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When you rent an RV from one of our Cruise America rental centers, you will be shown the correct way of operating the features of the coach. However, there are a few things that you will need to practice once you're out on the road to become proficient. One of these things is how to properly connect to the electric, water and sewer at an RV park. Hooking up to these facilities is not an exact science, but you want to make sure that contamination, electric shocks and getting your feet wet are avoided. Here are few pointers for the beginner:

Before positioning your RV in your designated campsite, take a look at the electric, sewer and water connections. Check the voltage and polarity of the power, look at the water to assure that it is clear and smells clean, and assure that the sewer inlet is free of any rocks or debris. It's a good idea, while you're right there, to rinse off the water hydrant and spray some household disinfectant on it. You don't know what the prior user may have used it for, or what the dog deposited on it as a farewell gesture!

Once the RV is in position and leveled, you can start the hookup procedure. With dry hands (on dry ground), plug your power cord into the electrical socket. It's a good idea to turn off the breaker switch of the electrical outlet first to avoid possible shock or damage to the plug's prongs.

The next step is to attach a water pressure regulator to the hydrant to protect the drinking water hose and the RV plumbing system from surges in the campground's water source. Next comes the water filter for sediment removal, then the drinking water hose. Run the hose for a few seconds before attaching it to the RV.

Tip: For a quicker, easier connecting routine, attach a quick-connect fitting on both ends of the pressure regulator, the water filter and the water hose. You can find these connectors at an RV accessory or hardware store that sells hoses.

Lastly, the sewer needs to be hooked up. Connect the hose and make sure that it's properly attached to the RV and the park's sewer inlet. It never hurts to wear disposable surgical gloves when doing this as a protection against any bacteria that may be lingering.

You can open the gray water valve once the hose is connected. Don't open the black water valve until you are ready to dump the tank. This will assure you don't get any backup water in your black water tank. Also, it's better to have more water in your black water tank when it's time to flush it out. If you close your gray water valve a couple of days before your departure, you can use the stored gray water to rinse out the black water hose when you disconnect. Be sure to dump the black water first, then the gray water.

Tip: When you are dumping out the black and gray water tanks, lift the RV end of the hoses to drain it into the campground's sewer inlet.

Once your tanks are dumped and your valves are closed, cap off the sewer hose and store it back in its compartment. Turn on the rig's water pump and run some water down the kitchen sink to add a few gallons to the closed off gray water tank. Do the same with the black water tank by dumping a couple of buckets of water down the toilet. This keeps any residue in the bottom of your tanks from becoming hard and crusty. If you are using tank additives this is the time to add them.

Disconnect your RV in the same order you connected it … first the electric, then the water and lastly, the sewer.

Keep in mind that the drinking water hose and all the attachments should be stored in a separate compartment than the sewer hose. It's a good practice to connect both ends of the drinking water hose together to keep any critters or debris out.

It sounds like a lot of steps, but once you have done it a few times, it becomes routine. Happy camping!

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Tags: america, connections, cruise, hookup, procedure, rv

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