Filed under: Humor, Preparation & Readiness, Safety on the Road, Technology & Camping, The RVs We Drive, Traveling Tips
Getting Ready to Head Out? Don’t Forget the Final Check on your RV!
I have an uncle, whom I love dearly, who drove out of his driveway with his RV still plugged into the wall of his house. As a fairly new RV-owner and having felt rushed for time when departing, he enjoys amusing his listeners with the retelling of this story…
They were headed to New Mexico from Los Angeles, to visit their son and his family, when it happened. He didn’t realize it at first, but he was dragging the long electrical cord and cover from the wall, behind him for some time. At first when he spotted the kids pointing at his RV, he thought smugly to himself: “Yep, they must be impressed with my nice Class-A.” Only once he noticed that they were actually laughing and pointing, did he begin to think something must be up. Then it occurred to him to check all of his mirrors to make sure everything was as it should be. This is when he spotted the cord bumping along the road as it trailed behind him. Boy, did he feel like a novice, having only owned the RV for about a year when this happened!
He later told me, as he relayed the story, that, of course, it was all his wife’s fault for rushing him when they were getting ready to leave. We were actually supposed to go with them on this adventure, so he thought he would recount some of the highlights of the trip for us. Having started the trip like that, he said he knew it would be one of those unforgettable adventures that would make for some great stories around the campfire later. He then gave me permission to share with my readers on this blog, so you can learn from his mistake…What an extraordinary start to their journey!
Learn from my uncle’s silly mistake and do your Final Check every time, before leaving anywhere!
Here is an extensive checklist to help you not forget (to do) anything before leaving:
□ Put away patio chairs, table covers patio mat and portable grill
□ Gather-up and dump trash
□ Close awnings and lock (if manual type)
□ Roll up window awnings
□ Roll up all interior window shades and coverings and secure cords
□ Store counter top appliances & other loose items
□ Secure pots, dishes, and knick-knacks
□ Close and secure cupboard doors and drawers
□ Secure refrigerator door(s)
□ Secure shower door & bathroom pocket doors
□ Secure bedroom closet doors and sliding doors
□ Close windows and overhead vents
□ Lower TV antenna and Satellite dish
□ Fill freshwater (if needed)
□ Turn on/off water pump
□ Turn off water heater (Gas & 110v)
□ Turn off furnace (LP Only) – Hydronic OK to be on
□ Clean floor and check for obstructions before slide-outs come in (*Cab chairs are moved forward)
□ Bring in all slide-outs and lock (If needed)
□ Visually make sure all leveling jacks are up
□ Drain black/sewer tank, then grey water tanks
□ Disconnect sewer hose, rinse, and store
□ Add (1) gallon of water and chemical to black water tank
□ Shut-off Air Conditioner(s) before disconnecting AC power (110v) !
□ Disconnect remaining hookups (Cable & Water)
□ (If Needed) Start Generator and let run for 1 minute before turning on Air Conditioner(s)
□ Check weight distribution of all stored gear and that it is secure
□ Close and lock exterior compartment doors
□ Check Engine fluid levels (Oil, Coolant, etc.)
□ Check tire pressures and look for suspicious fluid leaks on Ground and/or frame rails.
□ Do final walk-around and check head lights and all parking/running lights for proper operation
□ Do final walk-around campsite/parking spot
□ Do final interior walk front-to-back looking for loose items that may shift, fall, or break
□ Make sure entry steps are in and the entry door closed and deadbolt locked
□ Check rear view mirrors (Check for blind spots)
□ Check all dash gauges for proper operation before moving coach.
□ Connect dinghy /tow car to RV’s tow bar
□ Check dinghy’s transmission selector, parking brake, ignition switch position and any applicable fuses (Per towing instructions in dinghy’s manual)
□ Check dinghy brake and taillights
□ Confirm dinghy brakes are functioning properly and that tow bar is locked in position, by pulling vehicle forward and having someone watch.