How to Install RV Hookups at Home

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We’ve been considering installing RV hookups at home for water, sewer, and electrical. We would like to do this so we have a place to store the RV but also so we can live in or service our RV right at home. But, there are steps we must take to ensure we do things the right way.

So how do you smoothly connect water, electric, and sewer hookups to your RV at home?

1. Build a Gravel or Concrete Parking Pad
2. Run a Water Hookup to the RV
3. Run an Electrical Hookup to the RV
4. Install or Use Your Existing Permanent Sewer Hookup

How to Install RV Hookups at Home

In this article, we will run through some home RV parking hookup ideas so you can install your own RV hookups right at home. Please be aware that depending on where you live, you may need permits to install permanent RV hookups at home. So, check with your local officials before you begin any work.

Build a Gravel or Concrete Parking Pad

If you want your RV hookups to go as seamlessly as possible, you will want to build a gravel or concrete pad. This setup allows your RV to rest on a flat surface outside of your home. Ultimately, it will keep the weight of your RV from settling into the ground. If you were to park your RV on grass sooner or later, the ground will settle, and your RV will no longer be level.

To build a gravel or concrete parking pad, you should first measure the length and width of your RV. You want to make the pad about 4 feet wider and 4 feet longer than your RV, so you have room to walk around the RV. You should also consider the height of your RV to make sure you don’t hit any overhead power, phone, or cable TV lines.

To build a gravel pad, you will need to start by leveling the area where you want to install the pad. You should plan to make the gravel pad 4-6 inches deep. The heavier the RV, the deeper the gravel.

Once you dig out and level the area, install a layer of filter cloth over the dirt BEFORE filling in with gravel. Most people don’t know to install the filter cloth first. The filter cloth keeps the dirt under the gravel from eroding, so you don’t end up with spots that sink.

57 gravel

I recommend using #57, or #2 washed gravel for your gravel pad. Do not use pea gravel because your rig will sink right into it. I also do not recommend using crush and run, which is gravel mixed with gravel dust. Crush and run is very dirty and you will track the stone dust into your RV, and maybe your house too.

And lastly, I absolutely do not recommend using recycled concrete. Recycled concrete typically has wire mesh or rebar in it, which is metal used inside of concrete to add to its overall strength. Use recycled concrete, and I guarantee you will get a flat tire at some point.

To build a concrete pad, you will need to dig and deep enough to install 4 inches of gravel below the 4-6 inches of concrete you will then pour on top. You should still use filter cloth under the gravel, and I recommend using crush and run gravel and tamping it down under the concrete.

When pouring the concrete, you will want to use 2 x 6s to build a form, so your concrete pad has a clean edge all the way around. Also, you should install wire mesh in your concrete pad or buy concrete that has fiber mesh mixed into it for added strength.

Also, I do not recommend trenching under your parking pad for your water or electric lines. I realize that if you take a shorter path, the cost of materials will be less expensive.

But, if there is ever a problem with either of those lines, you may have to dig up your parking pad to make a repair. And, the trench lines are likely to settle at some point which will cause the pad to sink in those spots.

If time, tools, or know-how aren’t on your side, you can always hire a contractor to do the dirty work for you.

RV Life PRO Gif

Install Sturdy Posts for Your Water and Electrical Hookups

When the pad is complete, it’s time to install 4 x 4 posts for the RV hookups. You can use the leftover concrete if you installed a concrete pad to do this. Or, you can just buy a few bags of concrete and dry pack the posts if you installed a gravel pad.

Dig a hole for each post about 8 inches in diameter and about 30 inches deep. Install the posts as level and plumb as possible and then pack with leftover concrete or just pour the dry concrete right from the bag around the post.

This is called dry packing and the moisture from the ground will seep into the dry concrete mix and it will harden up. If you live in very dry climates, this method will not work and you will have to mix it with water before packing it around the post.

Obviously, you will want the water and electrical posts to be on the correct side of the RV to make hooking up the electric line and water hose as easy as possible.

Install the Water Line Hookup First

First, dig a trench from the water source to the post for the water hookup. Why dig a trench? Well, you’ll need something that you can run the waterline through so it doesn’t get damaged or freeze. You’ll want to strategically position your post and trench. (Knowing this may affect where you choose to install your post in the first place)

Before you dig your trench, you should call Miss Utility. or whatever service is in your area, to come out and mark all of the existing utility lines on your property. In fact, in Maryland, where we live, it’s the law.

Calling a utility marking company can help prevent you from hitting an existing water, power, or gas line! And it is expensive to pay the repair bill if you hit one of these lines.

