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Motorhomes Direct - Motorhome glossary
Category: Travel and Transportation > Motorhomes
Date & country: 03/12/2007, UK
Words: 78

Trade name that has become a generic term for anti-lock braking systems

Accord technique
A system used by Renault to indicate that a motorhome has met its requirements for manufacture procedure

Chassis extension used to increase improve length, payload and handling of coachbuilt motorhomes

A framed tent structure which can be attached to a motorhome and left as a free-standing unit in its own right if you drive away

Approved motorcaravan
See Habitation code.

Like a large blind, awnings usually wind out from 'cassettes' fitted to the side of a motorhome

Base vehicle
The vehicle - usually either a panel van or a chassis cab - that provides the base for a motorhome conversion. Leading base vehicle suppliers include Citroen, Fiat, Ford, Mercedes, Peugeot, Renault and Volkswagen

Refers to the number of people a motorhome can sleep

Best of British
An organisation representing a number of leading caravan sites in Great Britain. Contact

Blown air heating
A method of heating the living quarters of a motorhome. Common trade names are Carver, Truma and Propex

Gas usually in blue bottles. Most commonly used by UK motorcaravanners, although many switch to propane in severely cold weather conditions

The main supplier of propane (red) gas cylinders and significant seller of butane (blue) gas

A term usually used for 'van conversions, either with a fixed roof, elevating roof or a High-top. Also one who camps

Camping and Caravanning Club, The
An organisation with over 400,000 members. Contact

Trade name of butane gas

Caravan Club, The
Another organisation with over 30,000 motorhome members. Contact

An old brand name often used erroneously today as a generic term for a motorhome

Carbon monoxide
Odourless toxic gas

Carbon monoxide-CO alarm
Device used to detect carbon monoxide

See chemical toilet

Certficated location
A small five-van only site with limited facilities, part of a network operated by The Caravan Club. The Camping and Caravanning Club offers a similar style of site, called Certificated Sites

Chassis cab
A combined chassis and cab from a commercial vehicle manufacturer, on which many coachbuilt motorhomes are built

Chemical toilet
Most modern motorhomes have them, with more upmarket models having a fully plumbed-in flushing version. Brand leader here is Thetford who have the Cassette model with its own removable holding tank plus, more recently, a swivel-bowl version

Sometimes referred to as C-class, this is the type of motorhome conversion built on a chassis cab

Literally the transformation of a base vehicle into a motorhome

Unit converted by A-class builders

A specialist retailer of motorhomes

Design Compatible Converter
A term used by Volkswagen to show a particular motorhome design meets their requirements

A popular style of seating arrangement where two settees face across a table

See Caravanette.

Elevating roof
A type of motorhome describing a van conversion with a lift-up roof section. Sometimes referred to as rising roof or pop-top, the roof may have solid or material sides

Fixed roof
A type of motorhome where the base vehicle roof remains unchanged from the original after conversion

Flame Failure Device
An FFD ensures any gas escape is kept to a minimum if a flame goes out accidentally

See Layout

Mesh fittings for windows

A dealer's licence to sell a particular make of motorhome

A kitchen area - usually not as well equipped as the norm

Glass-reinforced plastic, but more commonly known as glass fibre (not fibreglass, which is a trade name). Used by most motorhome manufacturers, for everything from bumper surrounds to side skirts to complete bodyshells

Habitation Code
The Habitation Code of Practice 201 is a joint initiative between the SMMT and NCC. The current Habitation Code is designed to ensure that there is European harmonisation for methods and standards of construction of motorhomes

A van conversion to which a motorhome manufacturer has added a high roof as part of the conversion

In motorhome terms this usually means water ingress, a possible problem where older coachbuilt bodies have let water seep in at the joins

Needed if you intend to use your motorhome all year round. Usually some kind of foam for insulation between aluminium exteriors and backed plywood inner walls

A name used by both Ford and Volkswagen to signify base vehicles that are made to a motorhome specification with factory-fitted windows

Lap and diagonal
Preferred three-point seat belt as used in modern cars

Lap belt
Seat belts fixed in only two positions. Avoid where possible

Interior design of a motorhome. Where furniture units are placed in relation to each other

Left-hand-drive vehicle. May be preferable if you'll use it a lot abroad

The term used for a coach-built design which does not incorporate an overcab bed

Liquid Petroleum Gas, i.e. butane or propane

Derived from lorries with overcab sections, in motorcaravans, it refers to the section over the cab which usually accommodates a double bed

Mains hook-up
A campsite facility whereby, if your motorhome is designed as such, you can plug into a mains electricity supply

Micro camper
Term often used to describe a small motorhome or camper

Motorcaravanners' club, The
The biggest owners' club with motorcaravanners as its sole members. Contact

Motorhome Information Service
Ideal starting point for beginners and a source of information regarding all matters motorcaravanning. Contact

Multi-Purpose Vehicle, a term hijacked by the car trade to describe their latest generation of estate cars which do not carry a lot of people, and are anything but multi-purpose

Power-assisted steering. Think twice before you buy a motorhome without it

The amount you can put into a motorhome. Specifically the difference between its maximum gross weight and kerbweight

Pre-Delivery Inspection. A complete check of a motorhome carried out by a dealer before a vehicle is handed over to its new owners

Gas used by motorhomes in colder conditions. Supplied in red cylinders

An American motorhome with its engine at the rear

None exist

Residual Current Circuit Breaker. See also RCD

Residual Current Device. Part of the motorhome's electrical system which will 'trip' if there is a fault

Recognised converter
A term adopted by Volkswagen meaning a motorhome manufacturer has met its requirements in terms of motorhome conversions and company status

Sandwich construction
A standard method of constructing the walls/ roof/floor for many coachbuilt motorhomes. The sandwich for a sidewall is usually of an aluminium or glass fibre exterior, backed plywood interior and insulation filler such as Styrofoam

Second (or auxiliary) battery
A leisure (as opposed to vehicle) battery for supplying power to the 12V system in the motorhome

Sometimes used for beds. Improves ventilation to mattress cushions

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders - a body which has incorporated a Motorcaravan section since 1984. Represents the motor industry at government, European, consumer group and media levels. Also operates an arbitration service for consumer disputes. Leading UK motorhome manufacturers are members of the SMMT as well as the National Caravan Council

Space heater
Type of heating equipment used in the living quarters

Usually refers to a fitting to one or both cab seats which means they can be turned around to face the rest of the living quarters when the vehicle is parked

A motorhome may have thermostatically-controlled luxuries such as an oven or heating

Van conversion
Usually a motorhome manufacturer will have added a High-top or elevating roof section as part of the conversion

Different manufacturers offer different types of warranties covering both the base vehicle and caravan aspect. Dealers also offer schemes on secondhand vehicles. Worth checking before purchase

Long, short or medium. Your overall length of motorhome usually depends on the wheelbase length of the base vehicle

Wild camping
Term used for staying overnight away from a campsite. Illegal in many countries, but permission may be granted by individual landowners

Common generic term for American motorhomes, but actually a brand name

Preparation of a vehicle's systems for winter

Zig unit
Trade name for an electrical distribution system control panel