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Sunday, July 5, 2015

RV Hook-up Essentials

Above, essentials I use for RV camping at a full hook-up campground. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

For those who may have a desire for possibly participating in the "RV lifestyle", there's a few things you should know about the hook-ups for a recreational vehicle (motorhome, trailer, van camper, etc.).

You probably heard the term, full hook-up pertaining to campgrounds. This means that the campground has sites that provide fresh water, electric and sewage.

You may have also heard the terms grey (gray) water and black water. Grey water is sink water and shower water that drains into the RV's grey water tank. Black water is water and toilet waste that drains into the black water tank.

Today's recreational vehicles have two outlets for fresh water. One is for the fresh water tank and the other is labeled "city water." If one should do dry camping, meaning a campsite without any hook-ups, they should have a full fresh water tank for water to drink, clean, toilet use and shower. Also, the grey and black water tanks should be empty or nearly empty when beginning dry camping. After leaving a dry camp, RV owners generally will seek out a dump station to empty out their grey and black water tanks.

The city water intake does not lead to any internal tank in the RV, it just feeds directly into the sinks, shower, toilet and water heater. Whether using the city water intake to fresh water tank intake, to protect your RV from excessive water pressure, a water pressure regulator is essential.

Also, to protect your RV electrical system and appliances (including electronics), an electric surge protector is essential to protect against power surges from lightning strikes or other causes.

To avoid having a "garden hose" taste in drinking water, special hoses have been made to avoid this. They come either in white or blue. A fresh water filter is an optional device to make sure that the water you are putting into your tank or city water line has any minerals or impurities (such as sulfur) removed before the water goes into your tank or water system. Those impurities are hard to remove once they get in.

When emptying your grey and black water tanks, empty your black water tank first and then empty your grey water tank. This will allow the grey water to rinse out your sewer hose of toilet water. It is recommended that you use gloves (disposable latex is preferred) to keep your hands clean when emptying your black water tank.

There are plenty of videos on YouTube on how to operate an RV and essential tips.

The items shown in the above photo can be obtained through Camping World, Cabela's or any other RV supply store.

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