getting started with your new rv

getting started with your new rv

So, you have picked up your first RV, and if you are like me you can’t wait to get out and explore. Take it from me you are going to want to get to know the basics before you head out. I strongly recommend setting it up at home and spend a night or two. This will give you a good idea how everything works and what items you might want to bring on the trail. Let’s start by walking the outside of your RV.

Propane tanks and battery storage

Probably the easiest two things to find on your RV and also the most important. I do a lot of dry camping, so I always make sure tanks are full and batteries have a full charge.

Tongue and stabilizer jacks

Tongue jacks come in a few different styles. My RV has an electric jack that also can be hand cranked if the battery gets low. This jack is used for hookup and for leveling the RV front to back. It also has a light that comes in handy.

Stabilizer jacks not to be confused with leveling jacks also come in different styles. This model also has the electric stabilizers and can be raised and lowered at the push of a button. You never want to use these jacks to level your RV, like the name suggests, they are only to add stability.

Watter conections and drain points

City Water Connection

The city water connection is used when at campsites with full hook ups. You are going to want to make sure you are using the right kind of hose. I also recommend a pressure regulator just to be on the safe side.

Water Storage Tank

The water storage tank is used for dry camping. My unit has a 40-gallon tank, and the water pump uses the battery for power. I keep the pump off when not in use. This is to extend life of the pump and limit battery use. We don’t drink this water; we carry drinking water with us to so we can camp longer.

Low Point Drains

The low point drains are just that. I drain my tank every time we get home from a trip. Some might say that is a little much, I just want to keep the system as clean as I can. Before trips if it has been a month or so I will fill my tank and then drain and fill again.

Black and Grey Storage Tanks

Storage Tank Hose Connection and Valves

Your RV will have two waste tanks black and grey. The black tank is for your toilet and the grey is for everything else. There is only one drain connection for both tanks but two valves. Always drain the black water first, flush tank and then your grey water tank. Draining your system this way will help get rid of any solids that may be stuck inside your hose.

Backflush Connection

This RV is equipped with a backflush connection. This is to get rid of anything left in the blackwater tank after draining. You might not have this on your model, but there are many aftermarket products available.  When flushing your tank make sure tank is empty and drain valve is open

Electrical and cable connections

Cable Connection

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This is the cable input, you can use at developed campsites and RV parks. You can also connect an antenna or satellite if you have one. Below is the outside power outlet and cable connecter if you want to watch tv outside. Perfect for tailgating!

Your 30- or 50-AMP Connection

This is where you will plug your RV into power. If you are at home or a developed camp site, you can plug in and use your appliances like normal. You can also plug into a generator if you are dry camping.  If you are planning to use a generator you will want to know how many watts you will need. There are many different adapters depending on what outlets are available both at home and on the trail. I will get into that more in another article.

That should give you a good starting point as far as the outside of your RV is concerned. If I have missed anything or you have any questions, feel free to comment below. 

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