The Essential RV Vacation Prep Check List

Whether you’re new to RVing or have discovered the hard way how important it is to be prepared for your adventure, having a go-to RV vacation prep checklist can help increase the odds of dealing with bumps along the way. Few things are worse than ruining a trip and becoming one of the RV horror stories out there by making a mistake that could have been prevented. 

Having the right gear can help ensure safety while saving time and money in the long run. So, before you hit the road, be sure that you and your rig are ready for that fun road trip. 

Do a Battery Check

If your RV hasn’t been on the road for a while, be sure and check the batteries as they lose up to 10 percent of their energy every month when not in use. They should be fully charged and have the correct water levels according to the battery manual. If you removed them for storage, be sure that they’re reconnected correctly.

Inspect the Tires

Depending on who you ask, RV tires should be replaced anywhere from five to 10 years, assuming they’re properly cared for. Either way, it’s important to inspect them carefully before heading out. That includes the air pressure. Fill them all according to the recommended PSI in your RV manual. Look to see if there is any cracking in the sidewalls or significant treadwear. If there is, have a professional take a look to find out if they need to be replaced. The last thing you want to happen is a blowout on the road. 

Fluid Levels

Just like you would with your car, you’ll want to check all the fluid levels, which includes:

  • Engine oil
  • Brake fluid
  • Transmission
  • Engine coolant
  • Windshield washer fluid
  • Power steering
  • Generator oil

If you’ve been keeping on top of maintenance and notice some fluids are low, you could have a leak or another problem that needs to be looked at by a professional before you go.


Most RVs require propane for appliances, such as the stove and refrigerator, as well as heating the hot water. A gas pressure and leak test should be performed every year to ensure the system is working safely. Check the connections, tanks, valve, and firing operation. 

Check Your Tow and Hitch Connections

If you are towing a car behind your RV, be sure to check the connections. It’s vital to have the hitch secure and safety chains in place. Having a pintle hitch and pintle hitch accessories is a good idea for heavy-duty towing.  

Safety Equipment

Be sure all your safety devices are in working order and batteries are replaced, including the smoke detector, gas leak detector, carbon monoxide detector. There are other essential items you should have too, such as;

  • Fire extinguisher
  • Surge protector
  • Electrical adaptors
  • Tire pressure gauge
  • Emergency road kit
  • Flashlight

Personal Items

Obviously, personal items vary by individual, the destinations you’ll be visiting, and the activities you plan to take part in. Before you go, it’s best to write a list of everything you’ll need for the trip so that you don’t forget anything important. 

Including everything from clothing and toiletries, bug spray and sunscreen to camp chairs, fishing gear, wood for a campfire, cards, outdoor games like horseshoes or corn hole, cooking, dining, and cleaning supplies. 

You might want to plan out some of your meals to create a grocery list of the food you’ll need. Don’t forget the fixings for S’mores!