Tips on Hooking Up your RV
For the most enjoyable experience, it is advisable to use whatever hook-ups the campground provides. Each and every hook-up can remain in place until the end of your stay.
Read these tips when it comes to hooking up your RV.
1. Pick a Site
Know the size of your vehicle
Sites come in varying sizes. If you know your vehicle size you can ask at the campground which sites would be best suited.
Drive Through or Back In?
It is possible to choose either a drive through site (for easy access) or a back in site. Choose the site type that suits your level of skill when manoeuvring your RV.
Survey the Site
Before parking the RV onto the site it is always best to view the site to determine the best positioning. Look for tree branches, the direction of the sun for morning and evening and perhaps the hook up of your neighbours to ensure that you choose the perfect set up. If you want to put the roof TV antenna up, it is important to ensure there are no over-hanging branches.
2. Level Out
Once you have successfully parked your RV on the site use the levelling blocks or lower stabilizers to even or compensate for any tilts. This will ensure the optimum operation of the fridge and keeps doors from swinging unnecessarily.
3. Connect Up
Remove the sewer hose from the compartment and connect to the drain outlet on the motorhome. Ensure the slide on the sewer link is in the closed position until hooked up in case there is something in the holding tank. Insert the opposite end into the sewer hose receptacle at the campsite. Leave this hooked up for the duration of your stay. When you are ready to leave close the slide and disconnect the sewer hose at either ends.
Remove the water hose from the outside storage compartment; hook the one end to the hook-up side of the motorhome. Stretch out the hose and hook the other end to the water spout at the campsite. Some places require a regulator to reduce the pressure from the mains as it enters your line.
Connecting the motorhome to shore power is a simple process. Remove the shoreline cable from the compartment and stretch out the cord to plug into the receptacle at the site. You may need to use an adapter in the event that the campground only has a 15-amp receptacle. Most power boxes have a switch that needs to be positioned to the ‘on’ setting. Flatten the cord laying on the ground to avoid tripping over it.
It’s now time to set up your site to ensure it feels like home. Position your chairs & tables and anything else you have to make it homely and comfortable for the rest of your stay!
Power in your RV
When you plug your RV into an electrical source and use 120 volt appliances like the roof air conditioner, the microwave and a TV you are drawing amps from the available supply at the campground, usually 30 or 50 depending on your RV electrical system and the electrical supply you are plugged into. When you’re plugged into an electrical source and you use DC appliances and accessories like fans, lights, pumps or the TV antenna booster you are drawing amps from the converter.
If you hire an RV that has a 50 amp electrical system and the campground provides a 30 amp or 50 amp service it is recommended that you use the 50 amp. Sometimes there will only be a 30 amp power supply available and you can use this with a converter. When using 30 amp on a 50 amp RV it is advisable to refrain from running all electrical items at the same time as it may cause to overload the circuit.
PLEASE NOTE: Some RV’s facilities including the refrigerator, microwave, stove, gas burner range can also be operational with propane gas. It’s best to check at the time of vehicle collection.
- By running the generator or being plugged into an external power source
- By the engine alternator while the car engine is running
12V Direct Current
Most of the electrical equipment of a motor home works with 12VDC; interior lights, fans, monitor panel, propane detector, water pump, furnace (heater) and slide-out (if equipped). The electronic controls for the water heater, roof air conditioner and refrigerator also require 12VDC. The power comes from batteries that are separate from the engine battery.
The engine battery runs car related functions, while the auxiliary batteries runs motor home related functions.
The auxiliary batteries will be recharged in two ways:
The power converter is charging the auxiliary battery while having electrical power from the campground and converts 120VAC to 12VDC. The fastest way to charge the battery is driving.
If you are not driving and without electricity from the campground for a few days, you have to run the car engine at least 1 hour per day to maintain enough battery power. If the outside temperature is low and you use the furnace (heater) at night, you have to run the car engine at least 3 hours per day to maintain enough battery power. Fully discharged batteries require driving (or running of engine) for at least 8 hours. Battery life varies widely depending on multiple factors.
120V Alternating Current
(on-board generator or external power source)
Some larger appliances, like the air conditioner, the microwave oven, some TV/DVDs and all regular wall outlets require 120VAC. If you connect the power cable to the campground or have the generator running, you are able to use these appliances.
Most campgrounds provide electricity and with the power cord you can connect the motorhome to that power source. It is possible that the plug will not fit and you will need to use the adapter provided. Make sure the circuit breaker at the power source on the campground is ‘on’.
Most motorhomes have an onboard generator. It is used to provide 120VAC power if you do not have campground power. It is located in an outside compartment. The generator runs on gasoline from the vehicle fuel tank. The fuel tank must be at least ¼ full in order for the generator to operate. The motor oil level of the generator has to be inspected every eight (8) hours of operation to prevent any damage.
To use 120VAC power from the generator, make sure the power cord is plugged into its outlet, located in the electrical compartment of the outside of the vehicle prior to starting the generator.
Once the generator is turned on, let it run for at least 1 to 2 minutes before turning on any electrical appliances.
This refers to camping at sites without hook-ups or alternatively known as boondocking.
Before you arrive at a campsite remember to fill your gas tank, the fresh water tank as well as the LPG tank. Use electrical systems only when necessary. The furnace, appliances and interior lights will drain the auxiliary battery quickly. Using the generator will prevent the auxiliary battery from being drained and will recharge it. Turn off the water heater and the water pump when not in use.
Campground Etiquette & Safety
The Perfect Neighbor
Be a good neighbour and obey all campground rules. When arriving late, for example, use only those lights necessary to safely reach your campsite. Make as little as noise as possible to avoid disturbing others. Remove all trash and do not run your generator at night. Most campgrounds have hours of operation posted for generator use.
It is best not to leave valuables in the motorhome while you are away, but if the need arises, make sure they are not left in plain sight. It is also advisable to close all curtains and ensure that all doors and windows are locked prior to leaving. As a suggestion, leave one light on to give the appearance of being occupied. You are responsible for all of your personal belongings.