5 Essential RV Pre-Trip Checks

Lance truck camper on lake
Charles Post, Bozeman Montana

Checklists are your fail-safe against overlooking crucial details. Among them, RV pre-trip checks stand out as a vital tool to ensure you never miss a beat before hitting the road. Don’t let a damaged step, a neglected TV antenna, loose power cords, or vulnerable awnings spoil your journey. Prioritize peace of mind, follow our essential 5 pre-trip checklist, and embark on your travels with confidence!

1. Tires

Priority one on your RV checklist: Tires. Avoid RV tire disasters by addressing two key issues – over-inflation and under-inflation, both potential culprits of tire failure. During storage, RV tires lose air at a rate of 2 to 3 psi per month, making pre-trip checks imperative. Make sure your tires are properly inflated before hitting the road to prevent mishaps. The most accurate method to determine inflation pressure is to have the RV weighed and use the tire manufacturer’s load and inflation tables for inflation pressure based on actual loads. Alternatively, rely on the federal certification label on your RV for inflation guidance. Lastly, always check tire pressure when they’re cold, and before covering more than one mile on your journey.

2. Fluid Levels

Next on the list to check is fluid levels – a crucial step for both motorized RVs and tow vehicles hauling trailers. Don’t risk getting stranded on the roadside due to low or empty fluid levels in critical components like the engine or transmission. Prevent disruptions to your travel plans by meticulously inspecting and topping up fluids such as engine oil, transmission fluid, radiator coolant, power steering fluid, and brake fluid. Search for any signs of leaks underneath the vehicle and consult your owner’s manual for guidance on checking and maintaining fluid levels. A proactive approach ensures a worry-free journey, so address any low fluid levels and resolve issues before embarking on your trip.

3. Hitches, Brakes, and Lights

Now it’s time to do a thorough check of your hitch-work, brakes, and lights. Whether you’re dealing with a motorhome towing a car or a truck towing a trailer, meticulous inspection of these crucial elements is non-negotiable. Don’t leave anything to chance; double-check your work before hitting the road. Confirm that all hitch components are securely fastened and every light is operational. Take it a step further with a brake test – a simple forward movement and brake tap should engage the trailer or dinghy brakes, ensuring they function as expected. Have a friend or family member stand behind the vehicle to check all lights are working as you test the brakes.

4. Interior

Experience has shown that a thorough interior walkthrough before departure often reveals unsecured items or unlocked latches. Take the time to meticulously check all cabinet doors, the refrigerator, sliding doors, and make sure valuable electronics like computers and TVs are secure. Additionally, confirm that all appliances are turned off. Make it a habit to conduct an interior check before hitting the road, avoiding surprises and ensuring a worry-free adventure.

5. Final Walk-Around

Last but certainly not least is a crucial and potentially game-changing step – the final walk-around of your RV. This step, often overlooked, involves a comprehensive inspection on top and underneath the RV. Physically check and ensure the security of storage doors, confirming they are tightly closed. Verify that everything is disconnected and stowed properly. Double-check the positioning of stabilizer jacks, awnings are in their travel positions with all latches secured, steps are retracted. and confirm the hitch-work is securely connected. This meticulous final walk-around can be the key difference between a seamless journey and potential accidents. Invest the time, scrutinize every detail inside, on, and around your RV to guarantee a trouble-free trip.

In Conclusion

There are our top 5 essential pre-trip checks before hitting the road! While these checks cover critical aspects, your personalized checklist can and should expand to meet your unique needs based on travel requirements and preferences. This proactive approach ensures a comprehensive inspection, setting the stage for a safe and enjoyable journey. Safe travels!

Run into an issue or have a question about your RV? Give Good Sam RV ProCare a call – we come to you and keep you camping! Contact us here.

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