Many people enjoy traveling in an RV over the summer with their families. This can be a fun way to spend quality time together and see the country. When winter arrives, however, it is time to put your RV in storage. Here are some things you should do to get your RV ready for winter so it will be ready to be used again when spring returns.
Winterize the Water System
One important thing you need to do to prepare your RV for storage is to winterize your water system. Put non-toxic antifreeze in the water system to prevent the pipes from freezing.
Turn off Appliances
Turn off any LP gas appliances and turn off the main LP gas supply valve. If you have a pop-up or travel trailer, cover the LP gas regulator. Remove the fuse from the LP gas leak detector so the batteries will not discharge. Cover the refrigerator vent, furnace vent, and water heater vent to keep out any insects that might be attracted to the odorant in LP gas.
Remove the Batteries
Before you put your RV in storage, you should remove the batteries. Remove the negative terminals first and clean the batteries if necessary with a mixture of 50 percent baking soda and 50 percent water. Store the batteries in a cool, dry place. Check the state of charge every month and charge the batteries if they are below 80 percent. If the batteries are not maintenance-free, check the water and electrolyte levels and add distilled water if necessary. Remove and clean the battery terminals and posts. You can keep the coach batteries topped off by plugging them into shore power once a month for eight hours.
If you plan to keep your RV in short-term storage, start it once a month and run it with the dash air on for 30 minutes. If you do not plan to start it, use fogging oil to protect the cylinder walls. Do not use it in a diesel engine.
Prepare the Fuel Tank, Engine, and Other Components
Fill the fuel tank and add a fuel stabilizer. Run the engine and generator so the stabilizer can work its way through the system. If you will keep your RV in short-term storage, run the generator at least two hours per month at ¾ rated load.
Change the oil and oil filter on the engine and generator to prevent acid from corroding the engine bearings.
Make sure the radiator has the right concentration of antifreeze. You should drain, flush, and refill it every two to three years.
Drain the windshield washer reservoir or add antifreeze.
Use a graphite spray lubricant on any locks. Use WD 40 to lubricate any hinges and moving parts. Lubricate the full chassis before you put your RV in storage.
Clean the RV
Wash the exterior of your RV and clean the interior. Make sure the fabric in the awning is clean and dry before you put your RV in winter storage. If you have a pop-up camper, make sure the fabric is clean and dry and check for tears. Check the roof seams, body seams, and window sealants for any cracks or openings that could allow rodents to get into your RV and seal them.
Remove any food and anything that can freeze. Defrost the freezer and clean the refrigerator. Leave the refrigerator doors open and put baking soda inside to help absorb odors. Leave drawers and cabinets open.
Clean the filter in the air conditioner and cover it. Turn off the main breaker in the RV, unplug any appliances, and remove dry cell batteries.
Keep Rodents and Insects out
Check the underside of your RV for places where rodents can get in and seal them. Place mouse and ant traps, but do not use mouse poison inside your RV. You can also use dryer sheets to keep mice out.
Prepare the Tires
Chock the front and rear wheels to prevent your RV from rolling. Do not use the parking brake. If you have a pop-up camper, angle the tongue downward so snow and water can run off.
Inflate the tires to the maximum cold pressure recommended by the manufacturer. Place something that is larger than the footprint of the tires between the tires and the ground. Move your RV from time to time to prevent flat spots from forming during the winter.
Store Your RV in a Portable Garage This Winter
You should store your RV in a covered area. Your RV is probably too big for a standard garage, but you can buy a portable garage that is big enough and park it in your yard. Portable Garage Depot sells garages that are large enough for an RV and can keep it protected from snow and ice this winter. Order a portable garage today.