If you just bought your RV or are thinking about it. And you want to know How to setup a RV campsite. Well your in luck. Because for many years now I have done just that. Traveling to the campground and setting it up.
So if your wondering how to setup a RV Campsite: How to setup a RV Campsite. First off you want to park so the sewer is at the back of the RV. Backup evenly on the site. Disconnect the truck from the RV. Level the Camper. Place Chocks at the wheels. Hook up sewer hose. Hook up Electric and water. Move slides out. Put awning out.
These are the things you need to do when camping in an RV. And if you want some details on how to setup an RV campsite then continue reading.
Parking the RV
One of the most nerve racking things about setting up the RV. When you first get to the campsite is backing the RV into the spot. The reason is you are not familiar with the campground and the campsite. Where you are backing into.
It is always a good idea before you start backing up, survey the area. You are checking to see where the hookups are. So that you will no where it is that you need to backup to.
Also check for any boulders, trees or any obstruction. That could get in the way of you backing up. You need to watch trees over the top of the camper. The material that the roofs are made of can be cut by tree limbs.
You may want to have another person. Your Partner get out and help when backing up. They can help guide you into the spot. I found that if you buy some walkie talkie’s they work great for this. Instead of yelling back and forth. And getting frustrated. Just get a cheap pair of two way radios to save the day.
Your spotter can advise you to stop when your RV is lined up with the sewer line that is located in the ground. You don’t have to be exactly even with it. But you want to make sure you can reach it with the sewer hose.
Also make sure you will be able to connect the electric cord and water hose. When backing into the spot you want to make sure you are further away to back into the spot. So that you have plenty of room to maneuver.
When you get backed into the spot. You want to make sure if you have a slide that you are able to open the slide all the way. Go around the camper to make sure before you unhook the vehicle. Also check to make sure the RV is level.
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Some people like to disconnect the vehicle first. But in my opinion it is safer to put the chocks or blocks in front and behind the tires. If you are not sure what kind of chock to get I like the simple ones. They are made out of plastic and you can get them in a set.
Pro Tip – Chocks should be positioned below the vehicles center of Gravity. For example if the vehicles back end is slightly downhill. Place the chocks behind the wheel. Conversely if the vehicle is facing downhill then place the chocks in the front of the tire. Check out the best wheel chocks on Amazon now.
Disconnecting the Truck
Now that you are in the right spot. And your safety chocks are in position. Now you can safely take the trailer off of the truck hitch. There are several different ways to remove the RV depending on what kind of RV you have.
Whether you have a 5th wheel, a trailer or a class c. So lets look at them all.
Disconnecting a Travel trailer off the hitch
On the front of your camper you have a jack. It will be either electric or a crank style. To make it faster and so you don’t have to crank as long. Place a thick block under the jack. Make sure that the jack will be in the center of the block when lowered.
Start jacking up the camper. Which is lowering the jack onto the block. This will take the weight off of the truck.
Your hitch should have a lock on it. This way nobody can disconnect the hitch. If this were to happen you would take off and it would be possible for the trailer to come disconnected from the truck while your going down the road.
Okay now that the jack is all the way down. Unlock the lock, and remove it from the hitch. Note that when the jack is down the bed of the truck raises up.
Next you want to remove the stabilizer bars. There is one on each side of the tongue of the trailer. They attach from the hitch to the tongue with a pin. The stabilizer bars are metal and prevent swaying from the trailer.
After removing the stabilizer bars lower the jack. This will take the pressure off the truck. When the bed of the truck is parallel to the ground again, then you can remove the power cable from the truck.
Next remove the safety chains from the truck hitch. Once both chains are removed from both sides of the hitch. Then jack the hitch on the camper up. You want to bring the hitch up. So that the ball comes from underneath the hitch on the trailer. Like in the image below.
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Then your truck is completely free of the trailer and you can move your vehicle out of the way.
Leveling the Camper
Now you are going to want to level the camper front to back. Usually you can tell which end of the camper needs to be up or down. But to be exact, you can place a level on the floor of the RV.
When leveling the camper front to back, place your level across the length of the RV.
Simply open the door and place the level across the floor. See what end needs to be up or down. And also side to side. A lot of campgrounds are pretty even. Most adjustments need to be made at the jack.
If the left side to right side level is off. You can adjust this by placing blocks of wood under the tires at the side that needs to be adjusted. You need to asses that the campsite that you are staying on is a level site. Before you disconnect the truck. Because you might have to place a board under the tire.
On a camper with the jack at the front of the camper. You can crank it up or down to adjust the level. Or use a switch to let the motor move the camper up or down.
You will know if the camper is not up high enough. When you lay in bed and all the blood is rushing to your head. And you need to take more than usual acid indigestion medicine.
It needs to be level so that the propane functions properly. Keeping your stove, refrigerator, and hot water tank all work properly.
Note that most campsites are level. You will only need to make small adjustments.