Digging the trench for the waterline is the hardest part of setting up the waterline. It’s labor intensive because you have to dig down below the frost line.

Or you can rent a trenching machine at Home Depot so you can get the waterline installed below the frost line for your area of the country. A frost line is how deep the ground freezes during winter. Once you know the frost line depth, be sure to dig below it or the water line could freeze.

CPVC pipe is easy to install and it is rated for installation both above and below ground. Just make sure you do not use purple primer on the CPVC pipe and that you use the proper glue rated for CPVC.

After running your water line through the trench, you’ll run the water line up the post. Before securing the water line to the post, wrap the water line with heat tape. This will keep the water line above the frost line from freezing.

Then secure the line with pipe clamps and fill in the trench. So long as your line is secure, you shouldn’t run into any problems hooking up your RV at home. Add the faucet, and you are almost done.

While you still have to set up the electricity and sewer lines, you’ve got the first part under your belt! It’s a rewarding feeling, especially when you’ve done it all yourself. So go ahead and celebrate, but not for too long—there’s more work to be done.

Installing the RV Electrical Hookup at Home

Hooking up electric service to your RV means figuring out some details about your rig. In this case, you’ll want to figure out what number of amps your RV pulls.

This will determine which breaker box and outlet you purchase for your electrical line. You should also decide if you want phone and cable TV service for the RV because the electrician can take care of those items too.

RVs typically pull two different amperage levels. So, figure out whether yours is 30 amp or 50 amp. Refer to the owner’s manual for this information. Another option is to look at your RV’s male electric plug since the two amp options look different. In our case, our RV can run on a 110-volt line so all we need to do is plug into an existing outside receptacle. 

If you need 30 or 50 amps of electricity, it’s probably best left to an electrician to do the work. I highly recommend hiring an electrician because the electrical line will need to be run from your breaker box, or a sub-panel to the RV. A licensed electrician will be able to determine what size electric line you need run from your house to your RV.

By having a dedicated 30 or 50 amp circuit installed for your RV, you will be able to run all of the appliances in your RV. I also recommend having a 110 outlet mounted on the electrical post so you have somewhere to plug in your heat tape for the water line during the winter.

To save yourself some money, you can install the trench for the electric line from the house to the RV. And since you will possibly have rented a trenching machine, why not just get it done so, you aren’t paying an electrician top dollar to dig it for you.

You’ll want to dig a trench from your house to the post. But first, have the electrician show you where and how deep to dig the trench. You can ask him to show you when he visits to give you an estimate for the work. This way, the trench will be ready when he arrives to do the job.

Do note that you’ll want the electric line to be a separate trench. Don’t share the trench with the water line. Just like the water line, secure the electrical wire to the post with u-shaped clamps. 

Turn off all appliances and breakers before plugging in and install a good 30 amp surge protector or 50 amp surge protector before plugging the RV into the new electrical receptacle. A surge protector can help to ensure that the appliances in the RV don’t short out in case of an electrical surge.

It’s incredibly expensive to replace the electrical appliances in your RV. So, whether at home or at a campground, you should always use a 30 amp or 50 amp surge protector.

How to Install an RV Sewer Hookup at Home

There are a few ways to accomplish setting up an RV sewer hookup at home. They are hooking up to the existing public sewer system, hooking up to your private septic system, or installing a sewer tank.

Hooking up to your existing public sewer system is the easiest way to drain your black and gray water tanks, but it also may be illegal where you live. So, you will need to check with your local jurisdiction before attempting to hook up this way.

But if it’s legal, it’s as simple as hooking up your sewer at a campground. Just look for the sewer cap in your yard, remove it, and hook up your sewer line.

The process is similar if you have a septic system on your property, but you may need to install a 4-inch pipe from the septic holding tank, so you have something to connect to.

Adding an RV in-ground septic tank to your yard is the last solution to the sewer hookup problem because it can be very expensive to bury a holding tank. And then, after it’s installed, you will have to pay to have it pumped out when needed. You will also probably need to have a contractor install the septic tank for you, and then you just hookup like at a campground.

Consider Using a Compost Toilet

There’s an alternative to a septic tank setup. Compost toilets are eco-friendly and help you avoid having to install a tank on your property. In a self-composting toilet, the liquid and solid wastes are kept separate, but how?

Liquid waste goes in the front compartment and is tossed outside in a safe location when full. Meanwhile, solid waste finds its way into the back section. Natural ingredients like mulch or moss help it break down, and compost and a fan help avoid any smells before they begin.

