Travel Tip: Moving Day Chores

By:  Kelly Barnett

10th Nov, 17

For some RVers, travel days can be stressful. Over the years we've found that we've each taken on certain chores that we need to accomplish to make our travel days go smoothly.

When we first purchased our Heartland Landmark Key Largo back in 2011, I created a checklist for travel days that helped us remember all the things we needed to do to ensure a safe, smooth, and stress-free travel day.

We're so familiar with our chores these days that I very seldom feel the need to use the checklist anymore. About the only time I do use it now is if we've been parked for a particularly long time, and I'm afraid we may forget some small something.

While my original checklist was an Excel spreadsheet, I have since found a cellphone app called 'RV Checklist' that comes in pretty darn handy and is customizable for your situation. Plus the app also has a checklist for after you arrive at your destinations, a camping preparation list AND a Pre-Delivery Inspection (PDI) list…and it's FREE!

Preparing To Move

Michael concentrates mostly on the outside chores. He dumps all the tanks and rinses out the hoses before storing them in their homes. He stows the grill, outdoor chairs, our welcome sign, and any other items that may have been taken out. He also takes down and stows the satellite dish and tripod in the basement.He ensures that we have a little bit of water in the fresh water tank, just in case. Lastly, he reels in the power cord and wipes it clean of any dirt or debris.

While Michael works outside, I work inside. I make sure that everything is put away and stored in its 'travel home': securing cabinets and shelves so that nothing goes flying around inside the fifth wheel as we head down the road. I make sure that the shower door and closet doors are locked in place and that all the windows are closed, and the shades are pulled down (we prefer the shades drawn while we travel).

Customarily, we have breakfast sandwiches [Read Kelly's Review of Hamilton Beach Breakfast Sandwich Maker] for breakfast on travel days, so I make those, do any dishes, dry them, and then put them away as well. I also make sure that our lunch is prepared and easily accessible. When all our inside and outside chores are complete, we're ready to hitch up!

Hitching Up

Normally, we both work to get hitched up. Michael disengages the stabilizer jacks and brings up the back landing jacks on the coach and makes sure the hitch is in the proper position and then backs the truck while I raise and lower the coach, using the handy dandy switch so that it lines up with the hitch.

I have Michael back up just far enough so that the tail gate can close safely but before closing the tail gate I attach the emergency breakaway cable that runs from the RV to the truck and plug in the IV cable which runs the lights, charges the battery operates the RV brakes. With those items out of the way, I can continue having Michael back the truck up.

Michael and I are careful to never have the truck in gear while I am in between the coach and the truck.He makes sure to put the truck in 'park' if I need to go between the two for any reason. Who wants to take the chance of his foot slipping off the brake and the truck backing up with me behind it?

When the hitch in the truck and pin on the coach are lined up, I raise or lower the RV so that the pin will be at the right height to slide smoothly into the jaws of the hitch. Then I guide Michael all the way back until the truck hitch and trailer are connected. I can tell it's good to go when it makes just the right sound, and I can see that the jaws of the hitch are firmly wrapped around the fifth wheel pin.

Then once the hitch is locked in place, I check the air in the hitch and add any if needed. Once done, Michael does a pull test to make doubly sure that the coach and truck are fully hitched together. Don't forget we dropped the coach on the truck way back when! You can read about that little mishap HERE.

After confirming that we're properly hitched, I move to the back of the RV so that we can do a light check. Michael tests all the lights (brakes, flashers and turn signals) and I use hand signals to let him know which lights are on and working. Then it's just a matter of me hopping in the truck and hitting the road.

*Kelly Barnett (2PSNAPOD) is a paid contributor to HeartlandRV's blog. All opinions expressed are her own.*

Kelly Barnett

Kelly Barnett

RV There Yet Chronicles

My husband, Michael, and I have been living fulltime in our 2011 Landmark Key Largo since April of 2011 and LOVE every minute of it. 

When Michael retired from the US Army in October of 2012 (after 29 years of service) we hit the road and haven’t looked back. 

We usually work in the south Texas oilfields in the winter and spend time with our two sons and their families in the summer. We travel and sight-see as much and often as possible.