Whether you’re a seasoned pro or an RVing newbie, there is a lot to consider before heading out. Don’t go RVing without this camping checklist!
Before every trip, there is a certain amount of anxiety with a mix of excitement to hit the road. Sometimes, you might be in a bit of a rush to get going. But before you hit the open road, there is a laundry list of items you need to check. Ensuring your RV is secure (and road-worthy) is extremely important. To make it easier, we’ve created this handy RV camping checklist.
Nothing ruins a camping trip – or hauling the RV anywhere – like a preventable mistake. Seasoned RVers know and make it a habit to run through this checklist before setting off. Most RVs, from huge motorhomes to tiny teardrops, have a lot of common to-do items.
This is a handy general list. You may add extra items that are unique to your setup or you may not apply all the items.
The Ultimate RVing Camping Checklist
To prevent mishaps, it is best to run through this camping checklist before you take off. For most, it’s a good idea for one person to tackle the inside and one person to tackle the outside. Then, check the other’s work by running through the list. Two sets of eyes are better than one.
Securing inside your RV
Start off the camping checklist by securing the interior of your RV. This includes:
- Close all windows, blinds, and roof vents
- Prepare the refrigerator for travel and secure
- Stowaway or secure the TV and any large items
- Secure loose items (foldable baskets are great)
- Close and latch all cabinets, drawers, and interior doors
Turn off your RV systems
Next, make sure all the switches and systems in your RV are turned off. This includes:
- Lights and accessories (you don’t want to drain the auxiliary battery)
- Heater or furnace
- Air conditioner(s)
- Water heater
- Water pump
Securing outside your RV
After the inside, it’s time to run through the camping checklist for the outside of your RV. This includes:
- Lower the TV antenna and satellite dish
- Retract cell phone booster
- Pull-in slides
- Stow outside items like chairs, grill, dog pen, etc.
- Retract leveling system or jacks and ensure they are secure
- Grab and store chocks and levelers
- Close and lock outside storage compartments
- Secure bike rack
- Retract and secure awning(s)
- Disconnect and store water hose, septic hose, cable TV wire, and electric cords
- Check the cap on your sewer connection
- Turn gas supply off at the source
- Retract stairs
Before you pull out, make sure you check your campsite for anything you might have missed. Remember to properly dispose of all your garbage and bottles – leave no trace.
Check your RV & towing vehicle
Now that everything is stowed and secured, you’re probably gunning to get on the road. Before you take off, make sure you run through this checklist to check your RV and towing vehicle. Safety first.
- Check your hitch connection and chains
- Check all RV and towing vehicle fluid levels
- For rigs with a toad, check the connection
- Check all running lights, turn signals, brake lights, and headlights
- Double-check any tie-downs if applicable
- Look under your rig for any signs of leaks
- Inspect and test your tires: tire pressure and tighten lug nuts
Lighten the Load
If this is the first trip of the season, this step won’t apply. But if you’re heading home after a weekend trip or heading to your next destination, make the trip a little easier for your towing rig. This is an important part of safe RV towing.
- Dump your gray and black tanks
For boondockers, you may opt to leave your freshwater tank full (or partially full) if freshwater isn’t on your route. But for those who don’t need it, try to empty your fresh tanks. The heavy water can hurt your fuel economy – hello, fuel anxiety.
Did we miss anything? What does your camping checklist look like?