Home Full Timing Choosing an RV Name – How Did We Choose Ours?

Choosing an RV Name – How Did We Choose Ours?

by Sonya
RV Names

Do you ever wonder what is in an RV name?

Most full timers (and even many weekenders/part time RVers) give their rigs some kind of RV name. Often they name their RV after something that rhymes with the brand of their rig, or from the color scheme (like “Big Browny”). Others have paired names for their truck and trailer or 5th wheel (like The Freedom Theory’s Rocky and Bullwinkle).

Our first rig was called Boomer. In retrospect, most people probably thought we were Baby Boomers (which we aren’t). But Boomer comes from the Australian word “Boomer” for a male kangaroo. The name worked for our first rig, but we didn’t want to use it again for our new RV.

Once a jolly swagman…

For our full time life rig, we wanted to have names for both the rig AND the Jeep we are towing, so something that worked for both. In case you missed it, I (Sonya) am Australian. We both embrace my heritage and like to “fly the flag”, so to speak for both Australia, and the US. So when it came to naming our rig, we thought about names from both cultures, and decided to pick something from the Australian culture.

There is an unofficial national anthem in Australia called “Waltzing Matilda”.  It is an old bush ballad written in 1895 by Banjo Patterson, one of Australia’s most famous poets. It was set to music in the 20’s, and soon became one of the most popular songs in Australia. From Wikipedia:

“Waltzing Matilda” is Australia’s best-known bush ballad, and has been described as the country’s “unofficial national anthem”.[1]

The title was Australian slang for travelling on foot (waltzing, derived from the German auf der Walz) with one’s belongings in a “matilda” (swag) slung over one’s back.[2] The song narrates the story of an itinerant worker, or “swagman“, making a drink of billy tea at a bush camp and capturing a stray jumbuck (sheep) to eat. When the jumbuck’s owner, a squatter (wealthy landowner), and three mounted policemen pursue the swagman for theft, he declares “You’ll never take me alive!” and commits suicide by drowning himself in a nearby billabong (watering hole), after which his ghost haunts the site.

Our RV Life name is “Itinerant Life”, so as soon as we read the description, it made a whole lot of sense to us! So we gave our RV the name “Matilda” and our Jeep “Swagman”. We are travelers, workers, explorers, itinerants. It just fit.

Matilda might be shortened to Tillie, and Swagman Swaggy or something, because all Aussies tend to shorten our words 🙂  But let’s just hope we don’t have the same ending that the Swagman has in the ballad!

So what do you call you call your RV or car? Share in the comments below! And we would love to hear your thoughts on our names… Happy travels!


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Laura June 19, 2017 - 9:59 pm

I love the names you chose! Though I certainly hope it doesn’t lead to theft or drowning or any other unpleasantness. 🙂

We have a Tiffin too, but it’s an Allegro. The color scheme is called “white mahogany.” The first couple years they had it as an option, it looked REALLY purple. Over time, they’ve darkened the color significantly, so newer coaches that come in this color scheme almost look black and white. The only time you really see the purple is when it’s in direct sunlight. But, when I thought about driving around in a big purple bus, all I could think of was “Barney the Purple Dinosaur.” So we ended up naming the RV “Barney.” 🙂

Anyway, I am jealous of your Phaeton. Those are gorgeous RVs. We’ve loved our Tiffin and hope you guys love yours as well!

Sonya June 19, 2017 - 10:07 pm

Barney is awesome ! We had a purple motorcycle that I called Barney too 🙂 Can’t help it ! Tiffins are awesome. We looked at Allegros but the Phaeton became available and we jumped on it:) Happy travels in Barney!!


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