The fall weather is bringing chillier mornings and beautiful colors. As we approach the winter months, it is great to have a plan for preparing your RV for the cold weather. Longer storage periods and lower temperatures can create issues with your RV, and we want to make sure you stay ahead of the season. Prioritize now, so you won’t be surprised later! Here’s a helpful checklist from Out of Doors Mart to make sure your RV is protected this winter:
Find a Suitable Winter Home for Your RV
The best location would be an indoor, climate-controlled storage for the winter season. This will eliminate many of the items on your checklist, however you may have to pay for it. Your rig will stay nice and cozy in a warm shelter for the winter. Our second recommendation would be an unheated indoor storage. This facility will make it unnecessary to do exterior protection for your RV, however you might have to perform some of the items on your winter storage checklist, to prevent damage caused by low temperatures. The third choice for a home for the winter is covered outdoor storage, which protects the roof of your RV, and the fourth option is to have it parked outside and unprotected. If you decide on the fourth option, try to find a location that is not located beneath trees or where strong wind gusts can occur. Varying checklist items will apply, depending on your winter home option.
The following steps will get the exterior of your RV prepared for the coldest of temperatures:
1. – Wash the rig thoroughly, checking the seams and sealants for cracks. Apply RV sealant as necessary, to ensure that the rig is completely sealed.
2. – Apply lubricant to storage compartment and door hinges. Protect your rubber seals by applying rubber seal lubricant to them.
3. – Check out your fabric condition. Extend the awnings and open up that pop-up camper. It’s important to make sure they are dry and clean. If cleaning is needed, make sure to let the fabric dry thoroughly before bringing them back down.
4. – Tires should be inflated to maximum cold pressure settings, and a plank of wood or other insulating barrier should be placed beneath the tires.
5. – On the inside of your RV, it is essential to clean the refrigerator/freezer. After thoroughly cleaning, put an open container of baking soda inside of the fridge and other one inside of the freezer to absorb odors. Secure the doors open, and turn off and unplug this unit and all of the other electrical appliances inside of the RV.
6. – Windows need to be closed and shades drawn. Retract slide-outs, and place insulated sunshades in the windows.
7. – In humid climates, use a dehumidifier to remove the moisture from the interior. Dri-Z-Air moisture absorbing crystals are recommended, or use an outlet and plug in a dehumidifier.
8. – When you are ready to close it up for the winter, take photos of the interior and exterior of the RV, keeping a list of all items that are inside.
9. – The first step in winterizing fluids and fuels is to drain and flush the gray and black water tanks. Drain the freshwater system next, including the water heater and icemaker feed. Drain plugs should be left out during storage, and opening faucets will assist the draining process.
10. – If you are using non-toxic antifreeze in an area that usually gets below freezing temperatures, bypass the water heater with a bypass mechanism. RV supply stores carry bypass kits, if one is not available from your manufacturer. If you have a toilet or a washer-dryer, make sure they are also protected. Pour a cup of non-toxic antifreeze down each drain to protect them in the winter, too.
Now you can rest assured that your Airstream, Rockwood and Salem RV’s will be more than ready for the winter season! By prioritizing and winterizing, you will be prepared for the coldest temperatures.
Source: RVing Illustrated: Hot Tips for Helping Your RV Weather the Winter, rvingillustrated.com