How to Set Up a Comfortable RV Campsite? A Beginners Guide

RVs are a popular solution for campers because it allows you to take many of the amenities of modern civilization with you. However, you can’t just park the RV in a parking space and say you’re done. If you want to know how to set up a comfortable RV campsite, here’s a step by step guide. 

Here are 10 Steps to Complete an RV Campsite Setup


Step 1: Pick a Good Site 

The ideal campsite has plenty of room for your RV, any vehicles you’re towing, and the small campsite you’d set up next to the RV.

The best RV campsites are those you can easily pull into and out of, conveniently located to facilities like bathrooms and swimming pools you want to use. 

On the flipside, you don’t want to be parked next to a steep, unguarded drop off or the smelly trash dump. 

Step 2: Park It Properly 

Your RV is not properly parked until it is securely in place. Pull the parking break up. Wheel chocks in place, too. This prevents the RV from rolling forward or backward. 

Disconnect your tow vehicle, if you were using one, and then put down the stabilizer jacks. If you have a battery connecting the tow vehicle and trailer, disconnect it so that it doesn’t drain down to nothing. 

If you’re going to extend the RV’s side panel, do so now. Then make sure there is a jack or supports under it so that things are stable. You may need to put a jack under the side of the RV to make everything level

Step 3: Connect to the Grid 

This step is assuming you’re at a campsite with electricity and water. Test the amperage of the power receptacle. For standard AC power connections, voltage should be between 105 and 135 volts. 

Anything outside that range will damage your appliances. If the power connection is outside the safe range, either find another power plug that is safe or request a different campsite

If the power supply is safe, connect to it and verify that the power is working. You don’t want to pay more for a campsite with power when it lacks this. 

Step 4: Switch to Shore Power 

Once you’re plugged into the local power source, switch your circuit breaker to accept shore power. Make sure no fuses are blown in the process. Then you can start turning on energy intensive appliances like your refrigerator

Start charging rechargeable batteries like those in your laptop computer or your cell phone. Consider connecting inverters that can double as batteries so you can charge them up, as well. 

If your water heater has an electric mode, switch to electric mode and turn on the hot water heater. 

Step 5: Connect to Your Water Source 

Hook up the water regulator you brought with you to the water supply; this is typically a water faucet not far from the electrical outlets. Now you can attach the white water hose to the camp supply and your RV. Verify the water is flowing into your RV.

However, you should not use your water pump; the pump will pull water from the water tank when no other water source is available. 

Step 6: Get Rid of the Waste 

Once you’re at a campsite, take advantage of the opportunity to eliminate your waste. If there is a sewer drain outlet, put on gloves and get ready to connect the sewer house to the drain outlet.

Make certain the locking tabs are secure. Some campgrounds require you to have a seal or sewer donut on top of the outlet to minimize the risk of spilling sewage on the ground.

Then open the connection to empty your waste into the sewer drain. This is a good time to collect the trash in your RV and toss it in the dumpster or waste bins. 

Why do we say to do this now? Because it means you can take clean up from dinner and take showers without worrying about your wastewater capacity. 

Step 7: Check Your Black Water Tanks 

Check the black water tanks. Only empty the black water tanks if they are almost full so that the volume of material flushes it out almost completely. You can empty the grey water tanks into the sewer drain if they’re somewhat full. Treat your black water tank after you’ve dumped the contents. 

Once done with all the waste removal, clean up before you make it look like you’d welcome the company. And you’ll be able to wash up for dinner and engage in meal prep without finding you have to empty the wastewater to be able to wash your hands thoroughly. 

Step 8: Lay Out the Welcome Mat 

Once you’ve taken care of your key infrastructure needs like water, sewer and power, you can start setting up your general campsite. You can put out your RV mat

You can extend your awning, if you have one. Set your chairs up so you can relax outside. This can get your kids out of the RV and outside.

This is a good time to set up the grill if you’ll be cooking outside, or you may use their outdoor grills. 

A side benefit of shifting everything you can to shore power is that it will minimize your use of LPG. 

Step 9: Keep It Grounded 

Remember that an RV campsite is designed for transience. Nothing is intended to be permanent here beyond the owner’s residence and any permanent facilities they manage.

This means you need to fasten your rug so it doesn’t blow away, and tie down your tents. These are your responsibility, not theirs. 

Lock up your generator so that it can’t be stolen. Stow away gear when you’re done with it so you won’t forget it when you leave. 

Step 10: Stock Up 

Depending on your needs and the amenities the campground has available to you, this can be a great time to stock up. Refill your water bottles when you have access to unlimited running water. Grab a few sodas from the vending machine.

Exchange any empty LPG gas canisters for full ones, if that’s an option. This gives you fully replenished stocks to draw from before you hit the road again, and it gives you the option to dry camp at any point in the future. 

Once you’ve set up your RV campsite, consider this the ideal time to do laundry and dishes. Then you won’t have to worry about doing these chores when you’re rationing water and minimizing waste. 

Summary

Take the right steps, and you’ll prevent mistakes and oversights that can make a mess of your campout.

Follow our steps in order, and you’ll set up camp as quickly as possible without the oversights that can ruin your evening. 


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