Another wrinkle on RV departure checklists

Another wrinkle on RV departure checklists

By Russ and Tiña De Maris
We’ve reminded readers several times of the importance of not forgetting important items when pulling up the stakes at your campground. We speak from personal experience, once heading down the road with our rig festooned with dragging power cord and water hose. Much has been said (and printed) about checklists, but not everyone wants to deal with “another piece of paper” in their lives.

Leave it to our readers to come up with new ideas to share. On this topic, Ghent Wilson shares his own method of running a checkout checklist — only Ghent’s isn’t on paper — he keeps his as a mental checklist. Again, speaking from experience, I have to hand it to Ghent. His “bean” obviously works a lot better for him than ours do!

“I have developed a quick, double-check of myself … I count. For each side, top and interior I have assigned a number value to the checklist.

“For instance, I have a ‘check items count’ on my trailer hookup:
1. Both load distribution bar pins installed = 1
2. Both safety chains connected = 1
3. Break-away safety cable connected = 1
4. Power cable connected to tow = 1
5. Hitch safety lock, locked= 1
6. Tongue leveler raised and blocks stored = 1
7. Hitch pin secure = 1
8. Brake, running and turn signals operating = 1
9. Gas valves off = 1

Total checks for hookup = 9

For the utility side:
1. Water hose stored = 1
2. Power cable stored = 1
3. Hatches secured = 1
4. Tires/chocks/leveling blocks checked/stored = 1
5. Slide properly secured = 1
6. Sewer/grey water closed, capped and hose secured = 1
7. Windows closed = 1

Total checks for utility side = 7

“I have the item count memorized for every side, interior and the top and count them as I do my final check. Therefore, I greatly reduce the chance of missing anything significant. Not a true checklist, but it works for us.”

Thanks, Ghent, for the mentally stimulating alternative to the paper checklist!

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