Winnebago RV

3 Essential RV Hookups: Understanding Electrical, Water and Sewage

Choosing a campsite means making sure it has all the essential RV hookups you’ll need to get the most out of your vacation. A beautiful view and fun activities in the area are great, but if you can’t power your lights at night or run your shower in the morning, by mid-week you’ll be cranky enough to start looking for a new campground to call home.

Here are three essential RV hookups you’ll need to consider when selecting your next vacation spot:

1. Electrical Cables

Getting your RV connected to the grid typically means being able to hook up your electrical system to the outlets at a site. You’ll need to know how many amps your RV’s on-board electrical gear needs to operate properly (usually between 30 and 50 amps) and also what level of power the campground offers (sometimes as low as 15 amps, but usually between 20 and 50 amps).

If there is a substantial difference between your system and the campground’s output, you’ll need to have the right reducer or adapter on hand to tweak power down or up to the right level to safely plug in your rig. This is especially important considering that, for example, a 30-amp plug will have three prongs and a 50-amp plug will offer four. Carrying the right adapter for your setup will ensure you can interface with almost any onsite hookup.

RV hookup

2. Water Source

Some RVs come with their own water storage tanks, which means you can fill up at home and not worry once you are on the road. For those that don’t, a reliable source of water is one of the essential RV hookups.

There are two key components to a water hookup at any campground: a water hose and a water pressure regulator. Your hose should be free of kinks and kept as clean as possible to prevent mold or dirt from getting into your RV’s water system. The pressure regulator is necessary to prevent fluctuating pressure at the water intake from damaging your RV should it surge too high.

3. Blackwater/Waste Disposal

Some recreational vehicles come equipped with a blackwater or sewage storage tank, while others will need to connect directly to the campground’s own sewage system. Most of the time, the stock sewer hose that comes with an RV isn’t long enough to be practical in the real world, so you’ll want to purchase one that will give you between 5 and 10 feet of reach. You’ll also want to seal the connection you make with the sewer entry to prevent any nasty smells from getting inside your camper, which means purchasing a rubber donut seal that fits between the two.

Keep these essential RV hookups in mind when scoping out your next campsite and you’ll dramatically improve your chances of enjoying your vacation to the fullest.

Check out all the RV products available on NAPA Online or trust one of our 17,000 NAPA AutoCare locations for routine maintenance and repairs. For more information on essential RV hookups, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

about author

Benjamin Hunting

Having been bitten by the car bug at a young age, I spent my formative years surrounded by Studebakers at car shows across Quebec and the northeastern United States. Over ten years of racing, restoring, and obsessing over automobiles lead me to balance science writing and automotive journalism full time.  I currently contribute as an editor to several online and print automotive publications, and I also write and consult for the pharmaceutical and medical device industry.

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