorhome Glossary - A to Z - motorhome definitions

The Motorhome Glossary: A to Z

We had such a fantastic response to our Motorhome Terminology blog post, as well as our Nerdy Terms you can find in our FAQs, that we’ve decided to expand it further and create an entire motorhome definitions list.
There’s nothing official or definitive about our list, but this is our complete motorhome A to Z, according to team here at Motorhome Holiday Company.

The Motorhome Glossary: A to Z

A is for…
Adria – our favourite motorhome manufacturer. They’re so good, we make videos about their vehicles and we wear their branded gear [link to video with the boys].
Awning – the tent-like flappy thing that hangs off the side of some motorhomes, allowing you to barbecue outside even when it’s raining. We no longer fit them to ours. It just takes one distracted customer to drive away with it still out…

B is for…
Berth – the number of people who may legally ride in a motorhome, due to the number of seatbelts. It’s often fewer than the number a motorhome can sleep.
Books – Don’t leave home without them! As Cicero wrote, A room without books is like a body without a soul.

C is for…
Cassette toilet – That little box underneath the toilet where yesterday’s food ended its journey? Yup, that’s the cassette. You fill it, remove it, empty it responsibly, clean it and replace it.
CCC (Camping & Caravanning Club) – A fantastic organisation through which you can book over 110 motorhome-friendly sites across the UK. We give you automatic membership of their Privilege Scheme when you book your adventure through Motorhome Holiday Company.
Coachbuilt – A term used to describe the body of the motorhome. Usually they are wider than the driving cab and offer more living space in the rear.

D is for…
Dinette – A lounge layout featuring a forward and rear-facing seat with a table between.
Double floor – A double floor results in a warmer living and sleeping environment, similar to double-glazed windows.
Drop-down bed – A double bed that’s stored in the ceiling that drops down electronically with the press of a button.

E is for…
Electricity – OMD wrote a song about it, you’ll need it, and we use batteries to store it. When on a fully equipped campsite, you can plug into the hook-up to power all your electric sockets for the kettle, microwave, TV and whatever you choose to bring.

F is for…
Farside – the offside of the motorhome i.e. the side opposite the entrance door. It’s also the world created by our favourite cartoonist, Gary Larson.
Ferries – You’ll need to check height and weight restrictions (and we can help you), but ferries open up many of the UK’s islands as well as Europe for your motorhome holiday adventure.

G is for…
Garage – That big, empty area at the rear of the motorhome usually under the bed. It can be used for storing bikes, chairs, table etc. It’s like a naughty step, but darker!
Grey water – Don’t drink it! It’s what you pour down the plughole after washing up and showering. The grey water tank is under the motorhome and you can empty it in the UK in any gutter or drain.
Gross weight – The total weight of the motorhome i.e. the maximum weight the vehicle may weigh when loaded with people and equipment. Usually this is in the region of 3500kg.

H is for…
Habitation area – The living area of the motorhome, which makes the habitation door the term used for the rear entrance door or caravan door.
Hook-up – A term used when plugging the motorhome into the mains electricity. Doing so allows the batteries to charge, the sockets to work and the appliances to use the electricity rather than the gas. You’ll need it if you want a quiet night in front of the box.
Homologation – The process a motorhome goes through prior to registration when new. It determines the number of seats for travelling and number of seatbelts. No relation to hobgoblins, which are far more exciting.

I is for…
Insects – It’s estimated that there are 10,000,000,000,000,000,000 insects in the world and over 24,000 species in the UK alone. We haven’t personally counted them, and most of them don’t have names. We’re only mentioning them because mosquitoes and midges are amongst our least favourite. It’s why many of our motorhomes are fitted with insect screens: to stop them getting in!
Inverter – A unit that allows the 12v batteries to power a 240v appliance e.g. powering a hairdryer from a battery. So interesting that we were forced to add the insect listing above.

J is for…
Jumper – you’ll need one on chilly nights outside of your motorhome. But when the heating is on you definitely won’t need jumpers inside the motorhome though.
Jean Michel Jarre – Yes, the French multi electronic instrumentalist with the laser harp and other funky instruments. He has a vast catalogue to suit your mood, but we recommend all 47 minutes of Waiting for Cousteau if you’re looking for something peacefully mesmerising when the sounds of nature aren’t cutting it for you.

K is for…
Karma – The spiritual principle of cause and effect. Smile and people smile back. Drive your motorhome like a tank and somebody will drive their tank like you drive your motorhome. Okay, we have to admit we’re struggling with K. If you can do better, email us.

