The Only RV Checklist You Need Before Leaving Home

You’re cruising down the highway, going sixty-five miles per hour towing a 17,000 pound RV, when suddenly, you hear some unsettling noises from behind your vehicle: bangs, crashes, or rattling. Then, alarmingly, it dawns on you: that noise is coming from you. You begin to lose control. Panic sets in. You can imagine the nightmare that follows in this scenario, however, it can all be avoided if you perform a safety check before you hit the road with your RV in tow.


We created this RV departure checklist for your RV to help you avoid hairy situations such as the one just described, so you can rest easy knowing that nothing important was overlooked.


On top of perusing the exterior for any obvious problems (such as leaks, holes, etc.,) you should do the following – when you leave your house and when you leave your campsite:


  • Check your tire pressure (on both your RV and the tow vehicle) and adjust as needed
  • Check battery levels
  • Clean your windshield, mirrors, and rear-view camera
  • Detach and put away solar panels (if portable)
  • Disconnect any cables or hoses and securely store them
  • Ensure brakes are working
  • Inspect fluid levels    
  • Brake fluid
  • Engine coolant
  • Gas
  • Oil
  • Power steering
  • Transmission
  • Inspect spare tire
  • Lock all slide outs
  • Make sure cap on sewer outlet is secure
  • Measure propane levels and fill if needed
  • Prepare and pack an emergency kit
  • Properly hitch the RV to your vehicle and triple check for loose connections
  • Put down antenna or store satellite
  • Raise stabilizing jacks
  • Remove wheel chocks and put them in storage
  • Retract door step
  • Secure all items in storage, such as cabinets, and lock them
  • Test all brake lights, turn signals, and headlights
  • Turn off gas supply
  • Tighten any loose nugs on the wheels of the RV and tow vehicle


  • Arrange items in the fridge in the most stable way possible, and then close and lock it when you are done
  • Close and lock all cabinets, doors, and drawers
  • Close vents and windows
  • Double check pilot lights are off
  • Secure all loose items so they don’t move during transport
  • Make sure weight inside of RV is evenly distributed
  • Turn off all appliances – both gas-powered and electric
  • Turn off lights so they don’t drain your battery
  • Turn off the water pump
  • Turn off the water heater
  • Turn off AC or heater

Feel free to add or remove items to this checklist as needed so you can refer to it before you depart on every RV adventure. New and seasoned RVers alike can benefit from having a checklist so nothing important is accidentally overlooked.


In case of emergencies, Grand Design RV offers its customers roadside assistance Monday through Friday (8AM-5PM EST). All you need to do is call 574-825-9679. But, if you experience issues during a time that does not align with business hours, you can contact Grand Design RV’s partner, SafeRide Technical & Roadside Assistance, by calling 855-709-0474