Lets talk a little about Documenting Your RV. Most of us have seen the idea of documenting all of the appliances, furnishings and personal property in our homes just in case your house burnt down or a natural disaster occurred, but did you ever consider doing the same thing for your recreational vehicle, car or truck? YOU SHOULD! And you need to do it NOW. Here are a few tips and things not to forget along the way.
Three Prong Approach to Documenting Your RV
1. List of all property including model numbers and serial numbers of components and appliances.
2. Photo documentation of every inch of your recreational vehicle, car or truck.
3. Video documentation of the condition of the vehicle including of all the item in the list being tested and viewed in the video.
This three-pronged approach to Documenting Your RV is nearly indisputable when it comes to showing what the items were, their condition and that the vehicle was equipped with such with the options listed. This may sound super simple and you think you can just snap some pictures with your smartphone and that will be fine, but here is a great proven step by step process.
Step 1: Backing Up Your RV Documentation
Set up a cloud based backup solution before Documenting Your RV. Choose your service such as Google, Amazon or Dropbox. Google Drive usually provides plenty of free space for this task. Amazon and Dropbox are also very proven services if you already have an account. Set up one of your preferred services on your smartphone so you will be able to easily upload your documentation. I find Dropbox the easiest to use but Google Drive offers very similar features.
Step 2: Documenting the RV Documents
Get your sales paperwork or other ownership documents and scan them into your above choice of online backup. This will help prove the basics of ownership, year, make and model of the vehicle as well as the VIN. Sometimes your sale paperwork also includes dealer installed items that the insurance company might not be aware of. This is your chance to Document Your RV!
Step 3: Making a List and Checking it Twice
Many RVs can be outfitted with upgrades from the dealership or manufacture prior to purchase and might not be provided when the VIN or serial number of the vehicle is ran by the insurance company. Additionally, these appliances or options might not recognizable after a loss. This is why it is so important to Document Your RV. We have made a starter list for you in MS Excel. Just insert your own rows as needed. Be sure to save your excel sheet to your choice of online backup service as discussed above! If you need some inspiration as far as what you might want to include on your list when Documenting Your RV check out the amazing checklist from TheCrazyOutdoorMama.com! Stacey has writes great blogs and creates some great content on RVing checklist. You can get her free checklist by signing up through her website.
Step 4: Photo Documentation of Your RV
Photo documentation is one of the LEAST disputed ways of documenting features, options, appliances and belongings. Not only do you want to take photos of your “stuff” but you also should take general photos of the exterior and interior condition of your RV or Camper. Armed with your list from step 3, start laying out items that need photo documented and start snapping those photos. Be sure to take photos of a couple different angles of each item to show its condition. If the item is an appliance in your RV then be sure to take an overview photos and a photo of the product tag, name and model.
Step 4: Recording Your RV Operation
Video documentation is crucial to show the actual working condition of features and options in your RV, motorhome or camper! You know the old saying “a picture is worth a 1000 words”… Well just imagine what your simple 30 second video could be worth! This is a bit more time consuming. Because videos take up so much data and space in the cloud, save the videography to just the options and features that actually turn on or move. Say for instance the air conditioner, heaters, fans, TV’s, satellite systems, stovetop, oven, microwave ovens, water systems, generator running, RV slide outs going in and out and even the RV leveling system and the awnings!