Our Departure Checklist


This is our list. There are others like it, but this one is ours.

So, when I google for RV checklists, I find a lot of packing lists - what to bring for your kitchen, your bathroom, what to bring if you have dogs. Those are great, but what we really needed was a teardown checklist that would help us ensure that we don't forget to drop the tailgate before we back the truck into the trailer hitch (that might have happened). 

I found a few of them, but they mostly seemed like they had glaring flaws, even to a beginner like me. One of them listed closing windows after retracting slides. If we tried that, it would look like that scene from Entrapment that everyone parodies, except with fewer lasers and a lot more middle-aged nerds.

Not nearly as sexy.

This isn't a recipe site, so you probably don't need to hear about my grandmother's propensity for making lists, and how one time in high school I went to Spain and didn't use a packing list and was emotionally scarred, but despite all that the cuisine/culture of Spain speaks to me on a spiritual level. Without further exposition, here's our list. It's actually multiple lists, divided into areas of concern.

We use trello to manage the list itself. We chose it because you can have multiple users, and it has checklists you can tap and that action crosses out the item and places a check in the box, but leaves it visible. 

For the Truck

  • water bottles (me, Nick, and puppies)
  • water bowl for dogs
  • dog treats
  • leashes and dog bags
  • dog bed
  • sandwiches and drinks and snacks
  • epi pen
  • pharmacy + first aid (advil, famotidine, band aids)
  • nail clipper
  • hats
  • sweater
  • grocery bags, paper towels, wipes
  • contact case, glasses
  • cooler
  • laptops and iPads
A couple notes on the truck list:
The sandwiches are essential for a long day of driving where you might not be able to pull over and hit a restaurant, or if you can, the food will be fried. Don't get me wrong, I love fried food, but it does a number on our tummies.
We pull over periodically to give the dogs water and treats, and to let them pee
The grocery bags are for trash, and paper towels and wipes are for cleanup

Inside the RV

  • close vents in kitchen and bathroom
  • secure shower door
  • secure bathroom door
  • secure closet door
  • tie fridge doors shut (this is a recent addition after the mapo tofu incident)
  • move the monitors from the desk to the bed
  • tuck the desk carpet up so the slides can come in
  • move the AeroGarden and the dish soap into the sink
  • wrap the dog statuette in the yoga mat
  • wrap the plants and air purifier in the runner rug and the living room rug and tuck under the table
  • move the dog food off the counter and into the cabinets
  • shades up

We replaced the foldout couch with desks, because we WFRV:

Two desks in an RV

Exterior RV

  • check RV tire pressures
  • flush +  drain tanks, leave to open/drain (altitude changes)
  • stow front tripod
  • close the black tank valve
  • close propane valve(s)
  • double-check for clearances and slides in
  • chocks up and stowed
  • trailer to hitch height
  • disconnect water and sewer
  • disconnect electrical
  • (attach truck here)
  • doors closed and locked
  • 360 walk-around of RV - check for jacks up


  • check truck tire pressures
  • lock hitch bar
  • attach breakaway
  • 7 pin plugged in
  • trailer attachment check - drop front jacks to a few inches off road and check the hitch
  • trailer brake check
  • tailgate up
  • jacks back up (we missed this step once)
  • tow haul on
  • mirrors out
  • destination mapped in RVTripFinder

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