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The Ultimate RV Set-Up and Tear-Down Checklist

Posted by ProPride Hitch on 25th Aug 2020

The Ultimate RV Set-Up and Tear-Down Checklist

Embarking on an RV adventure is a fantastic way to enjoy a weekend or the entire summer. Some people take to the road permanently, working remotely on the open highway and campsites across the country. But whether you're an experienced RVer or on your first RV adventure, it helps to have a checklist to make sure your set-ups and tear-downs at each campsite go smoothly.

For first-timers, having a checklist can mean the difference between a comedy of errors camping trip and the relaxing vacation you've been dreaming of. And even pros can forget a small essential that makes a huge difference. So for today, we bring you the ultimate RV set-up and tear-down guide to learn and keep with you when you're too tired from the road or awe-struck by the scenery to remember what you've read or done a million times.

RV Camper Setup Checklist

  • Arrive
    • Get to the campsite within the check-in hours by planning your trip ahead of time. When you get to your camp, pull your rig to the side near the check-in office. Make sure you're not blocking traffic and then go confirm your reservation.
  • Check-In and Get Directions
    • Check-in and feel free to ask about discounts for your RV club just in case. The park attendant will likely hand you a map and show you the best route to drive up so you're facing the right direction for the hook-ups.
  • Send Someone Ahead
    • Head out to your slot, but before you pull in, send someone ahead to check out how narrow the trail is. Some campsites take expert maneuvering to safely get your rig into and out of a slot. Whoever checks it out can then act as your spotter to help you park.
  • Park & Position Your Rig Carefully at the Site
    • Pull into the site carefully, then wiggle as necessary to get your RV trailer into the spot exactly where you want it. Be considerate of the space you leave for other campers and thoughtful of level ground and closeness to the hookups. It may take a little maneuvering to get your position perfect. Use your spotter.
  • Wheel Chocks
    • When you're all set, put on the wheel chocks. Never forget the wheel chocks.
  • Disconnect Towing Vehicle
    • It is now safe to disconnect your towing vehicle and use it as your independent get-around truck without having to haul your rig around.
  • Level Out
    • If the ground is not fully level under your RV, extend your stabilizers or use blocks under the wheels until you are level.
  • Hookup
    • Go through your hooking up routine that you learned from the vendor when you bought your RV. Even used RV sales often come with a full walk-through of hookup and disconnect protocols and every RV model is different.
  • Slide If You Slide
    • If you have slides, now is the time to pull them out, provided there's room and you won't hit a picnic table or intrude on another slot. Most parks have slots big enough for your slides, but it's not guaranteed.
  • Re-Establish Your Kitchen
    • Now that you're all set up in the essential ways, check on your kitchen. Open cabinets and the fridge carefully for the first time, in case something rattles around and is ready to try for an escape.
  • Get Settled In
    • Congratulations! You are set up and ready to kick back with your RV, get to know your neighbors, and settle in for the night.

RV Teardown Checklist

  • Be Prepared
    • When your teardown is looming in the near future, make sure you're ready for it. If you want to leave early, take care of packing and any prep you like to do the night before. Wear comfortable close-toed shoes and have your mid-teardown snack ready. Just a few tips from experienced campers.
  • Pack and Tether
    • The first step to any teardown is to get your RV back into travel condition. Pack everything back into its safe storage containers and tether or secure it so that rattling around won't be a problem. Wrap your dishes, secure your fridge, and tie-down anything that tends to skitter. If you collected a few souvenirs, make sure they are packed away somewhere as well.
  • Mostly Empty Black and Gray Tanks
    • Empty your black and gray tanks, but not all the way. Leave a little water and add some cleaning chemical. The sloshing as you drive will clean them.
  • Half Fill Galley Tank
    • Fill up your galley tank, but not all the way. It's nice to have some water in case you stop somewhere without hookups along the way or experience a breakdown, but you also don't need the extra weight.
  • Check for Obstacles and Dock Your Slides
    • Time to slide in the slides. But first, check for obstacles. Make sure no furniture, carpet lips, or outside tree branches have somehow slipped into a place that will cause problems when you actuate the slide. Then tuck your slides neatly into place.
  • Latch Doors & Vents
    • Make sure all doors, cabinets, drawers, and vents are closed and latched.
  • Turn Off Appliances & Water Pump
    • Turn off any optional appliances and switch off the water pump. You are about ready to depart.
  • Disconnect the Hookups
    • Disconnect the water, power, and sewage hookups. Make sure all valves, hatches, and outside compartments are closed and latched tightly.
  • Remove the Wheel Blocks or Retract Stabilizers
    • Remove your leveling solution, whether this is stabilizers, wheel blocks, or both.
  • Connect Towing Vehicle
    • Hook your towing vehicle to the hitch and check it to make sure everything is safely latched and ready to go.
  • Remove Chocks & Check the Tires
    • You are finally ready to remove the wheel chocks. As you do so, check the PSI and condition of your tires just in case.
  • Once-Over
    • Walk through the inside of your rig once and do a touch-everything mental checklist. Walk all the way around your rig once and make sure everything looks sealed, correct. Make sure no sneaky sharp rocks, sticks, or blown-over lawn chairs have somehow lodged themselves underneath.
  • Good to Go
    • With your final check done, you are good to go! It's time to pull out and hit the open road for your next campsite or wherever you call home.

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From first-timers to seasonal travelers to RV lifestylers, the setup and teardown routine is always the same. With this checklist, you can be confident that you have covered all your bases with nothing important left out. Contact us today to find out more about living your RV dream or finding the right RV to get started on your own amazing adventure.