Even with 4+ years of full-time RVing under my belt, travel days can still stress me out. I think this is partly because I travel solo in a 33-foot fifth wheel with two high-energy dogs—but it’s also because, no matter what your family size or rig looks like, there’s a lot to think about.
Travel days can be one of the most stressful parts of RV travel, but they’re also some of the most exciting. After all, the whole purpose of RVing is to visit new places and see new things, and travel days get us from where we’ve been to the next stop on our journey.
One of the biggest game-changers I’ve found to de-stress departure days? A simple yet comprehensive checklist.
Print Out Checklist, Laminate and Reuse
If you’re a physical checklist person, you can print it out, laminate it, and check things off with dry-erase markers as you complete them. Or, you can keep a list on your phone and tick electronic boxes as items are complete.
Full disclosure: I don’t always use my checklist anymore, but I strongly urge even experienced RVers to refer to a checklist if they’re at all distracted—talking to other campers, listening to a podcast, etc. It’s worth the extra few moments of caution to ensure that everything gets done, and in the right order.
You’ll make sure you have everything you need, protect your rig (and everything inside it), and enjoy smoother travel days if you follow your checklist before you hit the road.
Did I mention that departure day can be stressful? Do Future You a favor and get a few tasks done the day before so you aren’t rushing on departure day morning. This is especially important when you’re new to RVing and still getting the hang of travel days. (It probably took me six months to really get a feel for it!)
RV Checklist for the Day Before Departure
Completing as many tasks as possible before your RV travel day can reduce your departure day stress. The following is a great checklist of key items to complete on the day before you leave the campsite.
RV Travel Departure Day Checklist
The first rule of RV set-up or tear-down is this: take your time. You might have other vehicles waiting on you to back out of a spot. You might have an audience looking on, or you might just be in a hurry to get out before check-out time.
No matter what is going on around you, remember that old saying, “When in a hurry, slow down.” In other words, whatever you do, don’t rush! Rushing leads to mistakes, and mistakes can be expensive.
Departure Checklist for Fifth Wheels and Travel Trailers
Here is a comprehensive checklist specifically for Fifth Wheels and Travel Trailers to help you ensure you don’t leave anything undone or behind on travel day. It’s broken out by things to do for the trailer interior and the exterior.
INSIDE THE TRAILER
OUTSIDE THE TRAILER
TRAILER TOW VEHICLE CHECKLIST
Motorhome RV Checklist (Class A, Class C or Van)
INSIDE THE RV
OUTSIDE THE RV
Sarah Kuiken has been a full-time solo traveler for 4 years and counting, but she’s been a solo adventurer for decades. She owns her own copywriting business, Flourish Writing, which she operates from the road. Sarah loves to explore state and national parks with her two dogs, Orion and Piper—wherever they’re allowed, of course. When she’s not whipping up web copy for fellow entrepreneurs, she’s probably out hiking or paddle boarding with the dogs in tow. Learn more about her freelance writing business at FlourishWriting.com.