Packing an RV is a fairly simple business. After all, the entire point of having a home on wheels is to have complete freedom to go wherever you like, whenever you like. That said, there are a few considerations that should be made before each trip with your travel trailer or motorhome.
Fortunately, you’ve come to the right place to learn more about the things you should be checking before you hit the road. Whether you’re heading out on your first trip, heading home from the last trip of the season, or a full-time RVer looking for a few reminders, we have the steps you need to know right here in this article.
1. Go minimal
First and foremost, you’ll want to keep in mind that all trailers and motorhomes have weight limits. Know your limits and stay under them. This might mean cutting back on the amount of stuff you pack into the RV, but minimalism during RV trips is a small price to pay for safety on the road.
2. Aim for balance
Once you decide what you will be bringing along, pack it in. The goal is to load everything as evenly as possible, with perhaps a little more weight to the front of the axles. This will help prevent a lopsided rig, which could lead to dangerous swaying and tire blowouts.
Keep in mind that appliances like ovens and washing machines are quite heavy, meaning you’ll want to pack fewer items in the areas around these things.
3. Keep it low
In addition to keeping things as balanced as possible, you will also want to keep heavy items low to the ground. This will help prevent breakages and injury due to falling or flying objects. It also helps distribute weight nicely.
Examples of things you will want to store on the floor include cans of soda, bottled water, small appliances, chairs, coolers, and outside toys.
4. Put weight on the axles
If you have especially heavy items, those should be stored on—or a bit in front of—the axles. This also helps with even distribution of the weight, especially if you’re hauling something extra heavy, such as weights for lifting or large containers of water.
5. Secure loose items
Of course you don’t want things flying around your trailer or motorhome while you drive. So it’s important to make sure everything is secured. Line cabinets with slip-resistant shelf paper, put small loose items into a cabinet or drawer, move small appliances to the floor, tie things down, etc. This will help keep your stuff and your family safe from harm.
6. Bungee cabinet doors
Although all RVs are made with cabinet doors that click shut, some have been known to swing open. If you are storing breakables or heavy items in any of your cabinets, use a small bungee cord in order to ensure those doors stay shut.
7. Lock the fridge and freezer
Forgetting to lock the fridge and freezer is a common but unfortunate mistake. RV refrigerators are made with locks for a reason, so use them. All it takes is a gallon of milk pushing against the fridge door, and you’ll be left with a warm refrigerator, a bunch of bad food, and a big mess to clean up.
Obviously, this is not the best way to begin a camping adventure.
8. Hitch up properly
If you are pulling a trailer, you will have to deal with hitching it up every time you travel. A hitch with weight distribution and sway control is a must for those with bumper-pull trailers, and the manufacturer’s instructions for using the hitch should always be carefully followed.
If you aren’t sure you are using the hitch properly, watch YouTube videos or ask a friend or family member for help. Don’t hit the road until you’re positive you’ve got it right.
9. Put it all in
Before you pull out, you’ll have to pull it all in. This means you’ll need to unhook your water hose, dump the tanks, unhook the sewer line, unplug the power cable, pull up the jacks, pull in the steps, and put away any awnings or antennae.
Additionally, you will want to make sure all windows and vent covers are closed for the trip.
10. Walk around
Finally, when everything is finished and ready to go, be sure to do a walk-around of the entire setup. Check the tires for any abnormalities and/or low pressure. Make sure all lights are working.
Double check that everything is pulled in and secured, and take one last look at your hitch to ensure everything was done properly.
By following these steps every time you take your RV out on the road, you can avoid potential problems and make sure all your trips are good ones.