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Order of connections at full hook-up site?


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I’ve only ever stayed at state parks, which were electric hookup only. Filled freshwater tank on arrival, dumped grey/black when leaving. 

At a full hookup site, is there a recommended order of hooking up and then unhooking up? 

Park, level, chock; then: electric? (For slides? Or leave that till last). Then city water with regulator and filter? (I bought both but never used either).  Finally, black tank hose into sewer? Do I open the valves for black and grey and leave them open during my stay? And then isn’t there something I need to do for water pump and heater?


2018 Forest River Sunseeker 2290SC
25 feet, Chevy Express 4500
"Angie" (short for Angel)

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We generally hook up electricity first, then water, then sewer. No particular reason other than we don't need the water right away (can use the pump), nor the sewer. But in hot or cold weather we want to run the A/C or heat pump immediately. I prefer to get water all hooked up and done before messing with the sewer, to avoid accidental contamination. 

Do not leave your black water valve open during your stay. You will drain the liquid, leave the solids, and end up with something you won't want to deal with later. Try to dump black water only when the tank is 2/3 full or more. That way you've got enough liquid to carry the solids out. 

When hooked up to water you can turn your pump off, or leave it on. The only warning about the water heater is to make sure it has water in it before turning it on. If the trailer has been winterized or the heater drained for some reason, turn on a hot water faucet and let it run until you get a steady stream of hot water with no air or spitting. 

Mark & Teri

2021 Grand Designs Imagine 2500RL, 2019 Ford F-350

Mark & Teri's Travels

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The first thing I always did on arrival was to check the electrical for quality.  If the pedestal failed, I could get another site without much time invested.  Then, hook up RV to electrical.  Your a/c can be running while you're doing the rest of the setup.  Also, you won't be discharging your batteries while unhitching, extending slides, jacks, etc.  Water and sewer came next, in no particular order.  Television was last, sometimes not at all.

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The first thing is always to level the rig, since you can't move it about once you have connected. If you have power leveling jacks, that makes it far easier but you still need to position the RV such that the leveling feet will be on something solid and you should always use a heavy wood block or some other type of pad to avoid marking the pavement, especially asphalt. Some parks require it. For extending slides, that should be addressed in your owner's manual and it should be followed. There are differing opinions but either way you need to position the RV first and always chock the wheels.

I usually connect electricity first, thus allowing the air conditioner to be started right away. If you are using a power monitor like the Progressive EMS or Surge Guard, it should always be connected to electricity before the RV. Next I connect the water and then start the water heater, again to make hot water available.  I use a short hose to connect first the water filter and then the water pressure regulator. RV water systems are designed to operate at 60# and most are tested to 100# when leaving the factory. The system pressure that they will withstand typically degrades to some extent with age so the pressure regulator is something that the wise RV owner will always use. I have seen city water supplies that exceeded 120# and more.I also never put any water that isn't run through our filter into the RV system.

The last thing that I connect is the waste water hose, if I do connect it. When stopping for a single night, I usually do not connect it at all since I want my waste tanks to be half full or so before I dump them. Under no circumstance should your black tank dump valve be left open and never dump before the tank is 1/3 or more full to get the rush that will carry out any solids from the bottom of the tank. I connect the sewer last because I then immediately go inside and wash my hands, just as I would if using the toilet. 

Good travelin !...............Kirk

Full-time 11+ years...... Now seasonal travelers.
Kirk & Pam's Great RV Adventure



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Okay, thank you! 

Good to know about the black/grey. I guess I thought that was one of the advantages of a full-hookup.  But it sounds like the advantage is that I don't have to stop at a dump station. When I'm ready to dump, I can do so right there. 

Man I'm glad I asked ... lol


2018 Forest River Sunseeker 2290SC
25 feet, Chevy Express 4500
"Angie" (short for Angel)

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Electrical first!

Get that surge protector EMS to analyze the power! If this is wonky you'll have to address it pronto and/or move to another site. No sense in settling in only to find no power...

