How to Winterize an RV

Although it’s a difficult thought, summer does have to come to an end. How to Winterize an RV, TJ Woods Insurance, Worcester, MAWith this end comes the time to store all the summer toys. However, these toys are a little more expensive from when you were a kid, so it’s important to store them correctly so that they are ready the next time summer rolls around. There are a couple main things you can do to help you store your RV the right way during the winter months.

Empty the Tanks

Any excess water can freeze during the winter and cause damage to the RV, so it is important to fully drain the system before storing. In order to fully drain the tank and lines, it is recommended to turn on the hot and cold valves and let them run. You want to be sure that you drain the main water tank and any holding tanks.

The next step is to drain out all of the water lines. To make sure that you get all water out of the system, you must blow the excess water out of the lines by using blow-out plugs and a small air compressor that doesn’t exceed 40 to 50 PSI. While doing this, open all faucet valves and hold the toilet valve open to clear out any water.

Once you have emptied the tanks and the lines of any water, you are almost done. Because you can’t be certain that every drop of water is out of the system, a helpful tip is to insert non-toxic antifreeze into the system. You can do so by disconnecting the main tank from the lines and then creating a temporary line from the tank into the antifreeze container. Once it starts pumping through the system, close all valves that are open to contain the antifreeze within the system. Also, because water can sit in the drain traps, it is helpful to pour a little antifreeze into there as well.

Disconnect the Batteries

By leaving the batteries connected all winter, they can actually freeze and cause damage to the batteries. You can prevent this by disconnecting the negative battery cable. However, even if the battery is disconnected, it can lose its charge. So, in order to avoid hurting the battery, be sure to run a test on it every couple months and recharge if necessary. Always make sure that the key is in the off position in the ignition when disconnecting/connecting the battery cables.

Watch Out

When parking the RV, you should make sure that it is in a safe place. It is important to look out for branches above the RV that could lead to sap drippings or falling branches. Also, you don’t want any weeds to be growing around it because they can cause damage to the paint or allow bugs to crawl up and possibly get inside. You should also park on a level surface, or create a level surface for the RV if you don’t have one.

Clean Up

It is important to clean up the whole interior and exterior of the vehicle. To try to avoid bugs being attracted to the RV by cleaning the whole interior of any crumbs and take out any extra food from the cabinets or refrigerator. After cleaning, make sure that everything is turned off, closed and removed. Turn off all circuits, refrigerator, and any other electronics to be sure that you won’t drain your battery. Be sure to keep the refrigerator door(s) open to avoid any mildew growing inside. Close all windows and doors before leaving and take out any clothes or bedding to prevent the possibility of mildew growing. Be sure that the regulator on the propane cylinder is covered, tape the furnace vents, close the range hood, and clean the rooftop air conditioner filters.

If you are going to be storing your vehicle outside, be sure to wash down the outside and then cover it. To prevent any accumulation of moisture, be sure to open the roof vents slightly. If you aren’t going to cover it, be sure to wash it and wipe horizontal surfaces at least once per week to remove accumulations.

Exterior Check

Make sure to check the tires’ pressure and physical appearance. You don’t want to see any noticeable cracks on the tires because that could be the beginning of dry rot and would require new tires. This can be prevented by placing covers over the tires. You also want to make sure that the tires remain at the correct PSI, which can be found in the owner’s manual, and refill them as necessary. It is also important to make sure that all caps are secured so that you can prevent any debris from entering the engine.

There are also extra tips that you may be able to find in your owner’s manual that are specific to your vehicle. It is important to winterize your RV correctly so it will be ready and rearing to go when it comes to that time of the year again. If you have any questions about how to insure your vehicle, be sure to contact TJ Woods Insurance Agency, Inc., located in Worcester, MA. We would be happy to help you pick out the insurance that is perfect for your vehicle so that you can be ready to take it out when that time rolls around again.