You can then deliver compost build-up to your outdoor composting pile. Composting toilets aren’t cheap but they are certainly less expensive than installing a septic holding tank.

RV Hookup Installation Costs

The costs for water, sewer and electrical hookups can vary quite a bit depending on how much work you can do yourself, what type of sewer system you need, and if you need to pay for permits in your area.

Below are some cost ranges for RV hookups at home:

  • RV Water Hookups – From $20 if you do it yourself to $750 if you hire a plumber
  • RV Electrical Hookups – From $100 if you do it yourself to $1200 if you hire an electrician
  • RV Sewer Hookups – From $0 if you can hook up to your existing sewer or septic system to $3500 or more if you have a sewer tank installed.


It can be really easy or pretty complicated and expensive to install RV hookups at Home. But it can be done! Just be sure to do your homework up front to know if this option will work for you. For some very good related information about parking an RV at home, check out these other articles we wrote.


Can I Park an RV in My Driveway?

Can I Live in an RV on My Own Property?

Can I Park an RV in My Driveway?

21 Must Have RV Accessories for a New Camper or Travel Trailer

RV Hookups Explained (Water, Sewer, Electric)

Do you have any thoughts or ideas to share about installing RV hookups at home? Please share in the comments section below!


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31 thoughts on “How to Install RV Hookups at Home”

  1. Hi, Ive searched all over the internet for the answer to this question and have not found it. I have 7 acres in the country, when purchased this land it already had a septic tank, electric pole and water well on it. I had electrician install a pole to put electric for my rv, a plumber to run septic to graveled area where I will park my travel trailer so those areas are taken care of. Now I have a water well thats about 40 ft. from where the trailer will be parked. I called the well service people and was told that if I just planned on using trailer as an occasional vacation spot that instead of running a water line to trailer, I could just run a water hose from the well spout to the trailer. The well house in enclosed in a 5×5 by 4 ft tall square enclosure made up of cinder blocks with a corrigated tin lid. When looking at the plumbing there is a metal spigot attached to the pvc piping next to the pressure switch, oh and my well does not have a pressure regulator guage on it that I can find. Then at the end of the pvc piping there is narrow piece of pvc pipe with a plastic valve on top, when you turn the valve water shoots out of it. Not sure what that is for, is it to put on another connection? So my question is, would i attach the water hose to the metal spigot or have to install a fixture onto that end pvc piece with the plastic valve to attach water hose to to run to trailer? Also, would I need to attach a pressure guage at that spigot to control the water pressure and would I install a water filter onto the well spigot or would the pressure guage and water filter go on the other end of the water hose that attaches directly to the trailer?

  2. Regarding dumping a black RV tank into a residental septic tank I am wondering if the typical odor eliminating and break up chemicals that are used in a RV black tank would cause havoc with the bacterial world in the septic tank. Any opinion on this question?

  3. Already have full hookups on our property but looking to make them better. Trying to find the sewer hookups like you find at Disney or higher end RV parks that put the connection below the surface and allow you to cover it when not in use. Any idea of where to find them?

  4. Thanks for the article.

    I believe I will hire professionals and appreciate all the insights.

  5. Hello, I am planning on living in my trailer on an isolated corner of my parents property. Their septic tank is about an acre away from where I am parking the trailer. What would be the best (cheapest) option for hook up?


  6. Do you have any information on Maryland restrictions? My mother wants to park one on our property and live out of it. Thank you!

  7. Hi

    We are selling our house and buying an trailer to live in for a period of time (1-2 years). The property we are going to does not have a septic system so I will have to install one. What size would you recommend I install and about how frequent would that have to be pumped? Can the gray and black water go into the same tank. Family of 4 2 adults with 2 toddlers. Totally new to camper/RV world so sorry if this is a dumb question. Can’t seem to find much on the Google machine.


  8. No one has a 115 amp receptacle outside their house. I think you meant 115 volts. Most homes only have 100 amp service total.

  9. Happy new year 2021 to all! Thank you so much for this site & wealth of info! My husband & I have an RV and enjoyed several years traveling locally, in a tri-state area bc of his medical issues. Hope to get back to it again this year. My question, however, is about my (step)daughter. College student who will graduate in 6 months but due to fast roommate loss, had to move in with her mom. Sorry, to make this long story shorter…she’s convinced, with her mom’s encouragement that she can just buy a camper, travel trailer, for couple thousand dollars and set it up on her grandmother’s home area, less than acre, in a subdivision. I’m trying to not scream how crazy this is but can you tell me (without all my emotions added) Why this is or isn’t even plausible much less a good idea?? She thinks she can buy a used one & remodel the interior like she sees online…however we don’t have a plumber, electrician or contractor in our family anywhere!?!? Sorry for length of this but I’m trying to get a response together, with facts not my emotions

  10. Mike thank you for this informative and straightforward session!

  11. looking at your picture, I would never put the water and electric on the same pole, actually i would separate them by at least 6 feet. when you have a backflow preventer on the end of the faucet, they tend to leak often, having it right next to a power outlet is asking for trouble. other than this I think you have shared some good info. thanks.

