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How To Winterize your Recreation Vehicle

How To Winterize your Recreation Vehicle

Now that you are park in our RV Storage lot, let’s learn a bit more about winterizing your vehicle. Call us today at (403) 615-0074 for all your storage needs. 

If this is your first time winterizing your RV, don’t make the mistake of just turning off your machine. There are a few steps you should take before you hibernate your RV for the winter. Follow all of these, and the rig will come back to life in the spring.

  1. FULLY WINTERIZE YOUR WATER SYSTEM

Frozen pipes mean the pipes are cracked. To avoid freezing, prepare your water system for the entire winter. Each unit contains winterization instructions for the water system that must be followed in the owner’s manual. Larger recreational vehicles equipped with washing machines, dishwashers, and ice machines require a few extra steps to winterize the water system.

All units follow the simplest steps: first, be sure to turn off the water heater, then drain and rinse all pipes. To remove every last drop of water, open all faucets while draining. When filling the system with antifreeze, make sure that the antifreeze reaches all faucets. Even pour antifreeze into all the drains.

Pro tip: When prepping your water system for antifreeze, it’s best to install a water heater bypass kit. The bypass kit avoids wasting antifreeze on the water heater

  1. REMOVE YOUR BATTERIES AND STORE IN A DRY PLACE

Winter temperatures are your RV’s worst predator. For all batteries, turn off the RV’s disconnect and breaker switches. Also, when disconnecting batteries, remove the negative cable first. If your cables aren’t labelled already, add labels to easily reconnect when you pull your RV out of storage in the spring.

Single batteries are easy to winterize. Store fully-charged batteries in a warm, dry spot. Do not store batteries on a concrete floor, unless you want a dead battery by the end of winter. Concrete slowly drains the power from batteries.

Larger systems with multiple batteries will have specific instructions in the owner’s manual. It’s usually better to keep these batteries installed. If leaving your batteries in your RV, still disconnected the negative battery cable. Check the battery charge level periodically throughout the winter, and recharge when necessary.

  1. APPLY A COAT OF GOOD QUALITY WAX OR PROTECTANT TO THE RV EXTERIOR

Winterizing your RV means protecting it from all elements. To protect the exterior shell of your RV, purchase a good quality wax or protectant formula that is compatible with the composite of your unit. First, completely clean the exterior while checking for cracks or split seams. If you noticed any cracks while cleaning, patch these areas with a sealant specific to the materials of your RV. Then, wax the entire exterior.

  1. CLEAN AND DRY YOUR AWNING

While cleaning your RV’s exterior for waxing, clean and dry the awning. Two birds in one step! It’s important to make sure the awning fabric is completely dry to prevent molding. The same goes for pop-up or fold-out trailers with fabric or canvas siding. Nothing worse than the smell of mildew. Yuck!

  1. REMOVE, CLEAN, AND REPLACE YOUR AC FILTERS

While cleaning your RV’s exterior and awning, you should also clean the exterior of your air conditioning. Remove, clean, and replace the air conditioner’s filters before tucking your RV away for the winter. The goal is to leave your rig clean and dry so there are no surprises in the spring and people often forget about doing maintenance on the AC.

  1. SERVICE ALL LOCKS AND HINGES

This step is quick and easy, but just as important as the rest if you want a well-working RV in the spring. Take a few minutes to lubricate your locks and hinges before stowing your RV to avoid creaks, jams, and breaks in the spring. A little lubing goes a long way!

  1. TIDY AND CLEAN THE INTERIOR

If your RV is going to be stored untouched for the winter months, you want to leave it sparkling clean. Again, you don’t want any surprises in the spring. A clean RV offers fewer hiding spaces for critters and mold. And by clean, we mean sanitize! Aside from general cleaning, remove all clothing and blankets to be stored at home. Lift couch cushions and mattresses, and leave them propped against each other or walls for optimal airflow. Obviously, it’s a good idea to take out any leftover food and beverages.

  1. USE A DEHUMIDIFIER TO AVOID MOULD AND MILDEW BUILD UP

There are a few options to minimize moisture damage in your RV. If you plan to store your rig nearby with a power source and can check on it often, running a dehumidifier a few times throughout the winter will do the trick. Another option is to leave moisture absorbing materials inside the RV for the winter. Damprid RV is a popular moisture absorber.

  1. COVER YOUR RV WHEELS TO PROTECT FROM THE ELEMENTS

The last step, if you will be storing your RV outside, cover your wheels to protect them from the elements like sun scorching.

The jury is out on whether covering the entire RV with a tarp is a good idea or not. On one hand, it protects the outer shell from snow and debris. On the other side of the debate, a tarp could trap moisture so if you do cover it, be sure to use a breathable shell.

If you’re a seasoned RVer, you know the importance of taking your time to properly winterize your rig. Let us know if you have any secret tips and tricks that make winterizing a little easier!

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