If you want to utilize your RV on your own land, connecting all essential utilities is going to be a must, but how much does it cost to install hookups?
The majority of RV travelers do not need to worry about hookup installations given that they rely on campgrounds for these services. However, some people like the idea of using their camper as an extension of their home by hooking up their RV on their property - or even setting it up as their primary residence.
It can cost anywhere from $500 to $12,000+ to install RV hookups. The price can greatly vary based on whether you take the DIY approach with your installations or if you need professional help. Hiring contractors will add thousands of dollars to your RV hookup connection costs.
RVing is a way of life for a lot of travelers, and for some folks, the camping trip does not stop when they get back home. It is becoming more and more common for homeowners to establish their recreational vehicles on their own land. This enables you to utilize your camper in the same way that you would when you are on the road. With that said, to do this, you must connect RV hookups on your property so that you can make use of all of your vehicle’s utilities. This can be a timely and costly process, but it comes with a lot of perks if you set everything up correctly. Whether it’s to make an extra guest bedroom, create a workspace, or rent out part of your land to a tenant, utility hookups are mandatory if you want to be able to use your RV at home. To help you understand this further, we are going to break down the costs of installing RV hookups in more detail.
After extensively researching RV hookup installations, I have been able to gather enough information to determine the costs of setting up these connections. My research has indicated that the price of installing RV hookups is considerably higher if you decide to hire professionals to do the work for you, which is why most homeowners opt for the DIY approach.
Supplies Needed to Install RV Hookups
Before you can begin the process of installing your RV hookups, you need to ensure that you have all of the necessary supplies for the job ready to go. Some aspects of setting up RV hookups can be rather technical, which is why you should carefully consider the parts of the installation that you are comfortable handling and which you might want to call a professional for.
Given that you will be working with all of the essential utilities needed for RV hookups, you should expect to have to deal with gravel/concrete, electrical wiring, water pipes, and even sewage connections. The supplies that you must gather to complete the job are:
- Wooden Post ( 6x6)
- PVC Pipe
- 4-inch Pipe
- Digging Tools
- Heat Tape (or PE insulation)
- Pipe Clamps
- Plywood (optional)
- Insulated Cloth (optional)
If you are taking a DIY approach with your RV hookup connections, then the bulk of your costs will go towards the supplies that you need to buy. If you have basic tools around the house for digging, you should be able to finalize the project for under $500.
With that said, relying on professional help throughout the RV hookup process will greatly add to your final costs. Depending on the approach that you take with your installations, as well as how much help you end up needing for your connections, the cost to install your RV hookups can range from $500 to $12,000+.
I recommend doing as much work as you can on your own (if you want to save money) and only relying on contractors when needed.
RV Hookups Installation Process
As we mentioned, there are some technical aspects to installing RV hookups. You need to consider that you will be dealing with all of the necessary utilities to make your camper livable, which may be more than what some homeowners can handle.
However, if you can take care of the majority of the hookups, you can save a lot of money on the project. Once you have gathered all of your supplies you can begin installing your RV hookups.
Parking Pad Installation
One essential design feature that can be easy to forget is the importance of making a parking pad on your property. You need to park your RV on a hard surface so that it does not sink into the ground or damage your property.
If you already have a hard surface such as a patio, cement, or gravel area on your property that you can utilize, making a parking pad is not going to be necessary. However, if you are like most homeowners, this is usually not the case.
Unfortunately, most municipalities require you to obtain a permit before you can make an additional parking pad on your property. The cost and procedure for this are different depending on where you live. You should contact your local building authority for more information.
A parking pad can cost anywhere from $300 to $3,900. The price can vary depending on whether you decide to use the following materials for the job:
- Gravel - $300
- Concrete - $1,200 to $3,900
Regardless of the material that you end up using, make sure that you have extra room on all sides of your camper with extra gravel or concrete. A general rule of thumb is 4 feet wider and longer than your camper. In addition, dig to a depth of 6 inches when creating your parking pad.
Gravel Parking Pad
The most straightforward and affordable approach to making a parking pad for your RV is to use gravel.
The amount of work required is minimal and you can do it yourself without needing any professional assistance, as all you need are basic digging tools and gravel. A gravel parking pad should cost roughly $300.
Concrete Parking Pad
On the other hand, a concrete parking pad can be more expensive and laborious. Cement is a trickier material to work with, as it requires a concrete mixer, which often results in homeowners relying on professionals.
In addition, the cost of a concrete parking pad can also vary depending on the size of your RV. If you have a small camper that can fit on a 10 by 20 spot, you may only need to pay $1,200 for the work. However, if you have a large RV such as a Class A or Fifth Wheel, you should expect to have to finance a $3,900 concrete slab.
Water & Power Post Installation
Posts are going to be an essential part of your RV hookup setup. You will need a post for both your power and your water connections, but you should be able to get away with using just one for both utilities.
The size of the post that you get is optional, but 6x6 is the most practical size. You may already have a wooden post laying around the house that you can use for this part of the installation for free.
If you don’t, you will need to pick one up at your local hardware store, which should be relatively cheap (roughly $10 to $20). Install it on the right side of your RV and dig a hole in the ground deep enough to secure the post.
Once you place the post inside of the hole, fill it with dry or wet cement to stabilize it. If you do not want to use concrete, you can implement another piece of plywood to make a key to stabilize the post.
Water Hookup Installation
The amount of money that you have to pay to hook up water to your RV can vary depending on whether you can handle the installation yourself. If you can take the DIY route with your water hookup, you may only need to pay $20 to 30 to complete the connection.
However, if you need to rely on professional help, you should expect to have to pay upwards of $500 to $700 for the work - depending on the hourly rate of labor in your area.
The main thing that you should consider for this is whether or not you need to install piping for your water supply. If you have access to a water source on your property (above ground) that you can connect to your RV, the process of channeling water to your vehicle is very straightforward and cheap.
- Hose Connection - $20 to $30
- Pipes & Trenches - $500 to $700 (professional installation)
Most homeowners are not handy enough to dig trenches and create a pipe system for their campers. If you are, you do not need to pay $500 to $700 for the professional installation - this is something that you can do for a fraction of this cost.
DIY Pipes & Trenches
PVC piping only costs about $0.25 per linear foot. If you factor in the number of feet that you need for your PVC pipe, you should have a pretty low dollar figure.
Doing this work yourself will require you to dig trenches. If you know exactly where your gas lines are, you should be good to go. However, if you are not sure, call out a professional to confirm this for you.
If you live in a colder climate, make sure that you are digging trenches for your pipes below the frost line. You want to have use of your RV’s utilities all year long, which implies that you should prepare for winter conditions right away.
To ensure that your pipes don’t freeze, I would recommend using CPVC instead of standard PVC, as it is designed to withstand colder temperatures. In addition, wrap the pipe with heat tape or use a PE pipe insulation product.
Once your water pipes have been installed and insulated properly, finalize the process by covering up the trenches with cement. Once you have done so, cover the rest of the area with dirt so that it looks presentable. Lastly, attach the pipe to the post using clamps so that they are secured.
Sewage Hookup Installation
The amount of money that you end up spending on your sewage hookup will be largely determined by whether or not you can connect to your municipality's sewage line.
City Sewage & Home Septic Hookup
If you are able to connect directly to a city sewage system, your hookup will essentially be free.
So long as you are setting up your RV hookup on a property that is within a reasonable distance of an urban area, this should be a problem.
With that said, each municipality has a different policy on sewage connections and you should contact your city to ask whether you need any permits.
On the other hand, if you live somewhere remote, you may have a private septic tank already. If that is the case, you can connect your sewage hookup directly without asking anyone for permission.
Septic Tank Installation
If neither of the above sewage connection options are available to you, hookup costs can get very expensive. The reason is that you will need to install a septic tank.
Septic tank installations can be technical and costly. You should expect to have to pay upwards of $3,000 to $8,000. You may be able to save yourself a considerable amount of money by taking the DIY route.
Installing a septic tank for an RV hookup is generally only necessary if you live in a remote area and you have no access to municipal sewage or an alternative tank. This should be a last resort option, as it can be tedious and costly.
Electrical Hookup Installation
The most technical part of this entire procedure is hooking up power to your RV. Electrical work is challenging and can also be dangerous, which is why you want to carefully consider if you are up to the job.
Depending on whether you can DIY your electrical hookup, your costs will be anywhere from $100 to $1,500. A professional is going to charge you anywhere from $900 to $1,300 for the work. If you are not comfortable dealing with electrical work, this is the one part of the hookup that you may want to seek assistance with.
If you decide that you want to take the DIY approach with your electrical hookup, review your RV’s manual to determine whether your vehicle is compatible with 30 or 50 amps. You will then need to follow these steps:
- Turn off all RV appliances
- Turn off all breakers at home
- Plug extension cord into RV hookup
- Reset breaker
You will also need to create a wiring system that can reach your RV and your home, which will require a long extension cord and perhaps an adapter. Ideally, wires should not be exposed to avoid trip hazards. A sophisticated wiring system is highly recommended to prevent electrical fires from occurring.