How and Why To Use RV CheckLists
How and Why To Use RV CheckLists

Introduction: RV Checklists

The open road, a space of unlimited possibilities, the fresh air that wakens up the senses, and the smell of nature’s bounty. Such are the pleasures that come with living life on the road, traveling the world in the comfort of your recreational vehicle.

However, let’s be candid, being a novice RVer can be quite difficult. Keeping track of everything can be overwhelming, and forgetting important things can be a major bummer. This is where checklists come in handy.

In this article, I shall go over the reasons why checklists are crucial and highlight examples of the consequences of overlooking important tasks, such as forgetting to retract stabilizer jacks before driving off or leaving the awning out during a storm.

3 Key Takeaways:

  • Checklists are very important for RVers, especially new ones, as they assist in maintaining organization and ensure no important tasks are not missed.
  • Failing to perform certain tasks can result in significant problems, including damage to your RV or incurring an embarrassing situation. Examples include leaving the awning out during a storm, not retracting the stabilizer jacks before driving, and forgetting to unhook the water and power connections.
  • It is vital to customize your checklist to your needs and preferences as there isn’t a one-size-fits-all checklist that suits all Rvers.

Why are RV Checklists Important?

RV setup and breakdown require a lot of tasks that are prone to human error. From leveling the RV to hooking up the water and power connections, there are numerous tasks that need to be completed.

For new RVers, it can be overwhelming, which is where checklists become important. They enable you to maintain organization, making sure nothing important is overlooked, and making the entire process more manageable.

Let’s say you forget to retract your stabilizer jacks before setting off. As you begin to drive away, you’ll hear a loud scraping sound, letting you know to your mistake. The jacks are still down, and you’re dragging them along the ground. This can be an embarrassing situation and cause significant damage to your RV.

The same goes for leaving the awning out during a storm. Strong winds can rip the awning off the RV, resulting in considerable damage.

Creating Your RV Checklist

Now that we’ve determined the importance of checklists, let’s discuss how to create one just for you. The first step is to determine which tasks are necessary to include on your checklist. This will vary based on your requirements and preferences, but here are some tasks to consider:

  • Leveling the RV
  • Hooking up the water and power connections
  • Retracting the stabilizer jacks
  • Bringing in the awning
  • Checking tire pressure
  • Checking for leaks
  • Closing windows and vents
  • Checking the battery levels
  • Checking the propane levels
  • After creating a list of tasks, it’s time to formulate your checklist. You can use a notebook, a spreadsheet, or even a checklist app on your phone. Ensure you include all the tasks you need to perform and tick them off as you go to avoid overlooking anything important.

Personal Anecdote:

I once forgot to unhook the water and power connections before departing. As I drove, I heard a loud banging sound emanating from the rear of the RV. After stopping to investigate, I discovered that I had dragged the connections along the ground, resulting in considerable damage. This was an embarrassing experience, and it reinforced the importance of having a checklist for me.

Tailoring Your Checklist to Your Needs

It’s vital to remember that there isn’t a universal checklist when it comes to RV setup and breakdown. Your checklist should be customized to your requirements and preferences. For instance, if you have a slide-out, you’ll need to add tasks that relate to extending and retracting it. If you have a generator, you’ll need to include tasks related to starting and stopping it.

Personal Anecdote:

My wife and I travel with our cat in our RV. We quickly realized that we needed to include “checking the cat’s water and food bowls” in our checklist after we forgot to fill them on multiple occasions. Our cat was not amused!


Q: Is an RV checklist necessary?
A: Yes, it is essential to have an RV checklist to ensure no vital tasks are overlooked.

Q: How often should I use my RV checklist?
A: You should use your checklist every time you set up or break down your RV to avoid overlooking any important tasks.

Q: Can I use a pre-made checklist?
A: While there are pre-made checklists available online, it’s essential to customize your checklist to your specific needs and preferences.


In summary, RV checklists are an indispensable tool for any RVer, especially newcomers. Failing to perform essential tasks can be an inconvenience and cause damage to your RV. Personalizing your checklist to include all the tasks you need to perform will ensure you remain organized and don’t overlook anything important. Take the time to create your personalized RV checklist and enjoy the freedom and excitement of life on the open road!

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