Pre Departure Checklist

The list can be modified to suit your own needs.

These checks should be done before you leave home to assist you being well prepared and aid you in avoiding problems when on the road.


  • Check oil, water, brake fluid, battery etc.
  • Check that the fan belt is in good condition and working properly.
  • Check the condition of all the hoses in your engine, replace if necessary.
  • Check that all your mirrors are clean and adjusted properly.
  • Inspect all tyres, including the spare carefully and remember, when towing heavily loaded trailers your vehicle’s tyre pressures should be increased to the level recommended in the owner’s handbook or on the tyre placard. If in doubt, contact your local tyre dealer.
  • Check that your vehicle and trailer’s wheel nuts have been tightened to the manufacturer’s specifications.
  • The wheel bearings should be checked and adjusted regularly.
  • Make sure number plates and registration labels of your RV, caravan etc. and current.
  • Ensure that the gas cylinders are properly secured.
  • While you are travelling ensure that the gas cylinders are turned off.
  • Check that the roll – out awning is stored away and locked in the travel position.
  • Check gas lines, appliances, connections and fittings and it is recommended that they are regularly checked by a professional.
  • Check that the front and rear corner stabilisers are in the up position.
  • Ensure that the hand brake of the trailer has been correctly released.
  • Check that electric brakes on your caravan are working.
  • The jockey wheel must be removed from its clamp and stored in the boot of the caravan or locked in the travelling position if of a swivel mount type.
  • Ensure that the safety chains are correctly connected between the caravan and the car.
  • The 12 V power lead for the caravan lights must be correctly connected and the towing aids or level rides must be correctly connected and adjusted.
  • Check that roof hatches, windows doors and stone shields are closed and secure.
  • Check that water, sullage and electrical cords have been disconnected and stored away.
  • Ensure that all wheel chocks have been removed.
  • Check that the TV antenna is in the travel position – securely stored.
  • Check the caravan or RV steps are up and locked in position.
  • Lower the roof or walls dependent on your RV type.
  • Ensure tools, accessories, awnings etc are secured.
  • Know the height of your RV to ensure safe clearance at service stations, under bridges and in car parks.
  • Fill the fuel tank of petrol or diesel and keep checking it often.
  • Check the 240V mains are disconnected.
  • Ensure that the water tank has been filled and that the locking cap is secured.
  • Check that all traffic lights on the vehicle are operating correctly from the car.
  • If you have any doubts about your vehicle have it checked by a specialist.


  • Ensure the coupling/tow bar socket and tow ball match in size and fit well.
  • Check that the coupling/tow bar is correctly and securely fitted.
  • Check that the safety chains are correctly connected.
  • The tow bar wiring insulation is in good shape and that the plug and socket are free from dirt before connecting.
  • Remove the jockey wheel from its clamp and store it in the boot of the car or RV, or if it is of the swivel mount variety, lock it in the travelling position.
  • Check the van or trailer brake and light connections are secure and test all lights including indicators, ensuring they work.
  • Check towing lights are operable, ensuring number plates and registration labels of your caravan are clearly visible.
  • Disengage any reversing catch fitted to the trailer coupling (as used with over – run brakes).
  • Make one or two test stops to check that the brakes are working properly.
  • Ensure that your load is properly secured.
  • Limit the amount of load in the boot of the tow vehicle.
  • Ensure that the rear vision mirrors on the tow vehicle are properly adjusted.


  • Ensure fire extinguisher has been fitted and expiration date is current.
  • Check that the fridge contents can’t tip over and are sealed.
  • Ensure the fridge door is closed and locked.
  • Check all the cupboards, drawers and shower door have been closed and locked, fold down table or make sure it is secure, put away any loose items in drawers or cupboards.
  • Remove all items from bench tops and bathroom shelves and store securely.
  • Ensure all items such as TV and microwave are secured for travelling.
  • Ensure all windows and hatches are closed.
  • The gas and electrics have been turned off.


  • Before getting in the car to drive off, walk around the caravan or RV for one last safety check to ensure all is secure and no leads are connected.

The staff at CCIA &MHIA have used their best endeavours to ensure that all the information provided is correct at the time of release andthat the information has been obtained from reliable sources. We are not responsible for any errors or omissions, or any outcomes as aresult of ause of this information. The information is provided for general guidance on industry issues only and should not be used as asubstitute for legal or other professional advice.