Owning a new trailer can be a very anxiety-inducing experience. First-timers face a simple 46 step process to get in and out of a campsite. Skip a step or do something wrong, and you may be facing costly damage to your new investment. Don’t worry, someone from the dealer will walk you through the process once before sending you out on your own.

And if you are able to get through it the first time by yourself, you still have to remember all the steps in reverse to get back home. And then do it again in a couple weeks.

A year into camper ownership, much of this has become relatively second nature, but we never would have made it through without some good checklists. I found great lists online and adapted them to our specific needs. So now it is time to pass it on.

Of course this is our process for our set up. Everyone has a slightly different procedure, so I have included the check lists for arrival and departure in excel spread sheet form. Feel free to customize, print and take with you on your next adventure!

Day Before Departure

Turn on propane
Check propane levels
Close refrigerator door
Turn on refrigerator
Relock Trailer

Before Leaving

Turn battery disconnect to ON position
Turn on propane and refrigerator if not done before
Dump out DampRid
Check battery water levels
Replace water heater anode
Check for tire inflation and check lug nuts
Check that ball is securely attached
Check that cross pin and lock on hitch are in place and secure
Check the electrical connector for loose or frayed wires at the plug and where it is connected to the tow vehicles wiring
Attach ball mount to truck
Insert hitch pin and secure with alligator clip
Remove bolt from coupler
Raise coupler release
Grease ball if necessary
Back up TV, aligning coupler and ball
Lower coupler onto ball until ball is securely in coupler
If couple won’t seat, gently roll truck forward a half inch
Press coupler release down and attach coupler bolt
Raise trailer and truck to neutral position by raising jack
Insert weight distribution hitch bars
Hook current link of chain on hook of bracket
Use bar lever on arm of bracket to raise hook and lock in place
Insert alligator clips
Attach sway bar
Turn sway bar handle to increase tension
Raise jack to stop line
Remove pin and remove trailer foot
Attach safety chains
Attach breakaway switch cable
Connect 7-way electrical from trailer to truck
Store levelers and chocks
Return all tools to bin
Lock storage bins
Lock trailer
Put away steps
Store hand bar
Check: headlights, turn signals, brakes, flashers
Final walk around trailer
Pull out

Arriving at site

Before getting to site if water is needed:

Connect water to site spigot
Connect water to fresh water tank
Turn on water
Turn on faucets (especially hot water heater)

img_6204

When first at site:

Check to make sure room for slide out (2ft), awning (8ft)
Pull trailer into place
Line up power source
Complete side-to-side level check – use levelers
Chock Wheels

If site has electric:

Check pedestal power
* Turn the onshore breaker to OFF
* Plug in yellow surge protector
* Turn onshore breaker to ON
* Read surge protector
* Turn OFF onshore breaker
Plug power cord into trailer then pedestal
Turn the breaker ON

Unhooking from tow vehicle:

Disconnect 7-way electrical cable
Attach tongue foot and pin
Move tongue foot down, raise trailer to neutral posistion
Remove sway bar
Remove alligator clips from hook bars
Use bar lever on hook bar arm to lower chain hook
Remove weight distribution bars
Remove coupler latch bolt
Lower trailer with jack
Release coupler latch
Raise tongue with jack until tongue clears ball
Disconnect tow chains and breakaway switch cable to tow vehicle
Reattach coupler pin
Move tow vehicle forward
Put ball cover on ball
Raise or lower tongue jack to level trailer front to rear
Lower trailer stabilizer jacks
Recheck level

Other outside setup:

Install X-chocks
Set up rug, chairs, etc.
Open hot eater outside panel cover and flip outside switch IF WATER IS FILLED

2109s water heater

If stie has water:

Connect hose to spigot
Connect hose to trailer
Turn water on

If site has sewer:

Connect sewer hose and make sure both ends are secure
Open gray water if staying a few days, DO NOT OPEN BLACK WATER

Arrival inside:

Check top of slide for slide lock
Check outside for room for slide
Deploy slide
Open bathroom fan and turn on
Start heater or AC if needed
Raise TV antenna
Turn on TV booster
Open exhaust vent
Deploy awning
Put out rugs, trash can, etc.

Departure

Inside:

Unplug matress
Refrigerator items into cooler
Turn refrigerator off
Close and lock bathroom fan
Close vent over bed
Retract TV antenna
Turn off TV booster
Secure TV
Turn off radio
Clean toilet and bathroom
If black water less than 3/4 full, add water
Stow loose items
Check all cabinet doors
Check all windows
Secure blind over kitchen sink
Turn off thermostat
Turn off all lights
Water pump off
Water heater off inside
Drain water heater
Check slide tops for debris
Retract slide
Add slide lock if needed
Check awning locks
Retract awning
Lock shower
Discard trash

Outside:

Fold up and stow carpet, chairs, outside items
Turn pedestal power OFF
Disconnect shore power and stow cord
Sewer Dump – see attached
Disconnect and stow water hose
Open fresh water valve to drain tank
Water heater off outside
Turn off propane tank
Raise stabilizer jacks
Remove bolt from coupler
Raise coupler release
Lift trailer via jack, if necessary
Back up TV, aligning coupler and ball
Lower coupler onto ball until ball is securely in coupler
If couple won’t seat, gently roll truck forward a half inch
Press coupler release down and attach coupler bolt
Raise trailer and truck to neutral position by raising jack
Insert weight distribution hitch bars
Hook current link of chain on hook of bracket
Use bar lever on arm of bracket to raise hook and lock in place
Insert alligator clips
Attach sway bar
Turn sway bar handle to increase tension
Raise jack to stop line
Remove pin and remove trailer foot
Attach safety chains
Attach breakaway switch cable
Connect 7-way electrical from trailer to truck
Store levelers and chocks
Return all tools to bin
Lock storage bins
Lock trailer
Put away steps
Store hand bar
Check: headlights, turn signals, brakes, flashers
Final walk around trailer
Pull out

Sewer Dump:

Make sure black water is 3/4 full
Put on plastic gloves
Connect black tank flush hose to flush connector (if available)
Connect clear swivel to hose
Connect hose to trailer
Connect adapter to to swivel
Place adapter in ground
Double check all connections
Pull valve to open black tank
After black tank mostly empty turn on water connected to black tank flush (if available)
Turn off black tank flush and allow to drain
Close black tank valve
Open gray tank valve – allow to drain
Close gray tank valve
Recheck both black water and gray water slides
Disconnect sewer hose
Replace cap
Use fresh water to spray out hose
Replace end caps
Put all caps in sewer hose container
Put deodorizer in trailer toilet with 1 gallon water

2109s sewer dump

Putting in storage:

Park trailer
Chock wheels
Disconnect 7-way electrical cable
Attach tongue foot and pin
Move tongue foot down, raise trailer to neutral posistion
Remove sway bar
Remove alligator clips from hook bars
Use bar lever on hook bar arm to lower chain hook
Remove weight distribution bars
Remove coupler latch bolt
Lower trailer with jack
Release coupler latch
Raise tongue with jack until tongue clears ball
Disconnect tow chains and breakaway switch cable to tow vehicle
Reattach coupler pin
Move tow vehicle forward
Remove ball mount
Raise or lower tongue jack to level trailer front to rear
Turn battery disconnect to OFF
Set out Damprid, dehumidifier
Open fridge and freezer doors – prop open
Look storage and trailer door
Close gate and padlock

We now do most of this by memory, but like to check back in every now and then. What other processes and systems do you use?

One thought on “Trailer Arrival and Departure Checklists

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