Make the Most of Your Weekend: RV Setup and Teardown Checklist

Whether you are just arriving at a campsite or about to leave one, there are a lot of steps to setting up and tearing down an RV - it can be easy to forget something.


Many seasoned RVers can set up or tear down a trailer in their sleep, while those with less experience often prefer a checklist to ensure that they are doing things properly. But we’ve found that many people, experienced and inexperienced alike, are simply looking for an RV setup checklist and an RV teardown checklist to make sure they don’t miss any important details.


No matter how much you use your RV, it’s still easy to make mistakes and let things slip, which is why a checklist for your RV can be so helpful


Beyond the fact that an RV checklist will help you properly set up and tear down your RV, there are many perks to using a checklist to set up and tear down your RV, such as safety, preparedness, and ability to pack up at a moment’s notice. Also, the more set up you do, the more easily you’ll be able to identify and detect issues, protecting your investment before problems get worse. And for newbies, it’s a great way to get acquainted with your new RV so you know when and how to make repairs.


To save you from tearing your hair out later, we’ve created an RV setup checklist and an RV teardown checklist so you can relax and make the most of your weekend getaway. (Remember to take your time.)

RV set up checklist


Before you chock your tires, there are three things you should check:

  1. Closeness to the water and electrical connections.
  2. Proximity of obstacles.
  3. Level of the RV side to side.


Once you ensure that the connections are close enough, you can slide out without hitting anything, and the RV is level, then you can chock the tires and move on:

  • Chock your tires (we mentioned this again, because you can do serious damage if you don’t).
  • Extend the stabilizing jacks to prevent bounce or sway. (These can be found on the front and the rear of the unit. Each jack should be touching the ground. If they aren’t touching, supporting blocks should be put in place.)
  • Unhook RV from the tow vehicle.
  • Manually level RV from front to back. (You may also engage the leveling system.)
  • Connect to the electrical hookup using a surge protector and power cord.
  • Connect to the water hookup using a water regulator and hose.
  • Connect to the sewer hookup with a sewer hose.
  • Deploy the safety step and slide out.
  • Pull out the awning and outdoor furniture.


Once these steps are complete, you can set up the interior of your RV:

  • Switch power source.
  • Turn on the refrigerator.
  • Turn on heat or air conditioning.
  • Open the oven vent and light the oven pilot light.
  • Unpack items that were secured for transport.


After you complete this checklist, go ahead and grab yourself a tasty beverage. You’ve earned it!

RV teardown checklist


Let’s begin with the interior and work our way out.

  • A day or two before departure, close the gray tank valve.
  • Turn off air conditioning (or heat), water heater, and pump.
  • Empty black tank and Sani-flush several times.
  • Clean and deodorize black tank using geo method (½ cup of Dawn dish soap, ½ cup of Borax, and 2 gallons of water.)
  • Empty gray tank.
  • Clean gray tank using geo method.
  • Leave a small amount of water in the toilet (not enough to splash). The purpose is to create a seal.
  • Turn off the refrigerator or switch the power source to in-transit.
  • Secure fridge bars.
  • Close propane tanks.
  • Close roof vents.
  • Lower antenna.
  • Lock windows.
  • Pack and secure items.
  • Lock drawers and cabinets.
  • Turn off oven pilot light.
  • Close slide outs and awning.
  • Turn off electronics and lights.
  • Latch and lock door.


Phew! We know it’s a lot, but bear with us. Now we move onto the exterior:

  • Disconnect, clean, and pack hoses.
  • Unplug power cords and adapters.
  • Raise or store the safety step.
  • Retract stabilizers and store blocks if used.
  • Connect to the tow vehicle.
  • Remove and store chocks from tires.
  • Ensure trailer lights work.
  • Check tire pressure and wear.
  • Do a final walkaround, making sure everything is disconnected, stored, and locked.
  • Clean up the campsite and dispose of trash responsibly.
  • Ensure any fires in the firepit have been completely doused.
  • Pack any remaining items in the tow vehicle.
  • Get in the vehicle and go.

This checklist will vary depending on your RV type and configuration. Feel free to add or eliminate items on the list as needed.