L is for…
LPG – The type of gas we use in the motorhomes. Usually a Calor bottle(s) is included. LPG is in a red bottle and has a lower freezing point than the blue bottles known as butane.  It smells better, too, but we don’t recommend sniffing it.
Levelling ramps/chocks – Plastic ramps that allow you to drive on and achieve a level motorhome. Very useful to ensure a good night’s sleep, that the sinks drain properly and that you don’t spill the wine!

M is for…
Motorhome Holiday Company – Of course. What else? We rock, we’re proud of it, and we’re delighted to be here for all your motorhome holiday adventures.
MOT & habitation checks – As with a car, you must MOT your motorhome annually. The habitation check is essentially the MOT for the habitation area. Not every garage offers the service (many don’t have the entrance height for a start), but if you’re stuck, drop us a line and we’ll see if you can advise you on where to go locally. If all else fails, we have a great relationship with Redhill Garage Services just five minutes from Motorhome Holiday Company, Bristol.

N is for…
Nearside – the opposite of farside and, alas, nothing to do with the great Gary Larson.

O is for…
Overcab – The bed over the cab (see what they did there?). Often referred to as a Luton-style layout.

P is for…
Panel van – A motorhome or campervan where the original van body on which it is built is retained. The body is therefore all the original metal. Usually features a sliding door on the side(s).
Payload – This is the gross weight (see above) minus the net weight e.g. a motorhome with a gross weight of 3500kg and a net weight of 2900kg has a payload of 600kg. The net weight usually includes the chassis, a driver, tank of water, tank of diesel and a bottle of gas. A vehicle’s gross weight is usually printed under the bonnet on the crash bar at the front.

Q is for…
Quality – it’s what we’re all about at Motorhome Holiday Company.
Quandary – What else do we list for Q? We considered quantum physics, questing and quoits, but then there was Quentin Crisp, quadding and quaggas but it made us terribly, ahem, quonfused.  In the end, we had no qualms over quitting and quaffing our wine instead. We just hope we don’t feel queasy afterwards.

R is for…
Rubbernecking – the ‘art’ of creating huge traffic jams because you’ve slowed down to gawp at the accident on the other side of the motorway. Please don’t do it. It’s one of our pet hates, along with hogging the middle lane and using your phone whilst driving.

S is for…
Swivel seat – In many motorhome layouts, the driver and/or passenger seats rotate to face backwards. These are known as swivel seats. They must NOT be rotated whilst driving. Save the fun for when you’ve stopped.
Servicing – It’s what we do to all our motorhomes on a regular basis so that they take good care of you on your road-trip.

T is for…
Three-way (3-way) fridge – This refers to the power sources the fridge can operate on i.e. electricity, gas and alternator 12v.

U is for…
Underfloor heating – when a motorhome has this, it’s absolute luxury on four wheels.

V is for…
Vernacular – the language, the jargon, the nerdy terms we use at Motorhome Holiday Company, which inspired this A to Z of motorhomes. Okay, we’re stumped on V, too.

W is for…
Water – It’s important you know which water you can drink in our motorhomes and which you can’t. If it’s grey or stored in the cassette, don’t touch it. If it pours out of the taps with a sparkle, it’s good to go.

X is for…
Xenium – a diplomatic gift. We think we deserve one after compiling this A to Z of motorhomes. Whose idea was it anyway? Alternatively, we’d be delighted if you used one of our motorhomes to express your xenomania, and while you’re about it, we’re rather partial to xylocarps if you happen to find any on your travels.

Y is for…
Yes – It’s our favourite word. You: Do you have a motorhome available to take us away on our next big adventure? Us: YES!
NB: Yup will also suffice.

Z is for…
Zapper – You’ll find at least one of these in each of our motorhomes, although you’re very welcome to stand up and push the buttons on the TV and DVD player with your fingers.
Zazen – Motorhome adventures don’t need to be full of adventure. Why not drive away to a peaceful location, overlook a mountain range or a calm lake and practice the art of meditation whilst seated upright and with your legs crossed?

So there you have it, our Motorhome Glossary

We hope you had as much fun reading our motorhome definitions as we did compiling them! If you reckon you can do better though, send us your ideas and maybe we’ll compile a second version using the best of your suggestions.

Get thinking and get in contact

+44 (0)117 290 9000

A370, Hewish, Bristol, BS24 6RT

Motorhome Holiday Company; your (alphabetised) adventure starts here.