When you pack up and head out for that long-awaited camping trip, all you want is a carefree escape. Camping units such as trailers, pop-ups and RVs offer the freedom to camp self-contained out in the woods or to hook into campground amenities. Whether just filling your tank or making a more permanent connection, carefully following a few key steps will prevent damage, get things running smoothly and ensure that your time away is, indeed, trouble-free.
The Right Hose
Before heading out of town, purchase a hose certified for potable water. The hoses are usually white or blue and come in lengths ranging from 10 feet to 50 feet. The BPA-free hose walls won't impart any "funny tastes" caused by chemicals leaching into the water. Using a garden hose, black rubber washing machine hose or other connector that is not certified for potable water may result in leaching of toxins and harboring of bacteria, both of which may adversely affect your health.
Hook Up to Fill Up
If you're filling up to head to a self-contained campsite, hook up your hose to the fill spigot and put it in the larger of the two freshwater hookups, labeled "Fresh Water Connection." Thread your fill hose onto the spigot you'll be filling your tank from and insert it in the oversize receptacle once you've taken the receptacle cap off. You'll hear the water change tone as it fills, but be sure to check the water level on the camper's monitor gauge so you don't overfill. Doing so can damage components in your water system. How often you need to head to town to refill depends on how many people use the system for drinking and hygiene.
Relieve the Pressure
It's common to find water pressure at campgrounds higher than recommended for camper water lines. The sun's heat also contributes to increased pressure. Too much pressure can cause your hose to blow out or fittings to crack. Hook up a pressure regulator to the spigot to protect your entire system. If you have a water filter, you can connect it directly to the regulator and then attach your hose to the filter. This keeps your potable water hose and entire water system free from both bacteria and hard water mineral deposits.
To hook up to campground water, find and remove the cap labeled "city water connection." This connection runs the water directly to your pipes, bypassing the fill tank. Install your regulator and filter to the spigot, then thread your potable water hose to the filter. Connect the potable water hose to the threads on the side of the camper. Because dripping water can damage your camper, it's important to make sure there aren't any leaks at the connection. Turn the switch for your water pump to the "on" position. The water pump will turn on automatically when you turn on a faucet and stop when you stop running the water.