Gone Outdoors

What Is a Full Hookup at an RV Park?

by Meg Jernigan

Campsites at RV parks come with a variety of services. Primitive sites have none, partial hookup sites have water or electric or some other combination. Full hookup sites are the penthouse suites of RV parks -- they provide everything you need to make your recreational vehicle your home away from home.


Basic campers without a lot of electrical needs have 15- or 20-amp service. RVs with air conditioners and all the bells and whistles require 30- or 50-amp service. The camper will probably operate, poorly, if you hook up to an outlet of lower amperage than your rig can handle, but your circuit breakers may flip frequently. An electrical cable runs from the RV to the power supply at the campground, and while this may seem like the most simple hookup, you should carry adapters that fit on the plug at the end of your cable to fit the outlet at the campground. Plugging a voltage meter into an outlet inside the RV allows you to keep an eye on the amperage, and surge protectors keep your appliances safe.


Campers connect to the campground’s white water, or drinking water, system through a hose connecting the campground’s water spigot and the RV’s plumbing. A regulator -- available at camping goods stores -- attached to the spigot prevents surges in water pressure, and a small filter removes sediment. If you run water through the hose before you attach it to the RV, you’ll eliminate any air that might come out of your faucet with a poof and a splatter the first time you turn it on. Quick-connect fittings, available as aftermarket add-ons, make attaching the hose easier.


Full hookup sites have a place to connect your black water hose, or sewer line, to the campground’s sewage system. A hose on the RV is attached to the sewer drain outlet, valves are opened and your black water tank empties. Problems arise if the hose is kinked or runs up a slope rather than down, but you can buy a sewer hose support to create a downhill slope. Campers spending more than a single night open the valve that drains the grey water tank -- where dish and shower water are stored -- to keep the contents of the black water tank from congealing.


While becoming more common, cable TV and Internet connections or Wi-Fi are not yet considered must-haves in a full hookup RV site. Campers who simply must watch television frequently travel with a portable satellite dish or with a device that allows them to stream movies through the Internet. If the campground doesn’t have Internet access, buy a mobile hotspot to use on the road. If you have cell telephone service at the campground and a subscription to a movie provider, you may be able to use your phone to stream content to a television.

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