Now that summer is over and winter is just around the corner, it’s time for you to winterize your RV if you don’t have any plans of taking it out for winter vacations. However, it’s not as easy as simply finding a parking and storage space for your rig. If you just store your RV without preparing it for the cold temperatures, you’ll most likely come back to a dead vehicle come spring.
Luckily, winterization isn’t that difficult a process! You just need to give your RV a little bit of extra TLC before storing it for the winter.
Here’s how to winterize your RV in three easy steps.
Step #1: Winterize your RV’s systems
The most important step that you need to take is to winterize your RV’s internal systems. This includes the plumbing, the batteries, and the HVAC system.
- Plumbing system
Your RV’s plumbing system runs through your whole rig, and it refers to both the bathroom and the kitchen.
First, you need to turn off the water heater, and then drain all the remaining water from the pipes. If the pipes have any water remaining, the water can solidify and crack the pipes. Open all the faucets simultaneously to ensure that all the water is flushed out completely. Once all the water has been drained, refill the system with antifreeze. Make sure that the whole system is filled with antifreeze so that all your pipes and drains are protected.
For larger RVs, you might need to refer to the owner’s manual for any extra winterization steps.
While RV batteries are made to withstand extreme temperatures, they are not designed to withstand long periods of idleness during winter. For smaller RVs with single batteries, it is a simple matter to disconnect the battery and store it for the winter. However, if you have a large RV with multiple batteries, you should refer to the owner’s manual. In some cases, it might even be better to keep these batteries installed because it can be difficult to remove them without specialized tools and knowledge. If this is the case for you, check the battery charge level throughout the storage period and recharge when needed.
- HVAC system
When preparing to store your RV for the winter, don’t forget to clean out your RV’s HVAC system. You don’t want any dirt or grime being stored inside your HVAC system for months because they can trap moisture and cause mold and mildew to grow inside your RV.
Replace any filters that are old or broken, or clean filters that are dirty but still usable.
Step #2: Protecting the interior
A dirty RV that’s in storage during the winter is basically a haven for critters and bacteria. If you don’t take the time to clean out your RV before storing it, you’ll have a very unpleasant surprise when spring comes!
General cleaning is great, but you also have to pay extra attention to those nooks and crannies that can be used as hiding spaces. Take out all clothing, blankets, and other items that critters can use to make a nest. If possible, remove cushions and mattresses as well. However, if these are too large, you should at least prop them up against walls to allow air to circulate around them.
Make sure that your RV interior is as clean and dry as possible before putting it in storage. You can also put in dehumidifiers to prevent mold and mildew from building up.
Step #3: Protecting the exterior
The exterior of your RV also deserves some TLC to prepare it for winter. Clean the exterior thoroughly then apply a coating of good quality wax to protect it from moisture and the cold. You can even place a breathable shell on top for further protection.
Winterize your RV conclusion
Winterizing your RV is an important step that you need to take to ensure that you have a working RV to come back to in the spring. Luckily, these three steps are easy to do and they take minimal effort and equipment. Even if you have a large RV, the basic steps will be the same. You just need to refer to it to make sure that you also perform any extra steps needed to fully protect your RV this coming winter.
Need more recommendations to make the most out of your RV experience? Visit the Bayside RV for more tips at http://www.baysiderv.com.
Related link: Camping trailers: 25+ dos and don’ts for your next trip