Last Updated on 08/23/2023 by Glynn Willard
There’s more to your RV moving day than just a checklist before hitting the road.
There’s also considerations during your drive that can make for a fun day or a difficult day.
Let’s first go over an RV checklist for moving and then some tips for a fun road trip.
Watch our video 8 RV CROSS COUNTRY ROAD TRIP TIPS for more tips.
RV Moving Day Checklist
This RV checklist is based on our experience moving a travel trailer around the country approximately every 10-14 days for two years.
If you have a motorhome or a van, most items on the RV checklist will still be applicable.
Preparing to move your RV is best broken into teamwork. One person inside and the other outside.
Here’s our RV moving day checklist when boondocking since we boondocked most of the time.
- Begin the day before by plotting your course to the next destination.
- First thing in the morning secure your belongings in the rig.
- Sweep, shake out rugs and dust surfaces as you secure items. It takes less than 5 minutes and means arriving to a clean rig.
- Prepare any food that you want with you in the tow vehicle.
- Secure the contents of your refrigerator and shelves.
- Place any loose items on the counter (utensil caddy, towels, cups, plants, etc.) into the kitchen sink.
- Check tire pressure and lug nut torque in both the trailer and the tow vehicle. Adjust if necessary.
- Walk around your rig and check fasteners, basement doors and plumbing valves.
- Once everything inside is secure, pull your slides in if you have any.
- Turn the water pump off. It’s easy for something to bump a faucet and start pouring water during the drive. Let’s avoid that potential debacle.
- If you haven’t already, chock your wheels. Chocks should already be in place from setting up.
- If you use a weight distribution system on your bumper tow, check all bolts to make sure they’re torqued.
- Pull up your stabilizers.
- Level the trailer or fifth wheel to align with your tow vehicle’s hitch.
- Connect your tow vehicle and secure the hitch. Also the weight distribution system if applicable.
- Set your tow vehicle in tow mode.
- Remove your chocks and levelers. We always use Anderson Levelers because they’re simple and they work great!
- Do one last walkaround of the trailer/tow vehicle or motorhome.
- Police the surrounding area for any trash and clean up after yourself. Leave only tire tracks and footprints.
- As you pull out of your spot, test the brakes on the trailer.
- Even if you have a tire pressure monitoring system, check your hub temperature (by touch) and tire aesthetics every stop.
RV Moving Tips
These tips are not just for moving day when boondocking fulltime. They apply to all types of travel in an RV.
Travel Less Than 300 Miles
Try To Arrive To Your Destination By 3PM
Check The Weather Along The Route
Use Multiple GPS Systems
Check Your Departure Time Against Arrival Time On Beltways/Busy Highways
Allow More Time For Travel Than You Think You Need
Begin Looking For Fuel At Half Tank
To Save Money, Use Fuel Stations Further From The Interstate
Plan On Stopping Along The Way to Enjoy A Meal Using Your Kitchen
Plan Your Grocery Trips Along Your Route On Moving Day
Dump Your Tanks And Fill Fresh Water Along Your Route
Make Sure Your Kids Are Entertained
Empty Your Bladder Shortly Before Arriving
Have A Snack Shortly Before Arriving
When we first began, it was all about devouring miles and doing big moves.
Yeah, it sucked!
We learned quickly to shorten the distance and take our time. Besides, what’s the rush!
This is easy if you’re not pushing too many miles. Why arrive early?
It gives you time to set up before dinner and time to make dinner.
If your plan A or plan B for a boondocking location doesn’t pan out, you still have time to move onto plan C.
Also, arriving earlier opens up more options for boondocking spots.
We do this the day before and will abstain from moving if the weather is uncooperative.
What’s uncooperative? Strong storms, high wind or heavy rain. All of which are too dangerous to risk moving when you don’t have to.
This is not applicable if you’re in a campground rather than boondocking. Another great benefit of boondocking!
We like to use the Windy App along our route and adjust our route based on wind gusts.
There are times when the truck’s GPS disagrees with our phone’s GPS on our camper moving day.
By having two systems routing us simultaneously, we can evaluate the options in real time as we make our way.
The satellite feature on Google maps is also helpful to check surrounding infrastructure.
Better yet, the topographic feature on Google Maps allows us to check the elevation gain around potential boondocking sites.
Too steep and we’re not making it in.
If you know you’re going to hit a beltway, avoid arriving there during any phase of rush hour.
It only took us a few mistakes to learn our lesson.
We generally averaged 45-50 MPH on any moving day.
This is because we stopped briefly every hour to stretch, use the rest room, dump our tanks, fill water and patron a grocery store.
Knowing and accepting this in advance really helps to diminish the anxiety.
There are a lot of times when we would go a really long way between fuel stations that we could fit in. Filling at half tank offers a buffer.
It offers peace of mind and prevents any unnecessary anxiety.
It also allows you an opportunity to be thrifty if you’re using an app like Gas Buddy.
“Hey, 30 miles ahead, it’s fifty cents cheaper and the satellite shows we can fit.” That always sounds nice when we hit half tank!
Technology makes this easy. Some of the fuel stations require a little more skill with a large vehicle, but it can really be worth the effort.
Most fuel stations next to the interstate charge more than those one or two miles off the interstate.
No doubt, you already possess this knowledge.
Most of you have a full kitchen with you. Make your lunch fresh and enjoy the break.
We like to hit a Walmart along the route and top off our groceries.
This is also when we usually eat lunch. It gives us an opportunity to throw our trash away and use Walmart’s bathrooms.
Refreshed, recharged and ready to roll!
We hit the first one on our list. That way, if it’s not suitable, we have more options along the route.
I’m not going to lie, RV moving day is Minecraft day for the boys.
The hotspot travels in the truck with us, so then can play online.
Sure, conversation, reading a book or looking out the window is nice, but admit it, we would have loved to have the tablet option when we were kids!
About a half hour before arriving to our plan A destination, we always pulled over to pee.
It makes looking for the perfect boondocking spot upon arrival A LOT more enjoyable.
This is the same principal as above. Looking for a boondocking location when you’re “hangry” is no fun.
Wrapping Up Moving While Fulltime RV Living
Some of these tips are obvious. But it takes some “seasoning” and experience to work all of these camper moving day tips into your plan.
It can really make the difference between a fun road trip and a miserable ride.
How do you make your RV moving day go smoothly?
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