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Home > News > 5 must-know CAMPING TIPS about How to Settle Your RV Camper in for the Night

5 must-know CAMPING TIPS about How to Settle Your RV Camper in for the Night

It takes time to settle your RV Camper especially in the night. Let's make it simple to new camper.

1. How to choose a site

When I started RVing, I wanted only model sites, secluded from other campers, surrounded by shade trees, preferably at the end of a row facing a view. The site had to be level - you`d be surprised how few sites outside paved parking-lot campgrounds are really level - with a nice picnic table and fire pit or barbecue. These characteristics still are ideals to aspire to, but I had to get real. If mine was the last RV to pull into the only campground with a vacancy sign at Mount Rushmore National Memorial at twilight on Fourth of July weekend, I took what was left and appreciated the fact that I found a spot.

When site selection is abundant, I have a long list of preferences:

  • BIG: The site had to be large enough to park (drive through or back) my 36-foot motorhome and still have slide-out space (part of the living room and/or bedroom walls could be opened to expand the interior space), chairs, a table and charcoal grill, and the 16 feet needed for my tractor-trailer.
    Conference Room: As many types of RVs offer one or more slides, the width of the site becomes increasingly important. Some of the older campgrounds couldn't handle the slides and so stated this information in their directory listings; others had slide-out spaces, but no space left for you to use as a recreation area.

Any campsite less than 15 feet wide limits comfortable use of the site for longer than overnight.

  • Length: the umbilical cord that connects the vehicle to the electrical, water and sewer must extend comfortably. Consider reducing the burden of expansion to alleviate this problem.
  • Levels: whenever you don't have a large RV with a hydraulic/electric jack with an automatic level, you have to do a lot of back and forth movement inside and outside the vehicle to check the level (those small objects that have bubbles inside). Sometimes you have to wedge a block of wood under the tire until that pesky little bubble hits the center. Sometimes, if you don't want to buy or use a leveling jack, close close close enough.
  • Location: I wanted to get away from the highway and the entrance to the campsite and not too close to the pool, bath facilities, office, laundry, dumpster, playground or dog walking area.
  • Keep an eye out for potentially noisy neighbors, any overhanging branches or wires that could damage your roof air conditioner or TV antenna, and wet or damp floors that could make you salivate if it rains all night. Also, always check the location of trees so they don't block open slipcovers or awnings, or may interfere with reception if you have satellite TV.

A campsite may or may not contain a picnic table, grill, or fire ring (a fire pit encircled by rocks) - critical amenities for tent campers but luxuries for RVers, who already have tables, chairs, and cooktops inside their vehicles.

TIP: If you`re going to stay in one campground for a while, look for an end site with hookups on the left side of the site so that your door, folding chairs, and picnic table can face open space and perhaps even a view rather than the RV next door and its hookups.

If you have no choice but to pack your gear in an RV sandwich, consider the following: unlike tent camping, where campers spend all their waking hours outdoors, RVs (especially RVs and trailers) allow you to go inside for privacy. Even if you park just a foot or two from an adjacent RV, you can close the curtains, draw shadows around the windshield and turn on some light music while you are completely alone.

2. Park your gear.
Selecting a location to place an RV overnight requires finding the flattest area and aligning the connections in the RV with the field connections. If you have a backstage stop, ask the co-pilot (if any) to get out of the car and help you. If you have a bypass site, pull into the center of the site. In either case, be sure to leave room for the slipcover and awning to open. However, your exact location depends on your feeds, which can be accessed from the left rear of the RV. The electrical connection is usually a metal box mounted on a small pole, the water connection on or near the same pole, and the sewer connection near the general. You may have to get out of the car to determine the sewer connection, as it is usually a small hole in the ground covered with a white plastic cap that may or may not have a cement ring around it.

Sometimes, in older campgrounds, you may find side-by-side connections that allow two campgrounds to share basic connections and have two taps, two electrical connections and two sewer holes in the same area. Since most RVs hang from the left rear, you and the adjacent RV will park in opposite directions.

Once in the desired position, use the built-in leveling system to level the vehicle, or drive it on a block of wood under the tires to level it. This approach is not only vital for your comfort and convenience, but also for the proper functioning of equipment such as refrigerators.

3. Hang up your RV camper.
First-time RVer users, and sometimes even veterans, may be apprehensive about the process of hooking up at a campsite, but after a few times, you'll fall into the routine of parking and leveling the vehicle, then hooking up.

Don't forget: You need a pair of work gloves for the sewer connections, and a couple of disposable gloves for cooking

You will need a pair of work gloves, as well as disposable gloves for sewer connections.

