Operating an RV: Departure & Setup Checklist

If you’re new to RVing, you’re smart to wonder about how to drive and operate your RV properly.

It’s your home away from home, and should be treated as such. And Vogel Talks RVing has you covered with answers, tips, ideas, and more, so you can hit the road with confidence.

From inspecting and maintaining your RV to knowing how to depart from a campsite and set up procedure upon arrival at a new campground or RV park, having a plan helps everything run more smoothly and ensures you’re informed and in control every step of the way.

Using an arrival and departure checklist will help ensure things go smoothly when RVing. Pictured above Clinton-Knoxville North KOA. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Using an arrival and departure checklist will help ensure things go smoothly when RVing. Pictured above Clinton-Knoxville North KOA. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Below is a Departure and Setup checklist to get you started.

Departure Checklist

Lower antenna and satellite dish

Retract awnings

Return slide-outs to their travel position

Secure loose items inside cabinets

Close and latch shower and closet doors

Close and latch oven, stovetop, and refrigerator doors

Close and latch all internal doors (bathroom, bedroom, etc.)

Close roof vents and windows

Turn off propane-powered appliances

Close propane tank valve

Clear the RV of trash

Stow steps, hand rails, etc.

Lower antenna and satellite dish and disconnect all hookups (electricity, sewer, water, cable, satellite) are essential step in prepping for travel. Pictured above Oh Kentucky Campground and RV Park in Berea, Kentucky. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Lower antenna and satellite dish and disconnect all hookups (electricity, sewer, water, cable, satellite) are essential steps in prepping for travel. Pictured above Oh Kentucky Campground and RV Park in Berea, Kentucky. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Close and latch external door(s)

Check tire pressure on all tires

Disconnect all hookups (electricity, sewer, water, cable, satellite)

Remove stabilizing jacks, raise leveling jacks, and store leveling blocks (as applicable)

Hitch trailer to tow vehicle or dinghy/toad to motorized RV

Test hitch connection by driving forward

Check signal lights, 4-way lights, brake lights, headlights, and fog lights

Do a final walk-around

Check mirrors

Arrival and Setup Checklist

Once you’ve arrived at your campground, RV resort, or final destination, it’s time to park, set up, and relax. Here are some basic pointers.

Check in with campground office/park ranger station

Obtain directions to campsite

Upon arrival at a new RV park or campground always check-in at the office or ranger station. Pictured above Whispering Hills RV Park office near Georgetown, Kentucky. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Upon arrival at a new RV park or campground always check-in at the office or ranger station. Pictured above Whispering Hills RV Park office near Georgetown, Kentucky. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Upon arrival at your site, do a walkthrough, and determine best location for RV and toad/tow vehicle

Drive into campsite (pull through or back in)

Check parking job (space, alignment with hookups, clearance for slide-outs and basement bins)

Level RV

Lower leveling jacks until RV is supported

Unhitch RV and park toad/tow vehicle

Extend steps and restore hand rails and slide-outs to their parked position

Open propane tank valve

Connect to hookups (electricity, water, sewer, cable, satellite)

Extend slide-outs

Raise antenna and satellite dish

Set up outdoor gear and awnings

Return items to their parked storage positions

Without attention to detail, disaster lurks. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Without attention to detail, disaster lurks. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Worth Pondering…

I find that a great part of the information I have was acquired by looking up something and finding something else on the way.

—Franklin P. Adams

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