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Old 06-25-2008, 10:57 AM   #1
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Oakman's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Jefferson County, MO
Posts: 5,224
Fiver Checklist

I know a lot of fifth wheel owners feel that don't need a a checklist, but as far as I'm concerned without a checklist you're an accident waiting to happen. Of course you can modify this list to suit your needs.

I'm sure everyone that visits this forum probably reads the RV.NET forums also. How many times have you read about someone forgetting to secure an item or close a door, etc. and end up with some damage? It happens a lot. If you use a checklist you greatly reduce your chances of having something get screwed up.

Here’s the checklist we use. There is some redundancy in it but by following it we’ve never screwed up. We follow this checklist EVERY SINGLE TIME. We print out a new one for each trip. We also physically draw a line through each completed task. Why? So that if you are interrupted for what ever reason, you can go back to what your were doing and not miss a task.


Close the refrigerator doors and make sure all drawers and cabinets are closed.
If using the fridge turn on the propane and then turn on the refrigerator.

Remove kingpin lock.
Reconnect the battery.
Check lug nuts for tightness.
Ensure license plate is still on the trailer.
Retract rear stabilizers.
Ensure forward basement door is closed.
Lift the hitch handle latch and pull out the hitch handle.
Lower the truck tailgate.
Truck approach hitching position.
Adjust fifth wheel kingpin using the landing gear to proper hitch height.
Verify the hitch handle is out and the locking jaws are open.
Back tow vehicle up slowly and connect.
Lift hitch handle and push in and lower the hitch handle latch.
Verify locking jaws are closed around the kingpin.
Connect the umbilical cord and breakaway switch.
Verify all trailer lights and the brake controller are working.
Raise landing gear about one inch off the ground.
Remove the trailer wheels chocks and stow.
Do a test pull by moving forward a few feet.
Raise the truck tailgate.
Fully retract the landing gear.
Ensure all three basement doors are locked.
Ensure trailers entry door is locked.
Ensure the steps are stowed, the handle stowed, and do a walk around.
Do a walk around inspection of the trailer and check for maneuvering clearance.


Before backing into the site ensure there are no low hanging trees branches.
Pull or back into site and situate trailer as desire, ensure clearance for slideouts.
Level the trailer side to side using boards under the trailer wheels.
Chock the trailer wheels.
Gently put truck in reverse without giving gas. This moves kingpin off the jaws.
Lower landing gear until is just supports the weight of the trailer.
Raise the hitch handle latch and pull out the hitch handle.
Lower the truck tailgate and verify locking jaws are open and free of kingpin.
Disconnect umbilical cord and the breakaway switch cable.
Using the landing gear raise the trailer until it is 1/8 inch off the hitch.
Carefully drive away from trailer.
Raise the truck tailgate when it is clear of the trailer.
Level the trailer front to back using the landing gear.
Extend the rear stabilizers.
Connect to shore power if available.
Connect to cable TV and phone line if available.
Connect to water if available.
Connect to the sewer if available.
Lower the trailer steps.

Before opening slides, check for obstructions, cabinets, drawers, doors, etc.
Open the door or a window before extending slideout(s).
Open the slideout(s).
Turn on furnace or air conditioner as required.
Ensure the refrigerator is on and working.
Raise the TV antenna and turn on power booster.


Check the slideout for debris on the roof.
Ensure the electrical, water, and sewer hose are not in the way of retracting slideout.

Turn furnace/air conditioner thermostat to off.
Ceiling fan off.
Refrigerator off (unless it will be used with LP while traveling.)
Refrigerator door closed and latched.
Microwave turntable secured.
Water pump off (if it was used).
Hot water heater off.
Kitchen cabinet doors and drawers closed.
Bedroom closet doors, cabinets, and drawers closed.
Shower door closed and secured.
Bathroom cabinets and door closed.
Bedroom sliding door secured.
Align antenna points and retract the TV antenna.
TV antenna power booster off.
Bedroom TV secured.
Living room TV secured.
Roof vents adjusted or closed.
Loose gear stowed.
Windows closed.
Turn all lights off.
Retract slideout(s) with door open for airflow.

Dump holding tanks.
Stow sewer hose.
Rugs and/or entry mats stowed.
Water heater electrical switch off.
LP gas tank valves off unless using the refrigerator.
Awning stowed and locked.
Fresh water tank drained or 1/3 full (if needed).
Fresh water hose stowed.
Shore electrical cord stowed.
Check campsite for items on tables, clotheslines, etc.

You can use the checklist for departing the storage lot.

Pull into spot and situate the trailer as desired.
Chock the trailer wheels
Gently put truck into reverse to release pressure on the locking jaws.
Extend the landing gear until it supports the weight of the trailer.
Lift the hitch handle latch and then pull out the hitch handle.
Lower the truck tailgate and verify the locking jaws are open.
Disconnect the umbilical cord and breakaway switch cable.
Raise the kingpin about 1/8 inch off the hitch using the landing gear.
Carefully drive away from trailer.
Raise the truck tailgate when clear of trailer.
Apply the kingpin lock.

Remove food products from trailer as desired.
Turn off refrigerator.
Open refrigerator door and cabinets for ventilation.
Remove dirty laundry.
Remove toolkit or other desired items.
Verify LP is off.
Put on tire covers.
Ensure trailer door is locked.
Ensure the steps are stowed and door handle stowed.
Ensure three basement doors are locked.


Bob and Joyce
2013 CC Silverback 29RL
2010 Ford F250 XL Crew Cab 6.4 liter diesel
ATU Local 788
Oakman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-25-2008, 11:27 AM   #2
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Justin, Tx
Posts: 2,671
good list

Thanks for sharing!!

aintgotnun is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-25-2008, 06:04 PM   #3
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: homebase Quitman Texas at Lake Fork
Posts: 1,388
you forgot one i had t add to my departing list from home base...

Dog food and thier toys, last trip i left em sitting on the porch

thanks for the list
Living in the Piney Woods of Texas.
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Old 06-25-2008, 06:28 PM   #4
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: San Antonio, TX
Posts: 86
Good list. When we purchased our Cardinal, we found there is much more to do than our other trailer and checklists were required so I can remember everything. I always meant to make some for the old trailer, just never got around to it. The new one forced me. I made 3, one for pickup and park, one for camp setup, one for camp teardown. Less to do than a fiver, but a fair amount for a TT, LOL. They are all on my personal webspace, in Word.Doc form--feel free to download and modify as you like since these are tailored to our 32TS.

Pickup and Parking at storage:

Arrival at camp setup:

Teardown at camp:


2008 Cardinal 32TS
2008 F350 Lariat PSD C/C 4X4 Dually
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Old 03-31-2009, 10:03 PM   #5
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 9
Thanks for the great checklist. My wife and I are just starting out as 5th wheelers and really have no idea what we should be looking for and doing, before the trip, during the trip or ending the trip. Your list gives us some great suggestions and also gave me some additional questions to ask our dealer about our new trailer.

Durango32 is offline   Reply With Quote

5th wheel

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