Whether you're an RV newbie or a seasoned veteran, it's essential to have a routine for arrival at and departure from a parking site. A great way to reduce stress on your vacation is to write up a custom checklist and display it in a convenient place in your RV (or even a few places) where you'll be sure to see it every time you camp. For an even better system, print this list on eye-catching colored card stock and laminate it for durability.
The guidelines below represent some suggestions for what to include on your "heading out" checklist. Not all the listed guidelines below will apply to every RV or site, but provide a good starting point for preparing your campsite for the next visitor and your vehicle for the road.
Outside your RV:
- Pick up all trash around your campsite and dispose of waste properly. "Leave No Trace."
- Load all of your belongings back into your RV. Remember any chairs, recreational equipment, etc.
- Unplug any power cords and hoses. Take a minute to carefully stow these, as they can be expensive to replace.
- Pick up and store any leveling blocks you have placed.
- Empty the gray and black water tanks if facilities are available.
- Fill water according to your needs if you'll be boondocking (parking without facilities) at your next site.
- Check the tire pressure (don't forget the spare!) and ensure that the lug nuts are tight.
- Close and lock the outside storage compartments and any vents.
- Lower any antennas and store the satellite dish if you have one.
- Retract the awning; remember to look up!
- Raise the step if you have one.
Inside your RV:
- Close and lock the windows. Make sure they are clean, along with the mirrors.
- Secure any loose kitchen appliances, like a coffee maker or toaster, so they don't slide around while driving.
- Check that the refrigerator and cupboards are closed or latched tight. You don't want any flying sandwiches!
- Before departure, check your fuel tank and plan the next place to fill up. Don't forget that if you need a generator to run, it may need a certain level of gas or it will not work.
- Plan your route. Apps are available that show gas stations, campgrounds, rest-areas, and Wal-mart stores. However, if you are out of service range, a good RV GPS or an old-fashioned paper map can keep you on track.
- Complete a final walk-around to ensure the area is clean and everything on your RV is safe and secure. Enjoy the journey to your next destination!
Keep these things in mind the next time you're at an RV park.