Leaving the Campground - Getting Ready Again!

Much of the information on this site is only my opinion. Use it at your own risk. -Denny
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Time to hit the road!

Leaving the campground is easier and faster than arriving...well, at least it seems like it should be! For us, it depends upon how long we were there. If it was a quick overnight stay we are out of there before you know it. If we've been there a while though, it often takes longer to pack up then it did to set up.

The longer we are there, the more stuff we've pulled out to use that needs to get cleaned up and put away. If we've cooked meals, it may take even longer. When we can, we'd rather take time to clean up and put things away when we are leaving the campground rather than have to deal with them later.

So all the tasks break down into two basic steps: Getting Packed Up and Getting Back on the Road.

Getting Packed Up

Be a good camper! Leave your campsite at least as good as you found it

Not all of these steps will apply in every case, but here are the basics.

  • Put away everything you have outdoors.
  • Be a good camper - cleanup your campsite
    Leave things as good or better than you found them when you arrived.
  • Put things away and secure them inside the trailer
    If you've cooked and dirtied dishes, you'll be happy later if you wash them and put them away now!
  • Turn off everything using electricity inside
  • Drain your gray and black water tanks if you have sewer connection at your site *
  • Disconnect your electric and water hookups

Draining your holding tanks

Yep, the most dreaded task...dealing with your holding tanks! But it doesn't have to be as bad as it was for Robin Williams.

Follow these basic steps
  1. Make sure toilet is close to full. Add water if needed. This will help drain all the solid waste.
  2. Connect your sewer drain hose, trying to give it a downward slope towards the drain.
  3. Open the valve to drain the black water.
  4. After black water stops draining, open the valve to drain the gray water.
  5. Use a tank wand in the toilet to flush out the black tank.
    If you do not have a tank wand, you can refill and drain the toilet with fresh water several times until clean. A tank wand just makes it a lot easier to do a good job. Just know that you may still have some sediment stuck on the bottom. Adding a clear elbow between your trailer hookup and the hose makes it easy to monitor your progress and see when the water is clearing up.

The videos below were produced for larger rigs, but are the best I've found on showing you the basics.

Drain the Tanks


Flush the Black Water Tank


Getting Back on the Road

Now that you have everything packed up, before leaving the campground you need to get things ready for towing again. The steps are essentially the same as when you are getting ready to begin your trip. Again, refer to your checklist, but click here if you'd like to go back and review my Getting Ready page for the basics.

You Need a Good Checklist!
I bet you know how I feel about this by now. Just don't underestimate the importance of this. Refine your checklist as you go along. If you don't have one yet, download a free copy of my Small Travel Trailer Checklists to use a starting point in creating your own.