You’ve driven half way across the country and you’re finally ready to get your fun family adventure under way! You’ve arrived at your campsite and your restless little campers are itching for excitement! But not so fast! There are a few quick things you need to do to set up your RV properly so that your trip can go off without a hitch (pun intended!) Since not every RV is the same, you can tailor this list to meet your specific RVing needs. If some of these steps don’t apply to you, just skip them! Once this is done, it’s time for fun!
1. If arriving at the campground with a motor home, disconnect your towing vehicle at the campground registration parking lot. It’s quick and easy, and this way the vehicle can be driven by someone in your party to locate your campsite much quicker.
2. Do a site survey when you first arrive. Look over the site to consider where the slide outs will be and if there is room to put out the awning. Try to avoid low-hanging branches or other obstacles that may interfere with the RV. Also locate the hook-ups and plan accordingly.
3. Determine if the site is a back-in or a pull-through. Position the RV correctly on the site and double-check the clearance and access to all hook-ups.
4. If you’re driving a motor home, remember to set the parking brake.
5. Now would be a great time to level your RV if your site is not flat. You don’t want to be eating and sleeping on a slope!
6. Place chocks behind the RV wheels. This will help stabilize your RV and prevent any movement later on.
7. If you have a towable RV, unhitch it from the tow vehicle.
8. If applicable, put the stabilizer jacks down.
9. If you own a motor home, check to see if there is a battery disconnect switch for the chassis battery. If so, turn it off to help prevent drain on the starting battery. For more battery tips, click here.
10. If you have an auxiliary battery disconnect switch for the coach battery(s), it should be on.
11. Put the entry steps out. If you have a switch for the steps, turn it off so the steps stay out when the door is closed.
12. Remove slide out travel locks. Put slide out(s) out if they won’t interfere with securing basic hook ups. Have someone watch for clearance and obstacles in the slide out path. Be sure the driver’s seat is not in the way of the slide out.
13. Test the campground electricity voltage and polarity with a voltmeter prior to plugging the unit in. Pull enough power cord from the compartment to reach the campground electrical connection. Plug into the receptacle that matches the amperage requirements of your RV. Use electrical adapters as required. If at all possible try to avoid using an extension cord. Some campgrounds have a circuit breaker in the box that must be turned on to allow electricity to the RV.
14. Check the RV to make sure electricity is working. If you have a plug-in voltmeter, plug it into a wall outlet so you can monitor campground voltage during your stay. Any readings below 105 volts or above 135 volts can be dangerous to your appliances and electronic equipment. Learn 10 ways to save energy while RVing here!
15. Turn the refrigerator on in the electric mode.