When you begin your journey into the RV lifestyle, there are a few technical things to learn about the operation side of RV camping. For instance, how to properly hook up to the electric, water and sewer connections at an RV park. The park hookup procedure is not an exact science, but you want to develop a routine to assure that contamination, electric shocks and getting your feet wet are avoided. Here are few tips for the RV newbie:
Before pulling your RV into your designated campsite, examine the electric, sewer and water connections to make sure they are on the correct side, otherwise you will need to pull in rather than back in, and vice versa. Check the voltage and polarity of the power source, assure that the water runs clear and smells clean, and make sure that the sewer inlet has no rocks or debris clogging it. It’s always wise to rinse off the water hydrant before hooking up, and spray some household disinfectant on it to sanitize it. You don’t know what may be on it from the prior users. It’s most likely that the last thing they did was rinse their sewer connection off, and who knows what may have splashed back onto the faucet.
Once the RV is pulled in and leveled, you can begin the RV hookup procedure. Make sure that your hands are dry, and that the ground you’re standing on is, too. Plug the power cord from your RV into the park receptacle. It’s advisable to cut power to the breaker switch of the electrical outlet first to avoid possible shock, or harm to the prongs of the plug.
Next, it’s a good idea to attach a “Y” valve to the faucet so that not only do you have water coming into your rig, you can also attach a garden hose for other water needs throughout your stay. Next, attach a water pressure regulator to the park hydrant to protect your water hose and the RV plumbing system from surges in the campground’s water supply. Place a water filter on next to remove sediment, and then attach the drinking water hose. Before affixing it to your RV, let it run for a few seconds to clear out any air.
Tip: To facilitate connecting the water supply, you can easily attach a quick-connect fitting onto each end of the regulator, on the water filter and on the hose. This makes it a snap (no pun intended) to connect and disconnect your water supply. These connectors are available at most RV accessory stores or hardware stores that sell hoses. This would be a good time to engage your tank-fill to top off your RV fresh water tanks, then turn it off and use the city water for your fresh water needs.
In order to hook up the sewer; connect the hose, making certain that both ends are secured; one end onto your RV and the other to the sewer inlet. It’s always a good idea to wear a pair of disposable surgical gloves to protect you from any lingering bacteria.
Make sure that your grey and black valves are fully shut. Remove the cap from you’re your sewer line and connect your sewer hose to the RV, as well as to the sewer inlet. You would be wise to carry an adapter so that your hose will fit the park’s sewer inlet. When you have connected up to the line, you can open the gray water valve so that you can take showers and use the sink without the worry of filling your onboard tank. Don’t open the black water valve until you are ready to dump the tank. This will assure you don’t get any backup water flowing into your black water tank. It’s always better to have more water in your black water tank when it’s time to flush it out. Also, close the valve to your gray water supply a day or two before your departure date. The stored gray water is useful to rinse out your black water hose when you dump the tanks and disconnect. So the black water gets dumped first, followed by the gray water.
Tip: As your tanks are being dumped, be sure to lift the end of the hose closest to your RV so that it drains into the park’s sewer inlet.
Once you have dumped the tanks, be sure to close your valves. Before you leave, turn on the rig’s water pump and run a couple of gallons of water down the kitchen sink, which will end up in your gray water tank. Dump a couple of buckets of water into the toilet to add it to the black water tank. This will prevent any residue in the bottom of the tank from forming a hardened sludge. This procedure presents an opportunity to put any additives into the tanks if you desire.
Now disconnect your RV in the same sequence that you connected it … the electric first, then the water and finally, the sewer.
Remember that the hose for your drinking water, along with the attachments, should be stored separately from the sewer hose. Also you can keep any critters or debris out of your drinking water hose by attaching both ends of the hose to one another.
This may sound like a lot of work, but it really is easy once you get the routine down.