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Important information for the new RV owner

Important information for the new RV owner

Important information for the new RV owner

You have recently become the proud new owner of a motorhome or a trailer.  Or do you simply brush up on your RV ownership knowledge?  This article is for you.  It is the perfect summary of the essentials of what to know before hitting the road with your RV.

Before you hit the road – your RV

Here is everything you need to do inside and outside your RV, before you hit the road. Note: Some information is aimed more at trailers than motorhomes.


Close / turn off:

  • Windows and domes
  • The water heater switch
  • The water pump switch
  • Ventilation, heating and air conditioning
  • Set the refrigerator to propane or 12-volt mode.


Anything that is likely to become a projectile when riding at high speeds should be tied up or stowed away. You can place large objects on a towel in the shower or bath.

  • Secure cabinet doors with bungee cords.
  • Place a safety bar in the cupboards to prevent objects from falling when you open the doors once you arrive at your destination.
  • Place the coffee maker and the toaster in the kitchen sink.
  • Store your TV, DVD player, computer etc.


Close (and lock if necessary):

  • Exterior storage and doors
  • The awning

Lower and fold back:

  • Television, radio or satellite antennas
  • Steps


  • Lifting cylinders (jack)
  • Wedges for the wheels


  • Water tank
  • Propane tanks

Disconnect from the trailer:

  • Electricity
  • Fresh water connection
  • Sewer connection (shut the gray and black water hatches and screw the cover)


  • The charge level of your battery
  • Fasteners for propane tanks
  • Tire pressure

Before you get on the road – your towing vehicle

Besides refueling, installing, and adjusting the side mirrors, setting up the GPS, here is everything you need to check in your towing vehicle before each of your trips:

  • The different fluid levels (engine oil, transmission oil, power steering, radiator, brakes, windshield washer fluid)
  • Adjustment of the electric trailer brake
  • Tire pressure
  • Trailer lights (brakes, indicators, and night lights)
  • The towing system (safety hooks, torsion bars, anti-sway, ball latch)

Once at the campground

When arriving

  • Validate if the bill mentioned during the reservation still corresponds to the service you will receive. It is possible that, at the time of the call, they forgot to mention any excess charges (children, dog, additional automobile).
  • Does your camping site require you to back into it?
  • Ask for the WiFi password and a second access if more than one computer.
  • Ask for the site plan (swimming pool, toilets, showers, laundry room, rubbish, store).

Once on the camp site

Before you settle-in, it is important to check that everything is there:

  • Water
  • Sewer
  • Electricity of 30 or 50 amps. Most RVs have a 30-amp connection, while some trailers, fifth wheels and larger motorhomes have a 50-amp connection since they have more electrical appliances. Be careful to NEVER plug a 30 amp input into a 50 amp outlet!
  • Picnic table


  • Connect electricity, sewer, and water.
  • Level your vehicle with the jacking cylinders.
  • Install the wheel chocks.
  • Proceed slowly when opening cabinet doors.
  • Turn on the propane tank.
  • Turn on the water pump
  • Turn on the water heater.
  • Change the refrigerator power supply to 110 volts.
  • Raise the antennas (television, radio or satellite).

Back at home

Apart from reconnecting to 110 volts, once you get home, you must:

  • Empty the fridge and freezer, taking care to leave the doors ajar to circulate the air.
  • Take out clothes, shoes, towels, sheets, and rugs to wash or dry them.
  • Also dry the awning, sun umbrella and folding chairs.
  • Wash counters, floors, and bathroom.
  • Empty the freshwater tank.
  • Ventilate the RV leaving a small window ajar.

A wonderful camping season to all!

Jackie Beaudoin, Leclerc Insurance and Financial Services