Not everyone is looking to sell their motorhome or campervan, but still lots of people interested in motorhomes come to our site. We are trying to make our site more informative about motorhomes and caravanning in general. this blog post is just a glossary of terms used in motorhomes and campervans.


If you have any good ideas for more informative posts we can do please let us know at

A Class Type of motor caravan where both the cab and habitation area bodywork are integrated and have been constructed by the converter, not the base vehicle manufacturer.
Actual Laden Weight The total weight of the motor caravan and its contents, when being towed. The (ALW) only reliable way to determine this is on a weigh bridge.
AquarollA proprietary design of fresh water container that can be pulled along the ground.
Awning A tent-like structure of fabric over a supporting framework, which can be attached to the side of a motor caravan, or be free standing. Also called an annexe. Many motor caravans are also built with permanently fixed roll-out blinds, some of which can be supplemented with zip-in side panels.
Base Vehicle The vehicle used as the platform on which a motor caravan is built.
Berth Sleeping place.
Butane A type of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) commonly used for caravanning when temperatures are above freezing. Usually sold in a blue cylinder.
Cassette Toilet A form of chemical toilet found in modern motor caravans, where the waste (Chemical Toilet) holding tank can be accessed and emptied from outside.
Certificated Location (CL) Small, privately owned sites permitted to accommodate up to 5 caravans per night, licensed by an organisation like The Caravan Club and exclusively for use by its members.
Chassis Cab A common type of base vehicle on which a motor caravan may be built, consisting of a complete, driveable chassis with enclosed cab area.
Coachbuilt When referring to motor caravans, indicates any form of construction where the habitation area is built on to a chassis cab.
Converter The manufacturer who constructs a motor caravan from the base vehicle.
Corner Steady The winding device built into each corner of a motor caravan chassis that is used to stabilise the body once set up on a pitch.
Elevating Roof A feature of some smaller motor caravans, which provides greater headroom when on site, but gives a low profile to reduce wind resistance on the road and to facilitate garage storage.
Full Service Pitch A pitch which has individual provision for fresh water supply and waste water disposal, in addition to mains electricity and sometimes TV aerial connection.
Gas Cylinder A portable, pressurised container for the storage of LPG.
Gas Cylinder Locker Compartment on the motor caravan for the storage of gas cylinders.
Grey Water (see Waste Water) Waste water from sink/shower.
Gross Train Weight Also known as Combined Weight. The maximum permitted weight of an outfit. This is often the sum of the gross vehicle weight and the braked towing limit.
Gross Vehicle Weight The weight of the vehicle laden to its maximum, as defined by the manufacturer.
(GVW) See also MTPLM.
Habitation area The part of the motor caravan which comprises the living space, as opposed to the external lockers or cab area.
High Top A form of motor caravan where the base vehicle manufacturer or converter has added a fixed roof offering increased headroom.
Hook-Up A facility on a pitch for connection to mains electricity.
KerbweightThe empty weight of a motor vehicle as defined by the manufacturer.
Layout The arrangement of furniture and fittings within the habitation area.
LAV Leisure Accommodation Vehicle: A general term which includes caravans, motor caravans, campers and trailer tents.
Leisure Battery A 12V battery similar to a car battery, which powers the 12V lighting, water pump(s) etc in the motor caravan.
Levelling The process of ensuring that a motor caravan is level when sited on a pitch. Important for comfort and also to ensure the correct functioning of the fridge and water systems.
Liquefied Petroleum Gas The fuel used to power the cooking hob/oven in most motor caravans. Can also (LPG) be used for the fridge, water heater and space heater when mains electricity is not available.
Low-Profile A form of coachbuilt motor caravan which does not have an overcab area.
LutonA term originally applied to lorries with an overcab load area, and also used to describe motor caravans with a bed over the cab.
MAMMaximum Authorised Mass: the maximum weight limit as defined by the (now referred to as the MTPLM) manufacturer/ converter.
MIRO Mass in Running Order: the weight of the motor caravan ex-factory with fuel and (formerly referred to as the MAM) water, but without any passengers or caravanning equipment. Previously called Unladen or Ex-Works Weight.
MTPLM Maximum Technically Permissible Laden Mass. The maximum weight which can legally be carried by the chassis, as specified by the manufacturer.
Motor Caravan A self-propelled caravan. Also called a Motorhome, Campervan or Caravanette.
Motor Caravan Service A facility on a caravan site where motor caravans can fill onboard drinking water
Point tank and empty onboard waste water tank.
PayloadAlso called User Payload. The difference between the MTPLM and the MIRO and is the weight you can add to the motor caravan, including passengers.
Propane A type of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) usually stored in red cylinders and suitable for year-round use.
RCDA safety device which disconnects the mains electricity supply in the event of an earth leakage fault.
Regulator A safety device which controls the pressure of LPG coming out of a cylinder, and going into the motor caravan supply system.
RV Recreational Vehicle: an American term for motor caravan.
Van Conversion A type of motor caravan based on a panel van.
VINVehicle Identification Number.
WardenThe Caravan Club employee in charge of an individual Caravan Club Site.
Waste Water (see Grey Water) Water which has been used in the kitchen or bathroom areas.
Water Pump Since motor caravan water tanks and containers are kept at low level, a pump must be used to deliver water to taps and the water heater.
WheelbaseThe distance between the front and rear axles of a vehicle.
Wheel Clamp A security device which should prevent a road wheel rotating or the wheel being removed.