For the avid RV’ers, an RV adventure this spring or summer is the ideal way to spend time with family and friends. We’ve compiled a comprehensive RV camping checklist you’ll want to review to successfully prepare and pack before heading out.
Inspect the Outside of Your RV – First, inspect the outside of the RV for any potential hazards. The outside can be broken down into a few specific areas you should focus on to give it a thorough inspection.
- Tires – Your home away from home relies on the sturdiness of the RV’s wheels, therefore it’s extremely important. Look for wear and tear, check the air pressure, and fully replace tires every five to ten years.
- Engine – Start by evaluating all fluid levels and make sure they are fresh and topped off. The transmission, power steering, engine coolant, engine oil, windshield washer, brake fluid, and generator oil are the key areas. Low fluids could indicate a leak that you’ll want to address. Gauges, lights on the trailer, and the connections between your RV and the trailer should all be in working order.
- Water Tank – Flush the RV’s water tank for optimal operation, which does take a bit of time, but should be handled before leaving on a trip, especially if the RV has sat idle for a length of time. Next, check for any leaks and then take the opportunity to sanitize the water system. Plenty of instructional videos exists to show you the steps to flush and sanitize properly.
- Propane – If your RV uses propane (also called LP gas) you should check the tanks, the connections, the valve, and the firing operation. Propane often operates the hot water, the fridge, and the stove and it’s recommended to have a leak test and gas pressure test conducted each year.
- Batteries – Make sure they’re fully charged, have the correct water levels, and are connected correctly.
Inspect the Inside of Your RV – Next, you’ll want to verify the following devices are working properly and are charged and ready.
- Smoke Detector
- Carbon Monoxide Detector
- LP Gas Leak Detector
- Fire Extinguisher
Along with having our SmartPlug power delivery product installed on your RV, these devices are essential to keep you and your family safe in the unfortunate event a fire or leak occurs.
- Paperwork – Is your insurance, registration, and vehicle emission sticker up to date? If not, don’t leave home before taking care of these important details.
We can’t stress the importance of inspecting the major elements of your RV’s system. If you are unable to do the work yourself, hire a professional RV technician.
As far as a camping packing list goes, we’ve broken it down to a few categories:
Emergency Road Kit – Your emergency kit should be equipped with jumper cables, a reflective safety vest, a flashlight, warning triangle, pocketknife, and first aid gear. While we hope your RV adventure is free from accidents and emergencies, at least you’ll have your kit just in case.
Portable Generator – Being stuck without power can certainly put a damper on a relaxing camping trip. It’s best to be prepared with a small portable generator so you have backup power whenever you need it.
Leveling Blocks – Who wants to sleep on a crooked bed?! Leveling blocks are one of those items you won’t always need but are always great to have. These compact “blocks” level out your wheels on uneven terrain. While you may not need these on every trip, they are easy enough to store and you’ll be thankful in the event you do need them.
Clothing – Pack enough clothing to last the duration of your trip, especially if your camper doesn’t have a washer/dryer hookup. Check the weather ahead of time and always pack warmer clothing even in the summer months if your camping destination temperatures tend to dip when the sun goes down. Comfortable walking shoes are also a must.
Linens and Toiletries – More than likely your RV is already set up with sheets, blankets, pillows, etc. but do a double check that you have everything you need for a good night’s sleep. Make sure the bathroom is supplied with towels, toilet paper, shampoo/conditioner, body soap, toothpaste, hand sanitizer, and anything you might need to freshen up after a day spent outdoors.
Food, Beverages, and Kitchen Supplies – Along with fresh ingredients, equip your RV with nonperishable foods in the case of an emergency or power outage. Your RV kitchen is likely set up with some kitchen essentials like plates, cutlery, and pots and pans. For convenience, consider adding paper plates, paper towels, plastic silverware, and plastic cups to your list, and confirm that you have enough trash bags and aluminum foil for potential campfire meals, along with your grilling utensils. Don’t forget everyone’s favorite beverages and a small cooler for when you’re spending more time outside. Add s’mores ingredients to your list now and your travel companions will thank you later.
Electronics – Even while enjoying the great outdoors, it’s still ideal to have a fully charged cell phone for safety purposes. Don’t forget your phone chargers and invest in a portable battery backup – Charge it fully before you hit the hiking trails so you’re assured your phone battery will last all day.
Family Entertainment Items – A camping trip is the best time to cozy up by the fire with your family. Decide whether to purchase firewood in advance or gather it from nearby woods, and don’t forget a lighter and a few collapsible camping chairs. Pack a few interactive items such as playing cards, board games, football, frisbee, and fishing gear. Have everyone select a book or two for some quiet time and relaxation.
Miscellaneous – Any medications, bug spray, sunscreen, pet food/supplies, and anything unique to your family’s needs should also be included on your RV checklist.
Secure Electrical Connection – Last, but certainly not least, never leave home without SmartPlug! When hooked up to the park’s electricity, you want to be sure your connection is safe and secure. SmartPlug offers a revolutionary lineup of power delivery products including shore power connections and power cords. The solid sleeve connection, multi-point locking system, and weatherproof seals ensure a safe connection EVERY TIME. 27 times more electrical contact prevents overheating and the chances of an RV fire. Let SmartPlug help protect your family. Visit our website linked above or call us directly at 206-285-2990 for questions on which SmartPlug product is best for your RV.
We hope this comprehensive RV camping checklist is useful as you prepare for your next RV travel destination this spring or summer. Are you traveling to someplace new in 2022 or your favorite campground? Tell us in the comments and share this RV camping checklist blog post with your fellow RV’ers.