If you're like most RVers, you probably enjoy taking your RV out for a spin all year long. However, there are a few things you need to do to make sure your RV is ready for the winter season. In this blog post, we will discuss 12 tips that will help you prepare your RV for a successful winter season!
First, consider self storage or mini-storage for your RV. This is especially helpful if you live in a place with cold and harsh winter weather. Storing your RV can protect it from the elements and make sure it's ready to go come spring. Plus, self-storage facilities are often well secured so you don't have to worry about someone breaking into your RV while it’s stored away.
Clean inside and out - before storing it away. Vacuum out the interior, wipe down surfaces, and clean windows both inside and outside. This will help reduce mold growth while in self-storage as well as make sure everything is ready to go when you take your RV out in the spring.
Check all fluid levels including engine oil, coolant, transmission fluid, washer fluid, etc., and top off or replace them if needed. Make sure that the gas tank has a winter stabilizer so that your gas doesn't go bad while storing your RV over the winter.
There is nothing worse than opening the door to your RV in spring and seeing a huge mess or laundry that you left yourself from the previous fall.
Do you want ants? Because that's how you get ants (and rats)! Seriously though. Every single piece of food needs to be removed. Including crumbs. If you end up with rodents, they can be very hard to get rid off. While removing food won't stop them from entering, it will prevent them from setting up a home in your RV.
If you have a history or rodent problems, consider using steel wool or rubber plugs to seal off any openings or crevices that could give small critters easy access.
Make sure your tires are properly inflated. Storing your RV with flat tires can result in flat spots and fissures in your tires. Many folks also use tire protectant to decrease UV damage to their tires.
Seal All The Windows
Make sure everything is closed. Especially the windows, because they are prone to letting in water and cold air.
You know the smell. Just do it. I know it's not fun but it must be done. Just throw away all the food and condiments that you don't need. Don't stress about throwing away a little mustard or ketchup. These items are not supposed to sit months at a time and can be a food safety hazard if you store them all winter. Also, it's easier to just throw it all away!
If you have a diesel RV, you should check and top up the fuel. This will help keep the engine in good condition over winter and stop any moisture from forming in the tank.
This can be lots of work but is always worth it. While you can hire someone to do it for $200-$400, it is worth learning how to yourself. Compared to all the other interventions, this can prevent the most damage. This will prevent pipes from freezing and bursting during the winter season. Open all the low points of your line and then go to your local RV storage site or gas station that has dumping and clear the tanks. I do fill all water lines (including the exterior shower) with the pink RV antifreeze. I don't have power where I store mine so I pull the batteries and keep them on a battery minder all winter.
Hint: you don't have to fill the fresh water tank with antifreeze, just drain it. Also, you don't want to drink antifreeze to start your spring.
This includes showers (both interior and exterior), toilets and sinks. This will literally take 2-3 minutes and can save your from a pipe bursting.
You know us - Onyx Self Storage - we are obsessed about self-storage security. we are the perfect location to keep your RV safe. Both indoor and outdoor RV storage can be good for the winter. If you are choosing a self storage facility, make sure to choose one with automated gate access, full perimeter fencing and 24/7 video surveillance. Not to brag but some facilities even ;) have established relationships with the local police force and ensure daily
This includes the fresh water, black water and grey water tanks. These can settle and cause blockages as well as freeze during the winter. Any frozen water in lines can expand and cause lines to rupture.
Long cold winters and tight metal joints don't mix well. Before your store your RV, make sure to lubricate everything you can think of! Any metal joint or placer where things grind together should be sprayed. This can prevent rust as well as make things nice and smooth come spring time. Don't forget to spray: jack mechanisms, cables, chains, the metal tongue, wheel lugs, bots, the little hinges in the steps, locks, latches and any other metal spot that could use a little squirt!
Clean and inspect your roof thoroughly before storing your RV. Check for any cracks or damage that could allow water to get inside while in storage. Make sure all seals are tight by applying sealant as needed and ensure that the roof vents are closed during the winter season.
Contact your RV insurer and make sure you are covered for any winter damage your RV could incur.
If you follow these guidelines, your RV should be in great shape when it's time to hit the road once more! Finally, consider self storage for all of your camping gear, such as tents, sleeping bags, and other items. This will not only save space in your RV but also make it easier for you when packing for trips!
*Bonus Tip: Invest in a battery maintainer - Battery maintainers help keep the charge of your battery during the cold months. This is important since batteries tend to self-discharge faster in colder temperatures. There are several different types of battery maintainers and even some that run off solar panel - check out some options here: Boat and RV storage battery maintainers. Investing in a battery maintainer can help keep your battery healthy and ready to go come springtime!