The Iceman Cometh
Whether you’re a snowbird heading south for the winter or preparing for a weekend jaunt, there’s always a concern that you forgot to pack all the essentials? How do you know that everything you’ll need is in the RV?
The previous post detailed the first two tips for planning your next road trip and to help ensure your safety while on the road. Today, we continue with tips four to seven.
4. Pre-travel checklist
ALWAYS use a vehicle inspection and safety pre-travel checklist before you head out on the road. You should make these checks every day before traveling.
Our exterior checklist includes (the letter/s in the bracket indicates responsibility; with ‘R’ being Rex (that’s me), and ‘D’ being my co-pilot, Dania):
- Check fluid levels—oil, coolant, transmission (R)
- Check air-flow restriction gauge (R)
- Check tire pressure (set according to actual axle load) and tread condition (R)
- Check underneath motorhome or truck for sign of leaks (R)
- Stow TV antenna and satellite dish (R)
- Close windows, vents, and secure items (D)
- Ensure that the oven and burners are in off position (D)
- Turn off water pump switch (D)
- Turn off refrigerator and secure doors (D)
- Retract slides (D+R)
- Empty gray and black tanks (R)
- Disconnect and store water and sewer hoses, and electric cord (R)
- Retract door step (D)
- Turn off propane at tank (R)
- Latch and lock all storage bay doors (R)
- Start motorhome and retract leveling jacks (R)
- Hook-up toad (D+R)
- Set toad and lock doors (R)
- Check lights (head, signal, brake, clearance) on motorhome and toad (D+R)
- Pull motorhome ahead far enough to ensure that the toad has been set correctly (D+R)
- Do final walk-a-bout inspection; DO NOT forget to check tow bar or hitch, safety cables, pins, wiring harness, and auxiliary brakes on toad (D)
Add to this list as necessary.
5. Rating of tow bar and hitch
Make sure that both your motorhome hitch and tow bar are rated to pull the weight of your toad. For fifth-wheelers, ensure the hitch in your truck box is rated to tow your trailer.
6. Safety Alarms
Check Smoke, LPG, and Carbon Monoxide alarms for proper operation and replace batteries as needed.
7. Know/post your height, width, and length
Post your exterior height, width, and total length in the motorhome or tow vehicle where it can easily be seen while driving. A major insurance claim is RVs hitting gas station overhangs, underpasses, and bridges. If you travel on roads less traveled be sure to check clearances on all overhead bridges before attempting to go under them.
Height: Measure to the highest point such as air conditioner or satellite dish
Width: Measure to the outermost points such as mirrors, awnings, or handles
Length: Measure from the front of the vehicle to the end of the towed vehicle or trailer
Remember, Safety First, and Happy RVing!
To be continued tomorrow…
Afoot and light-hearted I take to the open road,
Healthy, free, the world before me,
The long brown trail before me leading wherever I choose.