Pre traveling checklist ~ Do we need one?

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  • Reading a post on a American Truck/camper mag. It was suggested we all make a laminated checklist of important things to check/do before hitting the road after a stop over.

    Got me thinking. Getting older, more complacent, more forgetful. The days when I covered all my get up and go bases have past/are passing me by. I’ve ended up on site without a first aid kit. Kids without coats. low on gas, only two skins left etc. The list goes on.

    Do any of you have a checklist? a must do list or must take list? Shopping list isn’t what I’m talking about here.

    I’m considering making my own and my families check list, just “incase”

    To get me/us started I’ve copied the American Truck/Camper mag list example. I appreciate many of the items have nothing to do with my/our set up and no doubt most of our rigs/requirements will be unique. Hopefully you hippies can throw a few suggestions on here that I/we can consider adding to our own lists.

    Well after three attempts it won’t include the copied list. Keeps saying “please fill in this field” ?


  • Yes. And no...

    We usually make a list of stuff we've forgotten whilst out, or stuff we think we should have with us.

    When it comes to actually doing something about it it's usually disappeared without a trace!

    We have also had a list, and ticked stuff off as we were putting it in the van. Couple of times we've ticked stuff off as it was next to something else we were taking. Yes, couple of times we still forgot it..

    Unfortunately both of us suffer from the same memory lapses - a list is a great idea, just need someone else to use the bloody thing. :insane:

  • Since my home is on wheels and everything i need/use is already in it theres no way ill forget to take anything.

    Im also tediously (and annoyingly to some) extremely methodical,which comes of two professional careers where getting things mentally absolutely 'to the book' spot on was a requirement and my life or someone elses depended on it ) so no I dont make lists,if i did id probably keep adding to it stuff i dont need to really remember or need...i dont even make shopping lists or a daily or weekly or monthly 'to do' list so making a 'pre fuck off in the motor ' list would be equally as pointless (to me).

    However, I do think if youre not a methodical person or forgetful or easily distracted then simple lists or a pre prepared protocol before leaving (and on arrival) are a good idea.

    I say this because of the many simple needless errors or accidents ive witnessed on my travels particularly with trailers and caravans.

    Simple things like failing to wind stabiliser legs up,lift jockey wheels, connect safety breakaway chains, connect towing wiring plugs,failing to properly engage tow hitch on tow ball before driving away and it nosediving in the mud,failing to fit towing mirrors,failing to disconnect units from site electric hookups and driving away,driving away while leaving gas bottle connected on the ground, running over waste and water tanks fishing rods,bikes toys fridge boxes,buckets stored underneath, running over steps,running over partners,leaving roof vents or windows open,leaving aerials and satellite dishes erected or behind,failing to secure loads,leaving items on roofs or boot lids and drive away. Losing keys to security wheel or towball immobiliser devices or leaving them at home. Failing to pack winding handles for stabilisers.Failing to secure loose items inside vehicle,leaving burner chimney flue extensions connected,back doors wide open,surf boards leaning against the rear or not secured..etc etc etc Yes ive seen all that and more.

    If you fit in one or more of those scenarios a checklist might be a wise idea and save a lot of damage and grief.:D

  • I try to have a set of dedicated "bus" gear that lives in the bus permanently. That way if I get chance to split for a night or several I can just jump in & go. Got too much of just about everything at home so everything's duplicated even down to spare clothes & toothbrush! Always leave a box of tinned goods & some pasta etc in there too so its like a bug out bus. Keep water topped up & that's me sorted....

  • We have different lists for camping, and for going on holiday to a chalet or cabin.

    We usually pack stuff into bags and boxes, either with a number on (box), or a description of (bag). So long as you don't forget the list, this is a useful way to quickly find stuff you need when unpacking at the other end.

    It should work on the way back, too... but stuff tends to get shoved in anywhere at the last minute, and when we get home it all takes longer to sort out.

