Why Winterize & Store an RV over the Cold Months?
The main reason to winterize and store your recreation vehicle, whatever it may be, over the winter is to protect it from the cold. Rain, snow, temperatures well-below freezing, excess humidity; we get all of this in the BC interior, and all of these can cause damage to your camping unit if not adequately prepared and protected during the cold season.
The RV Winterizing Process
Winterizing your RV means preparing your water system to avoid burst pipes and ruptured water tanks. In brief, this is what should be done before storage:
- Drain all water lines and add RV antifreeze.
- Install RV tire covers to protect the tire sidewalls from harmful UV rays (you can also raise the whole RV with jacks to reduce the pressure on the tires).
- Disconnect the battery, bring it indoors and connect to a battery charger set to trickle charge.
- Check the roof and repair any leaks;
- Check the window and door seals and make repairs as necessary.
- Cover your RV with a large tarp or winter RV cover if you’re leaving it outside.
- Preferably store your RV on a hard surface, such as a concrete driveway or gravel pad
Winterizing is a relatively painless process, and should only take a couple of hours, the most time-consuming part being the water line and water tank work.
Checking for Damage During Cold-Season Storage
So what damage can occur over the Winter? What should you be looking for that you don’t normally think of? When you winterize and store your RV, there are a number of things that campers don’t always think of that can cause a great deal of damage to your unit. Here are a few tips on what to look for when you check your camper during the off-season:
- Perished tires from excessive, unprotected cold, and harsh UV rays – did you cover your tires?
- Collapsed roofs and ceilings from too much uncleared snow load – always clear snow from the top of your RV
- Split and cracked seals from cold temperatures freezing excess surface moisture, or just under-maintained seals
- Mildew and mold resulting from inefficient ventilation – did you empty your closets and fridges and leave the doors open to prevent condensation forming?
- Wall wiring, and floor damage from rodent infestations – did you clear your cupboards of food? Or take steps to keep rodents away?
And when you de-winterize your RV, always check for the following, just in case your winterization process wasn’t as thorough as you thought:
- Ruptured water lines and split water heaters from inefficient winterizing
- Moisture creeping into your RV ceilings, walls, and floors from split and cracked seals
- Mildew and mold from poor ventilation or other invasive moisture, such as drinks that were left in over the winter and have split
- RV batteries can lose their charge and usability quickly if left connected in the cold
More hints and tips for looking after your RV during the the winter can be found in this more details post on winter maintenance.
And if you need more help and advice, Tri Crown RV are here to help. Based in Salmon Arm in the Shuswap, we can winterize and store your RV for you over the Winter, or repair any winter damage that may have occurred when you de-Winterize in the Spring. Give us a call to found out more.