For almost three full months a year, your RV is your home away from home, offering you respite on the road, and the opportunity to explore your world in comfort and style. Before the cold weather sets in, give your RV some TLC and winterize it properly. This will not only significantly prolong the life and resale value of your RV, but it will prevent expensive and totally avoidable weather-related damage.
Winterizing an RV is not quite like winterizing a car or most boats. For one, there’s the issue of plumbing. There’s also the consideration of linens, kitchenware, and electronics. Don’t worry, the part one of this 6-step guide will help you make sure you’ve covered all your bases.
Step 1: Get Supplies
You’re going to need a few things before you can begin to winterize your RV.
- Anti-bacterial dish soap
- Cleaning supplies (for windows, floors, the fridge/freezer, and surfaces).
- WD 40
- Clear & opaque garbage bags
- Non-toxic RV antifreeze (Around 8L to 12L, depending on the length of your RV’s plumbing lines.)
- If not installed already, a water heater bypass kit.
- A flush wand to clean out your RV’s holding tank(s).
- Either tubing to connect to the inlet side of the water pump, or a water pump converter kit. You can also get an RV winterization kit from most outdoor life stores.
- Basic hand tools.
Step 2: Clean & Conquer
Almost nothing is more disgusting than opening your RV in the spring and getting a noseful of old food and festering mold. Give your entire RV a thorough once over so it is sterilized and spotless.
Also, as part of the cleaning process, strip all beds and wash pillows and linens. After they are washed and dried, place them in clear garbage bags (clear so you can see what’s in the bags and don’t later mistake it with garbage). Move mattresses away from the exterior walls of your RV and prop them up against an interior wall, or by using chairs or planks of wood.
Pro tip: Place dryer sheets in the bags of linen and pillows and on the mattresses. Mice don’t like the smell, so it will help keep them away.
Don’t forget your fridge! Take all food out of your fridge and cupboards. Defrost the freezer and then clean the fridge, freezer as well as the cupboards. Put all garbage and opaque garbage bags. Leave the fridge and freezer doors open and place a box of baking soda in the fridge to keep odor at bay. Turn the fridge off. Also, leave the cupboard doors open to promote air circulation. Put clean and dry plates and cutlery away in airtight plastic storage bins.
Pest control: Now’s a good time to place ant/insect poison around the RV on a paper plate. Don’t place it directly on countertops or in cupboards. Also, put a few mothballs near (but not in!) your fridge gas burner assembly. This will prevent spiders from building nests that are likely to cause gas flow blockages.
Step 3: Electronics and Appliances
We’ve already talked about the fridge and freezer, but these may not be the only appliances in your RV. If you have a washer or dryer, your manufacturer’s manual will have steps on winterization procedure. Read them carefully and follow the instructions.
If you have electronics, like radios, TVs, DVD players, etc, you will want to remove them to your home for the winter – cold weather can damage these devices. The exception will be if you plan to store your RV in a heated storage unit, or plan to rent a heated storage unit for your RV’s supplies. Both are great options since they can save you a lot of worry over your RV’s safety — and you can free up space in your house and driveway.
It may seem like an exhaustive (and exhausting) process, but a little love can go a long way to save you time and money on repairs and keep your RV running happily for years to come. These tips are supplied by findstoragefast.com. If you want to read the full article, please visit their blog. Need an off-site storage unit for your RV or boat? Find a Maple Leaf Self Storage location in your area.