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Setting up Camp in Your 5th Wheel

Article courtesy of RV.net

When getting your rig set up at a campsite, there are a lot of steps to remember. Sometimes it's helpful to have a list handy to keep track of all that you need to do. Here’s a sample of the checklist I use when arriving at a site and unhooking my fifth wheel.

First things first: You've got to position your trailer just the way you want it at the campsite, put the doorsteps down, set up the entry handrail and unlock/open the trailer door. To get them out of your hair while setting up camp, put your pets in the trailer. That way they can watch you work without getting in the way or running off.

Before unloading anything else, test campsite water hookup by opening & closing campsite water valve. Then test electric power with a multi-meter. If campsite hookups aren't working, find out if another site with working hookups is available before continuing with RV Campsite Setup.

Connecting the Hookups

WARNING: Never connect the electric cable with campsite electric hookup circuit breakers turned on. Personal injury may result if circuit breakers are ON during electric cable hookup.

1. Install trailer wheel locks & stow handle.

2. Set all circuit breakers to OFF in campsite electric hookup panel.

3. Connect electric cable to connector at right rear of trailer.

4. Connect electric cable to the 50-amp connector at campsite electric hookup panel. (If a 50-amp receptacle is not available, use 30-amp adapter cable to connect to 30-amp receptacle on campsite electric hookup panel.)

5. Set circuit breakers to ON at campsite electric hookup panel.

Setting the Leveling Jacks

1. Position jack support wood pads under front trailer jacks.

2. Pull out lock pins from trailer jacks & allow jacks to drop on to the wood pads. [CAUTION: The full weight of the trailer rests on the lock pins, so verify that both lock pins are fully engaged into the jack-legs.]

3. Slightly raise jacks until lock pins fully engage into trailer jacks.

4. Unlock and open front jack control panel door.

NOTE: Raise the trailer by extending the front jack-legs. Lower the trailer by retracting the front jack-legs.


*Don't forget to chock your wheels first, especially on a slope!*

1. Using electric switches, EXTEND front trailer jacks until they are resting firmly on wood pads.

2. Continue EXTENDING trailer jacks to a COUNT of 18. (This should allow for a smooth trailer un-hitching.)

3. Lower truck tailgate.

4. Un-plug & stow trailer electric cable from truck.

5. Remove padlock from truck hitch.

6. Stow trailer breakaway switch cable.

7. Open truck hitch latch bar security latch.

8. Attach padlock to stationary part of truck hitch security latch and lock padlock.

NOTE: If hitch latch bar cannot be easily pulled out, the weight of the truck is causing pressure between hitch jaws and trailer kingpin. To remove pressure from hitch jaws, back truck tighter towards trailer and set truck brakes before removing foot from accelerator.

9. Pull truck hitch latch bar fully out so that it opens the hitch jaws and allows trailer kingpin to disengage from truck hitch.

10. Slowly drive truck forward until it is a few feet in front of trailer.

11. Raise truck tailgate.

12. Push hitch latch bar into the closed position so that hitch jaws close.

13. Leave hitch latch bar security latch in the unlocked position.

14. Move truck mirrors to the IN position for use without trailer.

15. Level trailer as necessary with front trailer jacks.

16. Close & Lock front jack control panel door.

17. Lower both rear trailer-stabilizing jacks until they are firmly on the ground.

18. Stow jack crank handle.

19. Install trailer kingpin-stabilizing jack & attach spread limiting chain.

20. Set jack control lever to up position & jack up kingpin-stabilizing jack until it is firm under trailer kingpin.

21. Stow jack handle.

Water/Sewer Hookups

1. Connect “Y” hose adapter to campsite water system hookup.

2. Connect trailer fresh water system to “Y” hose adapter on campsite water system hookup with a white fresh water hose.

3. Open ball valve on fresh water hose side of “Y” hose adapter.

4. Set Trailer Water Selector Valve to City Water Fill/Operation. (Arrow points UP)

5. Open hose valve on the trailer fresh water hose connection.

6. Connect flush hose to “Y” hose adapter on campsite water system hookup.

7. Close valve on flush hose side of “Y” hose adapter.

8. Open hookup water valve.

9. Connect water flush hose to trailer sewage tank San-T-Flush water hose connection.

10. If sewer hookup is available, remove cap from trailer sewage outlet pipe.

11. Connect clear 90-degree elbow to trailer sewage outlet pipe.

12. Connect sewage discharge hose to clear 90-degree elbow adapter.

13. Connect red sewer adapter to other end of sewage discharge hose.

14. Connect sewage adapter campsite sewer hookup.

15. Place hose supports under trailer sewage discharge hose.

16. Open both propane tank valves.

Inside Tasks

1. Prepare slider units for moving to the OUT position. [CAUTION: Let everyone at your campsite know that you are about to move the slider units before operating them to prevent personal injuries.]

2. Move bedroom slider unit to the OUT position.

3. Move main room slider unit to the OUT position.

Outside Tasks

1. Install trailer wheel covers.

2. Install foam rubber bumpers on the lower edges of bedroom slider.

3. Install bedroom slider lock-bars. (Two) (See your inst instruction manual for photos of locations)

4. Install main room slider lock-bars. (Two) if needed.

Using these steps as a guide should get your next camping trip off to a great start! After a few trips you may pick up a routine to accomplish the steps of setting up your campsite.

We thank the author of this checklist - Lester Evans

Happy Camping,

Fred Brandeberry