After purchasing or renting your first RV you will be filled with excitement. Your mind will probably be racing with ideas of where to take your family on your next road trip. With an RV there are so many options available to you.
And then as you are backing into your campsite this thought may enter your mind. What Side are RV Hookups On?
Typically they are located on the driver’s side of your RV or camper so that they line up correctly with the location of the water, sewer, and electric hookups on your campsite. There may be a few exceptions, but in general, they will be on the left side.
Your RV hookups are incredibly important to the overall quality of your trip. Now, before we get into the details of each RV hookup, you should understand what they are. If you are new to the RV world, you might not know what we are referring to.
Your RV hookups are the ways you connect your RV to the amenities that may be available at your campsite. Things like water, electricity, and cable TV. After all, the whole point of RVing is to bring the comforts of home into a more scenic environment where you can enjoy the great outdoors.
Fortunately, RV hookups are not overly complicated, so you should be able to get the hang of them very quickly. However, there are a few things that you will need to understand in order to make your RV hookup experience much easier. We will get into everything you need to understand about RV hookups below.
What Hookups Are Needed for an RV?
At this point you might think that there is one RV hookup to give you all the amenities from the campsite. However, you would be incorrect in that line of thinking. There are three major hookups that you need. There is the RV electric hookup, water hookup, and sewer hookup. Each plays an important role in ensuring that you are comfortable at the campsite. As a result, you need to make sure you understand how each works before you get to the campsite.
RV Electric Hookup
Not all RV parks will offer every RV hookup that you could want. However, one that will be present at nearly every campground will be the RV electric hookup. Fortunately, it is also one of the easier RV hookups to make work.
The RV electric hookup is pretty as simple as plugging it in and letting it do its work. However, before you plug it in, it is important to power down all your electronics. You do this just in case the campground’s power source has any faulty wiring that could cause damage to your electronics. Additionally, you can purchase a polarity tester to help ease your mind before you plug in.
Surge protectors will also help protect your devices if you want to make that purchase. Below is a picture of our RV surge protector and we highly recommend you use one. We have the Progressive Industries Surge Protector and it ensures that all of our electronics including the TV, fridge, camera gear, microphones, computers and more don’t get fried in case of a power surge.
You should also note that RVs do not draw the same amount of power from RV to RV. Instead, the amount of power that your RV draws is dependent on the size and design of your RV. You might have an RV with a 30 amp plug, or one with a 50 amp plug. The amperage your RV can handle will be evident by the number of prongs on your RV hookup. As a result, if you are at a campsite that does not offer a match, you will need to make sure that you have a converter. If you do not, you will be unable to hook up your RV.
RV Water Hookup
The next RV hookup on the list is the water hookup. You need this hookup for your sinks, toilets, and showers to be fully functional. When you use an RV water hookup, it is important to purchase a quality water filter and a water pressure regulator. The filter will help ensure that you will not impart any funky odors or flavors into your water. And the pressure regulator ensures that the water pressure is set to 45psi so you don’t overpressure your plumbing pipes and cause a leak inside your RV somewhere.
Here are pictures of ours below. We highly recommend not using the cheap blue bullet shaped water filter. It just doesn’t work that great in our opinion. We use a two canister water filter system and the water quality is noticeably better. We also use a water pressure regulator with a gauge on it so we can see and set the pressure ourselves. Don’t waste your money on the kind that doesn’t have a gauge.
RV Sewer Hookup
The final hookup for us to look at is the RV sewer hookup. This is an essential hookup if you want to go to the bathroom indoors with fully functional plumbing. That is something everyone wants, so getting this hooked up is essential.
While many campsites offer RV sewer hookups, many will opt for a centralized dumps station instead. This makes things easier for the park to manage and it is more sensible for the camper. It is unwise to leave your tank valves open, so you would only be dumping your tank once a week or so.
How Do You Hook Up an RV Full Hookup?
