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RV Checklist – Everything You Need Before Getting in an RV

When we moved into our Airstream, we had no idea what we would need. Airstream gave us an initial shopping list with basic items, but now that we’ve been on the road for a month, we’ve made one of our own. For anyone that’s new to the RVing world, we put together the ultimate RV checklist. I’m sure everyone’s ideal list will differ depending on the size of your RV and what you would prioritize, but this should give you a good start!

The Ultimate RV Checklist - Everything You Need Before Moving Into An RV // localadventurer.comPin

Last Updated: February 11, 2022

The Ultimate RV Checklist for Setup and Teardown

RV Exterior

  • Check and Fill Fresh Water
  • Drain Black and Gray Tanks
  • Disconnect Power and Cable
  • Disconnect Sewer and Water
  • Shut Off Propane
  • Retract and Secure Awning
  • Retract TV or Satellite Antenna
  • Secure Kitchen Vent Flap
  • Raise Rear and Front Jacks
  • Hookup Trailer to Vehicle
  • Remove Wheel Blocks
  • Check Tire Pressure
  • Check Lights
  • Secure RV Steps
  • Lock All Exterior Hatches
  • Double Check Hitch

RV Interior

  • Stored Items Secure
  • Cupboards Closed and Locked
  • Close Ceiling Vents
  • Close Windows and Curtains
  • Put Away Satellite Dish
  • Put Away TV Antenna
  • Empty Kitchen Sink and Counter
  • Secure Refrigerator Items
  • Refrigerator Door Secure
  • Water Pump Off
  • Slides in (Clean Room Beforehand)
  • Take out Trash
  • Turn off Water Heater
  • Turn off Furnace or AC

Vehicle Exterior

  • Tire Pressure
  • Brake Safety Switch
  • Check if Hitch is Secure
  • Check for Leaking Fluids
  • Power Cable
  • Visually Check Underside
  • Fluid Levels

Vehicle Interior

  • Pack Away Drinks and Snacks
  • Program Map or GPS
  • Prep Music
  • Cell Phone Charger
  • Purse / Wallet / ID
  • All Keys Accounted For
  • Sunglasses and Sunblock
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Wet Ones and Paper Towel
  • Pets Walked and Ready
  • Check Mirros and Seat Bets
  • Camera and Camera Batteries
  • Clean Windshield
  • Check Fuel

Final Inspection

  • Check All Doors and Windows
  • Check Steps, Awning, Antennas
  • Inspect Area for Litter
  • Visualize Exit Plan
  • Check for Obstructions
  • Warm Up or Cool Down Vehicle

Ultimate RV Checklist – Everything You Need for Your RV


  • Blanket
  • Sheets
  • Pillow
  • Pillow Cases



Cleaning / Organization

Car + Outside the RV


  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Dr. Bronners Magic Soap (I use it as body wash and shampoo but it has 18-in-1 uses)
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • ☐ Floss
  • First Aid Kit
  • Q-tips
  • Cotton Balls
  • Sunblock
  • Lotion (love using this one my friend Hsiao got me)
  • Dry Shampoo (if we are boondocking and we really need to conserve water)
  • Nail Clippers
  • Makeup (I like to use travel sets to keep things minimal)
  • Makeup Remover
  • Travel Hair Dryer

For the Cats

Patio Setup

RV Essentials - What to Pack Before Your Big Trip // localadventurer.comPin

Our RV Checklist – Optional Things We Like to Have

Things We Bought / Brought But Don’t Use

  • Nesting Bowls – We’d probably use them more as mixing bowls if we could figure out how to bake in our oven. So far all our desserts have been coming out burnt or undercooked. :(
  • Painting Easel – So many outdoor activities that I can’t seem to make time to paint. Soon though!

We’re learning so much about minimizing what we have, and we keep finding more things we could do without. BUT we also keep seeing new gadgets that other Airstreamers have that we want to get! haha

We’re putting together a printable version of this soon, and we’ll continue to update this list as we get rid of or add more things. :)

Think you can handle RV life? What about for one summer? What are some things you’d keep that aren’t necessities but would be worth the space in your RV? What would you put on your RV checklist?

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Patty

    Get a pizza stone for your oven. It helps to even out the cooking. :)

  2. J

    I heard putting a 12×12 porcelain tile in the bottom of the oven helps to keep the temperature even and steady

  3. Raymond Carroll

    Great list. Your RV looks amazing. I love camper van trips. I’ve already started collecting some of this cool gear and hope to add to my collection over the next year. Bookmarked! Thanks for sharing!

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