Our comprehensive RV departure checklist will ensure a smooth teardown process, guiding you step-by-step so you can safely hit the road with confidence.
Tip: Download our Printable RV Arrival & Departure checklists and check off each of these steps as you complete them for a stress-free setup and teardown – no WIFI needed!
- Pack Loose Items: Gather all loose items in your kitchen area. This could include utensils, dishes, and food items. Make sure to store them securely to prevent damage during transit.
- Latch and Secure All Cabinet Doors: Ensure that all your kitchen cabinet doors are closed and latched to prevent items from falling out while on the move.
- Remove Items from the Counter: Clear your countertops to avoid any loose items from toppling over or sliding off during travel.
- Secure Stove Top and Oven Door: Ensure that the stove top and oven door are securely fastened to prevent any accidental openings.
- Secure Items in the Fridge: Arrange items in your fridge in a secure manner, using tension bars if necessary, to prevent spills or breakages.
- Latch Fridge: After securing your items, ensure the fridge door is latched securely to prevent accidental openings.
- Secure Items in Storage Cabinets: Similar to the kitchen, make sure all items in your living room storage cabinets are secure and won’t move around during travel.
- Latch All Cabinet Doors: Confirm that all cabinet doors are properly closed and latched.
- Secure TV and Other Electronics: Safeguard your electronics by securing them properly. This might involve removing them from their stands and storing them safely, or using straps to secure them in place.
- Secure Items in Storage Cabinets: Again, ensure all loose items in bedroom storage cabinets are securely stowed.
- Latch All Cabinet & Closet Doors: Double check all cabinets and closet doors to make sure they’re closed and latched securely.
- Latch Bedroom Closet: Specifically, make sure the bedroom closet door is securely closed and latched.
- Pack Items on Dresser & Nightstand: Pack away any loose items from the dresser and nightstand to prevent them from falling or being damaged.
- Secure Items in Vanity & Latch: Secure all items in the bathroom vanity, then latch the vanity door.
- Pack Items on Bathroom Counter: Pack away all loose items on the bathroom counter.
- Secure Items in Shower & Latch Door: Make sure all items in the shower are secured and won’t move around during travel, and then latch the shower door.
- Latch Bathroom Door: Lastly, ensure the bathroom door itself is securely closed and latched.
- Check in Front of Slides for Any Items: Before closing your slides, check in front of them for any items that could be crushed or damaged.
- Check for Additional Loose Items: Do a final sweep for any additional loose items throughout the RV.
- Close Roof Vents and Windows: Ensure all your roof vents and windows are closed to prevent rain or bugs from entering your RV while on the road.
- Turn Off A/C or Heater: Make sure to turn off all heating or cooling systems.
- Turn Off Water Heater: Ensure that your water heater is switched off.
- Turn Pilot Lights Off: Make sure any gas-powered appliances with pilot lights are turned off.
- Turn Off All Lights: Switch off all interior and exterior lights to conserve battery power.
- Empty Trash: Empty all garbage bins in your RV to keep it clean and free from unpleasant odors.
- Close All Interior Doors: Ensure all interior doors are closed to prevent them from swinging open during travel.
- Close Slide-Outs and Lock: Close all slide-outs and ensure they’re locked in place. This prevents them from extending while driving.
- Lower Satellite Dish & Antennas: If you have a satellite dish or antennas raised, lower and secure them to avoid any damage from low-hanging branches or structures.
- Clean Slide Outs: Wipe down and clean the slide outs before retracting them to prevent dirt and debris from entering your RV.
- Close Awning: Fully retract your awning and lock in place.
- Put Away Furniture & Accessories: If you’ve used any outdoor furniture or accessories, ensure they’re clean and dry before packing them away securely.
- Dump & Flush Holding Tanks: Empty your gray and black water holding tanks at a designated RV dump station.
- Clean and Store Sewer Connection: After dumping, clean the sewer hose and connections properly to prevent any unpleasant smells or bacteria buildup. Store it securely in an appropriate carrier or compartment.
- Turn Off the Water Pump: Switch off your water pump.
- Disconnect Water and Store Hose: Disconnect your water supply and properly store the hose. Make sure it’s dry to avoid potential mold or mildew.
