Unless you live in a warmer climate, you will soon have to get your RV ready for winter storage. If you don't plan on taking your RV out this winter, now is the time to take some steps to prepare it for the cold weather. Once that last fall trip is completed, take a few days to make sure that your RV is refreshed and protected from the sun, wind, snow and cold. Here are a few things to keep in mind when it's time to winterize your RV.
Obviously one of the most important parts is protecting your RV's plumbing system. First remove inline water filters. Drain and flush the tanks and freshwater system including the water heater, washer, and ice maker. Open the faucets to facilitate complete drainage. You can then use low air pressure to blow out any remaining water. Once empty, close the drains and faucets. Fill the lines with a non-toxic RV
antifreeze using a water pump converter, making sure you bypass the water heater. Turn on the closest faucet until antifreeze appears, then turn it off again. Repeat for all other faucets and the toilet. It's also a good idea to pour a cup of antifreeze into each drain. Remember, RV antifreeze will freeze at around 10 degrees above zero. Even though it could freeze, it does not expand like water will. It's always a good idea to go with an RV antifreeze that has a burst protection rating of -50 degrees below zero just in case this winter is particularly cold.
As for the rest of the RV interior, start by cleaning the refrigerator and freezer and taking out all the food items. Place a box of baking soda in each one to absorb odors. Make sure you prop the doors open. Unplug all the appliances. Remove any food from pantries, cupboards and cabinets. Cabinet doors should also be propped open. Take out any toiletries and paper goods that could promote nest building from insects & animals. It's also a good idea to remove the bedding so you can wash them and safely store them over winter. Whatever electronics and valuables that can be removed should be taken out, both to prevent theft and reduce the risk of cold weather damage. The entire inside should be cleaned, and a moisture absorber, such as
Kanberra Gel, should be placed inside to prevent mold and mildew growth. Animal and insect protection is also a very important aspect. Thoroughly inspect your RV inside and out, looking for any possible gaps or entry points. Fill any gaps, making sure they are animal proof. Make sure vents are blocked.
There is still more to remember during RV winterizing prep. Fill your batteries with distilled water and clean the power posts if needed. Remove the batteries and store them in an area that will not freeze if you are unable to keep a trickle charger running on them. You will extend the life of those batteries by using a
BatteryMinder Battery Charger, Maintainer, Desulfator, Conditioner while in storage. If you have a motorhome be sure to get the engine serviced, change the oil/filters, and make sure the fluids are topped off. Make sure the propane tanks are filled and remove them in freezing climates, storing them in a safe location. Use Eternabond tape to seal all roof seams if needed and use RV sealant around windows, refrigerator and water tank vents. Wash your RV thoroughly, checking for any cracks or possible leaks. Open up the awnings and slide-outs to make sure they are dry and clean. If you need to wash them, let them dry completely before retracting. Lubricate anything that can be lubricated to prevent rust from forming due to moisture in fluctuating temperatures. Park your RV on a hard surface rather than potentially soft ground, and cover the tires to protect them from the sun. Finally, keep your RV covered, using a breathable cover that won't promote the growth of mold underneath.
Before finishing up, make a list of remaining items in your RV and photograph both the interior and exterior for insurance purposes in case of theft or damage. It's also a good idea to check on your RV a few times over the winter, both inside and out, so you aren't met with any unwelcome surprises come spring.