Tips For Setting Up Your Campsite

inTech Sol
Thor Redwood Fifth Wheel
TAXA Mantis

There are many ways to set up a campsite, but we’re going to focus on setting up a campsite that has full-hookups. That means the site has a 30-amp or 50-amp electrical power service, has a fresh, portable water hookup, and has a holding-tank dump site right at your campsite.

So, you’ve arrived! You’ve successfully backed your trailer into its spot! Now what?

  1. Inspect your space
  2. Make sure you have enough clearance around your trailer to operate all equipment. EX: slide-outs, awnings, etc
    • Verify that you have access and the right distances to properly and safely connect to power, water, and sewer.
  3. Level Your Trailer Left-to-Right (Side-to-Side)
    • Determine which side of the trailer is the “low” side
    • Place your leveling kit/equipment under the tire(s) of the low side so you can “drive” the trailer onto them, thus raising that side of the trailer.
  4. You can use a level for this step, but eyeing is often good enough for camping.
    • At times, RV refrigerators and AC units operate better at near-level or slightly off-level attitudes. You’ll need to experiment to determine what works best for your specific rig.
  1. Chock your tires
  2. Disconnect from Your Tow Vehicle
    1. Re-install the wheel or jack-plate (“foot”) on the bottom of the jack post
    2. Lower the tongue jack until the wheel or plate makes contact with the ground. (You can certainly use a jackpad of some kind here.)
    3. Un-pin/unlock and un-pin the latch mechanism on the coupler.
    4. Open the coupler
    5. Using the tongue jack, raise the tongue of the trailer by lowering the jack. You want the coupler to clear (be above) the tow ball by 2-3”. 
    6. Disconnect the following items from your tow vehicle:
      • Electrical plugs (4 or 7-pin)
      • Tow Chains
      • Breakaway cable
  1. Pull the tow vehicle forward 2-3 feet. 
  2. Level Your Trailer Front-to-Back
    • Use the tongue jack to raise or lower the front of the trailer to achieve a level attitude
    • NEVER use the stabilizer jacks to level a trailer, side-to-side, or front-to-back.
  3. Set Your Stabilizer Jacks
    • Use jack pads when and where needed
    • Never use stabilizer jacks to raise a trailer… they’re only designed for stability
    • Lower all the stabilizer jacks until they make firm contact with the ground. Firm contact, not lifting contact.
    • The further you run your stability jacks down, the more unstable they will become. So, using stacked jack pads may result in a more stable feel when you’re inside the camper.
  4. Hook Up to On-Site Electrical Service
    • Your campsite has a 110/120, 30/amp, and/or 50/amp power receptacle, often in a grey box, attached to a post. 
    • Attach your power cord to the appropriate outlet and use an adapter if you need to. We suggest having various “dog-bone” style adapters on hand. 
    • Attach the trailer-end of the power chord to the trailer
      1. Line up the prongs on the receptacle to the slots on the plug
      2. Push the plug all the way in to properly seat it in the receptacle (this is for safety)
      3. Twist the plug clockwise to “lock” it into place
      4. Finally, screw on the plug’s locking collar
    • If you have an RV surge protector (we HIGHLY recommend one), use it at the post receptacle. 
    • TURN ON THE BREAKER(s) The campsite will have a handle or switch to turn the power ‘on’, typically located where you connect the power cable at the receptacle. 
  5. Hook Up to On-Site Fresh Water
    • Attach a pressure regulator to the campsite’s faucet/spigot
    • Attach your dedicated freshwater hose to the pressure regulator
    • Attach your water hose to your trailer, making sure too much weight isn’t pulling down on the trailer’s connector. 
    • If you have an external water filter (we HIGHLY recommend one), place it between the water pressure regulator and the trailer, somewhere along the length of the hose(s)
  6. Hook Up to On-Site Sewer
    • Glove time, if you got ‘em!
    • Verify that you have proper hose lengths and fittings for the task
      1. Distance
      2. Trailer-side bayonet coupler
      3. Sewer-side inlet fitting (usually a 90-degree fitting)
    • Connect multiple lengths of hose if necessary
    • Seat the sewer-end hose fitting into the sewer inlet
      1. A sewer weight may add a little confidence to your setup
    • Attach the trailer-side bayonet fitting to the trailer
      1. Remove the outlet cap
      2. Remove attach the fitting
      3. Firmly twist the bayonet fitting clockwise to lock and seal the fitting
      4. Open the GRAY water valve by pulling the GRAY handle
    • Test the Sewer Hose Connection
      1. Run water from a sink or the shower inside the trailer
      2. Visually inspect the sewer hose for any signs of leaks, fitting, or drainage issues
      3. Turn off the water at the sink inside the camper
    • Secure any cords or hoses to prevent
      1. Tripping hazards
      2. Electrocution hazards
      3. Leaking and pooling situations at/within the hoses
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