Using the Perfect RV

Book3 Cover Small

This is the third book in the “Is It the Perfect RV?” series called Using Your Perfect RV.  As a Certified RV Inspector and full time RVer for over the last 14 years, I have put my knowledge and background into helping you find, buy and use the perfect RV for your situation.  This book will provide you with the tools and information to use your perfect RV.

In this book I cover the use of the RV from hooking up to towing, to set up and tear down.

Here is a sample from the book:


Surge Protection

Surge protection comes in two forms, cheap and expensive, well actually they are portable and hard wired. Portable surge protectors are plugged into the pole and then the power cord plugs into the surge protector. Hard wired protection is installed inside the RV and the power cord is installed into the surge protector itself. Both of these will do the same thing. Most RV that do not have surge protection from the factory will use the portable model. Surge protectors will be rated for either 30 or 50 Amp and the plug will match it’s operation.

I don’t know how to say this, but you get what you pay for. Do not buy a cheap surge protector! A cheap surge protector will fry itself when there is a surge in power to protect the RV. But power surges are not the only issue when camping. Loss of voltage, frequency of the power, miss-wired pole, opened neutral wire or ground wires, connections, intermittent power spikes or dips all can occur. Each of these can damage your RV and a cheap surge protector will not save you.

I would look for a good surge protector such as the Progressive line. You want something that will protect you the most for the money you will be spending. Match the surge protector to the power requirements of the RV. Yes you may be able to use a higher rated (50 vs 30 amp) surge protector on a lower required power RV, but you can not go the other way without limiting yourself to always using less power.

OK, I know some of you want to know what surge protector to buy. I am NOT liable for this information. You need to make an informed decision. But for me, I would buy the Progressive EMS line model that is appropriate for your RV. On Amazon you can find the 30 Amp system for around $270 and the 50 Amp for around $350.

50 Amp Connections

A 50 Amp connector has a 4 prong plug, 2 hot leads, 1 return and 1 ground. Several things need to be brought to your attention here. First this plug is the same design used in the home for 220 V power, but it is NOT 220 V. Within your RV it will be split into 2 – 110 V lines and power two different circuits. Next the circuit breakers will be labeled as probably 50 Amps. Which means you actually have 100 Amps of service.

When connecting the RV to the power pole, turn off the circuit breaker and plug in the power cord or surge protector. If you are using a surge protector, plug it in first then plug the power cord into the surge protector. Once everything is connected properly, then turn on the circuit breaker. If surge protection is being use, verify that there are no error codes and that the voltage is correct.

30 Amp Connections

A 30 AMP connector has a 3 prong plug, hot, return and ground. The pole will have a connector with the same arrangement. Turn off the circuit breaker (if it is on) at the pole, plug in the power cable or surge protector with power cord attached into the pole and turn on the circuit breaker. If you are using a Surge Protector with read outs verify the Voltage, current and frequency before turning on the power in the RV.


Water is normally my next connection. First you want to make sure that all valves, spigots, showers etc are turned off. If the RV has been winterize (discussed later), some of these may be open and if you turn on the water will spray it every where.

Pressure Regulators are a must! Campground water pressure can be any where from 20 PSI to over 100 PSI. So what you say! Your plumbing in the RV is plastic with either plastic or brass fittings. It is designed to handle a maximum of 60 PSI in most cases. Anything higher and you will start to leak. Those leaks will almost always be in hard to reach locations. There are two types of regulators, fixed and adjustable. The fixed are usually stick type made of just about anything. I prefer the brass ones and they only cost from $3 – $5. A step up from the stick will the be adjustable. So far I have only see the brass models. These will have a pressure gauge on them and an adjustable barrel to change your water pressure. Normally they are set at around 45 PSI.

When setting up, please the water pressure regulator at the spigot. This will protect your rig and the water hose. Putting it on the rig might seem like it would save time as you could leave it there, but if you are at a campsite with high pressure, you could blow out the water hose.

We have been at a couple of campgrounds where they have very high water pressure. One was over 100 PSI and they made you use a pressure regulator or you could not stay there.

Another tip. Campground water taste great or sucks. So many of use will use a carbon filtration system to provide better tasting water. We picked one up at Lowes.

(insert picture of water filter)

Another thing that will make your life easier is to get the quick connects for the hoses. We got ours at Walmart but Lowes has them as well. They screw onto the hose and the faucets. See the pictures below.


We have the checklist!

A large portion of this book is dedicated to a series of check lists to get the RV ready to use and bring home after use.


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