Best Practices to Winterize Your RV Equipment
When the days grow shorter and the nights longer, taking your RV out for a weekend excursion may be more than you want to tackle. If you aren't using your RV in the winter and live where the thermometer can drop below freezing, you need to take extra precautions when winterizing your RV.
When Should You Winterize Your RV?
It would be best if you winterized your RV before the first frost. In warmer climates, winterizing your RV may not be necessary because the temperatures rarely get cold enough for it to be needed.
However, take precautions before starting if you plan to take your RV into colder climates. Using a fall and spring maintenance schedule will help keep the wheels rolling when it's time to go camping, no matter the time of year.
For those in colder climates, you have some work to do before storing your RV for the winter. All RVs, whether 16-foot pull-behind, pop-up campers, or 40-foot Class A RV, have plumbing and electrical systems that need attention before the icicles are hanging from the eaves of your house.
If you don't take care of these tasks, it could lead to busted plumbing, flat batteries that need to be replaced, and a devaluation of your RV.
A set maintenance schedule can help keep you on track, making winterizing your RV easier. Depending on how handy you are, you may want your RV dealer to take care of a few of these items.
Otherwise, it is just a matter of having the right tools, winterizing products, and time.
What You Need To Winterize In Your RV – To Keep Your RV From Being Damaged
RVs are designated by class and type, denoting size, configuration, and whether they are powered or need a tow vehicle. Therefore, the amount of work required to winterize your RV depends on its class. Because the bigger your RV, the more work there is to do when it comes to draining water lines, sinks, toilets, LP gas tanks, and other system components of your recreational vehicle.
Add an engine and a drive train to the mix; there is more to do. No matter the type of RV you own, it will have tires unless it sits in the bed of your pickup truck. But even then, your pull vehicle needs maintenance too.
When storing your RV for the winter, inspect every nook and cranny, and protect it from the weather, and it will be ready for you come spring.
Winterizing Your Non-Motorized RV
RVs not motorized include pop-up campers, travel, destination, and fifth-wheel trailers. Campers that mount in a pickup truck bed have the same systems as other RVs and need to be winterized, too.
They have many systems like other RVs, so winterizing one is the same as winterizing a pull-behind trailer or motorized RV.
Winterizing Your Motorized RV
A Class A, B, or C, RV will have an engine, generally have a separate generator, and can have three axles, with ten tires to attend to. They need as much protection from the elements as any other part of your RV.
Suppose you are storing your RV for this type of winter. You need to add a fuel stabilizer and plenty of antifreeze to your engine's cooling system. Removing the batteries and storing them somewhere warm with a trickle charger will have them ready for you when it's time to go camping.
Other than an engine and more tires to tend to, winterizing a Class A to C, RV, or a pull-behind trailer, the basic steps are the same.
Do You Have A Manual? Get It Out; You Will Need It.
It will tell you where your tanks can be drained and the pipes and may provide a checklist for your specific RV model. If not, a quick online search will likely give you the schematic of your RV's plumbing and electrical systems.
Items You Will Need To Winterize Your RV Equipment
- RV antifreeze (non-toxic) 3 to 4 gallons, at least.
- Cordless drill, wrenches, screwdrivers,
- Unless your RV is already equipped with this valve, you will need a water heater by-pass kit.
What You Need To Do To Winterize Your RV
Tanks and drains
- Drain the gray and black water tanks of your RV. Then, clean them out with a cleaning wand or equipment designed specifically for this task.
- Drain and flush the water heater, then isolate it from the rest of the plumbing using the cut-off valve. This action will prevent antifreeze from entering your water heater.
- Remove your RV batteries and store them in a warm location.
- Cover the entire unit with a cover made to fit your RV, including the tires, if your RV remains outside all winter.
Other Housekeeping Chores To Winterize Your RV
- Remove all perishable items from your RV.
- Clean out the refrigerator and prop the door open to prevent mold.
- Clean your RV, including the floors.
- A dehumidifier can help keep mold and mildew from growing in your RV.
- Clothing should be removed or stored in a critter-proof container.
- Some items, like the cooking items for your outdoor kitchen, camping toys, and other items that need to be easily moved, can be stored in the Out-In-About Box™.
We at Renlicon have what you need to outfit your adventures and keep your RV neat and organized. In addition, we can help you fit your RV for all your adventures with storage solutions, games, and other inventive items.