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Your Campsite RV Setup Checklist

Whether it is your first time setting up your campground or you’ve been camping for decades, there is always more to learn! As you start to create a camping trip checklist, the entire process will get easier. To make the most of your camping experience, it is important to set up your RV and campsite properly. Here is some advice for a smooth RV campground setup.

Choose the right campsite

This campground setup step starts before you hit the road. When you make your reservation, you can check the status of hookups, campsite sizes and the location within the campground to start. Of course, you’ll need to choose a site that is the right size for your RV. You can also check for sites that include full hookups, have easy access, and are located near the amenities, such as restrooms and showers if needed.

Before you leave the house, make sure to call the campground and ensure that you have your reservation and that everything is scheduled as planned. When you arrive, you can follow these steps to make your campground setup as smooth as possible!

Couple relaxing at camp after a complete campground setup. Man at campfire and woman using digital tablet on picnic table.

Find your campsite within the campground

If you need help, grab a map, or ask someone at the main office. As you approach your site, make sure you assess the space before parking. Check out where the connections are for all your RV hookups. Determine if you can drive into the space, or if you need to back up.

Also, keep your outdoor campground setup in mind. Do you have an awning, outdoor furniture or a dog pen? If you need assistance, there are usually people around that can help you with angling the RV or help with directions to your specific spot.

Check for hazards

Before fully setting up your RV, take a walk around the campsite and look for any potential hazards such as low-hanging tree branches, large rocks or roots, or uneven ground. It is important to make sure your RV is on a level surface to prevent any issues with appliances, like your refrigerator or stove, or any leaks in your water system.

Park your RV

You can check out the campsite and see what the best option would be: for you to pull through or back up. When you park your RV, make sure to leave enough space for the other campers to maneuver their vehicles. You should also be mindful of the wind direction, as this can impact your RV’s stability. Again, once parked, step outside and make sure there’s room for awnings, slide outs and any other outdoor equipment you plan to set up.

Connect your RV to utilities

Once you’ve parked your RV in the right spot, the next campground setup step is to connect your RV to the campground’s utilities. This can include water, electricity and sewage, depending on the campground and campsite. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to safely connect your RV to these utilities and be sure to turn off any electrical devices before connecting or disconnecting.

Level and stabilize

Before you start to unload items in your vehicle or RV, you want to make sure that you are on level ground. Now is the time to set up your leveling system. Leveling your RV will help stabilize it and make it more comfortable to live in. Use leveling blocks or pads to ensure your RV is on a level surface. Most new RVs come with an automatic leveling system to make this process easier.

Stabilizing jacks also come into play at this step in the campground setup process. The jacks can help to stabilize your RV while you are parked so you know you will stay put.

Without level ground, you will not be able to use your awnings and you could experience shifting inside the RV which can be dangerous. It can also be frustrating when you are relaxing or trying to sleep. This is a crucial part that you should practice when you go through your routine campground setup.

Travel Trailer set up at a gravel campsite where proper leveling was needed.

Hook up your power source

What is a camping trip without power? Well, for some, that is the only way we camp! But not everyone enjoys the primitive ways of camping. With RVs, you can enjoy camping in luxury.

Power sources allow you to have electricity, cook, and use other devices. Solar panels are another option that can help you with power throughout your trip, but a generator is a safer bet when you’re traveling. As soon as you hook up your power source you know you can relax in your cool RV, plan your first meal and start unpacking.

Figure out your water and waste

This campground setup step is not the most fun you will have, but it is entirely necessary. A water source and waste plan will allow you all to be on the same page, and you can create your list of dos and don’ts for the family. Time to throw on some gloves and get started.

Hook up the water regulator to your water supply so you can use your water filtration system at the end of your tank. If you own a sewer support system, you can hook it up with a slope going from the RV to the sewer connection spot. You then can turn on the tank (making sure it has water in it). Check that the connection is SEALED. You will thank us later for this one, and so will your neighbors.

Set up all the extras

Now we get to the finishing touches of your perfect campground setup! As you are inside unloading the dishes and getting things ready for the week, you can also start setting up the outside area. This can mean the awnings, lawn chairs, your fire pit, dog pen and more. There are so many things you can add to your campsite to make the trip even better! One thing to remember: make sure to always have an eye on the radar. With strong winds or heavy rain, your things outside can easily blow away. So, make sure to have a plan for that and keep an eye on the weather around you!

If your RV has an awning, make sure to secure it properly to prevent any damage from the wind.

Check your RV appliances

 Once you’ve set up your RV, check all of your appliances to ensure they are working properly. Turn on your stove, refrigerator, and other appliances to make sure they are functioning as expected.

Familiarize yourself with the campground

Take a few minutes to explore the campground and get familiar with the facilities and amenities available. This will help you plan your stay and make the most of your time at the campground.

You don’t have to wait until you get to the campground to go through all these steps for a smooth campground setup. Make sure to practice at home so you get everything down and have the confidence to do so out at the campground. This will also cut down significant time while you are setting up. Go over specific tasks with your family and friends so each person knows the plan and knows what they are responsible for! We hope these tips help you with your next trip!

In need of a new RV to take on a camping trip this season? Stop by Juniata Valley RV! We’re located in Mifflintown, Pennsylvania, and we’ve got towable RVs and motorhomes in stock! Browse our new RVs for sale and used RVs for sale on our website, then stop by in person when you’re ready to take a tour. Our team will help you find a great price on a new RV to take you on new adventures.

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