By Russ and Tiña De Maris
Camping with your RV can seem like a complicated process when you’re first getting started – kind of like flying a plane. Here are two “checklists” that can make your own RV “flight” arrivals and departures easier and safer.
RV Arrival Checklist
1. Before you “land” your RV on a site, do a quick eye-ball (or even better, a walk-through), checking for hazards like low limbs, broken glass or other hazards.
2. Got a slideout room? Be sure to unlock any locks on the room itself, or the topper, if so equipped.
3. Close any basement storage doors, and verify clearance from picnic tables, trees, neighbor’s children, etc., before deploying the slideout.
4. Using leveling jacks? Make sure you have firm ground where the levelers will hit the ground.
5. Plugging into shore power? Turn off air conditioning units first!
6. Using an awning? Make sure you have clearance, and if wind is possible, use appropriate tie-downs and “deflappers,” or be sure to run the awning back into “storage” position if you leave camp, or before retiring. Nothing’s quite as disturbing as bailing out of bed at three in the morning to roll up the awning in a windstorm.
7. Hook up your water and waste hoses. Don’t leave the black water valve open, unless you want to invite a clogged black water tank.
RV Departure Checklist
1. If your black water tank is at least 3/4 full and you want to dump, dump the black water first, then the gray water. This way you’ll rinse your hose as you go.
2. Disconnect water lines and waste hoses.
3. Got slideout rooms? Make sure the way inside is clear of anything that could get in the way of the retracting slide room. Make sure basement storage doors are closed.
4. Using leveling jacks? After they’re retracted, visually check to make sure they fully retracted. Using “jack boots” or pads under the levelers? Fetch them up and into storage.
5. Antenna down? Satellite dish stored?
6. Entrance steps retracted?
7. Double-check locks on lockable cabinets and drawers. Secure the refrigerator doors to keep things from flying. Shower door secure?