Then water. Make sure you check pressure, use a regulator.

I generally arrive with empty or near empty tanks so no rush on that. I'm from the school of keeping gray water closed to keep sewer critters out. Takes a minute every couple days to drain and a good 8 days to get black water to 80% on my rig.

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For me I try to keep my weight down Grey is always dumped as the showers may be longer or maybe a load of clothes were washed. My black tank has a good flush system so on the road I never go more the two days but a good practice is use extra water with every flush.

On the fresh water regulutor. don't try to save money as some trend leak thus the pressure is only reduced when your using water. I had cheapie regulator plus a drag hand pressure gauge. I found the pressure recording 114# a couple nights.

Happy Travels


Clay & Marcie Too old to play in the snow

Diesel pusher and previously 2 FW and small Class C

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3 minutes ago, amarie1 said:

This is the EMS I bought. I've never used one before but saw it recommended various places.

I wasn't aware that Hughes was making one but reading the specs, it should do the job. They have had a good reputation with previous products so there is no reason to think that this one isn't good as well. I have personal experience with both the Southwire Surge Guard and with Progressive EMS products and rate them pretty much equal. This looks to be another and Camco has now introduced one as well. 

On the water pressure regulator, that looks to be a good choice. I would adjust the output to 50#, which is ample for all of the RV use as long as the volume of supply can keep up. The 3/4" passage is the proper one for an RV fresh water hose. Your RV water pump is probably set to turn off at 45#.

Good travelin !...............Kirk

Full-time 11+ years...... Now seasonal travelers.
Kirk & Pam's Great RV Adventure



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Before extending the slideout and bumping my head numerous times.

Hook up sewer first.  I keep pump hand soap, sanitizer and paper towels in the wet bay.

Turn on the campground water supply to wash hands and at the same time to flush the tap.  Hydrant style faucets in particular have drain holes under the ground that can allow contaminated ground water to enter and should always be flushed before connecting your hose.  Regular garden style faucets occasionally have a guest critter hiding inside.

Connect water or electric in no particular order. I route the hose and electric around the sewer hose in most cases.

Extend the slideout and activate leveling jacks.


Close gray water dump valve the night before leaving to assure there is sufficient gray water to flush the hose after dumping the black tank.

Retract slideout.  Again, to avoid the need for a helmet or medical intervention.

Disconnect water first and stow hose so I can wash hands at the supply faucet after disconnecting and stowing sewer. 

Dump black tank.  Walk out liquid from hose.

Dump gray tank and walk out liquid from hose.  Disconnect fittings and stow hose.

Wash hands at faucet.

Electric last so I can keep air conditioners going.

One last hand wash at the supply faucet and I'm done!

This pretty much eliminates contamination of water hose and electric cable and the need to go inside to wash hands.  It's also quick and efficient.



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Here's my reasoning: Electrical first because I don't want wet hands when doing that. Water next because I want to be able to wash my hands after hooking up the dump hose. Whether I do all those, though, depends on my status. If I'm only staying one night I may not hook up anything because solar will keep my batteries full enough. If my fresh water tank is nearly full or if I'm not sure about the quality of water I may not hookup to water. If I've been boondocking, so I need to fully charge batteries and dump tanks, I do all three. But, always in that order.

Linda Sand

Blog: http://sandcastle.sandsys.org/

Former Rigs: Liesure Travel van, Winnebago View 24H, Winnebago Journey 34Y, Sportsmobile Sprinter conversion van

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  1. Electric
  2. Water
  3. Sewer
  4. Drag everything out of the bays that we want (before opening slides)
  5. Slides (while still aired up - per Roadmaster chassis instructions)
  6. Dump Air
  7. Level
  8. Set up dish


  1. Take Dish down
  2. Reload Bays
  3. Water
  4. Sewer
  5. Start engine
  6. Retract jacks
  7. Close Slides

Or something like that.

