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Make-A-List-Check-It-TwiceYou just bought your first RV, and you’re getting ready for your first trip on the road. Preparing for your journey can be both exciting and a nerve-wracking adventure on its own. One way to ensure your chances of a trouble-free trip is to create a checklist to aid in your pre-trip preparation. Keeping this list in an easily accessible area, like taped inside a cabinet door, for example, will help foster a sense of routine and instill confidence for the beginning RVer.

Below is an example of a pre-trip checklist:

  • Check all fluid levels for the chassis:
    1. Engine and transmission oil levels
    2. Power steering fluid
    3. Windshield washer fluid
    4. Fuel tank filled
    5. Chassis batteries fully charged
  • Check all fluid levels for the house portion of RV:
    1. Propane tank full of LP
    2. Fresh water tank filled
    3. Water heater tank full of water
    4. House batteries full of distilled water and fully charged
    5. Chemicals for black water tank
  • Check tires – it is crucial make sure all tires are at proper air pressure and there are no discrepancies in tire treads (bulges, cracks, etc)
    1. If equipped with a spare tire, ensure it is properly inflated.
  • Adjust all external mirrors to ensure you can see behind you on both driver and passenger sides of the RV. Remember, there may be “blind spots” on the sides of your RV.
  • Make sure to test wipers and horn for proper operation.
  • Turn on house and chassis (if equipped) battery disconnect switches. Check generator for oil level and start it up to make sure it is running properly. Load system by turning on roof A/C for approx 30 minutes to make sure it’s running normally as well.
  • Test all LP appliances (stove, furnace, water heater, microwave, etc) to ensure they are working properly.
  • Extend and retract all slide-out rooms, leveling jacks and awnings to make sure they are operating normally.
  • Ensure all overhead lights and 110-volt outlets inside coach are working.
  • Make sure turn signals, running and brake lights are working on the outside of the coach.
    1. If towing a vehicle, confirm hitch is rated for vehicle being towed and safety chains, lights, etc. are all hooked up properly and working.
  • Operate entry step to ensure it is working properly.
As you become more familiar with your RV you will discover other items that should be checked and maintained and will continue to add to the list above. Pre-trip preparation will be time well spent to make sure that you always have a safe and enjoyable experience while RVing. If something unexpected should go wrong despite your best efforts, keep in mind that as a Coach-Net member, you have 24/7 RV technical assistance available to help you troubleshoot many common operational issues.