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Old 06-29-2011, 11:44 AM   #1
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Interstate checklist

I am picking up my new 2011 Mercedes Interstate next week and am beginning to make a checklist since I am not mechanical at all. I am a pilot and have found using checklists very helpful. I thought I would make one for basic startup before a trip, breaking camp, one for use before I store it short term and long etc... Has anyone done the same?
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Old 06-29-2011, 01:02 PM   #2
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For RVs, I have found the problem with checklists to be that the order in which things are done and indeed exactly what the right thing is to do to vary from one trip to the next.

I take more of a walk-around approach and also try to maintain my rig in a constant state of readiness by never removing tools, equipment, or supplies.
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Old 06-30-2011, 07:37 AM   #3
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I have a checklist for 'consumable' supplies. This includes obviously perishable things that get removed after each trip, but it also includes checking to make sure I have enough paper plates and napkins in the camper, too. I print it out a week or so ahead of a trip, then cross things off after I verify it's okay. I have sections of things that I don't need for some trips (for example, for winter trips, I usually take an electric heater but obviously I don't need that in August), and I just cross them out.

Otherwise, it's pretty much a walk-around like Jammer said.

A pre-flight list isn't a bad idea, though - make sure the fridge is latched, make sure the gas is off, make sure there's nothing in the microwave preventing the door from closing and thus dropping all its contents on the floor (yes, this happened to me once), etc. There are plenty more - I'd walk around once or twice with paper and pencil and watch for things and write them down.
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Old 06-30-2011, 07:44 AM   #4
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Tires, brakes, engine, tranny,hitch, and lights. All safety items. If the brakes are bad or the engine overheats, or the tires blow out or the hitch brakes or the tranny quits, it really does not matter if the fridge door is closed correctly. Safety first. jim
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Old 07-01-2011, 06:48 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zigzagguzzi View Post
Tires, brakes, engine, tranny,hitch, and lights. All safety items. If the brakes are bad or the engine overheats, or the tires blow out or the hitch brakes or the tranny quits, it really does not matter if the fridge door is closed correctly. Safety first. jim
One would hope the owner of a motorhome would be keeping up with those all the time, not just right before a trip. I mean, I treat my B190 like another vehicle - regular oil changes, check the tire pressure, check the lights, etc. If I need to take it somewhere I can usually just hop in and go, like any other vehicle.
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Old 07-01-2011, 07:52 PM   #6
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We use several check lists to varying degrees whenever we pack up and go. One necessitates a walk around when towing our Jeep four flat. Another reminds us to secure and stow everything properly so things don't become airborne or broken off when driving away.

Another one is more extensive and lists the contents of each cabinet or storage area of the MH. This one is very useful especially at the beginning of the season.

There is also a clothes list so that we don't forget essential items. Lastly, my DW has a food list that helps her to plan the menus.

Yeah, we like lists. Sometimes, I forget to go over them and that really gets my wife going, when I forget something.
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Old 09-25-2012, 07:36 PM   #7
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Anyone care to share their lists?
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Old 09-26-2012, 07:09 AM   #8
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Lists are pretty individualized.

I would suggest one for clothing and personal items you don't leave in your trailer (we leave fully stocked toiletry kits in the Interstate all season) and one with ingredients for at least several main meals to get you on the road.

We always carry a tool bag with all the basic items, also extra batteries, lightbulbs, etc. Get yourself basically stocked, look around and write down and add in anything you might need while gone.

Unless you are boondocking miles from anywhere, it is always easy to find a place to pick up left-behind items. And, you will find yourself carrying things you don't really need, which can be placed on a list of what to leave behind the next time.

Don't try to hard to get it all down pat at once, it's a process and not an event. Get out there and start enjoying yourself in that new Interstate, and things will work themselves out as you go along.

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Old 09-26-2012, 07:46 AM   #9
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I strongly suspect that no two checklists would be the same. While we might start out with more-or-less identical Interstates, we each add different pieces and parts, and camp under different conditions. The pre-trip checklist for going to a KOA Kampground with full hookups will be different from the checklist for going boondocking in a national forest.

Not only that, but the contents of a checklist will also depend on your personal level of nit-pickiness. Some people would write broad-strokes general items, others would itemize every tiny detail.

I don't actually use written checklists. As I get older, I find that memory is one of those "use it or lose it" commodities, so I prefer to rely upon memory and common sense, as long as I still have (barely) enough of both for that to work. As they say, "When the memory goes, you can just forget it!"

Besides, if I relied upon checklists, and then forgot where I put the checklist, then I'd really be in trouble!
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Old 09-26-2012, 09:49 AM   #10
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You also want a few basic cleaning items, for inside and out. Also something we leave in the Interstate the entire season.



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Old 09-26-2012, 05:00 PM   #11
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Protagonist mentioned (on another post) to include a pipe wrench for loosening a stubborn dump station sewer cap. I have encountered a stubborn sewer cap on a couple of occasions and have recently purchased a pipe wrench to add to the tool bag.
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Old 09-26-2012, 05:16 PM   #12
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Actually, checklists can be subdivided into two types:
1 - What to bring (shopping list/outfitting);
2 - What to do (instructions).
There are numerous threads on the Forums about what to bring on a trip. Not so many on how to set up or break down a campsite.

Do we want to concentrate on one type of checklist, or take a shotgun approach and hit both of them? Brentsouth, you started this. Which would you rather see?
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Old 10-14-2013, 01:39 AM   #13
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>Not so many on how to set up or break down a campsite.

Being newbies about to take a x-country trip, I'd love to see various versions of this list. First unhook this, then latch that, and so forth. All the systems, all the plugs and fuel. There's a lot to learn and remember.
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Old 10-14-2013, 10:04 AM   #14
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Agree that everyone has a a unique and distinct list. Easy way to develop is to set up camp in the driveway and set up and break down a few times. Then fine tune as one does some real camping.

Re. on board tools, look for tools that serve more than one purpose:

10 in 1 screwdriver:
Amazon.com: Klein 32477 10-in-1 Screwdriver/Nut Driver: Home Improvement

Medium sized channel locks for removing stubborn fittings, pop beer bottle caps off, nut cracker and with tape on the tips to remove the chrome caps on the lug nuts.
Channellock 440 12-Inch Tongue and Groove Plier - Amazon.com
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