Our "Here and There" Blog


2005 Safari Cheetah Motorhome


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Since we retired and headed out in 2006, we have a sort of a rhythm.  After checking in and getting to the site,

1- we walk it and decide where we want to place the coach.  

2 - Then I get in to drive while Dave guides me in.  

3 - Once we are in, it is electrical first,  then as I go in and dump the air bags, Dave has placed the pads underneath where the jacks will land.  

4 - Then I hit the level button and the coach levels herself.  

5 - After checking to make sure that the coach is level, I get the items for the satellite dish out, while Dave finishes the water hookup and if we are going to be there a few days, he'll put the sewer hose out at that time. We can easily go 10 days before either tank would need to be dumped, so while in travel mode we don't put out the sewer hose.  

6 -Only after everything is set up and we have everything we need from the bays underneath where the front slide comes out, do I put out the slides.     Then we apply covers to the tires, etc. and by that time it's time for adult beverages.  

When we depart,

1- we empty the black and grey tanks the night before and stow away the sewer hose. We also put away any patio items, etc.  Sometimes we also put the water hose away and run off of the fresh water tank.    Reduces what we have to do in the morning, plus we can shower that evening.   We also pull the big slide in before going to bed - just another thing off of the list. 

2 - In the morning, I put away the satellite dish and cord, make sure everything is picked up.  The bedroom slide then comes in.   

3 - Then it is put water hose away, make sure all items are secured in the coach, including all doors,  then disconnect and stow  the power cord.  

4 - Once the power cord is disconnected, I start the engine and hit the jacks up button.  By the time the jacks are up, the air bags have filled,  I have walked around and pulled the pads out (awning hooks are great for this) and secured them in the car. Also have retracted the awning over the big slide window during the walk around if not done the night before. 

5 - We then pull out and find a place to hook up the car and go through our lights check.   If we have a pull through, then the car is hooked up the night before, and we go through the light check before pulling out.  

6 - Even if the car has been attached all night - with the key removed from the ignition and doors locked, we still go through the light check.

If anyone interrupts us before we are finished, we go over the whole list before preceding - lesson learned the hard way.   

Barb & Dave O'Keeffe
2002 Alpine 36 MDDS (Figment II), 2018 Ford C-Max HYBRID
Blog: http://www.barbanddave.net
SPK# 90761 FMCA #F337834

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For us, when the weather is HOT,  the very first thing is get the electric on and the A/C operating.  The we chock the RV wheels, disconnect from the truck and then auto level the 5er.  Next the slides go out.  The wife is walking the dog.  After the trailer is level, deploy the Winegard Traveler antenna,  Next comes water hook up and finally the sewer.  The sewer is the last thing on the list as that can wait a few days.


Amateur radio operator, 2023 Cougar 22MLS, 2022 F150 Lariat 4x4 Off Road, Sport trim <br />Travel with 1 miniature schnauzer, 1 standard schnauzer and one African Gray parrot

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Barb touched on the first thing I do, make sure where I park the RV, all the utilitiy cords and hoses will reach to where it's needed. Then electric, sewer, fresh water; however I make sure nothing is ran underneath the sewer hose, if it springs a leak I don't want to mess with the other utilities while cleaning up the spill.

Edited by Ray,IN


2000 Winnebago Ultimate Freedom USQ40JD, ISC 8.3 Cummins 350, Spartan MM Chassis. USA IN 1SG retired;Good Sam Life member,FMCA ." And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you--ask what you can do for your country.  John F. Kennedy 20 Jan 1961


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1. Test electric with a portable EMS.

2. Place rig, use leveling blocks if needed

3 . chock tires..

4. Unhitch.

5. plug in electric.

6. level. (we have hydraulic leveling)

7. AC on.

8. Slides out, (my water and sewer are not under a slide, if they were I would do them first)

9. Water and sewer connections.



2020 Platinum F350 6.7L CC DRW, 2021 Riverstone Legacy 37mre 5th wheel

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