Stabilizing the RV
Now that the camper is level you are going to want to stabilize the RV. A little camping hack that makes this process a little quicker. You can use an electric drill to bring the stabilizers down. This will make it fast and easy.
Also you can use blocks to place under the stabilizer.
Hooking up the Electric
Now that the RV is Level, chocked and disconnected from the hitch. You can now hook up the electrical. On some RV’s there will be an assembly that the electrical chord is attached to.
Like on the MorRryde shown above. There is an arm that you can simply crank out as much electric chord as you need it. This makes it easier than carrying over a heavy electrical chord.
I would recommend getting a Surge protector. If you don’t have one you need to get one to protect your RV. If the campground has an electrical problem. and your plugged into the electric outlet you can burn out circuit breakers in the camper. And also the end of the power chord. Which can be quite costly. Been there done that.
Pro Tip – Surge protectors plug into the outlet at the campground. Your RV electrical plug then plugs into the surge protector. The surge protector protects your electrical chord and RV from High voltage or power surges. Check out the Best Surge Protector on Amazon now.
And also an adapter to go from 50 amps of electricity to 30 amps. Just in case the campground only has a 30 amp site available. You will still be able to hook up.
Hooking up the Water Hose to the RV
There are some things you will want to get for the end of the water hose. You always want to have a pressure regulator on the hose. This will prevent to much pressure from the campground blowing any seals in the camper. If there is high pressure.
Next you will probably want a water filter on the hose. Especially if you are drinking the water. Make sure the water is potable. And you will get a little added protection with a water filter.
The water filter should go between the hose and the water pressure regulator.
A splitter or elbow on the very end of the hose is nice. If you want to hook up another hose. This elbow hooks to the water spout. On the other end of the splitter is two water outlets, so that you can hook two hoses up.
This way if you need to hose something down wash the camper or what ever. You do not need to disconnect your water hose. I only use the water hose that goes into the camper for that purpose only.
Pro Tip – So this is the connection to the water hose. From the spout you should have a water regulator attached. To regulate water pressure. Then Connect the splitter to the other end of the regulator. From there connect the water filter to one side of the splitter. Where your water hose goes into the camper, will be connected. On the other side of the splitter hook another hose, for when you need another hose.
If you can get a 50ft hose. This way you have plenty of hose for any location.
After hooking up to the campground spout then your ready to hook to the RV. I like to keep things nice and neat and coil up any additional hose out of the way. And place it next to the camper.
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Putting the Slides Out
Part of setting up the RV is putting the slides out. But before you do, you want to check to make sure that there is nothing obstructing the slide from going out.
This also includes anything that could get stuck on the inside of the slide. That would prevent the slide from opening up or closing the slide.
Take a look outside to make sure the slide is clear. And your ready to hit the switch. If there is two people there and you still have your walkie talkie’s out. They can look while you stand at the slide switch. That makes it easy peesy.
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Hooking Up the Sewer Hose
First thing I have to say about this. Always wear disposable gloves when hooking up the sewer hose. After you have the gloves on. Next spread out the sewer supports which come with the sewer hose kit. This holds the sewer hose off the ground.
And keeps everything at a good flow from the sewer connection at the camper to the septic. I recommend getting at least a 20 foot hose and supports. So that you will have enough hose to get the job done.
Connect the hose to the camper.
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RV Setup Check list
- Disconnect Tow Vehicle
- Level Trailer
- Lower Stabilizers
- Connect Electrical
- Connect Sewer Hose
- Connect Water Hose
- Put the slides out
- Put awning out
The check list is a reminder of what needs to be done. This specific check list does not have to be performed in the exact order. Although some things do. For example you don’t want to disconnect the truck from the RV before you check to make sure your parked in the proper location with no obstructions for the slide outs.
But the list is so that you don’t miss doing, what needs to get done. To setup the RV properly.
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How to Level the Driving Rv
On most of the big driving RV’s there is an electric leveling jack system. That is simple and does it for you. What you do after you get parked on the site. Push a button on the automatic leveling control panel. The Jacks comes down and level the RV.
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Leveling a 5th Wheel
Some 5th wheels use a command panel so that you can level the 5th wheel. The auto leveling system makes it so easy to set it and let it go. But there are some things that you need to make sure of before you start the leveling process.
First make sure when you park the 5th wheel that it is on a level surface. Make sure the 5th wheel is clear while in operation. You don’t want any accidents. Also you want to make sure your battery’s are fully charged. So that the jacks will work properly and fully deploy. Make sure you chock the trailer, First use the pull pins and drop the legs about 4 -5 inches from the ground. Then you will be ready to use the automatic leveling system.
The panel is mounted outside of the trailer. It has several easy to use buttons. Such as extending the landing gear. Or you can retract the landing gear. You can auto level the trailer. There is a button that helps when putting the trailer back on the truck. This is the hitch memorize button.
After disconnecting the trailer from the truck. Then you can push the automatic levelling button. Do not enter or leave the trailer while this is in process. So that the system will work properly.