The Right Way to Set Up an RV Campsite

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The Right Way to Set Up an RV Campsite

Do you have a new or new-to-you RV and wonder how to set up your campsite? You’re in luck!

This article takes a look at setting up an RV campsite and provides a few unwritten rules of campground etiquette to get the most out of your camping trip. 

Let’s dive in!

How to Set Up an RV Campsite

Hooking your RV up when you get to a campsite is a pretty simple process. If you have a full hookup campsite, there’s an electric pedestal, fresh water spout, and a sewer hookup.

Then, after you hook up, all you need to do is add personal touches. Here’s how to set up your RV campsite. 

First Thing’s First: Hook Up

When hooking up your camper to the electric pedestal, be sure to use a surge protector. A surge protector protects your RV’s sensitive electric system and appliances from power surges and faulty campsite power. You can find 30 amp and 50 amp surge protectors on Amazon. 

Next, hook up your RV’s freshwater system to the water spout. You can’t just use any regular hose, though. Be sure to get a hose rated for drinking water or potable water. In cold weather, use a heated RV water hose to keep your hose from freezing. 

Lastly, hook your RV up to the sewer port using an RV sewer hose with attachments and sewer hose support. 

Level and Expand

The next step in setting up your RV at the campsite is to chock the wheels, level your RV, and open up the slides. Using wheel chocks helps keep your RV in place in the unlikely event of a brake failure. They can also help make your RV feel more steady and stable while you’re in it. 

Using leveling jack pads can help level your RV and keep you from sinking into the ground.

Lastly, check for obstacles like power poles and tree branches before opening up your slides. Also, be sure you know where all your pets are and that your sides are free of debris and obstacles. 

Setting Up Your Campsite’s Outdoor Living Area

Once you plug in, level, and open your RV, it’s time to set up your outdoor living area. Here are a few items we suggest for a cozy atmosphere at your campsite. 

Rug and Chairs

Outdoor RV rugs are waterproof and dirt resistant. These rugs are an excellent base for your outdoor campsite and hang-out area. 

Forget the cheap fold-up camp chairs. They’re not ergonomic. Plus, they’re uncomfortable and don’t last. Instead, RVers everywhere rave about anti-gravity chairs. These outdoor chairs are seriously comfortable, and they even recline! They’re perfect for sitting outside and watching the game or hanging out around the campfire. 

Pro Tip: Here’s a list of 101 pieces of awesome RV Gear!

Outdoor Kitchen

Do you plan to cook outside? If you have an outdoor kitchen, you’ll have to set that up, too. RVers love the propane-fueled Blackstone griddle for their outdoor kitchens.

You can cook everything on this bad boy. The tabletop version is perfect for RVing and tailgating. 

Firepit or No Firepit? 

While most campsites come with a firepit, many full-time RVers would rather do without the campfire smell permeating everything they own. If you love the smell of campfire on your hoodie, more power to you.

However, if you’d like the experience and ambiance of a campfire without smoke in your eyes, try the Outland Living propane firepit. This thing provides serious heat, and it’s smokeless. It also comes with a cover and a convenient carrying case.

Your RV Awning

If it’s rainy or bright, you’ll need your RV awning. Putting out your awning is the last step in setting up your RV campsite. But never leave your awning out unattended. 

In our experience, you should never leave your RV awning out overnight or when you’re away from the RV for extended periods. Heavy winds can damage an RV awning, and you never know when winds will whip up if you’re sleeping or away. Sometimes, it’s not just your awning that gets damaged. An RV awning caught in high winds can damage your RV exterior and windows, as well. 

Campsite Etiquette Tips

Once you have your campsite all set up, you’re free to enjoy it.

Adhere to Quiet Hours Rules

Most campgrounds and RV parks have set “quiet hours,” usually between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. Quiet hours help people sleep. If you like to party and play loud music all night, a developed campground might not be the right place for you. Be mindful of your volume after quiet hours.

Don’t Leave Lights on All Night

Another tip to be a good camp neighbor is to check your light usage. Campsite and RV porch lights can shine brightly into other RVers’ windows, interrupting their sleep. Therefore, it’s best to turn off your camp lights when you aren’t using them. 

Keep Pets Attended and on a Leash

You might know that your 90-pound dog is a teddy bear and would never hurt a fly, but other people don’t. So it’s important to always keep your pets on a leash, always clean up after them, and never leave them alone at your campsite. Not only is it usually in every campground rule book, but it’s also just common courtesy. 

Pro Tip: Follow these “unwritten rules” of campsite etiquette to be a responsible camp neighbor.

Making RV Campsite Setup a Breeze

Setting up an RV campsite takes a bit of time, but once you’re done, you’re done! And with a few additions to create a cozy atmosphere, you’ll enjoy your camping trip so much more. 

But you don’t have to have fancy outdoor furniture to have a good time. Just make sure your RV is protected, at minimum, with wheel chocks and a surge guard, and you’re good to go. How do you set up your RV? Did we miss anything?

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2 comments

  1. Been RVing for 35+ years and have always set-up and levelled than open the slides before I connect to water and power. Depending upon a couple of different things I may or may not connect my sewer hose.

  2. What about unhitching and related tasks such as disconnecting the shore line, weight distrubuting hitch, etc. Not mentioned.

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