Thursday, January 16, 2014

Getting Underway - the Long Story

When we leave a campsite and whether we go 100 yards or 500 miles, there are certain things we have to do - like stowing things and putting them away so we can close the slides.  And we don't items won't fall off shelves or the desk.  We 'Batten Down the Hatches' which in our case means securing the cupboards and the things in the refrigerator.  Plus we do other things outside.

Here is a look at what we do:
We have to move everything from the middle of the floor and off the counter tops throughout the coach.
The pillows from the couch are use to cushion the bedroom TV which is placed face down on the bed and wrapped in the comforter.  Never been a problem.  It doesn't move.
Then the laundry basket and some plants go in the shower.  The shower door and the sliding doors are locked or latched so they don't move.

Up front, the Driver and Passenger seats need to be turned around and are moved forward so the slides don't hit them when we pull them in.  (In our "Newbie" days, one time we pulled the slide in and the passenger seat started to get mashed.... we learned our lesson.)
 Everything gets cleared off the table.
I put the laptop and iPad on the floor.  That pretty much takes care of the inside things getting it ready for the slides to come in.

Then for the outside items:
We decided the clear water tank was a little low, I filled it.  It was at 15% (13.5 gal) and I filled it up to 35% (31.5 gal).  At 8 lbs a gallon, we usually don't travel with more than that.
The other item on the gauges was the black and grey tanks.  I emptied those, so it shows zero.

In the Passenger Side (PS) rear bay compartment, I carry the cables and connections for towing the car.
I usually put those on first and then move to other things.

Before that though, I fill up the clear tank if it needs it, then empty the black and grey tanks.
Then I fold up the 4" pipe in the wet bay, replace the plastic hose cap that screws into the wet bay floor, then stow the hose and end caps in the black square container under the bay.

I make sure the levers are in the correct position, unhook the flush hose and the regular water hose (and I remove my Y connector from the faucet).  I put an end plug that screws into the end of the hose.
Then I wind the hose up on the reel and use the bottles of 'Pine Sol' and/or bleach to clean up the bay and areas if necessary.

The jacks come up first and then the slides come in.
While Pam is instead raising the jacks and putting the slides in, I am outside making sure each slide came in and is snug.  And I watch the jacks to make sure they raise all the way up.

Then I do a 'walk around' to see that everything looks good outside.  And to make sure I didn't leave anything outside under the coach.
And I do a quick check on the tires.
Uh Oh...
The PS rear outside tire was 'soft'.  Needed quite a bit of air.  
I took off the tire pressure monitoring system sensor and found the valve was not screwed down into the stem.  I used my little tire stem tool and tightened it.  Then I got my extension cord and my air compressor and filled up the tire.  Took about 10 minutes.

Then we were ready to go.  We moved the Roadrunner to a place we could hook up the car.  In this case, it was about 100 feet over in a near by parking lot.
Then Pam stays outside and we do the 'left blinker/right blinker' and 'brake check'.  And I pull forward a could feet while she watches just to make sure everything is rolling like it should.

So that is how we get ready and do everything to leave our campsite!  It usually takes 15-20 minutes from the time we say, "OK lets get going".  Sometimes I drain the tanks and stow the hoses the night before and put the tow bar connectors on the car.  That saves some time.  (And I almost never have to fill up a tire.)

That's it for this edition of the Roadrunner Chronicles.  Thanks for joining us. Until next time...


  1. Good checklist. I like that the under carriage of your motor home looks like it is sealed. Mine is all open so floors stay cold.

  2. Yup..sounds just like our preflight checklist too. Except for the toad part, don't have to do that anymore since we got our 5er.

  3. Yup.. .just about the same routine for us too.... we call it "getting road-worthy"

    we also go around and push tight on each of our cabinet doors to make sure each one is clicked tight and not just partially closed.

    we double check each other's parts of the toad hookup, because we never want a dumb mistake on that! (I have caught Steve's errors twice and it makes sense to double check!)

    I am the outside gal for the "lights n levers" on the tow vehicle... and then as I zoom back into the rig, I do door lock and step up checks before we pull out.

    Love the routines, and
    Karen and Steve
    (Blog) RVing: The USA Is Our Big Backyard

  4. Being in a fiver, we have to lash everything down too. Then, when we land, I open the refrig, cupboards and all doors very carefully...sometimes it looks like things were stirred with a stick! But I know that fivers are a rougher ride than a motor home..If we hit a really rough road, Den and I just look at each other like, "Oh boy, that oughta stir up the Hiker's inside!"

  5. Maybe it's just me, but I find the longer we're in one place, the longer it takes to get underway. More inside stuff to put away. I do the walk around twice, looking under as well as up to ensure everything is secure. Nothing worse that hearing a crash of something falling once you get rolling.

  6. I generally put the slides in before raising the jacks... I find that the slides move more freely if the coach is still level on the jacks.. Once its down setting on its wheels, it can take on weird twists and levels depending on the ground the wheels are setting on... I lost a jack last spring, and had to go a while without them... In that time I had the big living room slide bind and had to move the coach to a more level spot to get it in properly.... Just my experience.... there is no right way.....

  7. We keep our bedroom TV on the low counter in front of the bed. I got tired of disconnecting and moving it every time we moved, so I put 2 strips of industrial strength Velcro under the base and it's been riding without problem for more than 5 years. Just a thought.

  8. Always good to have a checklist. There are just some things you do not want to forget:)