For a new RV owner, it can be a bit intimidating arriving at a new campground… especially if it is your every first trip to a campground ever! What is the etiquette? What should you do first? We are here to help!
Check-in at the office or registration desk
While some RV parks and campgrounds allow you to proceed straight to your campsite, if you are brand new to the campground or RV parks in general, stopping in at the desk will allow you to ensure your spot is open and there hasn’t been a last minute change, as well as get an updated map and advice from the host on how best to reach your site. You can also get any clarification of park rules and receive any necessary information about the park’s amenities and local attractions.
If you aren’t in a pull-in site, check and see if one is available, as these types of spots will be easiest for brand new campers.
Inspect the campsite
Some parks will allow you to park at the office briefly while you walk to your site and check it, while others you will need to do it once you arrive at your spot.
Walk around the campsite to identify any hazards or obstacles, such as low-hanging branches or uneven terrain, which could pose a risk when setting up your RV. Addressing these issues early can prevent accidents and damage to your RV.
Position your RV in your campsite
Properly positioning your RV is crucial to ensure a level and comfortable setup as well as ensuring your slides will open appropriately. Use leveling blocks or built-in leveling systems to achieve a level surface. This will help your appliances function correctly and ensure doors and windows close securely.
Be a good campsite neighbor and don’t allow any slides on the driver’s side to overhang into your neighbor’s campsite.
Deploy stabilizers and level the RV
Stabilizers reduce the amount of movement and sway in your RV while parked, providing a more comfortable experience. Properly deploying stabilizers also helps to prevent wear and tear on your RV’s suspension system. It also will help you level the RV.
While you may not feel leveling the RV is crucial, even a small lean can result in certain types of refrigerators being unable to run.
You can purchase an inexpensive level that will tell you how level the RV is in all 4 directions.
Secure the RV in place
Chock the wheels and engage the parking brake to prevent any movement of the RV while parked. This will help prevent accidents and ensure the safety of both your RV and its occupants.
Extend slide-outs and awnings
If your RV has slide-outs, extend them to increase your living space, being sure to check for any obstructions before you do so, such as poles, trees, branches, another RV.
Deploy awnings for shade and protection from the elements. Be aware that they should be pulled in at the first sign of wind, as both the awning and your RV can be severely damaged if the wind breaks the awning.
If it looks like rain, awnings can be great for rain protection outside. But do ensure you have time to dry out the awning to prevent mildew forming before you retract the awning, or remember to extend it to dry at your next destination, if waiting for it to dry is not an option.
Hook up your RV to the available utilities, such as water, sewer, and electricity. Connecting these services promptly ensures you have access to essential resources, like water for cooking and cleaning, and power for lighting and appliances.
Set up outdoor amenities
Arrange any outdoor furniture you set up for your stay. Depending on the park or campground, you may unfortunately need to be concerned with theft and put them away during the night and when you leave the campground.
Familiarize yourself with the park’s facilities
Locate essential facilities such as restrooms, laundry, and garbage disposal areas. Knowing their locations will make your stay more convenient and enjoyable and make it so you can easily find them after the sun goes down if needed.
Introduce yourself to neighbors
Introducing yourself to your neighbors helps foster a sense of community and can lead to lasting friendships. It also creates a supportive environment where fellow RVers can share tips, experiences, and even lend a helping hand if needed.
Do make sure you read social queues. Some guests prefer to not to be bothered… don’t take it personal! Likewise, you may prefer to spend time by yourself instead of socializing with others too.