You’re out on the road in your new recreation vehicle for the first time and pull into a campground or RV park. You commit that huge mistake that tells the world you’re a newcomer to the world of RVing. Everyone makes rookie RV mistakes, but you can avoid the worst ones if you do your homework ahead of time.
For the first couple of years of RVing it seemed I learned something new every time I pulled into a campsite and hooked up to the utilities. Sometimes, it was not the most enjoyable experience but a learning lesson.
Over the years, experienced RVers develop a mental “checklist” of items to inspect, clean, and prepare for when hooking up at a campground or RV park.
Following is a list of seven campground hookup essentials to follow:
Choose a Site That Best Meets Your Needs
You may want the patio side away from the glaring afternoon sun, or you may want to look out on a beautiful sunset. North facing campsites will have the sun warming the patio early in the morning.
The closer to the bathhouse, Laundromat, garbage bins, and dog park, the more traffic and noise. If you need Wi-Fi, check with the campground host to see if the signal is strong enough to get to the site you’ve been assigned.
If you are camping in extreme heat, check to see what side the refrigerator will be parked on during the heat of the day. Your refrigerator will run more efficient if it’s not in direct sunlight in the hot afternoon.
Inspect the Site
Upon arrival at your site, do a walkthrough, and determine the best location for RV and toad/tow vehicle. Inspect the site for low hanging limbs and other obstacles that are in the way of an extended slide, broken glass, or other sharp items. Look down; look up. Check line of site for a satellite dish. Be aware of location and height of utility box in relation to your hookups and slides.
Level the rig before extending the slideouts. A level coach means a level chassis which means a solid and flush sidewall for the room to extend out.
First step is to make sure the circuit breaker on the campground pedestal is turned off. Attach your RV power cord to an electric management system and plug into the pedestal. There are numerous choices in the marketplace but we believe the Progressive Electric Management Systems are the best. These units continuously monitor the power supply coming into your RV and if it detects a variance outside of the tolerances will shut the power down. Without the device, a power spike or low or high voltage can damage to your electrical system.
At the very least, check the electrical supply at the campground before plugging in by plugging in a GFCI tester.
Sanitize the city water faucet with ½ cup bleach in a gallon of water prior to attaching your pressure regulator and water hose. Fecal coli and other pathogens can form on exposed fixtures and a simple spray will provide a sanitized environment. Make sure you use an approved drinking water hose for the supply and store it away from the drain hose equipment. Make sure the valve is set to city water, not “fill tank” if you rig has this feature.
Connect your dump hose to the dump station if applicable but leave the valves closed. Open valves let odors into the rig and worse, allow liquid to drain out and solids to stay in the tank and pyramid.
Open your propane tank slowly! There is an excess flow valve designed into the POL valve connected to the tank and opening it fast with shut down the valve until pressure subsides which can be several minutes. Check the stove and oven before opening the valve to make sure they are not on.
I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.