  • I know there was a lot of hoo hah about having an emergency grab bag packed,dismissed as Brexit hocus pocus and project fear scaremongering but its been misinterpreted as it was just meant to encourage sensible prepping and probably about the most useful bit of kit youll have with you.

    Brexit aside who knows when your home (house or van) might be rendered uninhabitable by flood,fire, bad weather,theft or some other unexpected urgent evacuation incident.

    Isnt it better to have everything you could need and rely on in one bag ready to go?

    Ive actually got a few grab bags one for personal need the others for a variety of possible emergency needs...but thats just me,I dont like being caught unawares.

    If you do live in bricks n mortar and go away in a van or motorhome whats wrong with having the vehicle prepacked with stuff you use everyday instead of packing and unpacking everytime? Duplicate your home from home or at least the essentials.It certainly reduces the chances of error and forgetfulness and effort and stress involved.

  • I have one ingrained in my head from years ago when I used to tent out more often it goes








    I still use it now if we are blatting out somewhere , we did tent out on the ridgeway this year ,on the solstice at Avebury in a very small nylon nightmare ?

    have no idea why

  • I take far more “tat, projects and move it on, sell stuff” with me these days. There’s usually something “I could have, should have” included. I have always got by with, without or adapted.

    This year at Dovedale was a turning point. I had spent two days designing, fabricating, welding and painting two awning leg height extensions (eliminating a need for awning guy ropes too) for our new “recycled wind out awning tent. Only to find out at 6.30pm in the field. I had left the two leg extensions 100 miles away, where I had placed them while paint dried. I improvised, but it pissed me off. Two days work and no benefit so far.

    NT your extensive list exhausted me just reading it. So I can see a list that precise/inclusive wouldn’t work for me. But in the future :shrug: we are all capable of organising to varying degrees.

    Once or twice (lately) I’ve noticed a spanner or rear doors padlock resting on the vehicle bumper/tow hitch frame when returning to my vehicle in a car park. So I’ll never say never to lists.

    Lyndsey writes her own list for every adventure, weekly to do lists, shopping lists. (Some folk like writing lists) I may scribble three things down on a list a year when I think I may forget about remembering/doing stuff.

    NT you picked up on some very important points like isolating gas, legal requirements and a peace of mind stuff list may just become good Practice for some.:whistle:

  • Now and again I might make a list, but as long as I have coffee, bed, eye mask and journal, anything else I'm not fussed about.

    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” -Mark Twain

  • It wasnt really meant as a checklist more an observation of numerous things folk simply forget to do.Some is just plain stupidity maybe an element of forgetfulness or or two items could have got people seriously injured or killed.I can pretty much guarantee that when simeone leaves a pitch on a site I can go walk over the pitch and find something thats been left behind.Usually its a winding handle,spanners,hookup cables,locks etc... On one site i stayed someone drove off leaving their dog behind tethered on a ground stake and had to come back for it.One of my own friends left one of her 3 daughters at a motorway services because she was too angry with her hubby over a pointless minor row to bother checking everyone was in the car.

    In my careers we had long and exhaustive lists of things to remember and protocols to follow all having to be committed to memory. You learn ways of doing this through nemonics, rhymes or whatever method or trick helps an individual remember important stuff.

    I think the important point is rather than going round with a clipboard and pre- flight checklist, is know whats important and get into a habit or routine of walking around clockwise( or counter clockwise,it doesnt really matter) steadily checking all is as it should be (including underneath) and on top.

    How often do folks clean their teeth every day and how often do you see folks in airports or hotels complexes shopping for toothbrush and paste theyve forgotten to pack.

    If youre planning on jumping out of an aircraft its quite good practice to ensure you have a parachute that works.:/

  • I am living in the van so got just about all I need already. Have a ‘list’ in my head for moving, step in, lockers secured hatches closed etc. Usually move the vehicles length then check I have left nothing behind. Step goes in when engine starts but external folding handle has been forgotten a few times. Luckily the door is on drivers side so I see it before moving far.

    if I find I need anything as I go along I will make a note on my phone. Did use that Trello app when I started, free and pretty good list management but not needed now