We all know that in the Fall, when the temperatures start to drop towards freezing, that it’s time to winterize our RV. It’s not too difficult to do, and many of us get our local RV service center to do it for us. But what about over the winter? What else should we do to ensure that not just our water lines but our whole RVs stay in the best shape possible over the colder months?
Here’s a shortlist of things to look out for to keep your RV in tip-top condition over the Winter:
Winterizing our RV is one of the the first things that needs to be done when it starts to get cold; this is basically draining all of the water from our camping units, emptying all of the tanks, including grey water, black water, and hot-and-cold water tanks, flushing the water lines, and filling them with winterizing fluid to prevent damage from any remaining water the might freeze. As noted above, it’s normally a fairly straightforward procedure, and many of us just get our local RV service company to do it for us. And it’s vital that this is done before it freezes since this can result in costly damage to your RV water systems.
Remove all food and liquids from inside your RV
It stands to reason that if you’re removing all of the water from your RV in case it freezes, then it also makes sense to remove any other liquids too – pop cans, water bottles, juice boxes, cleaners, soaps, and shampoos; they will all freeze and if they explode they make a terrible mess and can cause damage. And remove any food too as this can be an attractant for mice.
Look out for rodents
Of course, when it gets cold, the ‘outside’ likes to come in! And rodents will chew up pretty much anything inside your RV to make a nest for the winter, so it’s definitely well worth laying down some deterrents, just in case mice or rats do think about breaking into your trailer.
Open all cupboard doors
Opening up all of your cupboard doors and move everything out of your cupboards will help prevent mold and bad odors from forming.
Avoid cultivating mold in your RV fridge freezer
Similarly, prop open the doors of your fridge/freezer as this will prevent moisture buildup and mold inside the refer.
Reduce the humidity in your RV
Use Dri-z-air or another type of moisture absorber or dehumidifier; use one for every 10′ of RV to absorb moisture from the air. And check them often throughout the winter as you may need to replace them regularly.
Pull cushions and mattresses away from walls and bulkheads
Moving your cushions and mattresses away from the sides of your unit will help prevent damp and mold accumulating in your upholstery from any condensation that may form on the inside walls of your RV.
Close all windows and check them for cracks
make sure all of your windows, vents, and doors are completely closed so that rain, snow, and moist air don’t get into your RV. And check your windows through the winter for cracks and breaks; if you see any, cover them up and get them repaired in the Spring.
Clear accumulated snow from your RV roof
When it does snow, watch out for the white stuff piling up on your roof. A little snow is fine, but if it starts to get a foot thick, then you need to clear it, particularly with older RVs as the roof may not be able to take the weight. Remember that you can walk on the roof of many RVs these days, but that may not always be the case, so check your unit’s specification to make sure it can take your weight before you go walking around on it.
Most of this is common sense, but many of us forget about all of these little things once the main winterizing process has been done in the Autumn; we tend to trust that the RV will be fine until the Spring, and as many of us have found out to our cost, this isn’t always the case. By adding these points to a ‘Winter maintenance’ routine, we can save ourselves a few dollars in repair bills in the Spring, meaning we can get out and enjoy our RVs all the sooner after the thaw.