So, you’ve decided to take the plunge and start RVing! Now that you’ve mapped out locations to visit and routes to travel, it’s time to plan for set-up at your destination. Arriving at your destination is an accomplishment that can make anyone feel like it’s time to relax. Unfortunately, the work does not stop here, it’s time to set up your campground and make your campsite feel like home. If you’re new to the RV game, keep this handy checklist to make for quick and easy set-up!
Depending on the size of your motorhome, some things might differ. It’s important to always keep your size in mind in everything you do. You don’t want to get stuck and have a difficult time getting in and out of places. First things first, you’ll need to back into your spot. If you’re backing in, you’ll need a spotter to help you. You don’t want to hit firepits, trees, or benches. Once you are parked, you will need to set the emergency brake. Even if you are parked in even terrain, it’s a safety measure that needs to be implemented. Once you’ve set your brake, chock your wheels. When you have your emergency brake and blocked wheels, you have reduced the risk of an accident happening. When you chock your wheels, you can add leveling blocks if needed, or utilize your automatic leveling system.
Next, you’ll want to unhitch your tow vehicle if you have one. You will want to unhitch your vehicle in order to have your rig as leveled to the ground as possible. Additionally, if you have a travel trailer this will allow you to drive into town easily without your RV trailing behind you. This step makes it easier to run errands or travel somewhere else freely.
If you’ll be staying at a campground, you’ll want to take advantage of the RV hookups like water and electricity. If you are dry camping, make sure you are filled up on water and have enough electricity to last you at least one week. For some boondocking tips, check out this blog here.
Depending on the electrical AMP that your RV has, you might want to have an adapter before plugging in. This will reduce the possibility of a circuit break. You do not want to damage your electrical system or appliances! Having a surge protector is good insurance. Once you are plugged in, you will need to switch on the breaker.
Next, hook up your water. Depending on the location, freshwater can differ. This is why it’s important to use a filtration system between the spigot and your RV’s water hose. This is extremely important if you will also be drinking from this water. There can be tons of chemicals and bacteria coming from public water spigots. For more information on your RV’s holding tanks, check this link out!
If you are staying at a campground, some sites offer cable and internet. You will want to check with your specific campground to know how to set this up.
RV Awning & Slides
If your rig has an awning or slides, you will want to extend these out. This will be one of your last steps to complete once you are hooked up and leveled out. Having an awning and/or slides are one of the added benefits your rig has to offer. Use them responsibly so you can enjoy them for as long as possible. This means, if you are not using the awning or it is extremely windy or rainy, retract it. Having a broken awning is no fun and will cost you money to repair. Here are some tips on how to avoid RV awning failures.
Extending your slide-outs should be quick and easy, depending on the type of slide-outs you have. In the instance that your slide-outs fail, the motor and mechanical mechanism would be covered under a warranty. Nonetheless, it’s important to take care of them diligently, and keep an eye on things like cracks in your weather stripping, and a general degrading of the motor functionality. If the slide is taking significantly longer to extend or retract than usual, it might be time to see a mechanic before things fail completely!
Set Your Surroundings
Regardless of the ground that you are parked on, you’ll want to set down some sort of barrier between the ground and your RV. If you are on cement, grass, dirt, or gravel, you do not want to track the outside elements into your travel trailer. Set down a tarp or large area rug, this way you can keep the inside of your RV clean. We suggest making the outside of your RV look and feel comfortable, especially if you’re staying in one spot for a while! Set some chairs and a table outside. You can also set up some string lights and a nice plant to truly make it feel like home.
The most important part is to feel safe and secure. Always tell family and friends where you will be heading and staying. When you arrive, send coordinates of your location to a trusted friend or family member. Write down the address and name of the campground. It’s important to know where you are and the easiest way home should you need to leave in a hurry!
Do you have any RV camping set-up tips to share? What do you wish you knew before setting up camp? Write them in the comments below!
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