Though winter generally is not a popular time for camping or vacationing in the RV, and Texas doesn’t typically have severe winters, it can’t hurt to be on the safe side and take preventive measures before storing your RV for the winter. We’ve put together a few steps to winterizing your RV to ensure it’s ready in the spring and help to avoid costly repairs that could result from not being prepared. Always consult your owner’s manual for specifics before you start any maintenance and/or repairs. Once your RV is winterized and properly stored, relax and enjoy planning your new adventures for the coming season!
- Remove all food from your RV and/or boat, and remove all remnants of food and other fragrant/scented items – otherwise it might attract rodents, bugs, and other varmints. Rodents have a great sense of smell and can even smell toothpaste, mouthwash, antiperspirant /deodorant, air fresheners etc. Don’t forget to remove these items as well.
- Clean the entire interior,
- Fill in any gaps or holes on the underside and interior using silicone or expanding foam. Be sure to open all cabinets and drawers to check for holes. Look in all the corners and crevices, especially where plumbing and wiring enter. If you can see any daylight, rodents can get in.
- Defrost the freezer and clean both the freezer and refrigerator. Leave the doors open and place a box of baking soda in the compartments to absorb any odors.
- Anything that contains water needs to be emptied (shower, toilet, ice maker, washing machine, dishwasher, etc.)!
- Turn off the main breaker in the power distribution panel.
- Turn all LP gas appliances off and turn the LP gas supply valve off.
- Close the windows and blinds/curtains.
- Leave drawers and cabinet doors open.
- Remove any dry cell batteries from devices such as smoke alarms, clocks, etc.
- Clean the A/C filter(s) and disconnect air conditioning connects.
- Thoroughly clean the exterior and roof; wax if preferred, for extra protection.
- Inspect all roof seams, body seams and window sealants for cracks and/or openings that could allow water to get in. Reseal or re-caulk using a sealant compatible with the specific materials, as recommended by your RV dealer.
- Clean the awning fabric and/or tenting material and allow to dry before storing it.
- If not parking under a covered shelter, invest in a cover made of breathable material.
- Service all locks with a spray lubricant and lubricate all hinges.
- Cover LP gas appliance vents to prevent insects from taking up residence – just remember to uncover the vents next spring!
- Drain and bypass the water heater OR add enough antifreeze to the water system to prevent freezing. Be sure to use RV “potable water” (nontoxic) antifreeze, or what is recommended by your dealer/manufacturer. Again, don’t forget about ALL of the water lines – shower, toilet, ice maker, washing machine and dishwasher. Follow all manufacturer recommendations.
- Empty the waste water tanks as much as possible.
- Inflate the tires to the pressure recommended by your manufacturer.
- Place a block or piece of wood (or something similar) between the ground and the tires to prevent damage. Make sure whatever block you use is larger than the footprint of the tire. No portion of the tire should hang over the edge of the tire block.
- If you are storing a trailer, chock the wheels front and rear.
- Check and adjust the water levels in all batteries and make sure they are fully charged. If you are storing your RV for a long period of time, consider removing the battery.
- Fill the fuel tank and add a fuel stabilizer. Run the engine and the generator long enough for the stabilizer to get through the entire fuel system.
- Change the oil and oil filter on the engine and generator.
- Remove the battery and store in a warm place. If not removing the battery, start the engine once a month to prevent moisture build up.
Once again, always check your owner’s manual and follow all manufacturer recommendations before starting any maintenance and/or repairs. And enjoy planning your new adventures for the springtime and beyond!