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A Comprehensive RV Departure Checklist


Embarking on an RV adventure is exciting, but proper preparation is essential to ensure a safe and enjoyable journey. A comprehensive RV departure checklist can help you avoid common pitfalls and make sure nothing is overlooked before you hit the road. This guide covers everything from vehicle checks to securing the interior, so you can travel with confidence.

The Importance of an RV Departure Checklist

An RV departure checklist is a crucial tool for both novice and experienced RVers. It helps ensure that every aspect of your vehicle and travel preparations are accounted for, minimizing the risk of issues on the road. By systematically checking each item, you can avoid potentially dangerous situations and enjoy a stress-free trip. Preparation is the key to a successful RV adventure, and a checklist ensures that all bases are covered.

Pre-Departure Vehicle Checks

Before you set off, it’s vital to ensure your RV is in top-notch condition. Start with a thorough inspection of the vehicle to identify any potential problems that could arise during your trip.

Checking Tires and Wheels

The condition of your RV’s tires and wheels is critical for safety. Check the tire pressure and adjust it according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Look for any signs of wear or damage, such as cracks or bulges, and ensure the tread depth is sufficient. Don’t forget to inspect the spare tire and make sure it’s in good condition. Additionally, check the wheel lug nuts to ensure they are tightened properly.

Inspecting Fluid Levels

Proper fluid levels are essential for the smooth operation of your RV. Check the engine oil, transmission fluid, coolant, brake fluid, and power steering fluid. Top off any fluids that are low and look for any leaks that might indicate a problem. It’s also a good idea to check the windshield washer fluid and make sure your wiper blades are in good condition. Regularly maintaining fluid levels helps prevent breakdowns and keeps your vehicle running efficiently.

Interior Preparation

Preparing the interior of your RV is just as important as the exterior. Ensuring everything is secure and functional will contribute to a comfortable and safe journey.

Securing Loose Items

Loose items inside your RV can become hazardous when driving. Go through your living space and secure any objects that might shift or fall while on the road. This includes kitchen utensils, electronics, and personal belongings. Use storage bins, non-slip mats, and straps to keep everything in place. Properly securing items not only enhances safety but also makes it easier to find things when you need them.

Checking Appliances and Electrical Systems

Before departing, make sure all appliances and electrical systems are working correctly. Test the refrigerator, stove, microwave, and any other appliances you’ll be using. Check that the electrical outlets and lights are functioning, and ensure your batteries are charged. It’s also important to inspect the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure they are operational. Addressing any issues with your appliances and electrical systems before you leave can prevent inconvenient problems during your trip.

Safety Equipment Check

Your safety equipment should be ready and accessible in case of emergencies. Conduct a thorough check to make sure everything is in place and in good working order.

Fire Extinguishers and First Aid Kits

Fire extinguishers are a must-have in any RV. Verify that your fire extinguishers are charged and easily accessible. Familiarize yourself with their operation and check the expiration dates. Additionally, a well-stocked first aid kit is essential for handling minor injuries. Make sure your kit includes bandages, antiseptics, pain relievers, and any personal medications. Keeping your safety equipment updated and within reach can make all the difference in an emergency.

Emergency Tools and Supplies

Prepare for unexpected situations by packing essential emergency tools and supplies. This includes items like flashlights, batteries, a multi-tool, and a tire repair kit. Carrying extra water, non-perishable food, and blankets is also advisable. Having a roadside emergency kit, which includes items like flares, a reflective vest, and jumper cables, can be invaluable. Being prepared with the right tools and supplies ensures you’re ready for any situation that might arise on your journey.

Final Walkthrough

Before hitting the road, a final walkthrough is essential to ensure everything is secure and ready for travel.

Ensuring All Doors and Windows Are Locked

Double-check that all doors and windows are securely closed and locked. This includes not only the main doors and windows but also any storage compartments. Securely locking everything helps prevent items from shifting and reduces the risk of theft or damage while you’re away from your RV.

Disconnecting Utilities and Securing Hoses

Make sure to disconnect any utilities such as water, electricity, and sewage connections. Securely store hoses and cables to prevent them from becoming tangled or damaged during transit. Ensuring all utilities are properly disconnected and stored is a crucial step in preparing your RV for departure.


Taking the time to follow a comprehensive RV departure checklist ensures your trip begins smoothly and safely. By systematically preparing your vehicle and interior, checking safety equipment, and performing a final walkthrough, you can embark on your adventure with peace of mind. Happy travels!

Simple RV Departure Checklist

Pre-Departure Vehicle Checks

  • Check tire pressure and adjust if needed.
  • Inspect tires for wear, damage, and sufficient tread depth.
  • Ensure the spare tire is in good condition.
  • Check wheel lug nuts for proper tightness.
  • Inspect and top off fluid levels (engine oil, transmission fluid, coolant, brake fluid, power steering fluid, windshield washer fluid).
  • Look for any fluid leaks.

Interior Preparation

  • Secure all loose items inside the RV.
  • Test all appliances (refrigerator, stove, microwave, etc.).
  • Check electrical outlets and lights for functionality.
  • Ensure batteries are charged.
  • Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

Safety Equipment Check

  • Verify fire extinguishers are charged and accessible.
  • Check the expiration dates on fire extinguishers.
  • Ensure the first aid kit is well-stocked with necessary supplies.
  • Pack emergency tools (flashlights, batteries, multi-tool, tire repair kit).
  • Carry extra water, non-perishable food, and blankets.
  • Ensure the roadside emergency kit is complete (flares, reflective vest, jumper cables).

Final Walkthrough

  • Double-check that all doors and windows are securely locked.
  • Ensure all storage compartments are locked.
  • Disconnect utilities (water, electricity, sewage connections).
  • Store hoses and cables securely.

Departure checklist


Click here to download checklist

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