Recreational vehicle checklist

13 minute read Published on Oct 10, 2023 by BrokerLink Communications

Recreational vehicle checklist

Canada offers adventure at your doorstep from coast to coast. When summer time draws near, there's no greater way to discover your own neighbourhood than loading up the family into a recreational vehicle (RV) and taking to the open road.

Make your next RV vacation an unforgettable experience by reviewing our blog post, which covers things to bring, things to think about when planning your trip, and some safety advice to keep in mind.

Campsite arrival and RV setup checklist

So, you've arrived at your campsite, now what? Here's a detailed step-by-step step that will help you set up efficiently so you can get to relaxing and having fun as quick as possible while keeping safety in mind:

1. Examine your campsite

Before you start setting up a camping site, assess your spot as soon as you get to the campground. Find the connections for the water, sewage, and electricity before you park your RV. Given the length of your power line, sewer hose, and water hose, this will help you choose the best spot to park. Furthermore, be on the lookout for objects that could get in the way of your slide-outs, such as low-lying branches, big rocks, etc.

2. Put your RV in park

When you've put your RV in the perfect location within your campsite, put it in park. The particular stages will vary depending on if your RV is a motorized design or one that is towable by another vehicle. Just make sure the surface you are parking on is level for your RV by using leveling blocks. More importantly, to stop your RV from moving, chock the tires on both sides.

3. Release the trailer hitch

When your RV trailer has been locked away, it's time to disconnect it. The procedure of removing your trailer from your tow vehicle is called unhitching. Just make sure you are familiar with the various components of your towing equipment before you begin. You may find a step-by-step guide in the user manual that pertains to your particular trailer. Alternatively, check online to see if others have posted videos on how to do so.

4. RV stabilization

The specifics of RV stabilization will vary depending on the type of RV and stabilizing equipment you have. Reducing the trailer's bouncing and swaying is the major objective.

5. Manage your connections

Connecting your electricity, water, and sewage hookups is now necessary, depending on the facilities your campsite provides.

6. Complete your setup process

With the power control, release the slide-outs on your RV or trailer. Keep an eye out for any obstacles both inside and out so you don't cause any damage. Then, make sure the awning is extended utilizing the hand crank or power control if you intend to make use of it during your trip. Before leaving the awning out, keep an eye out for rain and wind. After that, furnish the campground with your preferred furniture, including camp seats, a kitchen, colourful lights, goods for a bonfire, and more. Spend as much or as little time as necessary to make the most of your campsite vacation.

RV teardown and departure checklist

Now that all is said and done and your camping vacation has come to an end, it's time to tear down your campsite. Here is a step-by-step process on how you can do so so you leave your campsite clean and ensure you don't forget anything behind:

1. Start with your interior

Before closing down your campsite, do the following:

  • Switch off the heat or air conditioning.
  • Turn off the pump and water heater.
  • Don't fill the toilet with so much water that it will overflow the bowl when you drive; just enough to create a seal.
  • Place the fridge on the in-transit power supply.
  • Make sure that all appliances, radios, and televisions are off.
  • Turn the lights off.
  • Securely close roof vents to prevent dust from entering your RV while driving.
  • Lock and secure all of the windows throughout your RV.
  • Fasten all stray items.
  • Secure and fasten each compartment and cabinet door.
  • Shut the slide-outs and make certain the oven pilot light is out.
  • Shut and secure your door.

2. Close down the outside

Now the interior of your RV is closed down and secured, it’s time to move to outdoor tasks. Here is a closer look:

  • Drawback and fasten the awning.
  • Ensure that all outdoor equipment, including tables, carpets, satellite dishes, chairs, and so forth, is neatly stored away.
  • Remove, empty, clean, and store every hose you have put out.
  • Disconnect converters and electrical cables.
  • Shut off the propane.
  • Fold entrance ramps.
  • Pull back the stabilizing jacks.
  • Hook it to the car and connect the breakaway toggle.
  • Put safety chains in place.
  • Take out and store the wheel chocks.
  • Make sure the trailer lights are functioning properly by checking them.
  • Verify the tire pressure.

3. Do one last outdoor check and walk around

Once all of the outdoor tasks have been completed, do one last walk around. This should include the following:

  • Confirm again that all external doors and chambers are closed.
  • As you move around, check to see that everything is properly organized and stored properly away.
  • Double-check that all cables and connections have been disconnected and stored.
  • Make sure the campsite is clean and left in a better state than when you arrived.

RVing with pet’s checklist

Pets are part of the family, and they deserve to come along for the ride. That said when including pets in your travels, make sure to consider the following points to ensure a fun and safe RV Adventure for all household members:

1. Use a crate or seat belt harness

Put your pet in a crate or use a seat belt harness when driving to prioritize their safety. Make sure the crate is stable and will not move while you're driving if you plan to utilize one.

2. Bring your pet essentials

Don't forget to bring the essentials! Crate or bedding, medicine, waste pick-up bags, toys, food, brush, and a leash are pet items you won't want to forget!

3. Make sure your pet has proper identification and documentation

Animals enjoy exploring. Ensure your pet wears the appropriate ID tag in case they spot an opportunity to escape and run away.

