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RV WinterizationWe may not want to face it, but it’s time to start thinking about winterizing your RV and getting it ready for long term storage. RV winterization involves more than just getting your plumbing system prepared for below freezing temperatures, but don’t worry! Here some other things to keep in mind as you go through your checklist.

The plumbing is obviously a very important aspect of RV winterizing that can’t be overlooked. When you go to winterize the plumbing, water must be drained completely from the lines, water heater, and holding tanks and replaced with non-toxic antifreeze. Using an air compressor to blow any lingering water out will help ensure there is nothing left to freeze once it gets cold. When filling your system with antifreeze, make sure you’ve bypassed the water heater first to avoid wasting extra gallons of it. Also make sure you are bypassing your fresh water tank as well. Using a water pump with a converter is the easiest way to add the antifreeze to your system. Turn on the closest faucet until you see antifreeze come out, then turn it off again. This step needs to be repeated for all other faucets. The toilet should also be flushed until you see antifreeze come out. A cup of antifreeze should also be poured down each drain and into the toilet bowl. Appliances like ice makers, refrigerators, or washing machines will have their own unit-specific instructions.

Once winterizing the RV plumbing is complete, there is still more to do. Your rig should be cleaned out as much as possible. This means removing anything that may become a problem after sitting for several months. This includes throw pillows, blankets, bed linens, food, expensive items, and any electronics that can be easily removed. Electronics that can’t be removed should be unplugged and batteries taken out from small devices. Removing these items prevents animals and insects from being attracted inside, and prevents expensive items from potentially getting stolen. Leave all cabinet and refrigerator doors open. Once cleared out, the inside should be cleaned and the outside should be washed. When going over the exterior, check for any gaps or small holes that animals or insects could get into. Vents and other openings should be covered. Make sure the batteries are charged and the water levels are full. LP tanks should also be full. Both the batteries and LP tanks should be removed, if possible. If you have a motorhome, service the engine much like you would with a car. Change the oil and filters, and top off all the fluids.

When you go to store your RV, keep it away from trees and off the grass, if possible. This helps prevent moisture & dirt from building up, as well as pests from getting inside. It should be covered with a breathable fabric to prevent mold & mildew. Wheels should be chocked to prevent the RV from moving around. Tires should be rotated periodically to avoid getting flat spots. Battery levels should be checked once a month and keep them charged with the water levels filled. You should also check on your RV a few times over the winter to prevent unwanted surprises from popping up in the spring.

The winterization process does involve a number of steps but it’s important to get it done correctly to avoid costly damage in the spring. When you are able to come back to your RV in the spring without any major issues, you’ll be glad you took the time to get it done right.

Winterizing Your RV for Storage