You shouldn’t be nervous when you head out for a camping trip. Instead, you should be excited to spend some time in nature while relaxing with your family and friends. However, for new RV owners, the very first trip to a campground can indeed be a nerve-wracking experience. From driving the RV on the open road to getting it parked and set up successfully, there is a lot to think about on your first trip. Fortunately, if you arm yourself with some basic knowledge and a good game plan, you can quickly overcome these nerves and have a great time.
The set up process once you arrive at the campground might be the most important part of having an enjoyable trip. If this process drags on for hours – or if you are unable to get it done right – it can take some of the fun out of the experience. Use the tips contained below to set your RV up properly on your very first trip to a campground.
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Pick Out the Right Site
The process of setting up your RV actually begins before you even stop the vehicle. Take a quick tour of the campground and pick out a spot that will make setting up the RV as easy as possible. For your first trip, there is no need to make the process any more difficult than it needs to be. Avoid sites that are extremely narrow, or sites with overhanging trees that you will have to avoid while parking. Ideally, you will find a site that is relatively level and offers plenty of space to maneuver while parking.
Get It Level
Your first order of business once the RV is parked is to get it level. To make this part of the job as easy as it can be, try practicing at home before your first trip. Use any equipment provided with your RV to help with the leveling process, and make sure to bring along other accessories like blocks or jacks. In order to enjoy living in your RV for a few days, you will want to make sure it is as level and secure as possible before getting the rest of your stuff set up.
Move the Slide Outs
If your RV has slide outs, you will now want to move them into position and lock them in place. As you are moving the slide outs, make sure you have full clearance all around the RV. It is a good practice to take a walk around your RV once it has been leveled just to scope out the terrain and confirm that nothing is going to interfere with the rest of your set up process.
Attach to Hook Ups
The next step is to get your power and water supplies hooked up to the campground source, when available. Once those connections are made, go inside the RV to make sure that both the power and water are working properly. Check for any signs of water leaks outside the RV after running the water for a moment. Also, if the campground you are staying at offers sewer hookups, make this connection now as well.
Set Up Your Accessories
With the major work done to get the RV up and running, you can now focus your attention to the smaller details. Take our your lawn chairs and set them up outside, and put together any other outdoor gear that you may have brought with you (awning, folding picnic table, etc.). An outdoor mat is a nice accessory to have at the bottom of your RV stairs, so lay that out if you have packed one for the trip.
Setting up and RV doesn’t have to be a scary experience, even for first-timers. With some patience and basic planning, you can safely have your RV set up and operating in a short period of time. Practice using some of the RV systems at home if possible before making your trip, as this will help you ease your nerves. The most important part of an RV trip with your family and friends is to have fun, so never let the stress of setting up the RV get in the way of having a great time.