Bring along any documentation pertaining to your pet, such as immunization records as required by certain campgrounds, evidence of ownership, and images of your animal. If your pet runs away or becomes lost, these things will aid in their identification.

Planning your RV trip: where to go

Planning your vacation is the first stage in any experience. Depending on where you want to travel, you can use internet tools to design an itinerary.

Go RVing Canada offers a variety of routes that let you see everything that Canada has to offer, including our breathtaking national parks. Finding local RV retailers to buy from and rent from is made easy with the help of this website.

Many Canadian provinces have comprehensive travel websites to aid in your planning if you're visiting a particular region. The Ontario government, for instance, developed an interactive web tour application.

You can find a variety of apps for arranging RV trips by conducting a quick internet search.

What to pack on your next trip

Embark on your next journey with the conveniences of home. Here's a comprehensive RV packing list for your upcoming trip:

The Essentials Kitchen & Cooking Supplies Food Staples Clothing & Bedroom Items
  • Flashlight
  • Batteries
  • Scissors
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Ropes
  • Shovel
  • Water hose
  • Tool Kit
  • Road Flares
  • Trash and recycling cans / bags
  • Duct Tape
  • Extension cord
  • Phone chargers
  • Cash and credit cards
  • First-aid kit
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug spray
  • Medications and prescriptions
  • Water bottles
  • Cutting board
  • Utensils/cutting knives
  • Can opener
  • Tong and skewers
  • Dish soap
  • Camping griddle and pie iron
  • Bowls, plates and cups
  • Paper towels
  • Garbage bags
  • Plastic wrap
  • Zip close bags
  • Potholders
  • Dish towels
  • Napkins
  • Can opener
  • Skillets
  • Disinfecting wipes
  • Matches and lighter
  • Food storage
  • Cooler
  • Batter mixes
  • Vegetables and fruits
  • Butter or margarine
  • Cereal
  • Condiments, including mayo, ketchup, mustard, relish
  • Grill meats, like hotdogs, burgers, brats, etc.
  • Drink mix packets
  • Eggs
  • S’more ingredients
  • Freeze dried meals
  • Salt, pepper, herbs, and spices
  • Bread
  • Baking items, including flour, cornmeal, sugar, etc.
  • Canned foods
  • Peanut butter and jelly
  • Snacks, including crackers, chips, pretzels, etc.
  • Cooking spray or oil
  • Soup
  • Hat
  • Rain gear
  • Shoes, including sneakers, hiking boots, sandals, etc.
  • Bathing suit
  • Sweatshirts and jackets
  • Socks
  • Underwear
  • Pants and shorts
  • Short and long sleeve t-shirts
  • Clothes hangers
  • Alarm clock
  • Sewing kit
  • Towels
  • Sheets and blankets
  • Pillows

Benefits of an RV setup and teardown checklist

RV owners and renters can both benefit from creating an RV setup and breakdown checklist. Having an itinerary can help guarantee a seamless and stress-free travel experience, regardless of experience level. The following outlines a few of the main advantages:


By using a checklist, you can stay on top of things and make sure you don't overlook something crucial. It lessens the possibility of errors and makes RVing less stressful.

Time efficiency

You can save time by sticking to a checklist. Knowing exactly what has to be done in what order can help you finish faster while making the most of the time you spend camping.


Safety is the primary concern when assembling and disassembling an RV. To avoid mishaps and make sure everything is securely fastened, a checklist could include safety instructions and cautions.


Following a checklist guarantees that you will always assemble and disassemble your RV in the same way. This lessens the possibility of forgetting essential steps and lowers the chance of damaging your RV or its individual parts.

Stress reduction

The feelings of anxiety and stress that come with RV camping can be reduced by having a well-organized checklist. It gives you comfort in knowing that nothing significant has slipped your mind.

Inventory control

Before leaving your house or campground, make sure you have every item of gear you'll need. You can do this by using your checklist. By doing this, you avoid the hassle of discovering you have forgotten something.

Teaching and sharing

A list of tasks can be a beneficial training tool if you have friends or relatives who also set up and take down your RV. It guarantees that everyone is aware of their roles and the process to be followed.

Emergency preparedness

You can also add instructions on your checklist for what to do in the event of emergencies or unforeseen circumstances, such as extreme weather or breakdowns.

Things you need to know before renting an RV for the first time

Don’t know where to start? Here are some things you should know before your first RV trip rental:

Although there are weight restrictions and coverage limitations, some plans may only cover between $50 and 75,000 in the case of a total loss, RV rental insurance can be covered by your car insurance. To be sure you have the appropriate coverage you need, it is recommended to speak with your broker about your coverage before renting an RV or to get insurance from the rental business.

Make reservations in advance. RVs are in more demand than supply, particularly if your trip is scheduled during the busiest time of year.

Learn about your RV. Take note and familiarize yourself with all of its features. Make sure the rental business shows you how to operate the lights, pumps, and awning. Spend some time exploring and asking questions before you leave the lot.

To avoid getting stuck with a flat tire or worse, acquire roadside assistance!

