We’ve had a lot of questions about what it means to “pack up the RV” so we decided to tell everyone a little bit more about it. We have our process down to about 30-45 minutes (not including getting ourselves ready or eating breakfast). If we give ourselves two hours, we have more than enough time to pack up at a leisurely pace, have some coffee, and a quick breakfast. So what do we have to do?
Andy takes care of the outdoor stuff. He hooks up the tow bar to the front of the Jeep and attaches the lights so that we can plug them into the RV while driving (for brakes, turn signals, etc.). Then he straps the bikes down onto their rack using a bunch of bungee cords. He also unplugs our RV from our power source and make sure all the cords are secured.
While he is doing this, I clean the inside. I dump the cat litter box, vacuum, and empty all the trash cans into one bag to take out the trash. Then I start securing everything that can move. This means anything on our nightstands, the dining room table, the end table in the living room, and both the kitchen and bathroom counters. We secure the TV so that it doesn’t wiggle around too much while we drive. We also learned that we need to secure our wardrobe drawers and the silverware drawer or they open up and things fly all over the place.
We put loose items on the floor around the legs of the table/chairs to keep them from sliding across the floor. We pack things into the sinks and microwave. We turn our coffee maker/toaster rack around so they don’t go flying off. Everything has to be cleared off the floor so that we can bring the slide in; we have to make sure the driver’s chair is pulled forward so that we don’t run into it with the slide. We move Pica from her spot in the window to secured to the dining room table. Then we have to pull up the jacks that secure our RV to our parking spot. We have four hydraulic jacks that level and stabilize our RV while we are parked. We have to make sure the jacks come up fully and that our outside step is put into place before we drive or we can rip off part of the bottom of the RV.
We also go through the process of filling all our water jugs to make sure we have emergency water during travel. We keep six 1 gallon jugs of water with us (one of them for our fish). Once everything is ready to move, we move our RV to the dumping station to empty our grey and blackwater tanks (no point in hauling around waste when our gas mileage is already poor).
Then we hook up the Jeep to the back of the RV. This is a two person job. One person drives the Jeep forward while the other one lines up the tow bar. Once we have it attached, we hook up the chains, lights, make sure the tires are all set to “free,” take the transmission and transfer case out of gear, and put the key in the ignition to accessories so that the wheel doesn’t lock up. Then we both do a walkthrough of the outside; we double check every part of the Jeep and make sure one more time that the RV is ready to drive. Since this is our home and only vehicle, we want to make sure that everything is good to go and it is definitely a joint effort to do our walk-throughs.
That’s pretty much it! We are getting better and better at our process but we still need to be thorough–it’s no fun when things go sliding around and crashing down during the drive!