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Checklist - Make One and Use It!


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DW witnessed an accident yesterday that clearly supports the need and use of a checklist when packing up and leaving. Some folks forgot to unhook their electric cable. As a result they ripped the door off the compartment that had the cord's retracting spool. They also tore off the end of their electric cable. Not exactly sure what else was damaged but the electric/water pedestal was damaged to the point the water had to be turned off while a repair was done. I suspect there was damage to the pedestal receptacle too.


We felt bad for them but are grateful that we have a detailed checklist we go over at each departure. We've developed ours over the years as we add or remove things to/from the rig. It is two pages long, very detailed with about 40 items. It has saved our butts a few times when we forgot something: water pressure regulator, batwing antenna, pocket doors secured etc. - Here's a biggie for us: Strap down the piano.


It is a huge help when we get distracted for some reason during our pack-up process.


If you don't have a checklist, I urge you to make one and use it every time you move. Trust me, you'll be glad you did.

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DW witnessed an accident yesterday that clearly supports the need and use of a checklist when packing up and leaving. Some folks forgot to unhook their electric cable. As a result they ripped the door off the compartment that had the cord's retracting spool. They also tore off the end of their electric cable. Not exactly sure what else was damaged but the electric/water pedestal was damaged to the point the water had to be turned off while a repair was done. I suspect there was damage to the pedestal receptacle too.
We felt bad for them but are grateful that we have a detailed checklist we go over at each departure. We've developed ours over the years as we add or remove things to/from the rig. It is two pages long, very detailed with about 40 items. It has saved our butts a few times when we forgot something: water pressure regulator, batwing antenna, pocket doors secured etc. - Here's a biggie for us: Strap down the piano.
It is a huge help when we get distracted for some reason during our pack-up process.
If you don't have a checklist, I urge you to make one and use it every time you move. Trust me, you'll be glad you did.

 

Kevin,

Would you be interested in sharing your checklist? We currently do not use a list but as my memory continues to deteriorate I'm afraid it is just a matter of time before we have some awful incident. Thanks and happy travels. Dennis

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In addition to using a thorough inside/outside check list for set-up and departures, doing a "check walk" around the rig, looking up, down, around, and under before leaving a site can prevent a lot of damage and/or loss. Anything hanging, dripping, still connected, flapping, deployed, open? Anything left behind, e.g., chairs, tools, boxes, cords, the dog, one's travel partner, if any? Doing a walk-around doesn't take long, and may save a lot of hassle.

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I have never, ever understood how one could still be hooked up to power when they have started their rig. But then I guess we are different, because the last thing we do is unhook the power (with me inside verifying that it is off) before starting the engine. THEN we can bring up the jacks and we have to walk around the rig to gather up the pads under the jacks, as well as making sure the window awnings are retracted. After 10 years, we don't use a written down checklist, but we do each have our 'jobs' and we do it in a repetitive order.

 

What can really trip one up is someone deciding that now is an appropriate time to initiate a conversation. Not during the whole time you've been there, but while you are involved in packing up, unhooking, etc. You know, things that take concentration - that is the perfect time to ask questions? I'll never understand that.

 

Barb

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Kevin,

Would you be interested in sharing your checklist? We currently do not use a list but as my memory continues to deteriorate I'm afraid it is just a matter of time before we have some awful incident. Thanks and happy travels. Dennis

 

Wow, it's over 60 items. Oh well. It works for us!! Now that we are used to the process, we can review the list in about a minute. We go over it together since each does different steps in the packing process.

 

Attached as text file, could not attach a spreadsheet. Copy and paste into whatever format you want.

 

In addition to using a thorough inside/outside check list for set-up and departures, doing a "check walk" around the rig, looking up, down, around, and under before leaving a site can prevent a lot of damage and/or loss. Anything hanging, dripping, still connected, flapping, deployed, open? Anything left behind, e.g., chairs, tools, boxes, cords, the dog, one's travel partner, if any? Doing a walk-around doesn't take long, and may save a lot of hassle.

 

Agreed and great advice. The last thing we do before moving is turn on all the vehicle lights and do a walk around. Also, look at the hitch to see the jaws are closed. After we pull out, we stop a few yards out of the site and do a site walk around.

