Packing up to leave your campsite is never the highlight of anyone’s camping trip. Be honest, how many memorable photos do you have of folding up the camp chairs or retracting the awning? When’s the last time you reminisced about a favorite vacation and fondly recalled coiling up the extension cord as one of the major highlights?
Tearing down the campsite and packing it all away for departure isn’t the part of the trip that holds the dearest memories. But if not done thoroughly and efficiently, there may be a story or two to tell about a fiasco that happened. You want your vacations to have plenty of memorable moments, not infamous stories like, “Remember the time your brother forgot to check under the RV and we ran over all the fishing gear when we pulled out?”
When you have an RV tear-down checklist, it streamlines the process of packing up your campsite so you can end your trip on a positive note, not a stressful or chaotic one.
RV Tear-Down Checklist
Waste & Maintenance
Properly maintaining your RV’s internal systems and amenities will allow you to fully enjoy the conveniences of RV ownership. This means that prior to leaving a campground the following things need to be done:
- Empty your black and grey tanks
- Replenish fresh water (if needed)
- Shut off your water heater, pump, and any appliances (besides the fridge if needed)
- Unhook from campsite power – you don’t want to damage the campground’s electrical box or be driving down the highway with your extension cord dragging behind you!
If you will be storing your RV for an extended period, or if you know your next destination has a place to fill up, you may opt to hold off on filling up your fresh water tank since traveling with full tanks adds weight – 8.34 pounds per gallon. A full 30-gallon tank adds over 250 extra pounds to your load. (This is also one of the reasons you want to empty your black and grey water tanks.)
Don’t forget to do a walk-around after you’ve disconnected to make sure you aren’t tethered to anything. That clothes line was great for drying swim suits and towels but it isn’t so great if it’s still tied to a tree when you pull away.
While you are ensuring everything is disconnected and going down your RV tear-down checklist, take the opportunity to inspect your connections and cables for signs of corrosion, tearing or other damage. The more often you inspect things the more likely you are to find small problems and address them before they become big issues.
Pack Up Everything
Most RV camping involves a good amount of entertainment and creature comforts that are brought along for the trip. Start checking another thing off your RV tear-down checklist by packing away whatever was taken out of the RV. This can include things like:
- Grills/Cooking Tools
- Chairs or Hammocks
- Toys & Children’s Entertainment
- String lights
- Fishing equipment
- Deployable Satellites & WiFi Extenders
Once you ensure that everything is packed away, take another look through your campsite to double and triple check that you didn’t leave anything behind. Look behind nearby trees, under the picnic table, around your tow vehicle and don’t forget to look under the RV!
Close Up the RV
If your RV features deployables, make sure they’re retracted safely and securely before leaving:
- Return slide-outs to travel-ready position
- Close off exterior kitchen and storage doors
- Latch exterior doors/bays to ensure they stay closed
- Retract your awning
If anything is left open or extended it can be a disaster when attempting to drive away. This is especially true for awnings. Extended awnings will catch on a tree or building and create a headache for your family – not to mention an expensive repair bill. (And another one of those “memorable” vacation stories you want to avoid!)
Ready Your RV for Travel
When you arrived at camp, your RV required some steps to anchor it in position and keep it stable. To depart, you’ll need to follow those steps in reverse:
- Retract the jacks and levelers
- Remove chocks or blocks and store them
- Connect your RV to your tow vehicle
At this point in your RV tear-down checklist, you’re almost ready to go! But don’t skip the last items on your checklist as final inspections are crucial.
Any time you plan to mobilize your RV, you want to perform at least a quick inspection:
- Inspect your batteries to look for signs of corrosion or damage
- Check your tires’ PSI to ensure they’re safe for travel
- Look for any external indications of damage or leaks
- Check your trailer brakes and ensure all electrical connections are working correctly
- Confirm that turn signals are functioning properly
This is also the best time to do a final check for:
- Locked and closed compartments
- Cables, water hoses or other connections that may not be properly stored
- Left-behind toys, chairs and other packed items
Lastly, make sure to look over your campsite. Does it look like you were there? The best way to leave your site is the same – or better – than you found it. If you spot garbage or other things left behind that shouldn’t be, clean them up! Do your part to keep campgrounds looking beautiful for the next camper.
There’s just one last thing to check off of your RV tear-down checklist: depart!
The professionals at RV Wholesale Superstore are ready to help you find the perfect RV for you and your family. Visit us in-person at 5080 W. Alexis Road, in Sylvania, OH or call us at (866) 640-9871
Connect with us on Social Media!