RV Terms and Definitions 01

12dC12-volt DC – A recreational vehicle’s low voltage, direct current system, powered by either a battery or an inverter when the RV is connected to electrical hookups or a generator.  Direct current means that the electrical current flows in one direction in the circuit.  12-volt DC powers components in the RV such as lights, water pump, LP gas furnace controls, generator starter, tank level indicators, and DC powered entertainment equipment.

Note: This post is part of a continuing series created during the development of a glossary of RV Terms and Definitions for a new website.

110AC120-volt AC – A recreational vehicle’s alternating current system, powered by way of electrical hookups in a campground – sometimes called shore power – or from a generator.  The voltage is the same as that normally found in homes.  Alternating current means that the electrical current changes direction in the circuit, normally 60 cycles every second (60 hertz). AC powers components in the RV such as the microwave, water heater in AC mode, refrigerator in AC mode, and AC electrical outlets.

Actual weight – The measured weight of the vehicle or it’s components.  Factory or sticker weights may be averages or estimates of weight. 1

Adjustable ball mount – used to attain proper height between a tow vehicle receiver and the coupler of the trailer or other vehicle that is being towed.  Normally used with weight distributing hitches,  the ball of the adjustable ball mount may be raised, lowered or tilted, for to attain the proper tongue weight and coupler height to level the trailer.

AGM – Absorbed Gas Mat, a type of battery using a glass mat to wick the electrolyte between the battery plates.  AGM batteries only have enough liquid electrolyte to keep the mat wet.  If the battery is broken, there is little or no liquid available to leak out.2

Airbag – term used to describe either factory installed air suspension systems on motorhomes or after market RV suspension enhancements.

1 Changin’ Gears – Understanding RV Weights
2 BatteryStuff.com – Gel vs AGM

rv terms

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