What Term Do You Use for What Rigs? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-28-2017, 11:34 AM   #1
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What Term Do You Use for What Rigs?

I'm not going to say I don't know the difference between a TRAILER, a 5th WHEEL, a CAMPER, an RV, a SEMI "TRACTOR-TRAILER" &/or a TOW VEHICLE, because I think I do.

But many others think they do, too.

What page are we all on for what these creatures are?

My Aussie pen pal calls them ALL "Caravans," except the tow vehicle, and I think they call them caravans in England, too..

My Aunt calls them all "campers."

Some people call them all RVs.

Any ideas on how the categories ought to go? Aren't they all relatively different? You can't use one exactly the same way you'd use another type?

Below: our tow vehicle, a Dodge Grand Caravan (as in "van") pulling Peanut, a trailer.

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Old 03-28-2017, 12:01 PM   #2
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"A rose by any other name would smell as sweet..."

Call it anything you want, as long as it takes you camping!

Technically speaking a Scamp fifth wheel is not a fifth wheel but a gooseneck trailer.

At least I know what I've got:

Kingdom: Land vehicle
Phylum: Highway vehicle
Class: Recreational vehicle
Order: Towable recreational vehicle
Family: Travel trailer
Genus: Molded fiberglass travel trailer
Species: Scamp 13
Sub-species: Standard Layout 1
Common name: Camper
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Old 03-28-2017, 12:01 PM   #3
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For starters, to me a rig is something I used to drive, a semi/trailer combo. Our trailers do not rate that category. I actually just heard someone on the Escape forum call theirs a "rig" a while back, the first I had heard that term for our small(ish) trailers. I have a friend who calls theirs a "unit", equally strange to me.

They are travel trailers pure and simple, though we do have various categories such as fifth wheel and bumper pull.

Our moulded fibreglass travel trailers then are just a subset of the main category of Recreational Vehicles (RVs), along with Campers (mount into truck beds), Tent Trailers (pop ups to some) and various classes of Motorhomes.
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Old 03-28-2017, 12:53 PM   #4
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I like both the above posts very much.

From what I hear, in terms of "the law", they are travel trailers. That's what insurance calls them, and law enforcement. But that's just in the US. I typically call mine "my camper". But it depends on who I'm talking to. People who know me well can decode "the Bigfoot". But that would just confuse people who don't know me and my camper. If it seems I'm talking to someone with a lot of in-depth experience, or someone "official", I call it a travel trailer. It's like any kind of industry lingo. When you're talking to someone "in the industry", it makes sense to use very specific terms, because then they know exactly what you're talking about. Whereas using the same words around people outside of the industry either makes you look arrogant, them feel stupid, or both.

I think camper, trailer, camper trailer, travel trailer, and RV all work. The one word in the same class I can think of that I wouldn't call my camper is a motorhome, because that is specifically wrong. The rest are more or less synonyms.
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Old 03-28-2017, 01:31 PM   #5
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Is that kinda like cola, soda, soda pop used to describe Coke, Pepsi, RC?
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Old 03-28-2017, 01:33 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roy M. View Post
Is that kinda like cola, soda, soda pop used to describe Coke, Pepsi, RC?
You forgot the real one, just plain pop.
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Old 03-28-2017, 01:49 PM   #7
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Darn it! I left that one out! Nothing like an ice cold pop while relaxing in the camper, rv, travel trailer, camp trailer........
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Old 03-28-2017, 02:30 PM   #8
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As long a it is a wobbly pop, I am good. Not actually a fan of the flavoured sugar water type.
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Old 03-28-2017, 02:39 PM   #9
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Now yer talkin'!!
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Old 03-28-2017, 03:10 PM   #10
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Trailer Coach !?

Weeellllllll...

In Michigan I ran into a problem with getting my Trillium 4500 titled & registered. I indicated to the state employee that my Trillium 4500 was "travel trailer", BUT apparently that's not one of the options on their computer system, so my trailer got registered as a "trailer" which is actually an unoccupied trailer AND the fee is higher for a "trailer" vs what my Trillium 4500 is.

Turns out that in Michigan the correct/legal term for a travel trailer is a "trailer coach". So, went back to the MI Secretary of State office and got my Trillium 4500 re-registered as a "trailer coach", and got a partial refund.
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Old 03-28-2017, 03:21 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kai in Seattle View Post
...Any ideas on how the categories ought to go?...
How about this?

Recreational Vehicles

I. Motorized RVs
...A. Motorhomes
......1. Class A (big box)
......2. Class B (van conversion)
......3. Class C (chopped van chassis)
...B. Truck campers (slide-in)

II. Towable RVs
...A. Fifth wheel trailers (pick-up bed attachment)
...B. Travel trailers (fixed wall "bumper" pull)
...C. Folding trailers (tent trailers & A-frames)
...D. Camping trailers (teardrops and similar)*

Am I missing any? I know the RV industry likes to create new subcategories as a marketing tool- like "Class B-Plus", for extra-big van conversions, and "Hybrids," for travel trailers with fold-out beds. For the most part, transportation agencies don't recognize those distinctions.

