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Old 10-21-2013, 07:43 PM   #1
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Pre-Launch Checklist

Hey, yeah newbie...

I have been reading and enjoying all of your advice and foibles (just a different kind of advice) and came across the term "Pre-Launch Checklist". Well, it doesn't take a dummy to figure out what that is and, as I am the DW and am really good about my Pre-Launch list (which has notes about toothbrushes and pillows) I would love to see one on the serious side that talks to safety and everything you all check every time you hit the road. My DH is good (retired aircraft mechanic) but we are new at this and he only dreams it flies, so there may be things he's missing in the check out. If you have something you print and use all the time, please share. Would love to see it.

Laura
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Old 10-21-2013, 11:04 PM   #2
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We have 4 or 5 clipboards with different things to do. Each one is binder paper with items on the left and 5-7 columns on the right. This will handle 5-7 separate trips. Check them off as you go.

DW has one (TAKE WITH US) for food, clothes, cellphone, glasses, etc. I have one (TAKE WITH US) for my stuff: pistola, cell phone, glasses, Garmin, dog's stuff, and much, much more.

One clipboard for HOUSE CHECKOFF: water off, stat set, neighbors notified, and many more.

One clipboard for DOLPHIN CHECKOFF: antenna down, windows closed, fridge check, stove work, toilet flush, engine oil, trans fluid, spare parts and many more.

Sounds like a lot and it is for the first few times. After you make a few trips and get used to checking things, some a couple of days in advance, it is not bad at all.

If you want to pm me with a fax# I can send these pages off to you. (Can't scan for an email....too inept)
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Old 10-22-2013, 07:40 AM   #3
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I used paper checklists with the last Coach, a Beaver Patriot; with the Essex I went digital... If you have/use an Ipad or Iphone, there is an App called "RV Checklists". It's a great App that comes with "premade" checklists which you can also delete, add to, modify or create new ones! The "Pre-launch" and "Arrival" checklists now reside on my Ipad, and the items are "checked off" as we ratchet down through the checklists prior to departure or after arrival.
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Old 10-22-2013, 09:05 AM   #4
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Thanks ken - I'll try the app for my next trip! Last time we went I tried to trash the antenna even though I have a very good routine down - but I had been distracted while in the middle of that routine - scared me a lot!
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Old 10-22-2013, 09:27 AM   #5
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We created our own inside checklist (things secured, commode lid down so towels don't fall in, drawers/doors closed, etc) and outside checklist (put stuff away, hook up, etc). I do outside and DW does inside. Then I go back inside and do a quick visual to check her work (knives left on counter-top?). When I am ready for engine start, she goes outside and checks my work, locks the toad, then verifies lights, turn and brake signals are working. By the time she is done, the air is up and we are ready to hit the road.
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Old 10-22-2013, 07:59 PM   #6
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OMG, Ken, I think I love you. Pulling my ipad out
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Old 10-23-2013, 09:19 AM   #7
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I downloaded the app on my Android.
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Old 10-23-2013, 10:04 AM   #8
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Many years ago we visited a farming relative who gave us four pepper squash to take home in the MH.These, we stashed on the floor in the bed-room,around the corner and against the forward wall of same.Two of them managed to roll out of the bed-room to somewhere in the main aisle where they rested until I had to make a panic stop at free-way speeds. It's an easy calculation to come up with the speed that these two squash attained before they joined us at the front of the MH.

I learned a lot driving that old Pace Arrow that day and subsequent days.Not the least of which ,was don't tail-gate and develop and use a check-list that incorporates such contingincies.I am even developing a check list for end of trip shut-down.

Air plane pilots who are a lot better trained than most of us,use check-lists for everything from start-up to shut-down.This approach would make life better for all concerned. IMHO
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Old 10-23-2013, 11:14 AM   #9
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Smile Pre launch checklist

You may have your checklist refined by now but even with the apps and clipboards (which are all good) sometimes you just accidentally glance over something important. It doesn't take but one time crashing your antenna into a bridge overpass or gas station roofline to remember to lower it before you travel. We always tie a bandana or cutsie stuffed toy around the steering wheel as soon as we raise the antenna. It stays there until we prep to leave reminding us to lower the offending appendage.
Safe travels!
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Old 10-23-2013, 11:32 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wepinegar View Post
Thanks ken - I'll try the app for my next trip! Last time we went I tried to trash the antenna even though I have a very good routine down - but I had been distracted while in the middle of that routine - scared me a lot!
Bill,
I've been disrupted also and forgot things that scared the heck out of me... and I was aircrew for 20 years! That's why, with the complexity of the Essex, I went digital and I have developed one other rule, that is NEVER VIOLATED my "final walk around" before releasing the brakes! With the engine idling I leave the cockpit and walk around the outside of the coach, I visually verify the jacks are retracted, all shore connections are broke, all bay doors are closed, toad tow connections are secure and the roof is clear! IMO, the best "rule" any RV driver can have!
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Old 10-23-2013, 12:05 PM   #11
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The above advise says it all. I too am an aircraft mechanic and just like doing maint on ac I use a checklist . Its the simple repeated things that get us in trouble. Its easy to check over the list before you sit in the drivers seat and just acknowledge to your self or partner that it is done. Then its happy travels.
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Old 10-23-2013, 05:13 PM   #12
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After hooking up the toad more than 100 times prior to departing the campground, I deviated from my standard procedure...and hooked it up on site the night before. I forgot to disconnect the driveshaft immediately after hooking up the tow bar...and prior to hooking up the safety cables, electric, air and breakaway. Do you think I remembered to disconnect the driveshaft in the morning when we left the pad? Heck no...I thought I was ready to go. Luckily the grass was wet and we left some big ruts there...and some skid marks on the asphalt for about 100' until somebody came running out of their RV and told me that the rear wheels on my toad were locked up. A checklist, written or electronic, would likely have alerted me.
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Old 10-24-2013, 06:48 PM   #13
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We use the RV app religiously and have avoided many newbi blunders. After three months we still use it and the check off feature for those times when you have to jump up and do a forgotten task. As I a a firm believer in redundant backups we have a paper copy too. I believe it was Pasteur that said "Fortune favors the prepared mind" or as dear old dad liked to say "Proper prior planing prevents piss poor performance."
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Old 10-24-2013, 11:57 PM   #14
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I am retired Army Air Crew. And yes, I have a check list we use prior to leaving for a trip. I also have a check list for connecting up the toad. Usually we load our RV for a trip or connect the toad and then follow up with the checklist to make sure nothing was forgotten.

Safe Travels.

JD
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