My CamperVan & Small RV Pre-Trip Checklist

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We’re part timers.  Since we’re not in the van all the time, we park it between trips at our HQ.  That means before each trip, I need to run through a few steps to make sure everything is ready to roll.  There are 20 steps – which sounds like a lot, but they don’t really take much time.  I run you through all of them in this video.


The video is pretty self-explanatory, but there are a few things worth mentioning.  And since we’re in numbered list mode, I’ll number them.

First:  Regardless of how many times you’ve done it, it just makes good sense to have a checklist.  A checklist makes sure you don’t skip a step.  And since many of the pre-flight items on this list have to do with safety, you really don’t want to forget any of them.

Second:  I told you I’d get Stef to create a cutesy info-graphic-check-list-thingy… and she did!  Here it is.  Click the picture to download your very own printable pdf.

Third:  I mention in the video that we’ve used the weight of our RV to determine our tire pressure rather than simply following what’s on the stickers.  I wrote this post years ago, and it’s still valid, and it’s still the same procedure we follow today.  If you like to pay attention to data instead of blindly following stickers, it’s worth a read.  And if you’re interested, based on our weight and tires, we run 65 in the front, and 75 in the rear.

Fourth:  I also mention that we’ve got some other checklists for you to follow when it comes to packing up your RV.  It’s true!  There are actually four of them, and you can find them all in this post Stef wrote:  RV Packing Lists: Printable Checklists for RV Trips!

And that’s pretty much it.  If you can think of anything I might have left off my list, I’m curious.  Sound off in the comments below.

If you’re wondering why we’re thinking of busting out the RV now, it’s because STEF BOUGHT A NEW BIKE!  And we have to go to Colorado to get it.  Seemed like a good excuse for a trip, and we found some open campgrounds, so our stars are lining up.  See you on the road!


James is a former rocket scientist, a USA Cycling coach, and lifelong fitness buff. When he's not driving the RV, or modifying the RV (or - that one time - doing both at once), you can find him racing bicycles, or building furniture, or making music. In his spare time, he works for a large IT company.

    10 thoughts on “My CamperVan & Small RV Pre-Trip Checklist

    1. Ken M

      You mentioned using an app to check the hard to access Starter Battery (Under the driver seat) in the Ram, could you share what that app is called and what sensor it uses?

    2. John Lockhart

      Love the tire pressure reference to using a scale and determining proper pressures as described in your past video. It might actually give you a pass with the internet tire pressure police!

    3. Barb Mahoney

      Turn on your absorption fridge back in the Reagan administration – too funny!! After having a compressor fridge for the past 4 years, I would never go back. Thanks for the laugh!

    4. Ivan Y

      So … I should ensure that any RV that I buy has an absorption fridge and an awning?

      Kind of unclear on this…

      1. Stefany

        LOLLL! You caught that! And here I thought the only people who stick around till after the credits are our friend Daniel and my mother.


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