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Author Topic: How can I install an rv hookup at my house - and is this a good idea?  (Read 40320 times)

robinsky

  • Posts: 2
Let me start by saying that I know ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about rv'ing.

I need a guest room at my house, and I can't afford an addition.  So I was thinking about buying a travel trailer and hooking it up in my backyard.  I can fit something up to about 22 feet.  What I want to know is, can I install a hookup, and how much does that cost?  I figure I need the electric hookup, the water, and the draining of black and gray water, right?  Can I just use an big extension cord to the house for electric?  Can I hook up to my garden hose connector for water?  And I guess there's a hose of some kind that hooks to my sewer cleanout? Is this a reasonable idea, or am I overlooking something really obvious?

Ray D

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  • Posts: 1973
  • Jasper
We use our motor home for a guest house, from time to time, and we "camp out" there, ourselves, when we just need a break.

You can connect an extension cord to your house, if all you need is lights and occasionally the microwave. If you need air conditioning, you will need a heavier duty electrical system. A 30 amp line will probably do it. I have had 50 amp electrical hookups installed here, and at our former stick house. I paid an electrician less than $200 for the job, both times. I suspect that price would vary, depending upon your location.

You can use water from your outside hose bib. You might do better to use the on-board water storage tank. You will want a dedicated white hose, for the potable water.

You can use your sewer cleanout for for waste disposal. There are several ways to do that. You will need to be more specific about your needs, for better advice from our experts.

Don't know what part of the country you live in, but if you have winter, you will have to protect your systems from freezing, and you will need propane for your furnace, for interior heating.

You may have zoning issues. I'm guessing you already checked that out.

Ray D  ;D
Boise, Idaho. U.S.A.F. Vet. Damon Challenger, Workhorse/Vortec, 2005 towing a Suzuki XL-7, 2003.

davemittan

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  • Posts: 424
We have a similar setup to Ray D's.  It is SO useful.

I would add one thing:  show the electrician your shore power cord/plug so he knows what type of receptacle to put in, and which way to orient it.

Hfx_Cdn

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     Depending on distance, an alternative to the expensive sewer line, you can get a macerator unit for the RV.  Go into the library to see postings about its use, but I don't know how far you can go with one of these units.
     As for electric, the RV will operate quite well on a 15 Amp house plug for just about everything other than an AC.
Ed & Donna
2000 Coachmen Catalina 34' DP
2006 Jeep Liberty Toad

davemittan

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  • Posts: 424

I need a guest room at my house, and I can't afford an addition.  So I was thinking about buying a travel trailer and hooking it up in my backyard.


Some people have had problems with non-RVers who are staying in a RV as guests.  It's as if they're in their own homes or a hotel room.  They aren't aware of the limitations they might have with the power available, and some of them flush things down the toilet that can cause problems later.

seilerbird

  • Guest
Don't waste money on an electrician if you are not planning on using the A/C. However it should be plugged into a dedicated 110 volt 15 amp circuit if you use an electrical cord. In other words you need a circuit with nothing else running off of it except your trailer. Use a 12 gauge extention cord and keep the length under 50 feet.

joelmyer

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  • Joel (W4JNM) and Camille, GA
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I had an electrician but in 30 amp service and bring his plumber buddy along to put in a water hydrant.  I wanted to run ac.

Didn't seem cost effective to put in a sewer connector for the amount of use.  The gray water waters the lawn and the black tank waits until the next camping trip.

We have had two overnight guests in the last several years.  As Dave points out, you need to brief your guests.

Now an rv occasionally used as guest quarters is different from one dedicated to that purpose.  Hopefully the bug will bit and you will take your guest quarters to the beach, mountains,...  Otherwise you're going to have tire problems after a few years and perhaps other running gear issues.  Perhaps that's not a concern but sooner or later you will want to get rid of it.

Joel
Joel (W4JNM) and Camille, GA

robinsky

  • Posts: 2
Wow!  Thanks for all the helpful replies!  I want to use it for my mom, who may come out and stay with us for a couple of months at a time.  She may need AC, so maybe I need the dedicated circuit.

Someone wrote about a dedicated white water hose.  Would that just hook up to a standard garden water outlet?

