How To Winterize Your RV

When summer’s camping season draws to a close, it’s a good idea to 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!

Protect your investment from insects, rodents and harsh weather with these tips:

Clean rinse. Start by draining and flushing all water tanks, systems and lines. If it’s recommended by your RV’s manufacturer, add antifreeze designed for RVs and campers.

Unplug. Disconnect power supplies and remove all batteries. It’s also a good idea to remove electronics, such as a TV, from your camper or RV while it’s stored.

Tidy up. Clean the refrigerator and leave the door open during storage to prevent mold and mildew. Remove any food items, toiletries and medicines that might attract rodents and insects.

Give it a once over. Thoroughly clean awnings and the vehicle's exterior, and make sure awnings are dry before storage. Check that windows, doors and the roof are sealed and leak-free.

Curb the critters. It’s a great idea to 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, and place them on the roof if there’s a chance that squirrels or other rodents can drop from overhead. Another hint? Be sure to drain gas lines and close propane tanks securely in order to prevent rodent or insect infestation. (Remember, don’t store disconnected propane tanks in the RV/camper.)

Top it off. Change the oil, fill the gas tank, add fuel stabilizer and refill all fluid levels (windshield wiper, oil, coolant, brake fluid, etc.) as needed.

Tuck it in. Place a waterproof tarp on the surface where the RV will rest while in storage, which will keep moisture from rising up and damaging the underside. If possible, cover the entire RV with a breathable tarp, too. Finally, 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, it’s smart to check your owner's manual for storage instructions specific to your RV. And before you know it ─ it’ll be time for another season of adventures!

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