Camping season is finally here, and it's time to get those RVs out of storage, un-winterize them, and get ready to hit the road. However, before you embark on your adventure, it's crucial to go through a pre-departure checklist to ensure safety and avoid costly repairs. Failing to check some of these items could lead to significant issues, so let's dive into the essential steps to prepare your RV for travel. This checklist is inspired by the informative video at the bottom of the article:

1. Check Your Tires

First things first, you want to check your tires. Ensure the tire condition looks good by checking for cracks on the sidewalls, uneven wear, and other potential issues. Also, make sure your tire pressures are set correctly, which can vary depending on the weight of your RV. Using a tire pressure monitoring system can help ensure everything is running smoothly before you hit the road.

2. Inspect All Lights

Make sure all your lights are in working order. This includes brake lights, turn signals, and other essential lights that ensure visibility and safety on the road. Whether you have a drivable RV or a towable one, functioning lights are crucial for safe travel.

3. Adjust Your Mirrors

Ensure that all mirrors are properly adjusted so you can see what’s behind you and make safe lane changes. This step is vital for both drivable and towable RVs to ensure you have a clear view of the road and surrounding vehicles.

4. Check Your Wipers

If you have a drivable RV, double-check that your wipers are in good condition. A handy tip is to use a pool noodle over the wiper blades when parked to extend their life. This ensures you have a clear windshield during unexpected weather.

5. Turn Off Propane

Before hitting the road, make sure to turn off your propane. Most RVs are equipped with propane, and turning it off before travel is a safety precaution to prevent any potential hazards.

6. Ensure Water Systems Are Ready

Check that your water pump is working, your fresh water tank is full if you’re boondocking, and all freshwater hoses are leak-free. This ensures you have access to water for washing hands and other needs while traveling.

7. Empty Waste Tanks

Make sure your waste tanks are empty and that the valves are closed and caps are secure. This prevents any unpleasant surprises on the road and ensures your RV’s sanitation system is ready for the next stop.

8. Secure All Compartments

Go through each external compartment and ensure they are closed and secured. This step prevents any items from falling out and getting lost or causing accidents while driving.

9. Inspect the Roof

Check your RV roof for any potential damage or holes that could lead to leaks. If your RV has a TV antenna, make sure it is down before you depart.

10. Check Hitches and Awnings

Inspect all hitch components for any issues and ensure your awnings are retracted and securely latched. This prevents accidents and ensures your RV is road-ready.

11. Verify Electrical Systems

Inspect your electrical cords, adapters, and surge protectors for any damage. Ensure your batteries are charged and in good condition, and check both the coach and chassis batteries if you have a drivable RV.

12. Test Appliances and HVAC

Ensure all appliances, including your fridge, freezer, and hot water heater, are working correctly. Also, check your air conditioners to make sure they are cooling effectively.

13. Secure Interior Items

Make sure all interior doors, windows, roof vents, and cabinet doors are closed and secured. This prevents items from shifting or falling during travel.

14. Final Walkaround

Do a final walkaround to double-check everything you’ve inspected. This last step ensures nothing is overlooked, providing peace of mind before you hit the road.

By following this comprehensive pre-departure checklist, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable RV trip. For a detailed walkthrough and additional tips, you can watch the full video: