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RV Pre-Trip Checks 101

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Do you know what two of the most common repairs made on RV's are? They are repairs to the steps and the TV antenna. Damage to RV steps and TV antennas occur frequently and can be costly to repair. The main reason for these frequent repairs is because you forget to do a walk around of the unit before leaving on a trip or leaving the campground. The good news is both of these common repairs can be avoided by following a simple “Pre-Trip Checklist” before heading out in your RV.

Regardless of the type of RV you have you need get in a habit of making these pre-trip checks every time you use your RV. Taking a few minutes to complete these simple checks can save you time and money for unnecessary repairs to your RV. This is a pre-trip checklist from my “Checklists for RVers” e-book available at www.rveducation101.com

Let's start with the outside of the RV.

  • Check and adjust the air pressure in all tires. Always check the tires when they are cold, before traveling more than one mile.
  • Check the lug nuts on the wheels. Discoloration and stains around lug nuts indicate they may be loose.
  • Make sure all items in the storage compartments are secure. Lock all outside compartments.
  • Check the bike rack and bikes for secure mounting if applicable.
  • Make sure the power cord and water hose, and the sewer hose are disconnected and properly stored.
  • Make sure all slide outs are in and slide out travel locks are securely in place.
  • Make sure the TV antenna and / or satellite are down and stowed in the proper position for traveling.
  • Check the awning. Make sure that it is securely stored and all travel locks and knobs are tight and locked.
  • Raise all stabilizer jacks or hydraulic leveling jacks.
  • Look under the RV for any indications of leaks (motorized) or anything out of the ordinary.
  • Stow or retract the steps.
  • Fill the fresh water holding tank with enough potable water to get to your destination.
  • Check and secure the cap on the sewer outlet.
  • Turn all LP gas appliances off and turn the gas supply off at the tank or bottles.
  • Double check all hitch work on towable RV's and on vehicles being towed behind motor homes.
  • Check all fluid levels for motorized RV's and tow vehicles.
  • Remove and store wheel chocks and any type of leveling blocks.
  • Check all running lights, turn signals, brake lights and headlights on the RV and tow vehicle.
  • Check for an up to date inspection or emission sticker and license plates.
  • Check trailer brakes for proper operation.
  • Make one last walk around the outside and check for anything you may have overlooked.

Don't forget about the inside of your RV.

  • Walk through the entire RV and secure all loose items that could move, fall or get damaged while traveling.
  • Turn off all appliances gas & electric. Turn off all pilot lights.
  • Close all roof vents
  • Close all doors, drawers and cabinets
  • Check for anything in the refrigerator that could spill. Lock the refrigerator and freezer doors.
  • Turn off the 12-volt water pump.
  • Close the range top cover.
  • Turn off all 12-volt lights and accessories that could drain the auxiliary battery. Don't forget the TV antenna booster.
  • Close the windows and secure blinds.
  • Secure any large items such as TVs and computers that might move or fall while traveling.
  • All weight in the RV should be distributed evenly. Adjust your mirrors and seat and hit the road.

This checklist may not be all-inclusive, but it's a good start. You can add to this list and tailor it to your specific type of RV. The most important thing to remember is to use this checklist every time you use your RV. It's easy to forget something without a reminder. I always do one last walk around of the RV just before pulling out. You'll be amazed at what you may have missed the first time around.

Happy Camping,

Mark J. Polk


Copyright by Mark J. Polk owner of RV Education 101


RV Expert Mark Polk, seen on TV, is the producer & host of America's most highly regarded series of DVD's, videos, books, and e-books.http://www.rveducation101.com/

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