Winterizing your RV means you can pack it up for the winter and head south, or just go into hibernation until the temperatures rise and once again camp in peace. Here are 10 quick steps to get your RV ready for hibernation.
Inspect & Repair Roof
When it comes to your RV, it's important to make sure that you inspect your roof for any leaks or cracks. If your RV has a leak, use waterproof tape and sealant to fix the problem. Your best bet is to have someone who knows what they're doing do this job for you since fixing the roof can be tricky.
If you find any cracks in your RV's roof, fill them with some kind of filler material and sand smooth once dry. You don't want these cracks getting larger or worse over time as water might get into that space and cause more damage in other areas of the vehicle as well!
Empty Fresh Water Tank
Use a hose to drain the tank. You can simply open your fresh water tank and let gravity do its work.
Dispose of the water properly. This is important because you don't want to contaminate any nearby waterways with wastewater or other substances you may be carrying in your tanks. Most RV parks have dumping stations, but if yours doesn't, check with local authorities for information on how to dispose of this fluid safely when full.
How much should I drain? It's hard to give a general number because it depends on many factors, such as whether or not your water heater has been running since last time you used it and how long ago that was; however, as a rule of thumb, most people will have enough room in their fresh-water tank to hold several days' worth of use before they need to worry about filling up again (this will vary depending on usage).
Clean RV's Gutter System
Remove Leaves and Other Debris from Gutters
The first thing to do is to take a look at your gutters to see if there’s any leaves or other debris that needs to be cleaned out. You can do this by using a garden hose, or you can use a leaf blower to remove the debris from the gutter system. If you have mold or mildew on your RV’s roof, make sure that you clean it off with soap and water as well as remove any debris that may be stuck inside of your gutters before winter comes in order to ensure that they don’t freeze over during cold weather conditions (which could cause leaks).
Invest in RV Skirting
Skirting is the perfect solution for blocking snow and ice from getting under your rig. It can also be used to collect water that has melted and run off your RV—not only does it prevent puddles, but it keeps them from getting into your rig as well!
You can buy skirting at most hardware stores or online retailers. The cost will vary depending on whether you want plastic or aluminum, but expect to pay around $30-$40 per piece. Installation is easy: just drill some holes in the bottom of each section (three holes should be sufficient), stack them together with bolts or screws on top of each other, then attach them to the bottom of your RV using mending plates (you know those little metal rectangles that come with certain types of wood trim?). Storing skirting is simple too; just put it away somewhere dry until next winter!
Get An All-Weather RV Cover
The easiest way to keep your RV safe in all weather is by getting an all-weather cover. All-weather covers protect your RV from UV rays, dust, and moisture. They are easy to put on and take off, clean and store. And they can be transported easily if you plan on taking it out at another location during the winter months.
You should expect to pay between $400-$1000 for a decent quality cover that will last for many years if taken care of properly.
Insulate Plumbing & Water Lines
You should also insulate your plumbing and water lines. The most common way to do this is with foam pipe insulation, which you can buy at any hardware store. In addition to keeping pipes warm, it helps prevent condensation from forming on your pipes and freezing in cold weather. You can also use heat tape designed for outdoor use, insulated hoses and insulation tape (which does much the same thing as foam pipe insulation). Heat tape works best when installed near sources of heat like the engine block or furnace heater.
Stow Away Looked Equipment and Electronics
To ensure that your equipment is ready to go this spring, consider storing it in a safe place. No matter how careful you are with your RV and its contents, there’s always a chance that something could happen during the winter months. If you have a storage compartment for each item, you can keep everything together and make sure it stays dry as well.
Here are some tips for storing on board:
Make sure there are no leaks or tears in your rooftop cover or any other part of your roof system (or even worse—use caution if you do find any). Leaks are bad news because they can cause damage from moisture buildup inside the vehicle—and even lead to mold growth!
Remove Propane Tanks and Store Indoors
Propane tanks are heavy and can be difficult to handle. It's best to store your propane tank indoors or in a garage, basement, or other location with a consistent temperature. If you decide to store your propane tank outdoors, it should be placed on a level surface and away from children and pets. Propane tanks should also be kept at least 100 feet away from heat sources such as fireplaces and stoves because overheated propane can become flammable.
Install a Battery Minder or Solar Charger
A battery minder is a device that keeps your battery from being overcharged. This will prolong the life of your RV’s batteries and avoid damage while they are sitting in storage. A solar charger, on the other hand, charges your battery from the sun and can be purchased at most local hardware stores or online retailers.
A professional should install either of these devices because it can be tricky to install them yourself if you’re not familiar with wiring and electricity.
Schedule an Winter Oil Change
When you're planning to spend the winter in your RV, it's always a good idea to schedule an oil change before you leave. That way, if anything goes wrong with your engine over the course of the season and you can't get out for repairs, at least your vehicle will be ready for spring.
You should change your oil twice as often as normal during winter months because colder temperatures cause increased wear and tear on engine parts. You'll also want to use synthetic oil during this time because regular motor oil tends not to flow as well at low temperatures.
Oil changes are easy enough: simply remove all visible dirt from around the drain plug before loosening it with a wrench (or strap wrench if necessary). Remove the old filter by sliding its tabs into slots in the housing bracket and turning counterclockwise until free; then discard both filters properly (see below). Next pour new motor oil into your car or truck's main compartment through either end cap until full; replace caps after filling up both ways; then wipe off excess residue from outside surfaces with a clean rag before replacing main drain plug back onto its hole firmly but gently until snug—don't overtighten! Finally check under vehicle for leaks by pouring two cups worth into driveway pavement where grass won't grow near center line between tires (this step isn’t vital but helps prevent accidents).
Winterizing your RV is crucial to the longevity of your RV.
The most important thing to remember about winterizing your RV is that it’s crucial to the longevity of your RV. Winterizing is an easy and fun project that can be a great family activity, too! It will also save you money in the long run if you don’t have any issues with freezing pipes or other problems that could result from not winterizing correctly.
We hope these tips will help you get your RV winter-ready and ensure a smooth transition into the fall and winter seasons. It’s important to know how to take care of your vehicle in every type of weather. If you follow these simple steps, we guarantee that you’ll have no problem getting it ready for cold weather camping or just storing it away until springtime. We also recommend watching online tutorials about various RV maintenance tasks so you can do them yourself! Be sure to check out our blog for more helpful articles on how to best prepare for long trips in an RV, like this one about the best summer road trip destinations!