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Predeparture Checklists

Originally Published in MotorHome Magazine

Predeparture checklists are a must for serious RVers. Its all too easy to get distracted while preparing to leave on a motorhome road trip, and a checklist will help keep you and your rig safe, making your trip more enjoyable and protecting your investment. A good checklist should contain the following:

Exterior:
–    Pack up/put away: patio chairs and table, patio mat, portable grill
–    Clear away and dump all trash and recyclables
–    Awnings: close and lock the main awning, roll up all other awnings
–    Close and lock exterior compartment doors
–    Make sure entry steps are in, entry door is closed and deadbolt locked
–    Lower TV antenna and lock
–    Visually check that all leveling jacks are up

Interior:
–    Bring in and lock all slideouts – be sure to clear the floor and check for obstructions first
–    Secure pots, pans, dishes inside cupboards, and close and secure cupboard doors and drawers
–    Secure knickknacks
–    Store countertop appliances
–    Close windows and overhead vents
–    Secure window coverings
–    Secure all doors: closet, lav, refrigerator, storage cupboards, shower, etc.

Maintenance:

–    Fill freshwater if needed
–    Turn off water pump, water heater and furnace
–    Drain black-, then gray-water tanks
–    Disconnect sewer hose and store it
–    Add gallon of water and chemical to black-water tank
–    Disconnect remaining hookups
–    Check the following: weight distribution, fluid levels, tire pressures, tow bar hookup, mirrors, dash gauges
–    If dinghy towing: check tow connection, dinghy’s transmission selector, parking brake, regular brakes, ignition switch position, taillights

Do a final walk around the campsite to check for missed belongings, etc. Do a final walk around your rig; check all lights. Do a final interior walk through. Use the buddy system; having your travel partner go through the checklist after you will help ensure that you don’t miss a thing.

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