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Motorhome Jargon Buster – All The Words You Need To Know

If you’re new to the motorhome world, then you might not be up to date with all the lingo.

This can be frustrating if you’re just buying your first motorhome. You don’t know what all the words and terms mean – and have to keep asking the salesperson over and over.

So we’ve created a quick guide that explains all the key terms you’re sure to hear about.


An awning can be attached to the top of your motorhome, and rolled out to the side, creating a nice shaded area besides your vehicle. This is a great way to create additional room, which you can use as a living space outside.


A berth is a bed. When a motorhome is described as having ‘x amount of berths’ – this is the number of people it can accommodate overnight. They can be divided into ‘adult berths’ and ‘children berths’, depending on size.

Black Waste

This is your toilet waste. It can be found stored in a tank below the toilet. Campsites will have designated drains, where you can dispose of this waste.

Caravan Entrance

Despite the name, this term is used with motorhomes. It is the side door that opens into the living space of the motorhome – as opposed to the doors that open to the front seats of the vehicle.

Cassette Toilet

This is a type of toilet – and is found in many motorhomes. All the waste is deposited into a sealed container beneath, which can be easily removed and emptied at a designated disposal point.


This is a type of motorhome, one that has been purpose-built on a coach, caravan, or other van chassis. They are bigger than those that have been converted from a regular van-type vehicle.

Corner Steadies

A corner steady is a leg that can be lowered from beneath the motorhome, and used to steady the vehicle when it is parked up. There are typically two steadies, located at the back of the motorhome.

Electric Hook-up

This is when you connect your motorhome to the electrical sockets found on campsites, so you can use the electricity provided by the owner of said campsite. A special cable is required – and is normally included in the purchase of a motorhome.

Fresh Water Tank

As the name suggests, this is where all your fresh water is stored. The water which you use for cooking and washing whilst in your motorhome.

3-Way Fridge

A motorhome fridge can be powered by three different sources – the mains electricity when hooked up to a campsite, the gas when parked up, but not connected, and the motorhome’s battery when on the move.

Grey Waste

This is dirty water that does not come from the toilet. It comes from your kitchen and bathroom sinks, as well as the shower. There is a separate grey waste storage tank that can be disposed of in the appropriate locations.

Leisure Battery

This is the secondary battery of a motorhome, so that it isn’t relying solely on the vehicle’s main battery. It can power lights and electrical devices in the living area.

Over Cab Bed

A bed located above the cab of a coachbuilt motorhome (is typically a double bed).


The total weight of everything in your motorhome – not including the vehicle itself.


A hatch in the ceiling that allows natural light into the motorhome. Can be opened for ventilation purposes.


Another name for ‘Corner Steadies’ (see above)

Thetford Toilet

A type of motorhome toilet. Very simple to use, and easy to empty when the waste needs to be disposed of. Thetford is the most popular toilet found in motorhomes.

Travelling Seats

Seats found in the living area of the motorhome that have seatbelts – so they can be sat in whilst the vehicle is in motion.

Waste Water Tank

This is where waste water from the kitchen and bathroom sinks, as well as the shower, will be stored. It can be easily removed, and the waste disposed of.

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