Should you use a free RV camping checklist printable?

Have you seen all the printable checklists you can get online?

There is a checklist for everything. And the topic of RVing does not miss out!

You’ve got RV camping checklist printables, RV packing checklist, RV supplies checklist, RV essentials checklist, RV inspection checklist, RV maintenance & safety checklist… the list goes on!

Personally, we don’t use a checklist, but I’ve been wondering if there’s something I’m missing out on. So I’ve done a little research into RV checklists to see if there would be any benefit to us using one (or a couple) and which ones we should use.

Why use an RV camping checklist?

Well, for starters, they’re mostly free!

There are lots of bloggers out there who are trying to be helpful and giving you lots of free RV camping checklist printables which will make your life so much easier!

But the main reason why you would want to use a checklist, is because it helps you to remember all the things you need to do before you head off on your trip. Or all the things you should do when you arrive, or all the things you should be getting regularly serviced.

So, in essence… it’s all about safety.

An RV checklist ensures that you don’t forget anything. Whether it be checking the fire extinguisher hasn’t expired, ensuring the interior is clear before moving the slide in, or making sure the emergency brake is off before trying to drive off with your travel trailer. (Yes, we’ve done that last one.)

What type of RV checklist should I use?

You’ll need to figure out for yourself what type of checklist you should use. 

I would recommend that you find a safety related checklist first. Something like an ‘RV maintenance & safety checklist’ and then a ‘Before you head off’ checklist.

Are there any problems with free printable RV camping checklists?

In my opinion, yes.

The problem with every single RV camping checklist printable I’ve found online, is that they’re generic. They don’t, and can’t take into consideration your specific needs.

An easy example of what I mean, is that many RV camping checklists are written for large motorhome types of RVs; so the check list includes bringing in slides, disconnecting the black tank hose and bringing in the awning. We have a teeny 14ft pop-top caravan… there is no slides, we don’t have a bathroom onboard, and there’s not even an awning!

So most checklists are not relevant to us.

The other problem with printables, is that they’re not editable.

The idea of a printable is that you can simply print it out and use it exactly like it is. They usually come in PDF format, so you can’t go in and change any of the text to suit you.

But that’s not to say RV camping checklist printables are not helpful. 

They help you to think of all the checks that you would need to have on your own checklist. Which leads nicely to my next point…

Make your own RV Checklist

The best (and only) way to have a good RVing checklist, is to create one yourself.

One that is specific to your own needs.

I would take a look at the MANY checklists that are available online, and put together one that has all the parts that YOU need. 

I’ve created a Pinterest board where I’ve put together lots of RVing checklists, these are a good place to in finding checklists that you can use as a template for creating your own checklist.

If you can use someone else’s checklist just as it is, then you’re in luck!

But the more likely scenario is that you’ll use the items they have listed as checks for whether you need that item on your own checklist. Or it may remind you of something similar that you need to put on your list, that’s not currently there.

What application should you use to create your own RV checklist?

Look, if you’re a confident computer user, just use whatever application you feel the most comfortable with.

Otherwise, I recommend something as simple as google docs.

If you would like a RV checklist template to get you started, here’s one that I created on google docs. (It’s very basic, no pretty pictures or fancy text. Just a template for you to use to make your own RV checklist.

It is a Read Only document. To edit the document, click ‘File’ > ‘Make a copy’. You will now be able to edit the copy .

Should you use a free RV camping checklist printable?

So, going back to the original question, “should you use free RV camping checklist printables?”; I say a definite

YES to the RV checklist part, but

NO to the printable part. 

You need to make your own RV checklist so a template is going to be much more useful to you than a printable.

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