For whatever reason, humans have an affinity for naming inanimate objects. We name our cars, our boats, and yes, our RVs! Over 800 members of our RV Lifestyle community replied to a post asking about names for your RV, motorhome, travel trailers, toads, and toad vehicles…
When I first started RVing (more than 10 years ago!), I didn’t realize naming RVs was a thing. But I soon caught on after seeing many names scrawled across the back or cleverly squeezed into vanity license plates.
Even when not written on the RV, people naturally referred to their RV by a sort of pet name. In many cases, it’s a variation of the make and model, like Winnie the Winnebago. In other cases, you know there’s a good story behind the name that needs sharing.
I always get a kick out of hearing what people name their RVs and apparently Mel from our Facebook group does, too. She posted, “Hi, new to the group! I want to know what you named your RV?!”
The post received more than 800 comments with hundreds of names!! I’m going to share 75 of those names down below and, boy, did they make me laugh! I hope they make you smile, too, and maybe inspire you to name your RV if you haven’t already!
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Why Name an RV?
Humans like to name things. We name our children, pets, teddy bears, ships, biceps, and even storm systems! I mean, you could say, “Hailey blew through and left wreckage in her wake” and you could be talking about a hurricane, a freighter, or a toddler!
But why do we do it? Why do we like to name things?
A Sense of Connection
When looking into the psychology of naming things, there seems to be a strong basis in our social nature. As social beings, we long to connect with others as it brings us comfort and joy. So much so, that we can even feel connected to things, which makes us want to name them.
It’s that same reasoning where people name pets, but don’t name livestock. Once you name something, you don’t want to eat it!
A Sense of Control
There’s also an argument for our human need to tame things, to control things, or even to hold claim over something. If you name something, it means you have the authority to name it. It belongs to you and will listen when you call. And, again, you will be connected to it.
There’s a wonderful reference to these ideas of connection and taming from the famous children’s book, The Little Prince. The fox says to the little prince, “To me, you are still nothing more than a little boy who is just like a hundred thousand other little boys. And I have no need of you. And you, on your part, have no need of me. To you, I am nothing more than a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But if you tame me, then we shall need each other. To me, you will be unique in all the world. To you, I shall be unique in all the world …”
So, I suppose our RVs are just like a hundred thousand other RVs until we tame them. Sometimes just taking ownership of an RV is enough for some, while others take it a step further by naming them.
Sometimes we name things simply because it’s practical. For instance, it’s just easier to say “Winnie” than it is to say “Winnebago.” I think that’s explanation enough to make this point.
Names also help to differentiate between similar objects. For example, if you’ve owned three Winnebagos, you can say, “Remember that trip with Winnie” compared to “that other trip with Bago.”
Maybe Occam’s razor applies here and the simplest answer is the best answer: we name RVs because it’s fun! We simply like to name them because it amuses us.
And it amuses others and can serve as an icebreaker when making friends at a campground. Oh wait, that brings us back to our first reason of forming connections! So, even the simple answer is rooted in complex human behavior!
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Why Do We Name RVs but Not Houses?
A lot of people have names for their boats and RVs, which got me thinking, why don’t we name our houses? Well, it turns out, that some people do, and it’s actually more common in other countries, like England.
But in America, the only houses I know of that have names are vacation homes. I wonder if there’s a connection between recreation and the desire to name these large items?
Perhaps we don’t feel like naming our primary residences because we often feel like they own us! (Or that the bank owns them!) So, we don’t feel like we’ve tamed it yet.
Or, perhaps it’s because we have a very structured way of naming our houses already, like 123 Main. Since it’s already given a specific name by others (the county zoning department), we don’t feel the need to name it ourselves.
But once we have a vacation home, we have to be able to differentiate between our two homes, so we name the fun house! Yep, I think I’m on to something with this reasoning.
How to Choose Names for Your RV
Jennifer and I once named a campervan MAJOR. It stood for Mike And Jennifer’s Other Residence. We got the name from a reader’s suggestion and thought it was pretty clever. But the company that made that little bugger ended up in the middle of a MAJOR scandal and declared bankruptcy almost immediately after we got it, which caused us to get rid of the RV as soon as possible.
Ever since then, we’ve refrained from naming our RVs. It was bad luck for us. So we simply refer to them by their model, The Wonder, and The Arcadia. Well, to be fair, Jennifer has been calling our new Arcadia fifth wheel “The Palace” lately… 🙂
When choosing a name for your RV, you have a few different routes to take. You can go personal, funny, punny, or inspiring.
