Moving Day Checklists for RVers

We love our moving day checklists. There are so many different parts of moving day when you’re moving an RV, that it’s too easy to forget something minor that becomes a major hassle later. We double- and triple-check anything safety related (like hitching the trailer to the truck) with or without a list, but rushing to pack up the RV could mean getting to your destination with a gallon (or more) of water on the floor, the contents of your cupboards all over your floor, or just stinky because you forgot to take the trash out before you closed everything up up and traveled 300 miles on a 90-degree day.

a truck pulling a trailer through a dirt rv site.
This is actually an at-our-desintation photo, which is why the steps are out. Don’t drive with your steps out!

We use iPhone’s built-in Notes app, and have 3 shared checklists, so when one of us checks off a task, it updates the other’s list. There are other apps out there that work in similar ways, and this isn’t ideal if we’re staying somewhere without a decent cell signal, but that just means communicating extra well– which is another essential skill for RVers.

screenshot of a checklist in iOS notes.

Originally, we’d planned to print our checklists on full-size paper and laminate them, so we can use a marker to check it off and clean off the sheets when we get to our destination. But we tweak these lists every so often, and using an app means on-the-fly editing.

Everyone’s situation is unique, and what we need to do before moving is probably a bit different than what other RVers need to do. We’re in a travel trailer with 4 cats, but if you’re in a class A with 2 dogs, you probably have a different approach to packing up your furry family members. And you probably don’t have a wheelchair to worry about stowing during transit, either. (I’m a “part-time wheeler.”)

We have 3 lists: one for the 1-2 days before moving day, a second for the day before and actual moving day, and a third specifically for hitching the trailer to the truck. Once we are sitting in the truck and ready to hit the road, we go through our lists one last time to make sure we got everything.

In addition to making it moving day safer and cleaner, this process has decreased our moving day stress a great deal.

Personally, we like traveling with a clean house, because after a long day of travel, we want to kick back and relax at our destination, and not have to worry about breakfast plates in the sink, or looking a dirty bathroom. It’s also easier to keep on top of maintenance, since we’re more likely to find loose screws or doors that won’t latch while we’re doing a good cleaning. And when we’ve had unexpected trouble pop up on the road (like that night we slept on the highway), it’s easier to roll with with the punches when everything is in its place.

We’ve seen lists like these for sale on various blogs and sites, but we think sharing information keeps everyone safe, so we’re going to share the current iterations of our three lists, for you to copy, paste, and customize for your own needs. You can also download a text-only version of these lists. If you do repost these on your blog, you’re welcome to do so, but we just ask that you link back to this post. Thank you!

Do you do anything special to make your moving/tavel days easier?

List 1: 1-2 Days Before Moving

  • Gas up truck
  • Check air in all 8 tires
  • Plan next stop
  • Clean bathroom
  • Put wheelchair… somewhere.
  • Check fridge for old food
  • Charge radios
  • Charge cell battery backup
  • Plan travel day snacks
  • Sweep the floors, mop if needed

List 2: Moving Day

  • Strap down couches
  • Cat condos on couch
  • Unplug and put away main power cord
  • Turn off propane
  • Turn off fridges
  • All bathroom sink stuff put away. Leave hand soap and towel.
  • TPMS & rear camera screens in truck
  • Turn everything off at the panel
  • Unplug everything near all 3 slides & tuck stuff away
  • Secure pots and pans in cabinet and in stove
  • Put snacks in truck
  • Empty tanks and put away hoses
  • Turn off/close bathroom fan, if needed
  • Throw out trash from kitchen, bath, bedroom
  • Check pantry for future messes
  • Put away stuff around TV
  • Scoop boxes & empty Litter Genie if needed
  • Outside stuff in back of truck
  • All shower stuff in shower bins
  • Latch the shower doors
  • Put away kibble bowls (3)
  • Remove spices from spice rack
  • Put away ice machine
  • Empty water bowls (3) and leave in the sink
  • Put away dishes, put dish drainer in sink
  • Put Wally under table/on carpet (Wally is our Roomba)

List 3: Hitching up

  • Verify previous 2 checklists are complete
  • Turn off propane
  • Load cats into truck
  • Bring in slides, make sure nothing is in the way
  • Make sure everything is turned off/unplugged
  • Stairs and railing stowed
  • Insert tow hitch ball bracket to the truck and lock it in position
  • Verify wheel chocks are in place
  • Reset auto leveling system to hitch height/ extend tongue jack and retract all leveling legs
  • Back truck under hitch
  • Open ball latch
  • Lower tongue jack onto hitch ball
  • Close hitch ball lock and install lock
  • Install sway bars into hitch ball brackets and install pin locks
  • Raise trailer tongue jack until the sway bars are near the height of the L-brackets located on the trailer tongue
  • Slide sway bars onto L-brackets, use the pry bar if needed
  • Install lock pins into L-brackets
  • Lower tongue jack and retract to travel height
  • Connect trailer brake away cable
  • Connect safety chains, cross the streams
  • Connect trailer electrical cable
  • Remove tire chocks and stow
  • Stow leveling blocks
  • Verify trailer lights are working
  • Verify the manual trailer brakes work properly
  • Do one last walk-around
  • Enjoy

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