RVer Checklist for Packing Up to Leave a Campsite
Tips for cleaning and securing RV items on travel days.

By: Kenny & Sabrina Phillips

To follow-up on our article that went over our steps for setting up an RV campsite, we wanted to go over our process for packing up our RV when getting ready to leave a campsite. Honestly, it is not in our top five favorite things to do while RVing. But with a good checklist and practice, it can go quickly and smoothly. We'll be sharing how we pack up and get ready to hit the road, and while you may need to do some things differently, we hope this will help you come up with your own checklist!

Sabrina and I like to work together, she handles all of the interior cleaning and packing up and I tackle everything on the outside of the RV, including connecting our tow car. We use a checklist app that is installed in our RVi Brake tablet, but there are several other options such as phone/tablet apps and, of course, paper. Whichever one you choose, it is always a good idea to have one so that you do not forget any important steps. If you do decide to go with an app, be sure it allows you to customize the list to best fit your RV and travel style.

Packing Up Inside the RV

We like to work our way from the back to the front of the RV, but leave the bathroom for last.

Cleaning & Securing

First, we make sure everything is removed from all counters and nightstands. At this time, we also check that everything is clear for our slides to be retracted.

We have a solid slide door in between our bedroom and kitchen that is secured by a snap strap to keep it in place while traveling, which we make sure to check.

In the bathroom, we make sure everything is off our shower ledges and countertops. We also make sure to latch the shower door, so it is not sliding open while we drive. We also check that our roof vents are all closed.

Sabrina also cleans the inside of the windshield and side glasses, since our windows get especially dirty with all of Belle's nose art.

Sabrina cleaning inside of windshield. Belle is sitting on dash next to Sabrina

Moving Items for Easy Access

While packing up the bedroom, we make sure any clothing items that we will need in transit are in cabinets or drawers that are accessible with the slides in. We then make sure all cabinets and drawers are securely closed. We normally do full-day drives, so Sabrina will usually pack us lunches for our travel days before we leave as well.

We also remove our trash container and Belle's food from under our sink counter and place them under our dinette for easy access while traveling. You may want to also place items from the kitchen counter, such as the dish drainer and dish soap, in the sink for access and a quick and easy clean up.

Sink with towel, hand soap, toothpaste and contact solution

Final Touches

Once everything is put away, the driver and passenger chairs are spun around into their driving positions and we dispose of any trash that we may have accumulated from our stay.

We are now able to bring in all of our slides and retract our jacks.

Packing Up Outside the RV

While Sabrina has been doing all of this on the inside, I am conquering the outdoor tasks.

Tank-Related Tasks

First, I fill our fresh water tank to our desired amount, which depends on how many days we will travel. Then I'll disconnect the hose and put it away. I then empty our holding tanks, remove the sewer connections and store them in the sewer bay.

Kenny wearing gloves and kneeling down next to sewer bay

Preparing for the Drive

I also make sure clean our side windows, mirrors and the cameras that are installed in them, as well as our back-up camera.

Then, I turn off our propane and the fridge since everything will stay cold for the 8 -10 hours we will drive for the day. When we stop for the night, we turn them back on.

After the jacks are up, I also check our tire pressure. I used to do this with a tire gauge and check each tire individually, but now I can check them all simultaneously with our recently installed tire monitor system.

Then I make sure all items are powered off inside the RV, turn the breaker off on the camp post and remove our power cord, then store it in our bay.

Final RV Checks

I also do a quick visual inspection of the RV all around to be sure all slides are securely retracted as well as our awning. I will also get down on the ground to be sure that our jacks have fully retracted and check the area for anything that may prohibit us from safely exiting the site, such as tree stumps, light posts, and small boulders.

Kenny walking around RV for final check

Connecting the Tow Vehicle

It is now time to connect our tow vehicle, we flat tow a Ford Cmax Hybrid using a Roadmaster all-terrain tow bar. It is fairly simple to connect and can be done in about five minutes.

I connect our brake assist, put our car in neutral and turn the key to accessory mode to get it ready to travel. Then, I check that all of our lights and signals are operating correctly on the RV and the car.

Cross Checking -- Just to Be Safe!

Sabrina then comes out and double checks that all of my connections are secure and ensures the brake assist is connected properly. She will also do a walk around the RV to be sure we didn't leave anything behind and confirm that all campground connections have been removed and stowed.

When I come back inside, I do a double check visual inspection of everything Sabrina has done to be sure we are ready to roll out.

With our coordinates programmed into our GPS and seat belts on, we are now ready to leave

I hope you find our pack-up process helpful and hope you can use it as a guide to create your own.

Sabrina sitting in passenger seat looking at checklist on phone

Here is a checklist you can use this list as a starter, but keep in mind you may need to modify it to match your RV style and setup.

Example RV Pack-Up Checklist

  1. Secure all loose items and stow them away
  2. Make sure all cabinets and drawers are firmly closed and/or latched
  3. Close all vents
  4. Clean countertops, floors, and driving windows
  5. Make sure all slides have a clear path for retraction
  6. Move trash can and pet food to easy access point
  7. Remove all items from shower and bathroom counters and latch shower doors
  8. Retract slides
  9. Fill fresh water tank
  10. Disconnect fresh water hose and stow it away
  11. Empty black and grey tank
  12. Disconnect sewer hose and stow away
  13. Clean mirrors and all driving windows
  14. Turn off propane
  15. Retract stabilizer jacks
  16. Check tire pressure
  17. Check for any obstructions for departure
  18. Connect car
  19. Connect brake assist
  20. Check all signals on car and the RV
  21. Check each other's work


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