To fully hook up your RV, there are a few things you will need to purchase in advance. Firstly, you will need to purchase surge protectors for your RV. Some RVs will come with surge protectors built in, but many will not. If you have an RV that does not have surge protectors, you will need to purchase them for yourself.
You might never need a surge protector, but it is better to have one and not need it rather than to need one and not have it. They will save you a lot of money if they ever get used. They will protect your electronics from getting fried. So, purchasing one is a good idea if you are not interested in replacing all of your electronics.
Furthermore, you will want to purchase a water pressure regulator. Most RV manufacturers recommend that you keep your water pressure somewhere between 40 and 60 psi. Having a water regulator will allow you to control the water pressure in your RV.
Additionally, it is important to have a quality water filter. When you are out at the campsite it can be difficult to know the quality of the water you are getting. However, when you purchase a good water filter, you will be able to ensure that all the water you are getting is clean and tastes amazing.
Finally, you will need to purchase sewer connections to ensure that everything with plumbing is running correctly. The last thing you want is for something to go wrong with your plumbing. Purchasing these connections will help you avoid any major issues.
What Is a Full Hookup Campsite?
A full hookup campsite is one that includes everything hookup that you could possibly need. So, it includes an electric, water, and sewer hookup. This will give you all the freedom you need to live however you want while you are on your camping trip.
Lots of people ask about leaving the black or gray tank valves open when they have full hookups. My advice is that you can leave the grey tank open if you like so you can take showers, etc. without filling the gray tank. But I recommend leaving the black tank valve closed until the tank is at least 2/3 full so it has enough pressure to force the solid waste out when you finally open the valve.
What Is the Difference Between a Full Hookup Campsite and Just Water and Electric?
The big difference between these two types of campsites is that the latter does not include an RV sewer hookup. A sewer hookup gives you the ability to damp whenever you need without leaving the campsite. However, when you do not have a full hookup campsite you are stuck without this kind of hookup. As a result you cannot dump your tanks whenever you want.
Can You Install RV Hookups at Home?
If you have owned your RV for long enough, you are probably interested in setting up an RV hookup at your home. Doing this would enable you to store your RV at home and live it if need be. This is great because it gives you extra space for guests to sleep if you have family visiting. Fortunately, you can install RV hookups at home. However, it will take a great deal of work.
To start this process you will first need to build a gravel or concrete parking pad. This will give you a flat surface outside your home for your RV to sit on. It is important to have a flat and sturdy surface so that your RV stays level.
You will then need to install sturdy posts for your water and electrical hookups. You will use 4 x 4 posts for the RV hookups. After that, you should then install your water hookup, followed by your electric hookup. Once this is done you can start working on the sewer hookup. However, if you do not want to go through with the whole process for the sewer hookup, you can use a compost toilet instead.
Looking at this you will see that we did not go into too much detail on how to perform the setup. That is because we have an article on our website which outlines how to do everything in detail. So, you can head over to that article and get all the information you need.
Prepare for Your Next RV Camping Trip Knowing Everything About RV Hookups
After reading, we hope you have all the information you need relating to RV hookups and you know what side your RV hookups are on. We know there is a lot of information you absorb, but it should all be helpful as you prepare for your next family vacation. Having RV hookups is essential in ensuring that your vacation is as comfortable as possible. So, take the time and learn everything you can.
Remember it is not essential that a campsite is a full hookup campsite. If it does not have all the RV hookups that you need, you will need to adapt. Most campsites will have electric and water hookups, but if they do not you need to be prepared. You can purchase a generator if you plan on going somewhere that cannot provide you with electricity. It is also important to purchase water filters if you go somewhere without a water hookup.
All this information might be overwhelming right now, but it will all be helpful going forward. So, take your time, and make sure you understand everything we have discussed above. Taking that extra time will help ensure that you have the best trip you possibly can.
Are you a new or experienced RV owner? Have you ever used RV hookups before? Are you interested in installing RV hookups at your home? Let us know in the comments!