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Old 03-26-2023, 06:34 AM   #1
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Starting Out Checklist?

Total noob here. My wife and I just bought our first RV. PreOwned. Holiday Rambler Atlantis (2004, 48k miles). Is there a good checklist for maintaining an RV? Something to check before you leave home? A list to check when winterizing it?

Any other "first timers" advice you'd like to pass along?

I'm pretty handy. We owned a home until last year when we sold it to move closer to our daughter in CO, and I got pretty good at fixing things, but I also learned to let pros deal with some stuff. So learning that difference with our new (to us) RV seems like a good idea, too.

Thanks for any help you can give us toward getting off to a good start!

Jeff K.
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Old 03-26-2023, 07:33 AM   #2
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So many things, but a couple big ones I look at are
-Tire air pressure the day we leave.
-We keep at least a small amount of fresh water in the tank for the bathroom. If there is an accident and your stuck on the road for hours, this is nice to have.
-Full tank of gas.
-Check oil once a month
-Add washer fluid when needed
-Look for dash lights that might have came on(check engine, ABS, ect)
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Old 03-26-2023, 08:03 AM   #3
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Before you put it in "D" for drive.

Do a couple of walk arounds on the rig.
First start at the front center, go around and physically try to open each handle, make sure everything is locked. Keep going around the rig, until you get back to your starting position.
Next do a walk around again, this time looking under the rig to make sure everything below the latch handle position is secured. Also, I count the number of lug nuts on each wheel.
Next do a check and verify everything on the roof is down, antenna.

Next, before you pull out, check make sure all of your lights are working:
left turn signal
right turn signal
4-way (emergency) flashers
clearance lights all around the rig

Now for an overlooked item, if you are towing anything, have wife stay outside and make sure the wheels on the toad, trailer is turning before leaving.

Story behind that:
a mother/daughter leaving Medina Lake one day, put the Jeep on the dolly.
Took off and one of them forgot to follow their procedure and dragged the Jeep over a mile to the main road. They flattened the rear tires, flat spotted both rims. So, it was probably close to a $1000 lesson they learnt that day. But the cost is just an estimate, not sure what they paid. we have not seen them since.

Now do we do all of this, yes, every time we leave. I have had people comment "You act like you are doing a pre-flight inspection."

Another piece of advice about this:
If you get distracted, start over again. Don't trust you did not forget something; you just walked past and did not check.
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Old 03-26-2023, 10:12 AM   #4
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Here is something you may want to look into.

I have several books that I have purchased over the years, but mind tend to work for 5th wheel trailers. I have developed my own check list that my wife and I follow every time we hook-up and unhook plus set up in the campground. But these are my list and may not work for a motorhome.

Mine are stored on my computer and printed out each time we travel. We note any changes over the years and update the list as required. We have been camping since we were first married in 1970 and have used some form or another check list. You cannot remember everything time in and time out we even have a packing list for our food that we use.

Good luck and enjoy.
Jim & Jill
Sold: 2010 318SAB Cougar:New: 2016 Cedar Creek 34RL. 2008 Dodge 6.7LCummins the original 6.7L engine, w/68RFE Auto
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Old 03-26-2023, 12:28 PM   #5
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Here are some good checklists to get you started. Do a Google for RV Checklists and many appear.
Full-timed for 16 Years . . .
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& 8 yr in a 33' Travel Supreme 5th wheel
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Old 03-27-2023, 08:16 AM   #6
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This is great, thanks!
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Old 03-27-2023, 06:37 PM   #7
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There are literally hundreds of check lists available online. Some good. Some not so good.

As far as getting started & what to buy goes, start with a pad of paper & a pencil. Write down what you find that you need as you find that you need it. Buy decent quality of whatever you need. If you buy cheap it will break & you will then have to buy what you should have bought in the first place.
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Old 03-27-2023, 06:42 PM   #8
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camp in it in your driveway for a couple of days. you will find small problems and what you forgot you needed .
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Old 03-28-2023, 03:50 AM   #9
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You can download an Owner's Manual from this link:
Read that cover to cover and once you encounter a problem, read it again. You can also do a key word search for a particular item like "checklist".

It has all the info and checklists you need for your coach: Maintenance, Pre-trip, setup & break camp Checklists,Winter Storage along with pretty much everything else.

One of the most important things is proper tire pressure for your loading and get a good TMPS. They won't be cheap but peanuts compared to possible damage a tire failure can cause. If towing or planning to tow a car, get a 10 sensor unit to cover the toad also.
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Old 03-28-2023, 07:59 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by JeffKrantz View Post
.....Is there a good checklist for maintaining an RV? Something to check before you leave home? A list to check when winterizing it? Any other "first timers" advice you'd like to pass along?.........
Welcome to the forum and congratulations on your new motorhome!!

Do an internet search on checklist for maintaining an RV and winterizing an rv and you will find plenty. Also do an internet search on departure checkist and you will find plenty such as As a relatively new motorhome owner myself suggest learning how to operate everything on your motorhome before your first trip so you will not have any surprises when you arrive at a campsite plus take your time to get comfortable driving your wide body motorhome and staying within the lane.
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Old 03-28-2023, 08:22 AM   #11
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Before moving the RV, at home, campground or after a rest stop, I always walk around it 3 times. Once to check all the compartment latches, fridge vent cover, tires, and the cap on the waste pipe. Once to check everything above my head. Final pass to check lights and the tow bar connections and toad. I also carry a OBD2 reader to read the check engine light codes.
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Old 03-31-2023, 02:42 PM   #12
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As a professional pilot I've lived with checklist my entire life. Owning an RV is no different. You will need to develop your own checklists and will add to it after some experience. I had 3 checklists for our motorhome. An arriving the CG checklist, Departing the CG checklist, and a stowing the motorhome checklists. All 3 checklists were on a laminated 8.5 x 5.5 card. I never moved the coach without accomplishing the appropriate checklist. So I never drived away with the awning out, the power plugged in or the OTA antenna extended, all things I've seen others do.
The most important item on any departing the CG checklist is an exterior walk around. All those items above would have been caught before departing even if they weren't on a checklist.
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