If you have a caravan, campervan, or motorhome one essential habit to develop is going over some sort of checklist of the things-you-need-to-do before leaving your campsite or holiday park.
There are always a ton of things that need closing, securing and stowing away before you pull out of your site, and no matter how many times you have done this, there will be that ONE time when you are distracted and forget, or think that someone else has already done it.
That ONE time can deliver outcomes ranging from slightly embarrassing to potentially hazardous.
Whilst having breakfast one morning at a campsite in New Zealand I happened to glance out of the window to see another campervan taking off up the road with their power cable still connected. It was trailing along behind the van and whipping around across the lanes.
Sketchy as bro.
Ripley’s Pre Flight Checklist.
- TV antenna down.
Because I once drove away with it up. OK?
- Awning secure.
- External lockers shut.
- Tyre pressures OK.
- GAS OFF.
Ripley’s propaine tanks are located in an external locker. It is easy to forget to turn them off.
- TV secure.
Our TV sits up front just behind the driver & passanger seats. It swings down from the roof and is secured by a little catch.
- Skylights Shut.
- Windows closed
- Window views clear.
- Front bullbar clear of towels.
We often hang towels and swim gear on our bullbar to dry.
- Toilet closed.
- Umbilical stowed.
Stowing the power cable is one of the last things I do before leaving.
- Greywater hose stowed
- Wheel chocks stowed
- Cupboards locked.
The last thing you want is plates and food containers flying around the cabin.
- Juno on board. We dont want to leave the little guy behind!
- Dog water low. We leave a little water in his bowl for him, but not enough that it sloshes out when cornering.
- Snacks & water in cockpit.
- Loose surface items secured.
- Destination set in google maps. Because I have NO idea how to get there.
- Smile. Smile activation is mandatory before engaging thrusters.
The Peg Method.
One neat analog trick I saw was a lady who wrote each checklist item on the side of a clothes peg. As she performed each task when arriving at a new campsite she would clip its peg onto a ledge above the cooktop. They were even colour coded for inside & outside tasks.
When leaving she simply removed each peg as the task was completed. You could easily see what had not yet been done.