- Disconnect Electrical and Store Cord: Disconnect your RV from the campground’s electrical hookup and securely store the power cord.
- Turn Off All Propane Valves: To ensure safety while driving, turn off all propane gas valves.
- Turn Off All Exterior Lights: Save your RV battery by ensuring all exterior lights are switched off.
- Lock All Exterior Storage Doors: Ensure all exterior storage compartments are closed and locked securely.
- Do One Last Walkaround: Finally, do a thorough walkaround of your RV to double-check everything. Look for anything that seems out of place, like a flat tire or a loose part.
Hitching (if applicable)
- Hitch RV to the Tow Vehicle: If you have a towable RV, secure the hitch connection between your RV and tow vehicle.
- Connect the Breakaway Cable: The breakaway cable is a safety feature that activates your RV’s brakes if it ever detaches from the tow vehicle. Make sure this cable is properly connected.
- Connect the Power Cord: Ensure that the electrical cord from your RV to your tow vehicle is connected. This typically powers the RV’s brake lights and turn signals.
- Raise Stabilizer Jacks: If your RV uses stabilizer jacks, make sure to raise them off the ground before you begin moving.
- Store Leveling Blocks: If you used leveling blocks during your stay, make sure to collect them and store them in their designated location.
- Remove Wheel Chocks & Store: Remove any wheel chocks you used to prevent the RV from moving at the campsite, and store them properly.
- Check Lights on RV & Tow Vehicle: Perform a final check of all lights on both your RV and tow vehicle to ensure they’re functioning properly.
- Double Check Breakaway Cord: Recheck the connection of your breakaway cord for safety measures. A firm connection can prevent accidents in case of a hitch failure.
- Double Check RV’s Been Hitched: Lastly, double-check that your RV has been securely hitched to your towing vehicle.
Using this comprehensive RV departure checklist, you can ensure a smoother, safer, and more enjoyable RV trip. Combine this with our RV Setup Checklist, and you’ll have your entire camp setup and teardown process completely covered!
Better yet, we have put all of these steps into a simple-to-follow printable RV setup checklist that you can download, print, and reuse over and over as many times as you want!
These PDF checklists are easy to use and come with blank copies, so you can make them work for you and your RV. Get your RV Arrival & Departure Checklists today and take the hassle out of the setup and teardown process!
Common Mistakes to Avoid During RV Teardown
Mistakes during an RV teardown can lead to unnecessary stress and even costly repairs. Being aware of these common missteps can help you avoid them, making the process much smoother.
Rushing the Process
One of the most common mistakes RVers make is rushing through the teardown process. Speed can lead to oversights, such as leaving gear behind or failing to properly secure items inside your RV. Remember, an efficient teardown isn’t about speed; it’s about thoroughness.
Skipping the Checklist
No matter how experienced you are, forgoing a checklist is risky. It’s easy to forget a step, especially when you’re eager to hit the road. Your checklist is designed to ensure you’ve covered all bases. Use it.
Ignoring Small Repairs
Small repairs, if ignored, can turn into significant problems down the line. Address minor issues, such as leaks or even something as small as a loose screw, as part of your teardown process.
Neglecting Safety Checks
Failing to carry out essential safety checks can be dangerous. This includes not only the physical condition of your RV but also your surrounding environment. Always ensure that your campsite is left clean and you’ve extinguished any fires completely.
Tips for Efficient RV Teardown
Making your RV teardown process efficient is about more than just speed. Here are some tips to help you streamline the process without compromising safety or thoroughness.
Giving yourself plenty of time is crucial. Starting early can reduce stress and ensure you’re not rushed.
If you’re traveling with others, make the teardown a team effort. Delegate tasks according to each person’s strengths and ensure everyone knows their responsibilities.
Have a Logical Flow
Follow a logical flow in your teardown process. Start from the inside of your RV, secure everything, and then move to the outside. This can help prevent you from missing anything.
Keep everything in its designated place. This will make packing up easier and reduce the chances of losing items.
By following these tips and avoiding common mistakes, you can ensure your RV teardown is efficient, thorough, and stress-free.