Preparing Your RV For Winter Storage

Get your RV ready to hibernate for the winter and get back on the road sooner come spring with these helpful tips.

First, I suggest you start by booking an appointment with your RV dealer to have your RV “winterized”. This process involves flushing your RV’s waterlines, filling them with RV anti-freeze, draining all holding tanks, and bypassing the hot water tank if there is a bypass system. Leaving the drain open on the hot water tank is also recommended. Of course, if you can do this process yourself you can save the cost of having it done. Just keep in mind you must get these things done before temperatures stay below zero!

RV “winterizing” is only a part of the winter storage preparation. You must also close up potential gaps just like you do for your home. Start by checking doors, vents and windows and closing them tight. If they lock, lock them! Cover air conditioning units and vents with Maxxair covers. Installing Maxxair covers prevents foliage and moisture from creating issues with your RV. Maxxair covers stay on year round, saving you time, maintenance and money, because they protect roof vents from those dreaded hailstones that often damage these plastic fixtures.

Next, use tire covers to prevent tire weathering. This extends the life of the tires for those many trips yet to come.

Turn off all gas valves to appliances and to the propane tanks. Having a cover on the propane tanks extends the life of the values and tanks. For security purposes, I recommend locking up your propane tanks. Or, if you are one of those winter time BBQ types, take the tanks home and put the propane to use.

Disconnect any batteries and remove them from the RV. You do this to preserve the life of the battery, and prevent any damage to the RV if the battery happens to leak. Storing batteries up off cement in a warm environment helps them maintain their charge.

Give your RV a good cleaning so it is ready for the first camping trip of the year. This list should include washing bedding and cleaning the fridge. To prevent mold, mildew, and bad smells turn it off the fridge and prop open the door. Throughout the RV add air fresheners and a damp trap. Use the cupboards and storage areas to put items out of sight and close the curtains. This will help deter break-ins.

To deter theft, use a steering wheel lock on motorhomes. For trailers use a ball lock or a fifth wheel hitch lock. For a steering wheel lock, I recommend the double claw style because they install with ease. Just make sure they fit tight over the wheel before locking. Locking your RV creates peace of mind over the winter when you might not even see it until spring.

Taking these steps will help you get back on the road sooner come spring. Winterizing is cheap and easy, repairs caused by a winter freeze up are not. See you next RV season.

— Venita