Shelley Dennis
by Shelley Dennis
Posted September 15, 2020

If you’ve rented an RV from Outdoorsy, you’re probably anxious and excited to hit the road. But before you hit the road, you’ll want to make sure that everything in your RV is secured and ready for travel. Even if it’s not your first rodeo, there’s a lot to remember. To help you out, we’ve compiled this handy pre-travel RV camping checklist.

Nothing ruins a trip like a mistake that could have been prevented, so make it a habit to go over this checklist whenever you take out. Most motorhomes and travel trailers have many things in common that need last-minute attention. Keep in mind that this is a general checklist. Some items may not apply to your rig and you might need to add a few extra of your own.

When to Use the RV Camping Checklist

This nifty cheat sheet should be used whenever you plan on moving your RV. Even if you feel like you’re only going to be traveling a short distance, it’s always best to secure everything down. You don’t want to open your door to find broken items or end up causing costly damage to the rig.

The RV Checklist

Without further ado, here are the important things you’ll want to make sure happen before you roll out.

Photo Tripping America - Pre-Travel Check List - Outdoorsy

Securing Items Inside the RV

Start off your RV checklist by securing all of the items on the interior of your RV. This includes:

  • Close all vents and windows
  • Prepare refrigerator for travel
  • Stow away or tie down television
  • Stow away loose items
  • Latch all interior doors
  • Close and latch all cabinets

Turn Off Systems

Make sure all of the switches in the rig are turned off. Ensure all lights, fans, and your heater and/or air conditioner are turned off. Ensure your water heater and water pump are also not running.

Securing Items Outside Your RV

Next, you’ll work your way to the outside of the RV.

  • Lower TV antenna and/or satellite dish
  • Retract cell phone booster
  • Pull in slides
  • Store outside items (chairs, grill, dog pen, etc.)
  • Retract leveling system or jacks and store
  • Pull out and store chocks and levelers
  • Close and lock outside storage
  • Retract and secure awning(s)
  • Disconnect and store water hose, septic hose, cable TV wire, and electric cords
  • Retract stairs

Be sure to do a sweep of the campsite before you leave. You don’t want to leave something important behind, or worse, leave trash for the next camper to deal with. Remember: pack it in, pack it out!

rv getting ready to drive next to snowy mountain

Check Hitch and Tow Vehicle Connections

If you’re towing a trailer or towing a car behind your motorhome, take time to check the hitch connection. If you have a second person with you, have them help you check brake lights and turn signals. Ensure that your hitch is secure and safety chains are in place. Check tie-downs if you are using them.

Dump Your Black Water and Grey Water Tank

If you are leaving a camping area, utilize the dump station before you go— especially if you aren’t sure where your next dump station may be.

It’s also a good idea to travel with some water in the freshwater tank. If you are leaving to go boondocking and don’t plan on having access to freshwater, fill it up all the way. Otherwise, it’s best to leave the tank partially empty. Water is heavy, and the extra weight can hurt your fuel economy and add more wear and tear to your RV.

Talk to Your Outdoorsy Owner for More RV Checklist Items

When you pick up your rental, be sure to ask the owner if they have a checklist that they use. If they don’t have one readily available, ask if there is anything unique about their RV that you should know about before taking off. If there is, be sure to add it to your list so you check it off every time you hit the road!

After awhile working through this RV camping checklist will become second nature, but it’s always a good idea to take your time and make sure everything gets a second look. No one wants to be the person who drove off with the awning hitting trees who left the stairs down and is scraping the curb. Just having something written down (like the RV checklist above) to reference should help you start every travel day. Have a great time venturing across the country in your RV!

Shelley Dennis

I'm a mountain gal who gave it all up to hit the road full-time with my Golden Retriever, Sully. Together we explore the back roads of America, documenting the beauty of our country and the people that make her great!


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