Tips for Traveling in a Motorhome—How to Get Set Up (Road Trip Series Part 5)

Setting up a motorhome

You’ve set out on your first adventure with your motorhome. You picked your campsite carefully, arrived without a glitch, and checked in. You’re relieved to see the reserved site is just the size you expected.

But how do you set up your motorhome?

Don’t rock and roll

While being mobile is what a motorhome is all about, once you’ve settled into a campsite, the last thing you want is for your mobile home to accidentally shift out of place. Engage your parking brake and chock the wheels to keep you stable.

Level up

You’ll generally need to level your motorhome. You can’t skip this essential step—your fridge and plumbing won’t work right if you’re not level.

For this essential step, use stabilizer leveling jacks or blocks. Make sure they’re wider than your tires and are strong enough to support your vehicle.

If you have room extenders (also called slides or slide outs), now’s the time to set them up. This is also the time to position your entry steps.

Hooking up the essentials

Electrical: Make sure the breaker is off before you start plugging in. Also, test the voltage before hooking into the system.

Once you’ve connected, then you can turn the breaker on. Check to make sure the electricity is working before turning on appliances such as the fridge.

Water: Hook the white-water connection hose to the campsite connection, then to your motorhome. Consider using a water pressure regulator, since water pressure at some campsites can be quite high.

If you have a water filter, this is also the time to connect it. Remember to open every water line to remove air—that includes sink faucet, showerhead and the toilet. Then check to make sure water is really flowing into the RV.

Sewage: The first step is to make sure the gray and black water lines are off. Then, hook up the sewer hose to the campsite connection. Make sure the connection is sealed. Then finish connecting it to your motorhome. So that everything flows better, prop the sewage line up so that it slopes away from your motorhome.

And a few more details

Now that the hardest part is over, what other details should you finish?

- If you have TV or satellite service, now’s the time to hook it up.

- Switch on your water heater.

- Are there any pilot lights you need to turn on, such as on the hot water tank or heater?

 Now you’re ready to take out lawn chairs, set up awnings, and fire up the BBQ! 

How National Highway Safety Administration can help--We want to help every trip to be a safe one. See how our online drivers ed classes can help you and your family!  The online driver's ed classes range from parent taught courses for teens to obtain a learner's permit, to defensive driving courses, or even driving classes that help reduce your insurance rates or even remove points or fines from moving violations.  

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