The Meaning of Awning and other Motorhome Jargon Explained

What does all that Motorhome Jargon Mean?

If you’re new to pretty much anything, whether that’s a hobby, a job, or anything else, there’s a chance that those ‘in the know’ have, over time developed a few words, terms and phrases of their own which can often be daunting to those unfamiliar with their use. At Priory Rentals, we’ve been in the motorhome hire business for long enough to have picked up the motorhome jargon and so to bring you up to speed, here are some of the more commonly used terms to help you fit right in on the campsite!


A Glossary of Motorhome Jargon

  • Aires – Or Aires du Camping – The network of overnight stopovers found all across Europe offering a (usually free) spot to spend the night in your motorhome, often with limited facilities.
  • Awning – Often found attached to the side of a motorhome or caravan, this is a shelter, often made from canvas that can be rolled out to create shelter or shade and retracted just as fast.
  • Berths – Used to describe the maximum number of people who can be accommodated in the beds of a motorhome. A double bed for example would be two berths.
  • Black Water – The contents of the cassette (see below).
  • Cassette – This doesn’t relate to an old fashioned car stereo, but rather the part of the chemical toilet system which can be removed for emptying.
  • Coachbuilt – While some motorhomes have been built by stripping out and converting a commercial van, coachbuilt motorhomes have been purpose made from the chassis up.
  • Electric hook-up – Refers to connecting (and also the connection itself) an external power supply to your motorhome at campsites so you’re not draining your leisure battery using electrical items.
  • Glamping – A contraction of the words ‘Glamorous’ and ‘Camping’
  • Grey Water/Waste – ‘Used water’ from the shower or sinks. This is held in its own tank and will need to be emptied periodically.
  • Leisure battery – Motorhomes typically have at least two batteries. One is a standard vehicle battery used to start the engine and power the motorhome when travelling, the other is the leisure battery which is used to provide power to the lights and sockets in the living area when there’s no hook-up connected.
  • RV – Short for Recreational Vehicle, an alternative term for motorhome typically used in America
  • Travelling Seats – Motorhomes can usually carry more people than can sit in the cab, so some of the other seats have seatbelts so passengers can stay safe and secure when the motorhome is in motion, these are travelling seats.
  • Winterisation – The process of making your motorhome ready for extended periods of non-use over the winter, reducing the chance of problems occurring.


While many of the above terms are fairly easy to decipher, it’s often useful to have an easy to access list of motorhome jargon and terms often used. We hope you’ve found our short list of help and if there are any extra words or phrases you think should be added, why not contact us and let us know!