Breaking Down the RV Site
Taking Down List for Getting Ready to Leave
September 29, 2017, Sasha’s Sister’s Birthday! Happy Birthday to YOU!
These are great tips for getting ready to leave your site, whether you here all season, only six months, or even for just one month.
There will be two parts, this one is for the inside, the next one will be for the outside.
Inside of the Rig
The kitchen is the central area that gets a ton of use. Part of these tips are for cleaning while getting your RV ready to go. Try to get these ideas done the day or several days before you get up to go.
- Defrost your refrigerator at least five days before you leave. Get everything out and put into a cooler. Clean the refrigerator and shelves. Put everything back in, making sure that glass products are not against other glass products.
- Use spring-loaded tension bars to hold in your containers in the refrigerator.
- Coffee and tea mugs need to be easily accessible. Make sure your favorite mug is not scratched or worse by placing it next to glass or ceramic. Place it next to plastic containers instead.
- Make sure paper plates or napkins are easy to find. These come in handy for boondocking or quick morning starts.
- Organize cabinets so that glass does not touch glass. You can use huggies with glass and rearrange so that plastic containers are next to glass.
- Put all shelving under the kitchen sink. These will slide off if you keep them on your counter.
- Put all spices away so that they don’t spill. Try to fit them so that they are tight and the tops do not open. Put them in end to end and they will not spill.
- Make sure the hanging wine glasses are clipped in or stored away. We use clothes pins to secure our hanging wine glasses. Do not do this with glass wine glasses, as they are likely to slip out and break. Store them away instead.
- Fill up containers that are used for your food, such as tea bags or coffee. That way, you do not need to find them while you are on the road.
- Fill up all water containers you have, so that it is easy to grab and go.
- Move all appliances, such as crock pots and coffee makers, under the sink. For delicate items, package with paper bags and non-slip shelf liners. These shelf liners are great for lining your shelves so that items do not move, but they are also great for packaging.
- Wipe down cabinets and counters. You do not know when you will have good hot water again, so wiping down the walls and back-splash areas are important too.
- Wipe and clean window sills and stovetop cover, making sure to get UNDER the cover as well. This is where the dust seems to hide.
- Clean the burner area and around the stove top for any messes. You want to have this area clean for travel.
- Clean the burner grates. After they are dry, switch front to back. Most people do not use the back burners, only the front. This will insure they stay cleaner and useful for longer.
- Clean the microwave:
Helpful Hint: Fill a microwavable small bowl half-way full with vinegar. Place it in the middle of your microwave. Microwave on high for five minutes. Let it sit in the microwave for another five minutes. Then wipe the microwave of all the gunk.
Dump the vinegar down the drain. This helps your drainage get rid of extra food particles stuck on the edges of the drain. Rinse with warm water long enough to get rid of the smell of vinegar.
- Make sure the microwave plate in microwave is wrapped in paper bags and non-slip shelf liners. This way it will not move during travel.
- Invest in several Belkin Conserve Energy Saving Power Switches. These are great for the microwave and electronic devices. You plug into the Belkin Switch and when it is time to turn off the microwave or other electrics, you flick a switch and it is done. No more pulling out the cables.
- Any boxes in open shelves, usually above the kitchen cabinets, should be turned so that the contents do not spill out.
- Dishcloths and cloth napkins should be changed out and clean for travel.
- Oven racks are firm in the oven.
- Placing cardboard or paper bags between the frying pan and pot will ease stacking and the frying pan will not get scratched.
- Fill up the dish soap container and make sure to clean the top. Why waste soap when it costs you money?
- Throw out the old sponge and replace with a new one. Wet it down and clean off the top of the dish soap container. Put the dish soap container away so that it does not spill. Do not rinse the sponge. You now have a sponge ready for immediate use when you come into the rig.
- Vacuum before you leave. You will not be able to do so while boondocking.
- Put used or overfill containers, such as Costco Olive Oil or Walmart Vinegars, in a small tub under the sink. If they spill, the materials will not go all over, just inside of the tub.
- Wines in glass bottles should be drunk before the trip or else placed in the tub under the sink for less spillage.
Helpful Hint: Remember to drink plenty of water while doing these tasks…You will find yourself getting dehydrated once you find all the dust.
And you can drink the wine when you are finished with your tasks for the night. This will help finish the half full bottles so you do not have to travel with them.
We will have a checklist available after we do the Outside Tips. On it will be some of the most important tips and hints to do before you leave your site.
People tend to forget that there are things in the bath area that need to be removed before travel. The number of times we came back to find broken or spilled containers of shampoo, broken mirrors, and a toothbrush or two on the floor are too numerous to count.
- Take out the mirror, shampoo, conditioner, soaps, from the shelves of the shower.
- Fill up all containers used, such as shampoos and soaps, so that you don’t have to do that on the road. We especially like Dr Brommer’s Peppermint Castile Soap and can get it on Amazon for cheaper than in a store.
- Store these items in easy to get to areas like the medicine cabinet or under the bathroom sink cabinet.