Select the RV type and size that best meets your needs. They say bigger is always better, but in a lot of cases, this isn't true. Make sure you are comfortable operating and parking the RV before heading on the road.

Fun activities you can do when camping with family or friends

You've packed your bags and are all set to go exploring! The journey itself is undoubtedly the prize, but making some enjoyable plans for every stop will help you create even more memories you can cherish in the future. Here's a closer look at some activities you can do while on the road:

  • Enjoy time by the water, swim, build a sandcastle, play water sports, fish
  • Go for a hike
  • Plan a scavenger hunt
  • Games: pack outdoor games and board games, including a deck of cards
  • Play hide and seek, tag and red rover
  • Learn about geocaching and discover some in each location you visit
  • Create a shadow puppet performance
  • Have a campfire, make s’mores, and tell ghost stories
  • Bring out the card games and have a competition
  • Perform campfire songs or have a talent show

Additional safety tips to consider when using your RV

Safety is key. Here are some additional things to keep in mind the next you take your RV out:

  • Everyone will have a good trip if safety precautions are taken. As you soak up the sights, sounds, smells, and experiences, be aware of your surroundings.
  • To improve your visibility in blind areas and along the sides of your RV, adjust the convex wing mirror.
  • If there are no places available for RVs or trucks when parking at a store, use a few spots toward the back of the lot. This will provide the space required to turn wide. Additionally, locate a place to park along the side of the road if the available space isn’t too narrow.
  • Pay attention to the power consumption of your RV. RVs aren't wired to run all of the utilities and devices at once, the way our homes are.
  • Clear up all leftover food and trash to keep wildlife away.
  • Prepare ahead of time by monitoring the weather and traffic conditions, including construction and road closures. This will assist you in appropriately planning our journey and preventing needless hazards or lost time.
  • Make sure you've got insurance before your next RV trip.

Because your RV is your home away from home, it must be protected. Speak with a BrokerLink insurance expert to make sure you have the appropriate censureoverage for your next thrilling excursion, regardless of whether you own or rent an RV.

Be a happy camper with RV insurance. Speak with BrokerLink right now to obtain a quote for trailer and RV insurance in your area.


RV Checklist FAQs

Is there a licence I need to operate an RV?

Generally, all you need to drive an RV is a standard driver's licence. That said, check out the regulations in your province to make sure you have the proper requirements.

Where can I keep my RV when it's not in use during the offseason?

If there is enough room, you can park your RV at home. Furthermore, a few dealerships provide storage services, and there are establishments around Canada that are specifically designed to house RVs.

What are three tips for winterizing an RV?

Winterize your water system. Frozen pipes could crack and damage them. Next, remove any batteries and store them in a warm, dry place. Avoid storing batteries on a concrete floor, as it can drain your battery. Additionally, coat the exterior of the RV with a quality wax or protectant. Lastly, when in doubt, check your user manual for further details on how to winterize your RV.

Should I buy an RV or a trailer?

Should I buy an RV or a trailer? is a common question many camping and outdoor enthusiasts often wonder when they're about to buy their first RV trailer. In truth, the choice between the two really depends on your needs, budget, preferences, and more. When choosing the ideal solution for your lifestyle, you should also take into account things like storage space, affordability, simplicity of driving, and the frequency of your vacation plans.

What types of homes are covered under mobile home insurance?

Mobile home insurance provides coverage to mobile homes, modular homes, mini homes, tiny homes, and double-wide homes. However, this may vary between insurance companies, which is why you should ask your insurance broker before purchasing a plan.

Do I need solar panels when going on an RV camping trip?

While not usually required, rooftop solar panels for RV camping can be a helpful feature. By producing power, they enable self-sufficiency by removing the need for hookups or generators and allowing you to run appliances, charge electronics, and maintain fully charged batteries. Solar panels might be an affordable and green camping alternative if you want to camp off the grid often or for extended periods of time. They might not be necessary, though, for shorter excursions or if you plan to stay mostly at campgrounds with electricity hookups.

Does my car insurance extend to my RV or trailer?

Generally speaking, your auto insurance does not automatically cover your trailer or RV. Insurance for RVs and trailers usually needs to be purchased separately, although sometimes coverage will extend from your homeowner's policy. However, you must speak with your insurance company about your particular circumstances, as each provider may havedifferent coverage available.

Is mobile home insurance mandatory in Canada?

Even if it's not required in Canada, mobile home insurance is nevertheless necessary. The only way to safeguard yourself against the financial dangers of property damage, liability claims, and other issues if you are the owner of an RV is to get this kind of insurance. Insurance for mobile homes can also shield you from additional risks, including flooding, higher living costs, equipment failure, and more. Ultimately, it's better to be safe rather than sorry.

What does dry camping mean?

Boondocking, another name for dry camping, is the practice of setting up camp somewhere without the standard amenities of a campground, such as power, water, or sewage hookups. To sustain themselves, campers depend on their separate supplies, which include batteries, generators, and freshwater tanks. It usually entails camping in isolated or off-grid locations. Dry camping is a more self-sufficient and simple kind of camping where participants have to manage their electricity and water usage as well as how they dispose of their waste.

If you have any questions, contact one of our local branches.