Tuesday, November 28, 2023


RV Checklists: Campground setup

By Gail Marsh


  • Check in at campground office. (Call ahead if you’ll arrive after office hours.)
  • Request a campground map and receive your RV’s site assignment. Ask for directions to the site and drive to it.


  • Walk the site to check for ground debris, site obstructions (e.g., picnic table) or overhead obstacles (e.g., tree branches, power lines). Also, check the approximate levelness of the spot.
  • Use a cell phone, walkie-talkie, or prearranged hand signals to help the driver pull into or back up into the site. (If driving a motorhome or other drivable RV and towing a car, boat, etc., unhitch the towed vehicle before backing in.) TAKE YOUR TIME! Continuously check to avoid hitting anything on the sides, front, or back of the RV.
  • Check that you can access the electric, water, and sewer connections.
  • Make sure there is enough clearance for your RV’s slides to extend.
  • Chock tires.
  • Place support blocks beneath landing jacks.
  • Remove RV from truck (if it’s a fifth-wheel or travel trailer). Apply parking brake for drivable RV.
  • Lower stabilizers for fifth-wheel or travel trailer. Use auto-levelers or hand-levelers as needed.


  • Test power post before backing your rig in.
  • After parking, check the power pedestal to make certain the power is OFF.
  • Plug your surge protector into the power pedestal.
  • Insert your electrical cord into the surge protector.
  • Turn on the breaker.


  • Attach a water pressure regulator before attaching the hose to the CG’s water supply line
  • Attach inline water filter to the site’s water spigot.
  • Fasten your freshwater line into the water filter.
  • Hold the end of the freshwater hose as you open the campground’s water spigot. Let water flow through the hose until water is clear. Turn off water.
  • Attach the end of your water hose to your RV’s city water inlet.


  • Attach your sewer hose to your RV’s sewer outlet.
  • Extend the hose to the campground’s sewer connection.
  • Fasten into place.
  • Open the gray tank valve. (This valve will remain open until you’re ready to dump the black tank.)
  • Keep the black tank valve closed.


  • Before extending steps, move outdoor mat into place.
  • Extend steps so that they will help secure the outdoor mat.
  • Use a whisk broom to quickly sweep debris off steps and also any dirt that may be inside the RV entry.


  • Check to see that your slides can be extended without striking anything outside the RV.
  • Go inside the RV and look to see if, during travel, anything has moved to obstruct the slides. Move anything that’s in the way that might prevent safe slide extension.
  • Extend slides.


  • Set up your BBQ grill.
  • Put camping chairs and/or propane campfire into place.
  • Hook up your satellite dish (if needed).
  • Roll out awning.


  • Check for any damage that may have occurred during travel.
  • Turn on air conditioner or furnace, if needed.
  • Power on the refrigerator.
  • Turn on the water heater. (You may want to purge the water lines of air before doing this.)
  • Unfasten drawer/cupboard travel security bands.
  • Light pilot in oven.
  • Put down throw rugs.


Download a copy of this checklist here and carry it with you on your RV travels.


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Neal Davis (@guest_262475)
3 days ago

Thank you, Gail! Great set of lists! Can tell you’ve done this a while. 🙂 I especially appreciate you putting in that last line item; “relax.” 🙂 Safe travels!

Bill Richardson (@guest_205091)
1 year ago

I always run some water from the faucet before I hook a filter or hose to it to flush out spiders. I’ve also had water run red for a few seconds from rust early in the season. Don’t need any of that stuff in my filter, which may or may not filter out spider “juice “.

Vanessa (@guest_197827)
1 year ago

Good checklist but Mike, the electric guy, says to test the pedestal before you park, especially going through the pain of backing in, just in case there is an issue and you have to move. I did that at one campground and found an issue and was moved to another site…SO glad I didn’t have to go through two back in experiences or back in and disconnect to find out.

Last edited 1 year ago by Vanessa
Gail (@guest_200531)
1 year ago
Reply to  Vanessa

Great advice, Vanessa! Definitely add it to the list!

M D-B (@guest_197723)
1 year ago

Slight variation to your order of steps. check the power with the surge protector before we even back in and start to level. Learned the hard way when we discovered faulty power and were all set up only to have to tear down and move.

Don (@guest_197795)
1 year ago
Reply to  M D-B

Yes, I have been doing this same very procedure for past several years.

Robin Channell (@guest_197718)
1 year ago

I would add to level your camper and then chock the tires.

Rosy (@guest_197940)
1 year ago
Reply to  Robin Channell

Chocking the tires is the first thing we do before unhooking and removing the chock device is the last thing we do after reconnecting to the truck. Always. Always. Always.

dale rose (@guest_197693)
1 year ago

On the section of the sewer, I disagree with opening the grey water valve and leaving it open. The rig would have nothing to flush the blackwater from the sewer hose. Also, lighting the oven pilot is wasting fuel, unless you’re going to bake something. The pilot only needs to be on when baking.

Betty Danet (@guest_197705)
1 year ago
Reply to  dale rose

I agree about the gray water tank. We also use our gray water to flush the hose after the black water. Also…the gray valve got left open once and some bad smells got in the RV. Also, we carry a stick with marks as to the width of the slides. Easy to check for clearances. Good article though. It’s essential to have a checklist.

Bill (@guest_197782)
1 year ago
Reply to  dale rose

Agree 100%

Chuck G (@guest_197635)
1 year ago

When hooking up water need to use regulator.

Gail (@guest_200532)
1 year ago
Reply to  Chuck G

Absolutely, Chuck! It needs to go on the list for sure.

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