Jargon Buster

We do get asked a lot what some of the ‘jargon’ is that is listed either in the brochures or our website.  So we’ve compiled a list of ‘Jargon Busters’ to help everyone!

Glossary of Terms

A-ClassA motorcaravan that has a purpose built body on a chassis. The living area and the cab are made by the factory.

AESAutomatic energy selection. This is a feature of many fridges, that enables them to automatically switch between 12V, 240V and gas power sources.

AlkoA chassis extension used to improve handling and lower floor height. Double-floor Alko chassis are used to provide underfloor storage.

BerthsThe number of sleeping areas provided by a motorhome. This is not always the same as the number of seats.

Captain’s chairOften used as driver’s seats, these are comfortable, stand-alone seats that have a swivel base, arm rests and are easily adjusted.

C-ClassAlternative name for a coachbuilt camper (see below).

Cassette toiletToilets featuring a holding tank accessed via a hatch on the outside of the vehicle. Waste can be disposed of by removing a slide-out cassette.

Certified locationSites approved by the Caravan Club – sometimes known as CL sites.

Certified sitesAs above but run by the Camping and Caravanning Club.

Chemical toiletBottles of chemicals are used to keep the toilet fresh.

CoachbuiltA motorcaravan that has a body built on an chassis that retains the chassis manufacturers existing cab.

Common railA fuel injection system used on the latest turbo-diesel engines. These are claimed to increase fuel economy.

Delivery ChargeThe cost of bringing a motorcaravan from the factory to the dealership, which is passed on to the customer.

DinetteA popular style for motorhome seating, a dinette features a table between two bench seats. This layout can often be converted to form a bed.

DVLAThe Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency is an Executive Agency of the Department for Transport. Their primary aims are to facilitate road safety and general law enforcement by maintaining registers of drivers and vehicles, and to collect taxation – vehicle excise duty (VED). The DVLA website can be found at http://www.dvla.gov.uk/

ELCBEarth Leakage Contact Breaker – also known as an RCD or Residual Current Device.

Ex-worksA price that excludes on-the-road costs such as road fund licence, delivery charge and number plates.

Flame Failure Device (FFD)A device used on gas appliances to stop gas escaping into a vehicle if the flame goes out.

Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW)The maximum permitted loaded weight of a vehicle. It is an offence to take a vehicle onto a public highway that has a total weight in excess of its GVW.

HGVHeavy Goods Vehicle. This term is now being replaced with LGV, meaning Large Goods Vehicle.

InboardA term used to describe items found inside a motorhome, ie watertanks.

Living SectionThe sleeping, eating and seating area of a motorcaravan, not including the cab.

Low-ProfileA coachbuilt motorhome with no sleeping area over the cab. The more streamlined shape is designed to improve aerodynamics and fuel economy.

LPGLiquid Petroleum Gas – a green fuel alternative that can be used to power petrol vehicles and which is available at many UK petrol stations. If you own a large motorhome, this could be a way to cut your fuel bills.

LutonAn overcab area usually featuring an integral sleeping compartment.

Mains hook-upAvailable on campsites to allow motorhomes to connect to a 240V electricity supply.

Maximum Authorised Mass (MAM)A new term now used to describe Gross Vehicle Weight (see definition above). It means exactly the same thing but is considered less open to misinterpretation.

Mass in Running Order (MRO)(Ex works weight inclusive of the manufacturer’s tolerances, Unladen Weight)Mass of the caravan equipped to the manufacturer’s standard specification stated on the caravan weight plate. This now includes those items required for the safe and proper functioning of the caravan (e.g. gas cylinder, fresh water and hook up cable). Note: Dealer fitted items must be taken into consideration if it is a dealer special.

Mass in Running Order (MRO or MIRO)(Ex works weight inclusive of the manufacturer’s tolerances, Unladen Weight)Mass of the caravan equipped to the manufacturer’s standard specification stated on the caravan weight plate. This now includes those items required for the safe and proper functioning of the caravan (e.g. gas cylinder, fresh water and hook up cable). Note: Dealer fitted items must be taken into consideration if it is a dealer special.

Optional equipmentItems made available by the manufacturer or dealer over an above the standard specification of the caravan e.g. spare wheel, air conditioning, motor mover, awning etc.

PayloadPayload is used by motorhome manufacturers to indicate how much a vehicle can carry. It is the difference between the Vehicle Unladen Weight (VUW) and the Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) or Maximum Authorised Mass (MAM).

Personal effectsThose items which you choose to carry in a caravan which are not included as essential habitation equipment (e.g. clothes, crockery, cooking utensils, bedding, TV, radio, footwear, books, awning and food). Often used in discussions of payload.

PDIPre-delivery inspection carried out by a dealer prior to delivery.

PLGPrivate/Light Goods Vehicle.

Private HGVPrivate Heavy Goods Vehicle.

RHDRight hand drive.

SkirtsPanels built around the lower edge of a motorcaravan which are often knock-resistant and may house storage lockers.

Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN)Statutory off Road Notification (SORN) applies to any vehicle taxed on or after 31 January 1998. A declaration must be made by the vehicle’s keeper whenever the licence is not renewed or is surrendered for refund. Keepers acquiring untaxed vehicles must license them or declare SORN if they are kept ‘off road’. If your vehicle was not taxed on 31 January 1998 (ie classic cars, vehicles stored away for restoration, etc), you do not need to take any action until it is next taxed.

User Payload(Caravan Allowable Payload)Payload relates to the weights of all items carried in a caravan and is the allowance you have for: Optional equipment, Personal effects. The total allowances represents the difference between the MTPLM and the MRO.

Vehicle Unladen Weight (VUM)Vehicle Unladen Weight (VUM) normally means the empty weight as a motorcaravan left the factory, ie without water, fuel, gas bottles or persons on board. Your ’empty’ vehicle is likely to weigh more.

WarrantyOffered by manufacturers and dealers to cover certain items against defects for a set period of time. Look for a warranty that covers the base unit and the living area of the motorcaravan for up to three years.