Checklist.txt

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We are with Barb in that we don't have a check list in over 15+ years but, we do a walk around the rig, looking at tires, jacks have retracted underneath properly and so on before we ever put the keys in the ignition. Again, hubby does the outside most of the time, albeit I do about 20% of the time if he's a bit slow starting his day when we are moving. Our biggest thing of concern is the TV ant' getting forgotten - we did it once at the beginning but remembered quite quickly within several yards. Since then if we deploy the ant' we now hang the keys on the handle so we can't drive off without finding the keys there as a reminder.

 

Even if we just pull over enroute for the night and most times even when doing quick stops, we will always do a walk around the rig just as an interim check in case anything occurred overnight or whilst travelling/having lunch etc.

 

It's all become very habitual to us, and whilst we don't use one nowadays, can totally agree that any newbie or very spasmodic travelling RV owner should have one until it does become commonplace on a consistent basis. We've seen many going down the highway with loose fitting Dishes and Ant's up, as well seen left open air vents in Kitchen/Bathroom waving up and down and in one case ripped totally off passing us.

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I use the "Packing Pro" app on my iPhone). Three sections : In Cab; In Trailer; Outside. Total of 32 items. The truck never moves until we have run through the list and probably 40% of the time one of us has to go back & check if something was done. It usually is, but good to know.

 

I also do a complete walk around before getting in the truck and check everything visually, top ( sat dish, antenna) and bottom (sewer hose, elec cord, tires). Also scroll through the Pressure Pro as I get in the cab.

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Ours includes strapping down the deep freeze, truck inverter on (power to deep freeze, beer keg, battery charging), beer keg strapped down. One of the great things about this, we all have our own style.

 

We brew beer while on the road and usually have 2 flavors (5 gallons each) in the kegger.

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I realized when reading the list that there is a difference between a motorhome and 5er in terms of getting ready as we are IN our house as we go down the road, so if a sliding door isn't hooked open, or the kitchen roof vent isn't closed tight, I'll know it right away and it is a quick fix.

 

Barb

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Kevin H, was this a motorhome that your DW witnessed?

 

Yup. I am being ambiguous as I do not want to identify and embarrass them if they are on the forum. My intention was to reinforce the use of checklists. If airline pilots use checklists, that works for me!!

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That must be an electric? We have carried a keyboard but only a portable one. Pam wanted to take her Spinet piano but it weighs far too much and probably would not stay tuned if bouncing about in an RV.

 

You are correct, Kirk. It is a Yamaha Electronic CLP 585. GREAT piano. Not nearly as heavy as an acoustical but still around 200 pounds. As you pointed out it does not get out of tune. We got rid of our heavy sofa sleeper so we figured it was about a wash in weight. Another big plus for the electric is she can practice with headphones.

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I have never, ever understood how one could still be hooked up to power when they have started their rig. But then I guess we are different, because the last thing we do is unhook the power (with me inside verifying that it is off) before starting the engine. THEN we can bring up the jacks and we have to walk around the rig to gather up the pads under the jacks, as well as making sure the window awnings are retracted. After 10 years, we don't use a written down checklist, but we do each have our 'jobs' and we do it in a repetitive order.

 

What can really trip one up is someone deciding that now is an appropriate time to initiate a conversation. Not during the whole time you've been there, but while you are involved in packing up, unhooking, etc. You know, things that take concentration - that is the perfect time to ask questions? I'll never understand that.

 

Barb

I agree Barb...my wife uses a written down checklist for her tasks....I don't. But I do start the engine of the MH before I am done my tasks as it takes the engine a while to warm up and the air suspension to air up. So I start the engine and finish my tasks. One thing I do though before moving the rig is to do a walk around looking at the cargo bay doors, the roof and underneath. Double check my toad hookups.

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Love the piano!!!! I schlepp the Yamaha CP300 that's part of my "gig rig" at home ... it's an 88 key, weighted key, graded hammer action board that weighs in at roughly 70 lbs. It "lives" in a hard case in the basement. When the weather is right - I just set it up outside next to the coach. If the weather isn't cooperating and I'm feeling the urge to play - I drag it in. I've got the option of using either the onboard speakers ... or playing thru headphones. It's the typical "gigging musician" black slab of an instrument - but has a great action and sound. I like how your's is a "permanent" fixture in your rig. There are days that I skip playing simply because I don't feel like dealing with setting it up and tearing it down.

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