One of the reasons we chose to get an American RV was the ease of setup. We’ve watched plenty of regular motorhomes getting set up on sites and aires now and unless everything’s very level, it’s not an easy process. Here’s how we manage with our RV at Parc Verger.
Picking a space, and parking in it
The first thing to do is identify where you are going to put the RV, and how you’re going to manoeuvre into the space. Despite the turning angle on the RV being great, there’s still a lot of vehicle to swing around.
Try to pick a space that is as level as possible. The auto-levelling system can help here as it shows which side/end of the RV is high. However, I find it better to put my phone flat on the floor with the level app loaded while I slowly drive around.
Also, make sure that there is space for the slides to open, and there are no low hanging trees. The last thing you want is to get into a space and then find you can’t use the RV properly.
Finally, get into the space, use a spotter if needed with a walkie-talkie.
If we’ve got a level enough space and a smooth enough surface, we just let the levelling system do its thing. However if the surface is rough, we use wood to cushion the landing legs feet. The wood can also be used to build up some height, reducing how far the legs have to extend.
If we’re not very level, we have some Fiamma Jumbo ramps which we can drive onto. However, despite their 12-tonne rating, they haven’t lasted very long.
Once we’ve decided and sorted that out, all we do is set the levelling to auto and wait. If the surface is really not level – or if the rear wheels are being lifted clear of the ground – we tend to find a different spot or use the manual levelling to get it as good as we can.
Expanding the slides
Both the main and bedroom slides can be expanded from the main control panel inside the van. The engine has to be off in order to move them. Both slides generally move easily, but the rubber gaskets on either side don’t always flip out to their sealed positions. To resolve that, one of us stays outside and we use a pole with a rounded end to encourage the gasket to move.
Connecting the power
Our power cord is permanently attached – something which we will change soon enough. So we have to thread it out of a locker door before we can take it to the socket. Most sockets use a standard EU approved socket, but some places require adapters. Hopefully, if we find one of those places, we’ll be able to buy an adapter.
If we’re wild camping, we’ll skip this step and rely on the solar, batteries and generator to ensure we have the power we need.
That’s basically it
Once that’s all done, we don’t have to head outside anymore. It only takes a few minutes to get set up, especially on a good surface.
We don’t use our city water connection as we can’t stop it from leaking, so we fill with water separately on arrival at a campsite, or when leaving one if we’re going wild camping.