- Give the area a good clean at least two days before departure. Wipe down the floor of the bath area to get out the dust and other items.
- Make sure the toilet is clean, the bowl is at least half-way full, and the top is down. The reason you want the bowl to be partly full is that the rubber does not dry out and allow smells to come into the rig.
- Place toothbrushes, toothpaste, and other stuff on the bathroom counter in the medicine cabinet.
Our bedroom and most bedrooms in the RV industry, have a slide for the bed portion. Sometimes there is also a slide for the other side with a cabinet. Or the bed is north-south and one or the other side slide out.
One time when we were rushed, we did not look all the way around the bed before bringing the slide in. For some reason, it just would not go, even though we kept trying. Ultimately, we get the slide back out. Looking around the bottom of the floor close to the closet, I found our problem. Our new iPad was between the bed and the wall, crushed from the slide. Always, Always look before bringing those slides in!
- Get all of the items away from the slides of the bedrooms. You do not want to forget that Kindle or iPad!
- Take down the items from the shelves that do not have the tension rods in place. These items will fall off the shelves if they are not secured.
- If you have under-the-bed storage, make sure the mechanism is free and clear for movement and that nothing will tie it up.
- Make the bed realizing it will be moving on the slide. Some beds move, in RV models, but not the platforms they sit upon.
- If you have time before your move, go through your clothes. Get rid of ones that do not fit, wash the ones that do fit, refold, and stack neatly in cabinets.
- Make sure that the closet doors fit snugly in their holders. You do NOT want those doors moving during your travels.
- Stack books neatly in drawers and shelves. Put in the tension rods so that the books do not spill over onto the bed or floor.
- Put down the radio and TV antenna.
- Make sure the bedroom slide will close properly by moving boxes under the counters so that they are on either side. Or better yet, get rid of extra boxes so that the area is clean and tidy.
- Have shoes easily accessible for travel. Consider getting a shoe rack or hanging shoe closet for the extra storage. These are also great for hats, gloves, and scarves, too!
- Put out clothes you will wear the next day for travel. Make sure to have layers so that you can adjust your own temperature while moving around in the rig and while driving.
4. Living Room
One of the easiest areas to clean but also an area where the most is forgotten.
- Switch cushions around. If you sit on only one side of the dinette or only on one chair and you have two side, switch them around. They will last longer that way.
- Clean and dust furniture. Move the furniture around to get at all the stuff in the back. Vacuum the area.
- Make sure your chairs or couches are slid all the way into the slide before you close it. Otherwise, you run the risk of catching furniture on the carpet or rugs.
- Use furniture sliders to move your furniture and so that there are no indents in the carpet.
- Unplug all space heaters and anything plugged into the sides of the wall closest to the slide. These will be covered by the slide and can be yanked out while traveling.
- If you have a bulletin board, make sure that there is space between it and the slide, otherwise your pictures or papers may get caught in the slide.
- Secure your TV and stereo system. You do not want it rattling as you are going down the road. All loose remotes and other electronics should be placed in closing cabinets so that they can be found again.
- Either bring your laptop in the vehicle with you or place on the bed. You should also have a cover for your laptop and other electronics so that they are secure.
- Make sure to turn on the Inverter if you have solar panels on the roof. You want to do this after you are unplugged from the utilities pedestal.
- Make sure all switches are turned off so that there is no trickle charges going to any electronics. You do not want to drain your batteries.
5. Garage or extra room place
We have a garage in our toy hauler. This is where our Ural Sidecar Motorcycle goes when we are traveling. Most of the time, Sasha is in charge of the garage, getting it organized and clean. However, if you have an extra room or living area, rather than a garage, the above items still apply to these extra rooms or spaces.
- Make sure that everything is tied down, either with bungee cords or tie downs. The cabinets should be able to close without tying down. If they do not, you will find a mess when you are finished traveling.
- Sweep out the floor from all sand and pebbles. Why bring dirt from another place, unless you are a soil scientist?
- Secure all tools in their rightful places. They should be secured with bungee cords or tie-downs.
- Be careful about bungee cords too! If you have them too tight, and they snap, the force is strong enough to do serious damage.
6. To Do Before You Leave
Whether you leave in the morning or the afternoon, here are some tips to make sure your rig will not have the spills and messes after your travels.
- Make sure to remove the paper towels from the holder and stash it below.
- If you use a kettle, make sure there is no water in it when you stash it away. You might be left with a puddle when you come back in.
- If you can, have someone look around outside before you pull in the slides. The inside person needs to turn on all the lights, and do a quick check around the slides before they go in.
- Turn off all of the lights.
- Flip the switches.
- Take out the garbage and refill the garbage can with a new bag.
- Make sure all of the covers are in place.
- Make sure the door to the bath or the sliding doors are firmly closed.
- Make sure the closet doors are locked in place.
- Have good snacks for the road, and make sure your water bottles are full of cool water.
- Enjoy the trip!
How Many Mistakes Did You Find?
After reading these tips, which mistakes did you find in the above picture? Let us know in the comments below.