• RV Life and Living

What Are The Steps To Setting Up My Travel Trailer?



For the first time travel trailer owner, setting up your trailer your travel trailer for the first time can be daunting. There are several items that you will need and steps that you need to take to accomplish this task.


What materials and steps do I need to set my new travel trailer for my first time? To set your new travel trailer properly, you will need to perform several tasks. These items include:

  • Level Your Trailer

  • Set Your Stabilizer Jacks.

  • Connect your Domestic Water.

  • Connect your sewer line from your grey black tanks to the campground hookup.

  • Connect your 30 amp or 50 amp electric service.

  • Extend your slide-out rooms.

  • Connect the campground television cable to your trailer.

The first time you haul your new travel trailer to the campground of your choice for your first camping trailer setup can be stressful, at best. You will have many different tasks moving around your head, all of which you want to get done immediately.


Please take a deep breath. We're going to knock these items off the list one by one. This setup pattern works for me and has become second nature. I also have some additional steps on my list because we tend to stay in a location for extended periods. We'll touch on these items at the end so you can also mull those thoughts around.


Now, before getting started with the list, there are items that you are going to need and some that you might want to have in case of an emergency.


Domestic water hose:


  • You see these everywhere from Walmart, Amazon to Camping World. These white-colored garden hoses for connecting your trailer to the domestic water on the site.




  • Like a traditional hose, they come in different lengths. I typically choose a 25' length. However, I will also have a spare, just in case I need more length or if the first unit bursts.



Sewer Hose:



  • These standard Sewer Hoses can come in many lengths. They are similar to a big "Slinky" and will expand when you pull them longer. Typical sizes are 10', 15', and 20'. These units can be coupled together. Again, I use the 10' model but also carry two spare units. These do deteriorate over time so that you will need an extra. Usually, these will store in your RV bumper, less the connectors. These hoses will supply the standard connectors that hook to all RV's and campground sewer lines.



50amp to 30amp RV adapter.

  • I find this a handy item to keep in my tool kit. Over the years, I have seen where a campground's electrical box is subpar and will not provide enough voltage to run your 30amp travel trailer. This plug allows you to use the 50amp connection. This adapter can be a quick fix until the campground can address the problem. I also keep a spare plug just in case the one on the trailer burns out. I have had this happen in the past due to heavy load or lightning.



RV Surge Protector:

  • Whether your camper utilizes 50amp service or 30amp service, this RV Surge Protector item will protect the interior electrical items in your trailer. Be sure to purchase the RV Surge Protector that matches the amperage of your travel trailer.


Coaxial Cable for Television and Internet Hookup:

  • This cable is a must for most campers today as we rely on our internet and television to keep up connected. I will keep two 25' sections of this cable in my rig at all times. It is also a great idea to have couplers and splitters handy.


Now we have the extra components for our setup list. We now need to start the process of your camping trailer setup.


The First Step After Backing in Trailer, level the unit.

  • Level the trailer from left to right and front to back. Some trailers will supply leveling jacks for this purpose, and some you need to level manually. Typically, the trailer will provide you with a leveling bubble. If not, you should keep a level in the toolbox in your trailer.

Second Step, Set your Stabilizing Jacks.



  • Once the rig is level, you set your stabilizing jacks as needed. Not only will this process keep your trailer level, but it will also keep the bouncing down to a minimum.



Third Step, Connect Domestic Drinking Water Hose



Fourth Step, Connect RV Sewer Hose from Trailer to Campsite Hookup.

  • I will usually treat steps three and four together, and they are interchangeable. I suggest installing these units before your slide-outs are extended because I have seen the location for these hoses under the slide-outs. Doing the Drinking Water Hose and RV Sewer hookup connections now are more convenient for you and eliminate the need to crawl under the trailer after the slides are out. Typically, your RV sewer Hose connections are under the trailer.

Fifth Step, Connect your travel trailer to the campground electrical.



  • Now is when you take out the electrical cords and the surge protector and connect to the campground power. Typically, this electrical connection is on a post close to your campsite. However, I have stayed at a campsite where the utilities were over 50' from my travel trailer. Fortunately, I always carry an extra 50' of electrical cord. This extra cord is a great idea, and you should consider keeping this item in your tool kit for the trailer.

The sixth Step, Extend all of your slide-outs.

I always perform this step after I have connected the power to the campground utilities. This connection assures that I have the proper power to successfully extent all of my slides. Also, be sure that the slides are completely extended. Otherwise, you will allow weather and insect to penetrate the interior of your trailer.


The seventh Step, Connect your campsite coaxial cable.

  • Once this cable is connected to your travel trailer, you will be able to set up your televisions and, in most cases, the internet. My experience is that you will be able to purchase the internet at most campgrounds if not included. Some campgrounds offer free wifi internet and an option to buy high-speed internet for an additional fee.


Now, your trailer is ready to start your travel trailer vacation with you and your family. All that is left is those final touches. These can include unpacking and setting up the awning area, opening the awning, setting up the gas grill, and even hooking up the exterior television so you can watch the big game on Sunday.


Now, there are a couple of items to consider if you are planning on an extended stay in your travel trailer setup.


Consider setting stabilizing jacks under your slide-out extensions. This step is a tremendous precaution to keep your slides in excellent working order. These jacks will keep the weight for extended periods from bending the support tracks.


Keep your roof gutters clear from leaves and needles. This action keeps the runoff from rain and your air conditioner flowing off the back of your trailer, not down the sidewalls.

Be sure that the tops of your slide-outs are clear from leaves and needles. You might want to consider installing slide-out awnings. In the long run, this awning style goes in and out with the movement of your slide-out.


Install additional support jacks under the travel trailer if you are planning for an extended stay. This installation will make you trailer more stabile and eliminate most of the trailer bounce.


All travel trailer setup items and the additional items for long term camping will make your setup easier. These steps are designed to give you the quickest, best setup possible. These items will also ensure that you and your family will have the best possible experience with your new travel trailer.


We are RV Life and Living. These steps are designed to help you with your first travel trailer setup. Hopefully, these tips can provide you with some organization to take some of the stress out of your travel trailer setup. We may also earn a small commission should you chose to purchase through any of our affiliate links.


We have more helpful information on our website to help you with your first-time camper trailer setup camping needs. Head on over to www.rvlifeandliving.com.

If you are looking for more general camping information or tent camping for the kids, you should head over to our sister site at www.familytentspros.com. The available camping information here could help increase the enjoyment of your family travel trailer vacations.

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