Glossary > Terms
Below is a list of terms related to towing, camping and discussions about camping.
A device mounted in a tow vehicle that applies the trailer's brakes when the tow vehicle's brakes are applied. Brake controllers come in three main categories based on their method of activation: timing, inertia, or deceleration measured by an accelerometer.
Camping in an RV (slang).
Our take? An overnight stay in the outdoors. Sleep under out the stars or in a luxurious motorhome - camping is what you make it.
Cargo Carrying Capacity
A calculation; the difference between a vehicle's GVWR and its UVW.
The socket at the end of a trailer tongue that connects to the hitch ball.
A device that secures the coupler to the hitch ball.
A bar that contains the hitch ball, is secured to the hitch receiver when towing and can be removed when not in use.
Dutch Oven (DO)
A sturdy pot made from cast iron or cast aluminum, often used for slow cooking items such as stews or casseroles.
Gross Axle Weight (GAW)
A measurement; the actual weight carried on a single axle system, including the weight of the axle itself. Must not exceed the GAWR.
Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR)
A specification; the maximum allowable weight that may be carried on a single axle. GAWR is measured at the tires and therefore includes the weight of the axle itself.
Gross Combined Vehicle Weight (GCVW)
A measurement; the actual weight of the trailer and tow vehicle combined, including the weight of the trailer and tow vehicle plus fuel, liquids, cargo, passengers and accessories. Must not exceed the GCVWR.
Gross Combined Vehicle Weight Rating (GCVWR)
A specification; the tow vehicle manufacturer's maximum allowable load weight for the trailer and tow vehicle combined. This rating includes the weight of the trailer and tow vehicle plus fuel, liquids, cargo, passengers and accessories.
Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW)
A measurement; the actual weight of a vehicle including the vehicle itself with cargo, passengers, fuel and accessories. Must not exceed the GVWR.
Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR)
A specification; the maximum allowable weight of a vehicle including the vehicle itself with cargo, passengers, fuel and accessories.
A ball attached to the draw bar that connects to the trailer's coupler and serves as the tow vehicle's primary attachment point to the trailer.
The part of the hitch that is permanently fastened to the tow vehicle by means of bolts or welds. The receiver contains the stays for the safety chain mounts.
Hybrid Travel Trailer (HTT)
A hard-sided camping trailer with extendable canvas-covered bunks that can be deployed when the trailer is parked.
A gear selection in which the output shaft of a transmission rotates faster than the input shaft.
Pop-Up Trailer (PU, or PUP)
A camping trailer with an extendable roof and bunks that fold for towing. Typically the walls and bunk covers are canvas while the roof is a rigid structure of plastic, fibreglass or metal. Also known as a tent trailer.
Recreational Vehicle (RV)
A roadgoing vehicle designed for camping. An RV may be self-propelled (a motorhome), towed (a trailer) or carried (a truck camper).
A yawing (side-to-side) motion experienced by a trailer and felt at the tow vehicle. Sway is usually caused by (A) improper loading of the trailer, (B) Sudden driver maneuvers, (C) crosswinds, or (D) buffeting by a large passing vehicle. As sway increases, so does the effect felt in the tow vehicle... and so does the danger of loss of control.
Dampening of or resistance to trailer sway through friction, either through a separate sway controller or the use of a WDH with integral sway control.
A device mounted between the tow vehicle and trailer that resists the trailer's tendency to sway (yaw).
Travel Trailer (TT)
A hard-sided camping trailer.
Tow Vehicle (TV)
A vehicle used to tow a trailer.
The part of the trailer frame that narrows towards the coupler. The tongue contains the coupler and the stays for the safety chains.
Tongue Weight (TW)
A measurement; the actual weight of the trailer tongue, measured at the coupler. In North America the tongue weight is typically 12 to 15% percent of the trailer's GVW.
A combinaiton of tow vehicle and trailer in which the tow vehicle exceeds at least one of its specifications (GVWR, GAWR, GCVWR, payload or tow capacity).
Unloaded Vehicle Weight (UVW)
A measurement; the actual weight of a vehicle including the vehicle itself and all permanent accessories but excluding passengers, cargo and fuel.
Weight Carrying Hitch (WCH)
A hitch system in which the entire weight of the trailer tongue is borne by the tow vehicle's hitch and, by extension, the rear axle of the tow vehicle.
Weight Distributing Hitch (WDH)
A hitch system that distributes the tongue weight between all the axles of the tow vehicle and the trailer by means of suspension bars.