As the old saying by Benjamin Franklin goes, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. That especially rings true for RV’s. Checklists can be a great way to make sure you don’t make a costly mistake, or one that could have serious consequence.

In this post, we offer some planning tools that can help plan, execute, and look fondly back on wonderful RV experiences.

Pre-Departure Checklist

You’re ready to get underway and chomping at the bit to hit the open road. But not so fast. A thorough pre-departure checklist can save a lot of headaches later on. Here’s what we recommend you refer to every time you’re ready for adventure.

• Check all fluids (coolant, electrolyte, hydraulic, oil, power steering, transmission, windshield washer)
• Check generator oil level
• Disconnect city water, if applicable
• Reset coach’s freshwater controls to onboard water, if applicable
• Fill coach freshwater tank (add a capful of bleach), then stow the hose
• Using the dump checklist, dump the waste tanks, if applicable
• Ensure the propane tank is as desired
• Ensure that all basement doors are closed, latched, and locked
• Disconnect and stow the coach’s shore power cable
• Ensure that the refrigerator (in auto mode) has shifted back to propane power
• Retract the leveling jacks, stow the support blocks, and visually inspect each jack for proper travel stowage position
• Retract any slide-outs and secure for travel
• Ensure that the windows are securely closed and locked
• Arrange the blinds and curtains, as desired
• Ensure that the air conditioner is off
• Ensure that the furnace is off
• Secure all drawers and doors
• Secure all loose objects for travel
• Turn all lights off
• Ensure that the overhead vent fan in the bathroom is off and the vent is securely closed
• Ensure that the oven pilot light is off
• Ensure that the water heater is off
• Ensure that the freshwater pressure pump is off
• Check all tank level indications
• Close the main door to retract the powered steps
• Lock the main door with the deadbolt and the latch lock

RV Essentials

Your RV is your home away from home, but it’s not a storage unit. So, you’ll need to be judicious with what you bring along, and have everything you might need when you’re in the middle of nowhere. You’ll need some essential, mechanical gear that will help you stay safe on the road. Depending on the type of RV, you may need to add a few items or ignore others on this checklist.

• Drinking Water Hose
• Sewing Kit
• First aid kit
• Surge Protector
• Generator
• Electrical Adapters
• Water Pressure Regulator
• Tire Pressure Gauge
• Duct Tape
• Flashlight
• Emergency Road Kit
• Extra Motor Oil and Transmission Fluid
• Fire Extinguisher
• Closed bag for documents like registration, insurance, reservations, etc.

Kitchen and Cooking Supplies

You’ll probably be spending a lot of time in the kitchen between hiking, biking or even surfing. Cooking is a great way to bring the people in your RV together. You’ll want to make sure you have the right supplies to cook and bake the things you love.

• Cutting Board
• Utensils and Cutting Knives
• Dish Soap
• Cooler
• Matches or a lighter
• Skillets
• Dish Towels
• Garbage Bags
• Paper Towels
• Can Opener
• Camping griddle
• Pot Holders
• Napkins
• Reusable storage bags
• Tupperware
• Sponge and other cleaning utensils

The RV Departure From Campsite Checklist

It’s time to pack up and either go home or move onto the next campsite. This departure checklist gives you a methodically system for making sure everything is secure and ready for travel.

• Bars in pantry cabinets
• Secure all cabinets and drawers
• Secure breakables
• Check for items that will impede slide
• If it’s on turn it off
• Secure TV
• Tie everything down that needs it
• Close doors
• Turn propane off
• Unplug from shore power and pack cable
• Empty black and gray tanks
• Disconnect and pack Discharge hose(s)
• Awning in
• Stabilizer jacks up and jack pads packed
• Connect securely to vehicle
• Stabilizer bars on
• Electrical hooked up to vehicle
• Emergency cable on
• Chains on
• Trailer Jack Up
• Unchock wheels

A prepared RV’er is safer on the road, at the campsite, and well prepared for whatever Mother Nature and daily needs might throw their way. Now that you’re expert, you’re going to want to spend a lot more time in your RV. If you’re thinking about moving up to bigger RV, check out our ever-changing, hand-picked selection of gently used luxury RVs, click here.