*Edited, with thanks to an anonymous forum member for pointing out that there are other trailers that function similarly as beds-on-wheels with an external kitchen.
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Old 03-28-2017, 06:43 PM   #12
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Are you talkin' about a"brown" pop?
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Old 03-28-2017, 09:02 PM   #13
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Missing Category

Jon.
"Bus Conversion" is missing from your list, unless you are stuck with the mostly low quality RV Industry. We generally use the term "motorhome" instead of "bus" as some think bus must be commercial.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
How about this?

Recreational Vehicles

I. Motorized RVs
...A. Motorhomes
......1. Class A (big box)
......2. Class B (van conversion)
......3. Class C (chopped van chassis)
...B. Truck campers (slide-in)

II. Towable RVs
...A. Fifth wheel trailers (pick-up bed attachment)
...B. Travel trailers (fixed wall "bumper" pull)
...C. Folding trailers (tent trailers & A-frames)
...D. Camping trailers (teardrops and similar)*

Am I missing any? I know the RV industry likes to create new subcategories as a marketing tool- like "Class B-Plus", for extra-big van conversions, and "Hybrids," for travel trailers with fold-out beds. For the most part, transportation agencies don't recognize those distinctions.

*Edited, with thanks to an anonymous forum member for pointing out that there are other trailers that function similarly as beds-on-wheels with an external kitchen.
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Old 03-28-2017, 11:01 PM   #14
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Old 03-28-2017, 11:12 PM   #15
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You're right, Jim, I was thinking only about commercially manufactured RVs. If you consider home builds, there are all sorts of category-bending possibilities. For example, how would you classify a slide-in truck camper on a flatbed utility trailer? A converted ____ (bus, hearse, fire truck,...)? A gypsy wagon?
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Old 03-28-2017, 11:18 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
You're right- I was thinking only about commercially manufactured RVs. If you consider home builds, there are all sorts of category-bending possibilities. For example, how would you classify a slide-in truck camper on a flatbed utility trailer? A converted ____ (bus, hearse, fire truck,...)? A gypsy wagon?
I would call it an RV
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Old 03-29-2017, 08:56 AM   #17
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In terms of common usage, not industry terminology or legal definitions in motor vehicle codes, I tend to call it an "RV" if it is a full-featured, self-contained, live inside kind of unit, and a "camper" if it is more rustic and geared toward living outside. I claim no authority for that particular distinction, and I'm sure owners of "full-featured" units will be along to tell me they have everything inside and still spend most of their time outside. Camping.

More to the point of this thread, the unspoken question is about the boundaries for this forum. And that seems pretty clear. If it has wheels and is registered as a vehicle but no engine ("towable"), and if the entire body is molded fiberglass ("all-molded," not laminated), then it belongs here.

In my experience the molded-versus-laminated distinction causes the most misunderstanding. But there could be confusion over "towable," too. Traditional fixed wall travel trailers are far and away the most numerous all-molded towables, but fifth wheels, goosenecks (Scamp), hybrids (Northern Lite), pop-tops (Hunter, Miti-Lite), molded teardrops, converted molded fiberglass cargo trailers are all part of the family. I recently ran across an all-molded fiberglass tent trailer- the entire box and top are molded. Guess that counts, too!
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Old 03-29-2017, 09:06 AM   #18
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I drove 18wheelers for 25yrs and call my truck/camper as my rig...the trailer by itself is my camper...I have noticed at many CGs, RV is used to designate motor homes and large 5th wheelers/bumper pulls and camper trailer as anything else being pulled by a vehicle...barley pop, I learned from a friend from Kentucky...'round here, if it is sugary/flavored water, we call it a coke, regardless of flavor ie; hon, what kindda coke y'all wanna drink.........
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Old 03-29-2017, 10:12 AM   #19
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Ours is a "travel trailer" even though it is usually just called our Scamp.
The use and outfitting seems to determine whether it was made as a "Camper" or a "Travel Trailer".
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Old 03-29-2017, 04:30 PM   #20
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Travel Trailers

We live in a "Park Model" (11.5 X 34 with loft and 10 foot porch on chassis) and "camp" in a 17 ft Casita. Since we lived in an "RV Park", as permitted by the county we are in, the "Park Model" had to retain its RV identity: ie, had to keep the tongue and wheels on and be registered with license plate attached. Both the "Park Model" and Casita had "Use" shown as "tvl" on their registrations. "tvl" = travel trailer. Go figure.
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