It’s time to pack up and leave but don’t rush to jump in your RV and blaze down the road. Although the next leg of your travels is exciting, completing a checklist of very simple tasks first is prudent and can save you many headaches on the highway ahead.
Start with the not so fun task and empty your blackwater tank. Removing all sewage and blackwater leaves you with a fresh tank, ready for traveling. You are likely already hooked up to a sewer connection, so this is a breeze when leaving the park. Consider running a cleaning agent through the tank during this time as well. Numerous RV specific products are available to help scourge the tank. When finished, disconnect the sewer line and seal up the tank for travel.
Working outside inward is efficient and you will ultimately pack up the bulky items like tables, chairs and barbeques first. These things are also the least likely to present an immediate need on the road and are best packed on the bottom of your bulk storage area. Pull your stakes and roll up guylines before putting away the awning and all parts used to keep it stable. After packing away the outdoor area, do your first walk around and thoroughly look for any loose items. Put everything away when found to avoid driving off without your possessions. Doing the exterior work a day or two in advance is also prudent and this step can easily jump to number one on the list. After the exterior is completed, it’s time to pull all services and move to the interior.
At this point, you are pretty close to leaving so it’s time to pull the services. This is a same day event to prevent leaving you without water or electric before hitting the road although you could pull services a day early to test all off-grid systems while still having the convenience of a nice parking space. Pull the power and check your battery system to ensure everything remains powered by your battery bank. Also check the fridge to ensure it’s operating off battery or gas. The fridge is critical because you don’t want food spoiling while driving to the next destination. Lastly, fill your water tank and disconnect from the water supply. Once completed, you are free and clear for boondocking and general travel.
Now that your rig is clear of power and hoses, pull the leveling kit and chalk to free up the wheels. Put away any exterior items and do another walk around for prudence. Living long term in an area makes it easy to leave a few random items placed on bumpers and scattered about the exterior and multiple walk arounds are a good idea.
Move to the inside and pack away your loose items. Put away the tea kettle and any appliances on the countertops. Pack away pillows, photo frames and anything loose that can fall and experience damage while driving. Stow everything in the appropriate places and lock down cabinets and drawers for travel. Nothing loose is a good policy for RV living while spending any amount of time driving around.
You’re all packed up and ready to hit the road, right? Wrong. Your RV is free and clear for travel as it pertains to packing and disconnecting from services but running through a set of basic mechanical checks is also necessary. Trailer owners should also do the same for the towing vehicle. Check your oil, coolant, windshield washer fluid and transmission fluid levels. Conduct an oil change as well if needed. Also check the serpentine belt for wear and replace if needed. Do a tire pressure check and add air at the nearest gas station if needed. Carrying an onboard compressor is also a good idea for general roadside tire repair needs. Start the vehicle and look at the underside for any leaks or abnormalities. Let it reach operating temperature and make sure the temperature is stable before hitting the road.
On your way out of town, consider stocking up on food and supplies. If you plan on boondocking, this is a great time to take a test drive around the local area where you have friends and connections while gathering necessities for the next leg of travel. After filling up on food and gas, it’s time to head out and have a wonderful trip.