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RV Travel Day Checklist: How to Prep Your RV for Drive Day

Learn all about prepping your motorhome for drive days. Helpful travel day checklists to make your trips stress-free.

Prepping your Rv for travel day

Prepping your RV for drive day is like preparing your home for a mild earthquake because that is exactly what your motorhome will be going through when you hit the road. RV travel days can be stressful but a little planning can go a long way. Read on for RV travel day checklists and tips to make all your road trips a success.

RV Travel Day Checklist: External

Let's start with drive day prep for the external parts of your RV which also includes prepping your towing vehicle if you're driving a travel trailer.

prepping RV external for travel day

Remove all Hookups

Empty your black and grey water tanks and fill your fresh water tank to prep for the trip ahead. Once done, close all the valves on your RV tanks and remove the pipes attached to the hookups. Don't forget to properly clean all black and grey water hoses before storing everything.

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Check the Tires

Check RV tire pressure to make sure all tires have the optimum pressure for travel. Also, check for punctures and wear-related damage to the tires. Do this for both your trailer and toad. Change any tires that need repair. Remove and store tire chocks.

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Lubricate Moving Parts

Lubricating all hinges and moving parts in your RV is an important maintenance step. You can use lubricating oils or sprays on RV door hinges, window panes and hinges, as well as RV slide hinges to make sure they work seamlessly. Doing this on drive day gives the lubricant time to do its work and makes sure there is no damage due to friction when you are traveling.

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Secure Carrier Items

You can attach carriers to Class A, Class C, and Class B RVs to take camping equipment and other toys with you on the road. On travel days, make sure the carrier is firmly attached to the RV, secure all connections. Also, make sure all carrier items are snuggly fixed inside the carrier, double-check all securing items like ropes or tarps.

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Retract RV Awning

Retract your RV awning and remove and pack all camping equipment like RV rugs, camping chairs and table, portable fire pits or propane grills, and all external lights and accessories. Make sure to clean the RV awning before retracting it, dirt, debris, or even leaves can cause the awning to get stuck. Also, pack your RV generators and any other portable equipment you had placed outside your RV.

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Secure Towing Equipment

If you're towing your motorhome, make sure you have all your towing equipment ready and secured. Check that the base plate attached to the toad is securely attached. Make sure the tow bar is attached to the base plate the right way. If you're using an electric winch, check all connections to make sure everything is in working order. Check the electrical wiring and safety cables as well.

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Check RV Engine

Make sure your RV engine is in the right shape for travel. Check the water level as well as all the electric connections. Make sure your RV or toad has the right amount of fuel needed for your trip. Don't forget to carry some extra fuel or propane for emergencies.

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Clean the Roof

Finally, check the roof of the RV for any dirt or debris and give it a good rinse with water or air to make sure it is clean. This is an important step as a lot of dirt and other debris can accumulate over the roof of your RV while it is parked, especially during long-term camping.

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RV Travel Day Checklist: Internal

Once all external checks are done, it is time to prep the inside of your RV for travel.

RV internal prep for drive day

  • Pick up and store all clothes, shoes, and accessories in your RV closet

  • Lock the closet door to make sure it doesn't open during travel

  • Take off all the items displayed on walls or shelves and either store them in the closet or place them on the bed

  • Pick up all free-floating items on your side tables, dresser, and floor and place them in drawers or in plastic boxes

  • Place the plastic boxes under the bed

  • Draw the curtains, close the blinds and window sunshades

  • Remove all electronic devices including chargers

  • Remove all free-floating items like shampoo bottles from their shelves or caddies and store them in a plastic container

  • Place the plastic container in a corner of the bathroom where it can remain snug and immovable

  • Store your soaps and soap dispensers in the same plastic box or in the cabinet under the sink

  • Make sure all items in cabinets are placed in plastic containers and are snuggly stacked so they don't bump against each other (this is especially important for glass items)

  • Turn off all the valves

  • Place the top of your toilet down and secure it in place

  • Make sure there are no free-floating items in the kitchen. Place all cutlery, dishes, condiment bottles, electronics, and other food items in containers

  • Place the containers in cabinets

  • Lock the cabinets or secure them so they don't open while traveling

  • Place items like cutting boards, fruit bowls, and paper towels inside the sink

  • Lock the refrigerator door/s

  • If you have a dishwasher, make sure it is empty

  • Make sure all items inside the cabinets are placed snuggly so they don't get damaged

RV Living Room Prep

  • Secure the TV

  • Place all small decor items in plastic boxes and place the boxes on the living room furniture

  • If you're traveling with kids or pets, secure their toys in plastic boxes as well

  • Shut all windows properly and close the blinds and shades

  • If you have plastic or light-weight tables, place them in corners where they cannot easily slip or move

RV Slides Prep

  • Remove all objects in front of the RV slides so they can easily glide in place

  • Secure all areas that you won't be able to reach once the slides are retracted

  • Retract the slides after you have prepped the specific rooms that the slides house

Tips to Plan a Successful RV Trip

Travel day prep has a lot to do with physically prepping your RV for the trip ahead but there are some other aspects you have to bear in mind as well.

Fun RV trip

Plan Ahead

Drive days can be made so much simpler if you know where you're going and how you're going to get there. Plan your route before you hit the road, map all stops beforehand so there are no surprises, pack everything you'll need for the trip, and make sure you have all your travel documents ready. Here are all the packing checklists you will need for your RV travels and a list of the best apps for RV traveling.

Prep + Pack Snacks

Don't just rely on fast food joints on the way for satiation during your travels. Pack healthy snacks for your trip ahead so you can munch on something without having to actually park your RV. This is an important trip for RV families with kids since stopping and parking a large motorhome after every hour or so can be a pain.

Do Your Chores Beforehand

If you're a full-time RV family or on a long-term camping trip, make sure you do all your chores like washing the dishes, laundry, and food prep before you hit the road. This way your motorhome will be clean and ready once you reach your destination and you won't have to worry about any annoying chores.

Keep an Eye on the Weather

Motorhomes are very sensitive to weather changes and can get damaged easily if you're not careful. So make sure you map the weather when you are planning your road trip. Don't drive on days when it may rain or snow, heavy winds and thunderstorms are also very dangerous. Here is a list of weather apps you can use to plan your next road trip.

Don't Drive for Too Long

Driving a motorhome is a little bit more stressful than driving a car. The sheer size and weight of the motorhome require you to be more vigilant and careful while driving, you also need to learn how to maneuver a large vehicle. All of this means you need regular breaks to unwind and refresh. We recommend planning a break after every 2 hours of driving. If you're a newbie don't plan a trip that requires more than 8 hours of driving till you reach your destination.

Drive Safe!

Drive days can be stressful but planning ahead and sticking to a checklist can take some of that stress away. When traveling in an RV make sure you have good quality door locks, road safety equipment, and the right attitude. Happy Travels!

RV Travel Day Checklists and Drive Day Tips



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