Everything you need to know:
Travel Trailer Camping for Beginners
This is just a general guide for travel trailer camping for beginners. Please refer to your owner’s manual for specific steps for your travel trailer, RV or camper. If you are renting and setting up yourself, your RV owner should give you detailed directions how to set up.
Travel Trailer Camping for Beginners RV Campground Set Up Guide – Arrival & Check In
- Park near the entrance or office. There should be signs showing you where to park for check in. Some campgrounds have a call box to alert attendant.
- Check in. You will need your drivers license and tag number on your tow vehicle.
- Request a map of the park and directions on easiest way to drive to your site. Some parks offer assistance for new RVers- don’t hesitate to ask. Most are happy to help.
- Write down any codes given- gate codes, internet access etc.
- If arriving after office is closed, look for after-hours check in instructions posted near entrance or office
- Find your site on park map and entrance/exit routes. Ask if there are any sharp turns, low branches or narrow roads you should be aware of.
Before Pulling Into Site
- Make sure your RV will fit into the site and the site has expected utilities- water, electric compatible with your camper, picnic table, grill, sewer etc. Test utilities to be sure they are working.
- Be on the lookout for stumps, holes etc.
- Plan how you will pull into your site, where you will stop etc. Discuss your plan with your spotter
- If site has no sewer facilities, drive to dump station and empty waste tanks, if needed
- Perform a two-way radio check, if using a spotter
Setting Up Camp
- Slowly pull your RV into the site
- Make sure electric, water and sewer can be reached
- Verify you have room to put out slides if you have them, steps, awning etc. Make sure no branches etc are touching.
- Place level on floor inside RV or lay a water bottle down to test if camper is level laterally. If not use leveling blocks
- Chock trailer wheels- this will keep your camper from rocking back and forth when you walk around inside. You will need to put one in front and behind one tire on each side of the RV.
- Put wooden blocks under leveling jacks or tongue jack (to prevent sinking and marking paved surface) and lower until they support the front weight of the RV.
- Make sure trailer is level lengthwise and adjust levels accordingly.
Unhitch the Trailer
- Remove safety chains and sway bars
- Disconnect RV cables and breakaway switch and store safely
- Unhitch RV from tow vehicle
- Put out slides, steps and handrails.
- Connect electric to power using an RV surge protector. This will protect your electrical system against surges. Make sure breaker is turned on.
- Connect fresh water hose and water pressure regulator.
- If site has sewer hookup: Connect sewer hose and make sure both ends are secure. Keep gray tank open but close black tank and empty when needed. This is very important- you need a liquid build up to help flush out solids. You also want a clear elbow so that you can see when the tank water runs clear. As gross as it sounds the tank is not clean out completely until the water runs clear when you are dumping the tank.
- Turn on all propane tanks and check for leaks. Light pilot lights for any gas appliances needed.
- Turn on hot water faucet to allow hot water tank to fill.
- Make sure refrigerator is on and set to correct temperature
- Turn on air conditioners or furnace and set thermostat
- Set up house- put everything in normal locations, set up outside accessories, raise TV antenna etc.
Now that you are all set up, it is time for some fun. This list of activities will keep you entertained and help make memories.