If you're planning to store your RV for the winter, you'll need to take some steps to protect it from the cold and moisture. Winterizing your RV will help prevent damage to the plumbing system, appliances, batteries, tires, and other components.
Here are some tips and instructions for winterizing your RV:
- Drain and flush the water system. Empty the freshwater tank, water heater, and holding tanks. Use a water pump converter kit or a hand pump to flush the water lines with non-toxic RV antifreeze. Make sure to bypass the water heater before adding antifreeze. Open all faucets, valves, and drains until you see antifreeze coming out.
- Clean and dry the interior. Remove any food, drinks, toiletries, and other items that could freeze, spoil, or attract pests. Wipe down all surfaces with a mild cleaner and let them dry completely. Vacuum the carpets, upholstery, and vents. Close all windows, vents, blinds, and curtains. Place moisture absorbers or dehumidifiers in cabinets, closets, and drawers.
- Disconnect and charge the batteries. Disconnect the negative cable from the battery terminals and remove the batteries from the RV. Store them in a cool, dry place and charge them every month with a battery maintainer or a smart charger. Check the water level and add distilled water if needed.
- Inflate and cover the tires. Check the tire pressure and inflate them to the recommended level. Cover the tires with RV tire covers or plywood to protect them from UV rays, snow, ice, and debris. If possible, park your RV on a level surface and use wheel chocks or blocks to prevent rolling.
- Cover and secure the exterior. Wash and wax your RV to remove dirt, bugs, and stains. Cover any openings such as vents, exhaust pipes, and outlets with mesh or tape to prevent rodents and insects from entering. Cover your RV with a breathable RV cover or tarp that fits snugly and has vents to prevent condensation. Lock all doors, compartments, and hatches.
You might be wondering if it's worth winterizing it before the cold season.
Winterizing your RV can have many benefits, such as:
- Protecting your RV from freezing temperatures and snow. If you leave your RV exposed to the elements, you risk damaging its pipes, tanks, batteries, and other components. Frozen pipes can burst and cause leaks, batteries can lose their charge and corrode, and snow can accumulate on the roof and cause cracks. By winterizing your RV, you can prevent these problems and save money on repairs.
- Extending the lifespan of your RV. Winterizing your RV can also help preserve its value and appearance. By draining the water system, cleaning the interior and exterior, and covering the RV with a breathable cover, you can prevent mold, mildew, rust, stains, and odors from forming. You can also protect your RV from pests and rodents that might chew on wires or insulation. By winterizing your RV, you can keep it in good condition and enjoy it for longer.
- Preparing your RV for the next season. Winterizing your RV can also make it easier to get ready for your next trip. By following a winterizing checklist, you can ensure that everything is in working order and nothing is missing or broken. You can also take this opportunity to inspect your RV for any issues that need attention, such as tires, brakes, lights, or appliances. By winterizing your RV, you can avoid unpleasant surprises and have a smooth start to your next adventure.
Winterizing your RV may seem like a lot of work, but it will pay off in the long run by saving you time, money, and hassle when spring comes. Follow these tips and instructions for winterizing your RV and enjoy a worry-free winter!