Friday, August 4, 2017

RV Checklists: Safe, not Sorry

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A Checklist of Checklists

    My friend DeeAnn was two days into her RV trip from Ohio to Maine  when her credit card was refused for a Walmart purchase. Wisely, her credit card company flagged the charge as a possible theft. It was “suspect activity” for the card to be used so far from DeeAnn’s home address.   Before she left home,  she could have called the company to alert them to expect such charges. 
    Checklists are lifelines to the RV woman. Keep yours on your phone, iPad, clip board or spiral notebook. Each list must be precise and personalized to you and your trip, such as letting your pet sitter know how to reach you in an emergency or getting a SIM card for Canada or  having someone water your prize hydrangeas. How many of these will work for you?

Leave Home Checklist. Before your RV trip, stop the mail, set the alarms and let a neighbor or loved one know your route and contact information. These sound like no-brainers but trust me, you’ll feel better seeing them checked off in writing.  Load clothes and shoes for the places you’re going. Put an ICE (In Case of Emergency)  number in your smart phone. Bring your DNR.
    Check due dates on monthly bills and know how you’ll handle them while you’re gone. Pickup dry cleaning. Return library books. Arrange for your cousin’s 25th anniversary present to arrive on time.

Startup Checklist.  This list should be used before every startup, even if you’ve just stopped for fuel. Walk all the way around the rig to eyeball tires. Make sure slides and  hatches are closed, the step is in and there are no puddles from leaking hoses or tanks. Are inside cupboards and fridge closed, no loose gear on counter tops. Propane oven and furnace off? 

Annual Checklist. Month by month, list when to review insurances and warranties. Even if you use the RV only in season it’s good to have reminders of things that have to be done infrequently such as reserving campsites, renewing your driver’s license and paying dues in FMCA. In addition to warranties on the RV itself, the meter is ticking on things inside the RV such as the television and  microwave and the 90-day free trial on the mattress. 

Emergency Pantry Checklist. No matter how small your RV it’s wise to have enough food on hand for two or three extra days.  Roads close. Engines quit. Plans change. Stuff happens. Stash away a good balance of  foods,  safe and separate, and re-do as often as possible. It takes little space to keep a small supply of protein bars, dried fruit, rice,  Spam, canned beans.

Hookup Checklist. A checklist of hookup routines is useful when you break camp too so you don’t leave behind your own water pressure regulator, clothes in the dryer or pigtail. It addition to the written list it’s also wise to hop out of the RV after pulling out of the campsite and quickly check the site for items left behind. 

What is on your checklists? Email me at

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