Thursday, June 8, 2023


What should I do when I have to leave the RV behind for a few days or weeks?

When leaving the RV behind for a few days or a few weeks, a checklist comes in handy to make sure everything is good when you go and, most importantly, when you come back.

We are living in our RV full-time and were needing to leave it for a week-and-a-half. How hard could that be? Just lock the door and go, right? Not quite.

On the road with the first drops of rain falling on our car windshield, we both asked simultaneously, “Did you close the vent?” After a rather unpleasant discussion about who actually opened the bathroom vent, we both said, “I don’t remember. Do you?”

I decided right then and there to create a checklist for when we need to leave the RV behind.

Checklist to leave the RV behind

Electronics and appliances

  • Turn off all TVs.
  • Turn off the satellite receiver.
  • Unplug all countertop appliances.


  • Take out the garbage and recycling.
  • Toss, give away or freeze anything perishable.
  • Clean out fridge and freezer and leave doors ajar if not plugged in. Turn off.
  • Turn off the ice maker and dump the remaining ice (or use it or give it to your neighbor!).
  • If you’re not plugged into power and the generator has auto start and stop, make sure it is programmed for generator hours or disable auto-start. (Disclaimer: I haven’t figured that whole piece out. An RV technician set it up originally.)

Windows and doors

  • Double-check that vents are closed. (!)
  • Close all windows.
  • Check that the washer door is ajar.

Holding tanks and water

  • Dump holding tanks.
  • Disconnect sewer hose and store. (Our sewer hose has been a bridge for mice in the past.)
  • Disconnect water hose and cap end (do not want anyone turning the water spigot on from outside while we were gone).
  • Double-check that the water pump is off.


  • Pull night or sun shades down.
  • Put out mouse repellent and plug in the “don’t-know-if-it-really-works-or-not” sonic mouse repeller.
  • Lock all bay doors.
  • Check that safe is closed and locked.
  • Turn lights off.
  • Give a trusted neighbor a key or code to get in. Also leave them phone numbers and address where we can be reached in case of an emergency with the RV.
  • Let the RV park know the dates we’ll be gone and who has a key to our RV.
  • Now, finally, lock the door and leave!

Geez. That reminds me of getting ready for winter! Not having to deal with winter is why we are full-time snowbirds. Already I am missing sleeping in my own bed!


Is your RV packing on the pounds? Try these 10 steps to shed some rig weight


Nanci Dixon
Nanci Dixon
Nanci Dixon has been a full-time RVer living “The Dream” for the last six years and an avid RVer for decades more! She works and travels across the country in a 40’ motorhome with her husband. Having been a professional food photographer for many years, she enjoys snapping photos of food, landscapes and an occasional person. They winter in Arizona and love boondocking in the desert. They also enjoy work camping in a regional park. Most of all, she loves to travel.


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1 year ago

Take your gun out! I left my rv for service and while unloading it after last trip; its gone. Wish I had this checklist with an addendum

1 year ago

Great list – if powered we also have 2 night lights plugged in to discourage night time visitors.

Jeff Craig
1 year ago

Was going to say, ‘Bring in all slides’ should be in there before closing all windows and vents (unless you have vent covers), and put garbage and recycles at the end of that portion of the list. Finally, if you aren’t hooked up to power, turn off house batteries at disconnect (no 110v AC where I store my rig).

1 year ago

IMO, a couple of important items missing from this list:
– Turn off propane
– Bring in awning(s)

1 year ago

Planning on doing that for a week this winter. All good ideas. Had a sonic mouse repellent. 2 cats worked ,the sonic didn’t.

1 year ago

Yet another reason I can’t imagine my self living full time in an RV. Ours is a tool to use to get away. But, to each his own. Of course you don’t have to worry about the lawn growing too high while you’re gone.

Gary Broughton
1 year ago

We had to make a quick trip home and found out we didn’t have any suitcases with us. So carry one with you.

1 year ago
Reply to  Gary Broughton

If the only time you need dress-up gear is for funerals and weddings, stow that stuff in it, put it all in the back of the basement. You’ll probably need the suitcase for the event anyway.

Jeff Craig
1 year ago
Reply to  wanderer

Exactly what I was going to say – but have it dry cleaned annually (and before the ceremony) and get it fitted every two years (Mens Wearhouse or tailor) because not all of us are skinnie-minnies.

Jesse Crouse
1 year ago

Some of those things should be on a day trip list.

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