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Winterize Your Camper or RV

Store your camper properly to avoid problems next season.

Large camper

When summer’s camping season draws to a close, take a little time to make sure your RV or camper is properly winterized before putting it in storage. Winterizing your camper or RV not only saves it from damage, it makes it easier to get started next season.

Don’t let insects, rodents or harsh weather damage your investment. Follow these tips for winterizing your camper or RV.

  • Drain and flush all water tanks, systems and lines. Add antifreeze designed for RVs and campers, if recommended by your RV’s manufacturer.
  • Disconnect power supplies and remove all batteries.
  • Thoroughly clean the refrigerator and leave the door open during storage to prevent mold and mildew.
  • Remove all food items, toiletries and medicines that can attract rodents and insects.
  • Thoroughly clean awnings and the vehicle's exterior. Make sure awnings are dry before storage.
  • Block the tailpipe, vents and any other openings to minimize access for rodents and insects. Place insect and mouse repellant near your tires or any part of your RV that contacts the ground. Place them on the roof if there’s a chance that squirrels or other rodents can drop from overhead.
  • Change the oil, fill the gas tank and add fuel stabilizer. Refill all fluid levels (windshield wiper, oil, coolant, brake fluid, etc.) as needed.
  • Close LP tanks securely and drain gas lines. Cover tanks to prevent rodent or insect infestation. Do not store disconnected propane tanks in the RV.
  • Make sure windows, doors and the roof are sealed and leak-free.
  • Place a tarp or other waterproof fabric on the surface where the RV will rest while in storage. This will keep moisture from rising up and damaging the underside.
  • Don’t leave electronics such as a TV in a camper or RV while it’s stored.
  • If possible, cover the entire RV with a breathable tarp. Also, cover the tires with protective tarps to prevent damage from exposure to the elements.

Following these easy steps can add years of enjoyment to your RV or camper. Since no two makes and models are the same, always refer to your owner's manual for instructions specific to your RV. Also, check with your local American Family insurance agent to learn if you qualify for a reduced insurance premium while your camper or RV is in storage.

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