RV Camping

RV tips to help you prepare for departure from the RV campground

Jackson Hole WyomingAfter you have your rig hooked up and you are just about ready to go, below are a few things to check.

Some of us are more anal than others, so if you feel compelled, feel free to write out a ruled checklist of the suggestions below and tick off each one before you stomp the gas pedal.

•Check the air pressure in your tow vehicle’s tires as well as the trailer tires. Low air pressure in a tire will cause more friction on that tire. The additional heat generated causes the air in the tire to expand and the weakest point in the tire may rupture. If you’ve been on the road any length of time, you’ve probably heard the explosion when a tire blows out on a tractor-trailer rig. You don’t want it to be your tire that explodes.
•Make sure the roof TV antenna is down and that all roof vents are closed.
•Check all side compartments to ensure that they are locked.
•Close and lock all windows.
•Your doorstep should be locked back into place. We’ve seen rigs going down the highway with their doorstep fully extended. This is very dangerous.
•All inside compartments should be closed and large objects secured. Anything that can fall, probably will.
•Your refrigerator should have a locking mechanism. Use it.
•Make sure that the RV water pump switch is in the off position.
•Check your wastewater valves and be sure they are closed.

Four Corners New Mexico

Will standing at the intersection of four state lines, the famous Four Corners marker In New Mexico.

•As crazy as it may sound, make sure you have unplugged your RV’s electrical cord and stored it. As well, do the same for the sewer and fresh water hoses. If you hooked up to the park’s cable TV, be certain that you disconnect it. Dragging the RV park’s electrical box down the road behind you may make a funny story someday, but rest assured that no one will be amused when it’s actually happening.
•Turn off the hot water heater. In my opinion, you should turn off your propane at the propane tank. Many people like to keep the refrigerator running on propane during hot weather. In our many years of traveling, we always turn off the propane and have never had a problem with the contents in the refrigerator getting too warm even in the hottest part of the year in southern states. If you keep the door closed while traveling, your freezer should not begin to defrost. Just turn it back on as soon as you park.
•Be forewarned that leaving the refrigerator pilot light on can be extremely dangerous. You may not only lose your rig but your life. We witnessed a charred motorhome that burned down most of a service station in Yellville, Arkansas when the pilot light ignited gasoline fumes at the gas pump.
•Be certain, if you are towing a trailer or fifth-wheel, that the door is locked. You don’t want it accidentally popping open in transit.
•Before you hook your trailer to the tow vehicle’s hitch, take a paper towel and smear some hitch grease on the ball. That grinding sound you sometimes hear from RV’s is often the sound of raw metal grinding at the hitch.
•After you have hooked up, be sure to add some WD-40 or 3 in 1 oil to the sockets of the load-leveling bars. They need lubrication too and can account for a lot of noise when they aren’t lubricated. Also, when you arrive at your destination for an extended stay, please store your hitch and load leveling bars in a dry place. We see all too many of these vital tools still hooked up to the RV and rusting away in RV parks.
•If you have propane tanks mounted outside your trailer, check and make absolutely certain they are secure. You don’t want a propane tank falling off. Major accidents have occurred because of a loose propane tank.
•After you’ve hooked your trailer to the tow vehicle remove the wheel chocks. Clean them off if necessary and store them where they’ll be easy to get to at your next stop.
•Do a final walk around your trailer to make doubly sure that everything that should be unhooked actually is and that all compartments are closed and locked.

Next Chapter –  Mistakes that will kill your RVing dream.

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