4. Use the tools
The following are detailed instructions on how to do this.

1. Connect the RV's water hose (already connected to the water intake) to the camp faucet with clean hands or sterile gloves.

It is wise to install a water pressure regulator on one end of the hose, as many campgrounds have high water pressure. I carry a small pair of channel locking pliers that are large enough to tighten the hose connection and provide plenty of hose washers that will collapse when used and can cause a leaky street connection on the faucet or RV.

2. Plug the shore power cable into the campsite socket, which is located in a metal box fixed to the column, usually at the left rear of the site.

The RV's shore power cord is the external power cord that connects the vehicle to the campground electrical connection. Inside the box, you may have several connector options, either 20, 30 or 50A. Each amp rating has a unique connection.

Warning: Most outlets have an on/off switch or circuit breaker that you need to turn to the off position before plugging in or unplugging the power cord. The shut-off switch protects against electrical surges, which can knock off the vehicle's circuit breaker.

If the shore power cord fits into one of the outlets, an adapter is not required. If the shoreline is not suitable, an adapter that fits your equipment is required. You will soon learn to visually identify the amperage of each rated outlet.

3. When properly plugged in, turn on the switch or circuit breaker on the base that powers the campsite outlet.

The timer light on the microwave can be a good check for electrical service, and if you have electricity, the light will light up and may start flashing.

4.If you have automatically switched the propane on the refrigerator to electric (as most RVs do), check the light on the refrigerator control panel to make sure the refrigerator is set to AC.

Some models have a toggle button labeled "Auto" which is handled for you when turned on.

At this point, your power supply is connected and should work properly. Next is the part that most novice RVers dread, though it's as simple as the other two connections.

5. Connect the sewer hose to the RV outfall and the sewer line at the campsite.

Connect the sewer hose to the drain first; then open the RV. many campgrounds have threaded connections for elbows in their sewer assemblies. Insert the elbow into the drain at least one full turn. Before hooking up the RV, check that the connection is secure. The hose connections for the RV and extension hoses are twist lock connectors.

Drain all fluid stored in the tank when in a hurry when connected (not the next morning). (If staying for several days, drain while hanging and then again when decoupling) Drain the black water tank first, close that valve (marked), then open the gray water valve. This process will help you flush the hose when you empty the tank. You can leave the grey water valve open while camping, but you should not leave the black water valve open unless it is in a horizontal position and the RV is horizontal, as the solids deposited in the tank are difficult to remove.

When finished: wash your hands and relax with a cold drink.

5. Camping etiquette.
A portion of the letters in RVing magazine deal with other campers who have failed to show proper decorum at camp. Careless behavior can range from failed pet cleanups to running generators after hours. To avoid being the subject of one of these letters, please follow some good rules.

Avoid omission claims. Anything that marks a campsite, from a pot of water on a table to a folding chair in a parking space, means that the campsite is occupied and the camper is not in their car or RV. You may not set the marker aside and enter the site.
Pay attention to your camper's personal space. Teach your children never to take a shortcut next to an occupied campsite; they should use that road or an established path to reach their destination. No one wants to watch the parade of children through his or her website.
Prevent pets from roaming. Don't let your dog roam free in the campground. Pets should always be kept on a leash outside the RV and exercised in designated pet areas.
The use of generators should be avoided as much as possible, even during the designated generator hours, to prevent noise and soot from disturbing other campers. If the use of appliances such as microwaves and televisions is so important, consider staying in a private campground with hookups, where generators are not needed.
Avoid long, loud spins of the engine in the early morning and late evening. Smoke from the engine drifts into the open window of a nearby RV, and the noise wakes up anyone who wants to sleep.
Do not play the radio or television loudly in the camp. Many of your campers are there to enjoy peace and quiet. Also.
Never dump waste water (even grey water) from a water storage tank on the ground. Despite claims that it is good for grass, if raw meat is washed in the sink, the wastewater may contain feces from diapers or salmonella. This material can be transferred to anyone who touches or steps on the contaminated ground. Gray or black water belongs only to tipping stations or sewer systems.
Don't cut firewood, cut firewood. Most camps sell firewood in the stands or in the camp store. Many parks even prohibit picking up or cutting down dead wood.
Watching you throw on the fire. Do not place aluminum foil, aluminum cans, bottles or cigarette butts with filters on the campground's fire ring or grill to avoid litter. Also, never crush a cigarette on the ground without picking it up and putting it in the trash can.
Do not leave porch or entrance lights at the campground throughout the night. Lights may shine on other people's bedroom windows.

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