Caleb draining the tanks, preparing for departure.

Just about the only downside to travelling a lot in our RV is the time spent packing up when we leave a place and setting up when we arrive someplace new. Before we embarked on our RV lifestyle, we had no idea how much time and effort this would involve. Here’s a few tips we’ve learned along the way. 

1- Take your time. It’s easy to feel rushed when you are trying to hit the road. You are excited about getting the adventure started and eager to get going. But trust me, the best thing you can do is take your time. When you rush it’s easy to miss little things, like securing a cabinet or closing a skylight, which can end up meaning costly repairs. For us, a relaxed pack-up takes about two hours (we are also wrangling toddlers). 

2- Divide and conquer. Everybody in the family has a job during pack up. Joshua’s job is to sleep (we love leaving just after his morning nap). Abigail’s job is to pack her books into boxes and help Mom. I pack up and secure the inside of the RV while Caleb takes care of everything outside. Doing the same tasks every time will help you to be more thorough and faster. 

3- Check your list. It’s nice to use a list the first few times you pack up to move your rig. It’s just so easy to get flustered and forget things. I recommend this RV Departure Checklist from But I encourage you to tweak it to your own needs and add the things specific to your home on wheels. 

4- Quickly inspect. It’s a good idea to do a walk-around once you get ready to drive away to make sure everything has been done. This is a good time to lock your RV door and bins as well as test your brake lights and turn signals. I also like to check that the awning is secure and that all windows and vents are closed. 

Again, my best advice is to go slow. After you’ve done it a few times, pack-up will start to get easier and faster. Caleb and I are already starting to become more efficient and we have only packed-up and moved about a dozen times. Tomorrow we will be hitting the road again! Good thing we love to practice the art of packing up our rig.