How often would the black water tank need to be dumped, for one person living in it, and maybe only using the bathroom at night?  What if, not to put too fine a point on it, only liquid wastes were there, and the rest of the time she would come in my house?

Thanks so much for all the advice!

Gary RV Roamer

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Yes you can hook to a regular garden hose faucet (called a hose bib). Use a potable water hose (usually white in color) for the entire length from the metal faucet to the Rv, to avoid poisons and foul tastes that are common is regular garden hoses.

Until you know the size of the "black" water tank in the trailer, there is no way to guess how long it takes to fill. Small trailers typically have small tanks, maybe 20-30 gallons, so it is not a real long time. And indivdual toilet habits vary a great deal too. Maybe 5-7 days if used carefully?
Gary
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Gary Brinck
2004 American Tradition
2007 GMC Acadia
Homebase: Ocala National Forest, FL

Gottasmilealot

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  • 1995 Sunline T-2053
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Also, the water and sewer line hookups get more complicated if you're in an area that will have below freezing temperatures during times you expect to use the RV when it's not winterized.

...and using the RV as a second dwelling on a land parcel will create a zoning violation in some areas.
Keith

crosscountry

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  • Posts: 304
Re: How can I install an rv hookup at my house - and is this a good idea?
« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2009, 11:52:19 PM »
The white hose can be purchased at Walmart or an RV dealers.  The hose eliminates the hose taste.

The macaretor can be had for $250 or less, some will grind up sewage and pump up to 300 feet.

Your county, township, etc may have a problem with the RV and guests.

Russ, WB3FQI/6

taoshum

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  • Posts: 2301
Re: How can I install an rv hookup at my house - and is this a good idea?
« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2009, 08:35:31 PM »
Several people have mentioned local codes and regulations...

A few years ago a "neighbor" (a few blocks away) decided to buy a trailer and rent it to his brother and dumped the sewage into his existing septic system.  It worked so well, he decided to buy two more and do the same thing... kinda building a mobile home park one MH at a time.  To make a long story short, he overloaded the septic capacity and created a big spill which contaminated a next door neighbor's well without anyone knowing.  Fiinally several people got sick and the county health department did some testing and found the problem.

I'm not saying that any of this will happen in the situation you describe but the regulations are there for a reason and if you go around them, even for the most compelling reasons, you run the risk of causing unintended consequences.  Similar examples could be found for overloaded electrical systems that cause fires and unintentional fresh water siphons that contaminate the water supply. 


I wish an easy answer were available for your question... good luck and please be careful...  Thx, G.
07 Itasca Meridian 34SH.  '08 Jeep Sahara.
Taos, NM.

tedonaldsn

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Re: How can I install an rv hookup at my house - and is this a good idea?
« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2009, 10:48:48 AM »
Be sure to check local ordinances. Here in Brookings, OR, it is illegal to have a RV hooked up to any utilities outside of an RV park. City officials recently got nasty with some folks over it.

Virginia has some strict health department regulations. We got a RV pad with full hookups installed at my wife's parents' house. The state requires a separate septic system for the RV!
Tom Donaldson
Geek Stranded in a Fixed Dwelling Hoping to go Fulltiming Again

seilerbird

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Re: How can I install an rv hookup at my house - and is this a good idea?
« Reply #13 on: August 01, 2009, 12:18:16 PM »
Similar examples could be found for overloaded electrical systems that cause fires ...

Overloaded electrical systems rarely cause fires, it trips a circuit breaker.

John From Detroit

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Re: How can I install an rv hookup at my house - and is this a good idea?
« Reply #14 on: August 02, 2009, 10:44:45 AM »
Overloaded electrical systems rarely cause fires, it trips a circuit breaker.

Provided there are breakers of the proper size.. I can just see some One-D Ten-T type DTTTTTTTTTT, humm. 1-d-10-t, Ah, that's got it) saying "Oh this 15 amp breaker keeps tripping, I'll just pull it and drop in a 30 amp.  Hello 9-1-1, I need the fire departmemt


I wonder if a "Stealth" hook up might work (Put the connections under a man-hole cover right about under the drive shaft) in places that object to hook ups.
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