Personal RV Names
With personal RV names, there’s typically a story tied to the name or it’s in honor of someone. Many of the commenters said they named their RV after a loved one, much in the way captains name their ships after women they love. Or, there’s a story like, “I named my RV Bambi because I almost hit a deer the first time I took it camping.”
So, this style of name typically “comes to you” naturally.
Funny & Punny RV Names
I gotta say, I’m a big fan of funny and punny RV names. You can be driving by a rig, see its name and laugh at it without needing an explanation. It’s a small entertainment while driving for hours on the road.
You’ll see from the list of RV name examples below that people have come up with all kinds of funny RV names and some great puns, too.
My personal favorite from the list is naming a Class A “Life Coach.” It’s punny and you can say things like, “Man, my Life Coach really opened my eyes to the world” or “I’m so much happier ever since I got my Life Coach.”
Inspiring RV Names
The RV Lifestyle lends itself to plenty of inspiration, so it’s no wonder many RVers give their RV names that reflect that. Liberty, Freedom, Serenity, Wanderer are all fitting names for any RV.
Such names give you a warm fuzzy feeling inside or motivate you to go on another adventure.
Examples of RV Names
The following 75 names are just a small sample of the names our Facebook members shared with us! Isn’t our RV Lifestyle community great?!
By the way, if you don’t know what some of the abbreviations stand for below, like MH, toad & TV, check out Common RV Terminology & Acronyms for Newbie RVers.
- Howard (Home On Wheels At Recreation Destination)
- Carbucks (always stocked with coffee!)
- Barkingham Palace
- Tori (it’s a Redhawk, Tori means “bird” in Japanese)
- Pancake with a tow vehicle named Syrup
- It’ll Do (1997 Coachmen)
- Blanche (Old white motorhome that does as she pleases)
- The Magic Bus (inspired by The Who)
- Beauty & the Beast (5th Wheel & TV)
- Fiona & Shrek (toad & MH)
- The Rolling Stones (Last name is Stone)
- Yogi & Boo Boo (TT and TV)
- Travelanator (inspired by Phineas and Ferb)
- Neverland (Where you never have to grow up!)
- Mac (It’s a Fleetwood)
- The Money Pit
- The Pack N Play
- The Louisiana Purchase (I’m guessing they bought it in LA!)
- Calamity Jane (Hit BY a deer and other mishaps)
- Glorious Gypsy
- Biggie & Smalls (TV & TT)
- Casita and Louisa (TT & TV inspired by Encanto)
- Big Bertha
- Lilly Pad (& call their toad “frog”)
- The Empty Nest
- Dora (the Explorer)
- Sundance & Butch (TT & TV)
- Bullwinkle & Rocky (MH & toad)
- Bare Necessities
- Roam Sweet Home
- Jolene (since the RV is her husband’s mistress)
- Rocketship (Little Einsteins’ theme song: “We’re going on a trip in our favorite rocketship”)
- Vinny Van Go (owned by an artist)
- Lemonade (when life gives you lemons…)
- Tow Mater and Sally (Truck & TT inspired by Cars)
- Sir Moves-a-Lot & Squire Runabout (MH & toad)
- Landship Enterprise (inspired by Star Trek)
- Frosty & Snowman (TT & truck)
- Home (full-timers)
- Freedom Ryder
- Inn Sanity
- Boots (Cuz it was made for walkin’… I mean driving?)
- Hodor & Winterfell (5th wheel & truck)
- She Shed
- Granny Go Wagon
- Large Marge
- The Black Pearl (inspired by Pirates of the Caribbean)
- Gully (inspired by Gulliver’s Travels)
- Barnum & Bailey (truck & TT)
- Bob (… because, Bob)
- Stargazer (inspired by Star Trek The Next Generation)
- Hannah (it’s a Montana)
- Rolling FUNder
- Cram A Lot Inn
- Beddy White
- Empty Pockets
- Arvie (wait… that’s just RV)
- Noah’s Ark (lots of pets!)
- Life Coach (Class A)
- Dorothy & Toto (MH & toad)
- Holiday Inn
- Sally (Ride, Sally, Ride!)
- Rocky (&) Road (Truck & TT)
- Athena & Atlas (Truck & TT)
- The Guzzler
- Miss B. Haven
Read HUNDREDS more in the RV Lifestyle Facebook thread.
What Did You Name Your RV?
Add your RV’s name or the best RV names you’ve ever heard to the thread by joining our RV Lifestyle Facebook group or by commenting down below.
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