The Ultimate RV Departure Checklist

Last Updated on December 9, 2021 by Chris and Lindsay

An RV departure checklist is essential not only for safety and comfort, but also to avoid embarrassing moments. 

If you camp enough you will come across people with horror stories about how they pulled away from the campground with the sewer, power or water lines still attached.

Maybe you’ve seen one of these experiences yourself? 

Hopefully, you don’t have a story like this to share with other RVers!

To avoid embarrassing moments like these, we follow a pretty stringent RV departure checklist before leaving any campground.

Whether we are staying in a formal campground or are boondocking in the wilderness, the following checklist helps keep us safe (and prevents additional repairs and maintenance).

We follow it every time we leave – though now we have committed most of it to memory and routine. 

Forgetting your final check will lead to a mess!

The Importance of an RV Departure Checklist

In Season1.5: Episode 1, we briefly cover the importance of having some form of RV departure checklist.

Whether you want to copy/download our checklist or create your own, it is important to get into a routine before leaving a campsite. 

We spent nearly 5 months broken down in the friendly town of Thermopolis.

And while we would rather have been on the road all of this time, we did find plenty of things to do in Thermopolis while we were there. 

However, when it came time to leave there were many things we needed to remind ourselves to check.

In all, repacking and preparing to leave Thermopolis took us 2 days. 

And in the final half-hour before leaving we followed this checklist to ensure that we were, in fact, ready for the road. 

Note: We have a truck camper and have some items on our list that may vary depending on the type of RV you have. However, most items on this list are applicable to any RV. 

Locking camper storage
Make sure to unplug power before you leave!

RV Departure Checklist

DOWNLOAD OR PRINT this RV Departure List

Vehicle Inspection

Check Fluids

  • Oil
  • Transmission
  • Power Steering
  • Brake Fluid
  • Engine Coolant

Check Air Pressure

  • Tires 
  • Airbag suspension (if applicable)

Physical Inspection Around Vehicle

  • Check for fluid beneath the vehicle
  • Check for anything hanging from chassis
  • Check for any other irregularities 

RV Inspection – Outside

Disconnect Utilities (as applicable)

  • Power
  • Water
  • Sewer (close valves)
  • Cable TV
  • Propane (close valves)

Secure Utility Doors (as applicable)

  • Water Inlet
  • Power Inlet
  • LPG Inlet
  • Tank Access

Secure Storage/Auxillary Doors

  • Sewer hose storage
  • Generator/Auxillary storage
  • Outside shower/kitchen
  • Any additional storage compartments

RV Inspection – Inside

Secure The Inside

  • Turn off appliances (particularly propane)
  • Secure loose items
    • Bathroom
    • Kitchen
    • Cabinets
    • Counters
    • Electronic devices
  • Latch doors and hatches
    • Cabinets
    • Vents
    • Kitchen appliances
  •  Close roof vents and windows

Tank Maintenance

  • Dump black and grey tanks
  • Refill fresh water holding tanks
  • Refill propane (as applicable)

Prior to Departure

  • Check Tie Downs (truck camper specific)
  • Remove wheel chocks/leveling blocks
  • Secure items on hitch (bikes, winch, etc.)
  • Visual inspection of RV
  • Discard/collect trash

Occasional RV Departure Checklist Items

  • Check vehicle/RV lights
  • Utilize generator(s)
  • Inspect external seals and siding
  • Inspect the roof and any items secured to the roof (for leaks)
  • Flush black tank (use ice to clean sensors)
  • Clean freshwater holding tank (use bleach)
  • Rotate/Balance/Align tires (every 5,000 miles)
  • Oil change (3000-5000 miles, or as applicable)

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