  12. What would be approximate cost of gravel pad 20×14. As in someone else but me doing it myself?

  13. Have you ever seen a stainless steel RV dump “sink” which has an RV sewer hose connection for dumping and also a smaller drain? Ft. Wilderness had these at Disney years ago and I’d like to install one in the barn we are building for our RV. The purpose is should there be some leakage at the dump hose connection it stays contained in the sink and then goes down the separate smaller drain in the corner of the sink. Great for rinsing everything out afterwards. Looked everywhere but can’t find a small sink like that with the larger and smaller drain holes in it.

  14. As another alternative for sewer hookup is a macerator pump.
    Connect it to your sewer connection on the RV and its discharge is pumped through a 3/4″ to 1″ garden hose. These pumps typically run on 12 volt DC from the RV.
    The hose can be discharged directly into a toilet or piped into the sanitary piping inside a building.

  15. We recently bought a cabin that has what we were told were hookups for gray water and black water. How do I know that they will work if we have a friend with an RV come and visit? I’m coming in the dark having never RV or even camped much.


    • That’s a tough one Jean.
      If you have zero experience I would ask a plumber come and take a look for you. They will be able to make sure everything works properly.
      Also – when you bought the cabin was there a home inspection? Maybe the home inspector tested the hookups and if he did it will be in the home inspection report.
      Thanks and best of luck!

  16. I have looked all over our yard for a sewer cap and can’t find one. I know where the septic tank lives. I am wondering how do you install a cap that goes into the septic tank?

    • hopefully by now you found it. you can “T” in off the clean out cap.

  17. A Flowjet Portable Waste Water Macerator pump or Valtera SewerSolution is also a great way to pump waste water into a sewer clean-out or even household toilet. My Flojet can empty my 30 gallon tank in less than 5 minutes through a high quality hose over 50′ to my toilet. Would not be without it.

  18. There are two sewer pipes coming out of the ground at my house one in front of the other and I don’t want to play any many mighty mo, so do you the one close to the house or the farther, thanks, Randall

    • Hi Randall,

      That’s very unusual but I would remove one cap and flush the toilet in your house and see if you hear the water rushing through the pipe.
      Then I would put the cap back on and remove the second cap and flush the toilet or run a lot of water and see if you can hear it. Whichever pipe you hear the water running through is the sewer pipe you can connect to.
      Hope this helps!
      Let me know how you make out!

      • Two sewer cleanouts in line can indicate either 1) a backflow/backcheck valve & cleanout combination or 2) two one-way cleanouts installed back to back (one guides the sewer snake upstream the other guides it downstream).

    • That is not unusual. They are sewer clean outs and they “sweep” in different directions. The one closest to the house actually sweeps toward the street so you can clean out clogs between the street and the house. The one farthest from the house (closest to the street) actually “sweeps” toward the house so you can clean out clogs under house. Imagine a system where the clean out closest to the street swept toward the street and the clean out closest to the house swept toward the house. There would be an 18 inch (24-36 inche?) space in the sewer line where no camera and no roto rooter would have access.

    • There is a primer for PVC, for CPVC and for both PVC and CPVC. The same is true for the glue. I’ve seen more people use the wrong primer and the wrong glue than you can shake a stick at. So, I recommend no purple primer on CPVC and use the correct glue. Just makes it simpler.

      • Hey Mike, thanks for the clarity! However, “why” or “what” is the end result if the “purple” primer is used, pls!?

        Respectfully, Joe

        • Hi Joe,
          Great question. There are several types of purple primer on the market. One is for use on PVC, one is for use on CPVC and finally, there is a purple primer that can be used on both PVC and CPVC. However, if you use the wrong primer on your CPVC pipe the seal can leak over time. And I have seen countless times where people have used the wrong primer on the wrong pipe! So, I recommend not using it and just going with good CPVC glue. Or if you do choose to use the purple primer just make sure you are using the right one. PVC and CPVC are not the same.
          Hope this helps!


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