How To Prepare Your RV For Winter

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!

Tips For Moving Solo

Moving is difficult enough. But having to do it alone? Not fun. It’s stressful just thinking about it, right?

It can cost thousands to hire movers, especially if you live in anything bigger than a one-bedroom apartment. Some people rent a U-Haul and ask friends or family to lend a hand in exchange for some cold drinks. And we’re grateful for our loved ones who donate their time and energy.

However, this isn’t always possible. Maybe you need to move on a weekday but can’t find someone to help. Or you could be moving to a new city where you don’t know anybody at all.

These tips will get you ready to organize your move so you can enjoy your new place – even if you don’t have a sidekick.

Make a checklist

Come up with a packing strategy early. Create a checklist and start packing room by room. You can organize the content of your boxes by item type (ex. pots and pans) or location (ex. the entire contents of a bookshelf or drawer – let’s not pretend we’re all perfect here).

Here’s a starting point for taking inventory of a one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment:

Kitchen

  • Pots
  • Pans
  • Cooking utensils
  • Cutlery
  • Small appliances
  • Mugs
  • Glasses/Cups
  • Bowls
  • Large plates
  • Small plates
  • Baking sheets/dishes
  • BBQ tools
  • Soft items (dish towels, oven mitts)
  • Bar contents (bottles, accessories)

Bedroom

  • Pants
  • Shirts
  • Socks/underwear
  • Jackets/coats
  • Shoes
  • Formal/business wear
  • Hats
  • Seasonal clothing
  • Accessories (jewelry, belts, etc.)
  • Other stored items (side table drawers, shelves, etc.)

Bathroom

  • Toiletries
  • Hair care products
  • Skin products
  • Storage bins and accessories

Living Room

  • Books
  • Electronics
  • Decorative items (statues, bookends, vases)
  • Plants

Other

  • Sports equipment
  • Games
  • Costumes
  • Wall art/mirrors
  • Musical instruments
  • Figurines/collectibles

Don’t forget to leave out any essentials like daily toiletries and a few kitchen items to keep you going before you move. Start disassembling less used furniture a few weeks in advance, and take apart your final pieces 24-48 hours before moving day.

Tips for packing alone

When you’re moving alone, you might be worried about how you’ll transport fragile or awkward-shaped items. Here are some tips to make the process easier:

  • Pack heavy items (like books) in smaller boxes.
  • If you’ll be stacking boxes, completely fill each one so they don’t collapse under the weight of others.
  • Wrap mirrors and pictures in bubble wrap or use mirror boxes.
  • Disassemble as much as possible in advance. Place screws and bolts in plastic bags and tape them to the items.
  • Protect mattresses and furniture with pads and covers. You can rent these from a storage company like Advanced Self Storage or from a moving company.
  • Use a dolly (something you can also borrow or rent) so you can move long or awkward items.

Rent a storage unit to avoid rushing

The toughest thing about moving alone is having to get it all done in one day. Wouldn’t it be great if you didn’t need to?

One way to avoid the rush is to rent a storage unit so you can move at your own pace. If you don’t want to spend the first few weeks in your new digs drowning in unpacked boxes – or you want to paint or renovate before settling in – self storage could be a perfect temporary home for your stuff.

If you go the storage unit route, here are some tips to maximize space: 

  • Store couches and loveseats vertically.
  • Never store mirror boxes and TV boxes horizontally.
  • Disassemble tables and shelves and store items on their sides.
  • If you’re in a bigger unit, leave a clear aisle for easy access to everything.
  • Be sure to clean and dry fridges and barbecues before storing.

If you want to know more about how a storage unit could give you freedom to move at your own pace, get in touch with us!

3 reasons to get a back-to-school storage unit

3 reasons to get a back-to-school storage unit

Early mornings. Homework. Rides to school. It’s that time of year again!

September might have the kids crying and screaming about the end of summer break, but it doesn’t have to be doom and gloom for you. You can’t put a price on a good education, right?

Every year is a good year to make a change, especially when it means things will be quieter around the house. Peace, silence, and time? You can finally tackle the clutter and get your home back to the state it was in before summer hit.

Here are three reasons to get a storage unit this September:

  1. They’re moving back to campus

If your ‘big kids’ are flying the coop for the school season, there’s no reason to keep their clutter around. Turn their room into an office or yoga den and move their bedroom set and extra clothes into storage. It might even inspire you to move their childhood ‘keep’ pile out of the house (so they don’t threaten to ‘disown’ you).

This brings us to our next point:

  1. The kids won’t let you toss their stuff


They’ve collected too much stuff over the years and you don’t know what to do with it all. You’ve asked them to give up the old to make room for the new, but they throw a tantrum – even the teens – when asked to choose what to toss. 

While you’re the parent and you could choose for them, a temporary compromise would be to get a small storage unit in the meantime. It’ll be easier to go through everything together if it’s in one place – plus it’ll help relieve some of the tension at home.

  1. There’s no room at home for summer stuff

    Who has room for inflatable crocodiles, baseball bats, unicorn-themed sprinklers and beach toys at home year-round? Instead of cramming summer toys and clothes into an already-full closet for the next 8 months, get a small off-site storage unit so you have more room to breathe this winter.

    Organize everything by type (ex. Sports equipment, pool toys) and carefully pack them in labelled plastic bins. Stack the bins in your new storage unit or add shelving for easier access.

With the household adjusting to the routine of the new school year, getting clutter out of the way will free up both floor space and mental space. Imagine how excited the kids will be to come home and see how fresh and clean the house is!