RV Camping Organization Hacks: Winterizing on a Budget
When it comes to camping organization hacks, winterizing your RV or camper properly can save you from potentially expensive fixes once it starts warming up in the spring. Whether you’re planning on keeping your camper at a storage unit or your driveway, there are some basics you should consider to prepare for the winter.
Storing Your RV
If you choose to store your RV for the wintertime, the first thing you should consider is where you will put it.
The best and most obvious location is to store your RV at your home. You may have a garage or pole barn where you can store your RV, or you may be able to simply keep it in your driveway for the winter. Keep in mind that most garages are not large enough for your RV, so you’ll need to measure ahead of time to be sure.
If you have the space to keep it at your house, make sure you’re in compliance with all local and state laws and that you're not violating any rules of your homeowner’s association if you have one.
If you plan to park your RV in your driveway, you need to make sure you can get to it easily, but that it's also out of the way of other vehicles that you’ll be using throughout the winter months.
You should also consider the type of weather you have in your local area before storing your RV outdoors in a driveway. Harsh winter weather conditions can cause damage to your RV or camper, and it can be very costly to repair.
It may end up being less expensive, in the long run, to simply store your RV at some type of storage facility where it can be sheltered from the elements.
If you decide to keep your RV at a storage facility, you’ll need to do some research to find the location of storage facilities large enough for an RV that are in your area, and then determine if the rent amount is something you can afford that will easily fit into your budget.
Even if you store your RV in a garage or large building, winter weather conditions can still have adverse effects on your RV. This means there are several best practices for winterizing your RV you should do in preparation for storing your RV.
RV Storage Preparation List
- Start from the inside out.
- Clean out the refrigerator inside your RV and defrost the freezer area.
- Leave the doors of your refrigerator and freezer open and put a box of baking soda in all the compartments to keep odors at bay.
- Unplug the refrigerator while you’re not using it and turn off the main breaker which can be found inside the power distribution panel in your RV.
- Turn off any gas appliances that you have as well as the gas valve itself.
- Leave all the doors, cabinets, and drawers slightly ajar.
- Close all the blinds in the windows so that your drapes, upholstery, and carpet are not exposed to the sun.
- Clean the filters of your air conditioning unit.
- Put covers over any vents that are exposed, especially overhead vents, to prevent any water and moisture from getting inside, while leaving them slightly open to allow for some amount of ventilation.
- Remove all dry cell batteries from devices throughout your RV such as clocks, smoke alarms, and other items.
- Drain the black and gray water tanks.
Time to Winterize
To protect your RV from any damage that can occur over the winter months, you need to winterize it. There are two main methods that are normally used to winterize an RV. Those include the compressed air method and the antifreeze method.
Antifreeze the Plumbing
To avoid damaged and bursting pipes when the temperatures during the winter dip well below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, you will need to ensure that you have drained all water from the pipes of your RV. You should also add some antifreeze throughout your plumbing system since it’s a safeguard against any water that you may miss that’s still inside your plumbing.
To control any humidity or moisture that can build up inside your RV, you can use a device, such as damp red, which will utilize calcium chloride to whack out the moisture from the air of your RV, so you do not end up with mold or mildew inside when you open it up in the spring.
Pool Noodles for the Win
To protect your water heater during the winter months, be sure to drain it completely, and wrap pool noodles around the plumbing to and from your water heater. You can also do that for all the pipes throughout your RV. Simply cut each pool noodle down one side lengthwise so it will fit around your pipes.
Cover it Up
To protect your RV's exterior as well as everything inside, put an RV cover on it. Do not use a tarp because that can allow moisture to get trapped inside. And don’t forget to properly store your camping gear for the winter too!
After completing the steps above, you’ll be able to relax over the wintertime while looking forward to an exciting camping season next spring.