Setup and break down checklists are important for every RVer not just newbies. Using a checklist will help prevent mistakes and keep you on track as you prepare the RV.
Our Biggest RV Mistakes
Mistakes during setup and break down can happen! Having a checklist will help you to avoid mistakes. Here are a few of the big mistakes we’ve made along the way.
Our first huge mistake happened while we were breaking down in the middle of a cold, pouring rain. Phil turned off the breaker the pedestal and walked to the passengers side of the rig. He then gave me the go ahead to pull the rig forward about 5 feet so he could hook up the dolly.
Our second mistake happened after we were distracted during the break down. Someone came over to talk to Phil and he forgot to put the pin in our tow dolly. When we had the dolly he would put the pin in the well of the spare tire. After he finished talking Phil thought he put the pin in the dolly. So we pulled out of Fort Wilderness dragging the dolly ramps. Thankfully, someone waved us down about a mile down the road and we were able to fix the problem with only scratches on the bottom of the ramps.
It seems all of our problems stem from that dang dolly! So glad we divorced her!! If you want to know the pros and cons of using a dolly we outline them in this video.
What Should Be on Your Checklist
Seriously, every step along the way should be included on your checklist. Even the little things you don’t think you will ever forget. Adding everything will help to develop a routine that will increase efficiency and decrease the risk of mistakes. Here are just a few of the items on our checklist:
- Plug Surge Protector into pedestal watch for E-0 code
- Wait for RV level
- Turn pedestal breaker on
- Plug in the power cord
- Verify jacks are down
- Observe opening slides
- Check slide seals are not tucked in slide
Update the Checklists
Your setup and break down checklists should be updated regularly. As you add or subtract items from your rig your checklist should reflect the changes. For example, we divorced the tow dolly and now use a Blue Ox tow bar for our Jeep. Also, adding solar required us to add the charge controller to our checklist as well.
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Our RV Break Down
The Best RV Checklist
The best checklist is the one you are the most comfortable with and you will use every time! It can be laminated so you can use a grease pencil or dry erase marker. You can print them each time and use a pen to check them off. You can even use slap wrist bracelets on your steering wheel like we do!
Free Downloadable Checklists
We have created 4 checklists to help you create your perfect checklist. You can download one or all of them.
There is a pdf version for setup and break down. There are blank spaces so you can add items that are specific to your RV. Start with these and make adjustments as you go along.
We have also created an Excel version of the setup and breakdown checklists. You can edit these for your specific RV. They are a great way to start building your perfect checklist.
**Don’t forget to check your spam folder if you don’t receive the email with the checklists**
Setup and Break Down Checklists
Most RV mistakes happen during setup and break down so here are some tips to keep you safe.
- Use a checklist
- Use a checklist
- Did I mention the checklist?
- Allow yourself plenty of time
- Don’t rush
- Avoid distractions
- If distractions occur review your checklist from the top to make sure you didn’t lose your place.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help
- Develop a routine that you do every time
- For couples, practice your partner’s routine. This way you are confident in the event you need to set up or break down on your own.
- Always do a complete walkaround the RV before you move it.
- Never move the RV if you can’t see your spotter in the mirrors.
We hope the checklists are helpful and get you started on your RV journey on the right foot!
Thanks for stopping by. We hope to see you on the road someday.
Phil & Stacy
Author: Stacy, You, Me & the RV, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 2020