One of the best things about being an RV owner is being able to take your home-on-wheels pretty much anywhere while seeing the country and taking in nature.
But like any home, RVs need constant maintenance. And with northern winters being as extreme as they are (with the exception of Vancouver and Vancouver Island), you probably won’t be traveling much during the dark season.
If you live where it gets below freezing and you leave your RV parked outside, you’ll need to winterize your RV. If you don’t:
- Your pipes and water lines could burst
- Snow and ice could damage your awnings
- Low temperatures could shorten the lifespan of your battery and deflate your tires
- Exterior seams on the body could split
- Your paint could start peeling
Whether you plan to park in your driveway or at a secure storage facility, here are 8 tips to winterize your RV:
1. Drain your water system while making sure all faucets are open. Remove any water filters and close the faucets before you fill the system with antifreeze (check your system’s manual to make sure you’re doing this correctly). You should also have a hot water heater bypass system so you don’t waste antifreeze.
2. Remove batteries if possible. If you need to leave them in the vehicle, make sure they’re fully charged before cold weather hits. Low temperatures can drain battery juice, and it’s much more likely to happen if your battery isn’t fully charged.
3. Turn off any electronic devices that might drain the battery (if you’ve left the battery in the RV).
4. Clean and close your awnings. It might seem like common sense, but it bears repeating. Snow and ice can quickly damage fabric, so don’t leave them open all winter. Wash them so they’re nice and clean the next time you take out the RV. But make sure your awnings are completely dry before closing them – you don’t want to develop mold or mildew.
5. Clean the fridge. It should go without saying, but make sure you’ve emptied and wiped it down so you don’t develop mold or attract pests. Talk about an unsightly spring surprise!
6. Cover your tires. Cold weather can deflate your tires and moisture can also seep in, causing a number of potential problems. Covering them also protects your tires from UV damage.
7. Keep your insurance policy up to date. You can get storage-specific insurance during the winter, which covers stationary threats like fire, theft, and vandalism. If you don’t have space to park your RV all winter (or want to free up your driveway), Advanced Self Storage has affordable outdoor vehicle storage that’s fenced and monitored 24/7. It’s much more secure than a home driveway or street parking.
8. Have a pro winterize your RV if you don’t know what you’re doing. Call your local RV dealer and see what kind of winterizing packages they offer.
Follow these tips and you’ll help prevent the elements from causing unnecessary damage to your rig. Your vehicle will last longer and you’ll be able to confidently get back to RVing this spring!