How To Easily Set Up Your RV Campsite

When setting up an RV at a campsite, there are a lot of steps to remember. Sometimes it’s helpful to have a list handy to keep track of all you need to do. Here’s a sample of the checklist I use when arriving at a campsite and unhooking my fifth wheel.

First things first: You’ve got to position your trailer just the way you want it at the campsite, put the doorsteps down, set up the entry handrail, and unlock/open the trailer door. Put your pets in the trailer to get them out of your hair while setting up camp. That way, they can watch you work without getting in the way or running off.

Before unloading anything else:

  • Test campsite water hookup by opening & closing the campsite water valve.
  • Test electric power with a multi-meter.
  • If campsite hookups aren’t working, find out if another site with working hookups is available before continuing with RV Campsite Setup.

Here is our step-by-step guide on how to easily set up your RV campsite.

Connecting the Hookups

WARNING: Never connect the electric cable with campsite electric hookup circuit breakers turned on. Personal injury may result if circuit breakers are ON during electric cable hookup.

  1. Install trailer wheel locks & stow handle.
  2. Set all circuit breakers to OFF in the campsite electric hookup panel.
  3. Connect the electric cable to the connector at the trailer’s right rear.
  4. Connect the electric cable to the 50-amp connector at the campsite electric hookup panel. If a 50-amp receptacle is unavailable, use a 30-amp adapter cable to connect to a 30-amp receptacle on the campsite electric hookup panel.
  5. Set circuit breakers to ON at campsite electric hookup panel.

Setting the Leveling Jacks

Raise the trailer by extending the front jack-legs. Lower the trailer by retracting the front jack-legs.

  1. Position jack support wood pads under front trailer jacks.
  2. Pull out lock pins from trailer jacks & allow jacks to drop onto the wood pads.
  3. Slightly raise jacks until lock pins fully engage into trailer jacks.
  4. Unlock and open the front jack control panel door.

CAUTION: The full weight of the trailer rests on the lock pins, so verify that both lock pins are fully engaged into the jack-legs.

Unhitching

Don’t forget to check your wheels first, especially on a slope!

  1. Using electric switches, EXTEND front trailer jacks until they are resting firmly on wood pads.
  2. Continue EXTENDING trailer jacks to a COUNT of 18. (This should allow for a smooth trailer un-hitching.)
  3. Lower truck tailgate.
  4. Un-plug & stow trailer electric cable from the truck.
  5. Remove padlock from the truck hitch.
  6. Stow trailer breakaway switch cable.
  7. Open truck hitch latch bar security latch.
  8. Attach padlock to a stationary part of truck hitch security latch and lock padlock.
  9. Pull truck hitch latch bar fully out to open the hitch jaws and allow the trailer kingpin to disengage from the truck hitch.
  10. Slowly drive the truck forward until it is a few feet in front of the trailer.
  11. Raise truck tailgate.
  12. Push the hitch latch bar into the closed position to close the hitch jaws.
  13. Leave hitch latch bar security latch in the unlocked position.
  14. Move truck mirrors to the IN position for use without a trailer.
  15. Level trailer as necessary with front trailer jacks.
  16. Close & Lock the front jack control panel door.
  17. Lower both rear trailer-stabilizing jacks until they are firmly on the ground.
  18. Stow jack crank handle.
  19. Install trailer kingpin-stabilizing jack & attach spread limiting chain.
  20. Set jack control lever to up position & jack up kingpin-stabilizing jack until it is firm under trailer kingpin.
  21. Stow jack handle.

NOTE: If the hitch latch bar cannot be easily pulled out, the truck’s weight is causing pressure between hitch jaws and trailer kingpin. To remove pressure from hitch jaws, back truck tighter towards the trailer and set truck brakes before removing foot from the accelerator.

Water and Sewer Hookups

  1. Connect “Y” hose adapter to campsite water system hookup.
  2. Connect trailer freshwater system to “Y” hose adapter on campsite water system hook up with a white freshwater hose.
  3. Open ball valve on freshwater hose side of “Y” hose adapter.
  4. Set Trailer Water Selector Valve to City Water Fill/Operation. (Arrow points UP)
  5. Open hose valve on the trailer freshwater hose connection.
  6. Connect the flush hose to the “Y” hose adapter on the campsite water system hookup.
  7. Close valve on flush hose side of “Y” hose adapter.
  8. Open hookup water valve.
  9. Connect the flush water hose to the trailer sewage tank San-T-Flush water hose connection.
  10. If sewer hookup is available, remove the trailer sewage outlet pipe cap.
  11. Connect clear 90-degree elbow to trailer sewage outlet pipe.
  12. Connect sewage discharge hose to clear 90-degree elbow adapter.
  13. Connect red sewer adapter to another end of sewage discharge hose.
  14. Connect sewage adapter campsite sewer hookup.
  15. Place hose supports under trailer sewage discharge hose.
  16. Open both propane tank valves.

Inside Tasks

  • Prepare slider units for moving to the OUT position.
  • Move the bedroom slider unit to the OUT position.
  • Move the main room slider unit to the OUT position.

CAUTION: Let everyone at your campsite know that you are about to move the slider units before operating them to prevent personal injuries.

Outside Tasks

  • Install trailer wheel covers.
  • Install foam rubber bumpers on the lower edges of the bedroom slider.
  • Install bedroom slider lock-bars. (Two) (See your inst instruction manual for photos of locations)
  • Install main room slider lock-bars. (Two) if needed.

Using these RV campsite setup checklist should get your next camping trip off to a great start! After a few trips, you may pick up a routine to accomplish the steps of setting up your campsite.

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