The changing seasons means a lot of new tasks and worries for knowledgeable RV owners, but luckily it’s easy enough to stay on top of these concerns and keep your RV in good working order if you know what to do. If you’re brave enough to go camping instead of keeping your RV in storage all winter, you’ll want to make sure it’s ready. Even if you don’t use it all winter, you’ll want to go through a couple of steps and make sure it’s prepared before you take it out this spring.
Taking Your RV out in the Snow
If you’re going to use your RV to camp in serious winter conditions, you’ll need to take precautions to make sure it stays warm and nothing freezes over. Right before you go you’ll want to empty out your water tanks and add some RV antifreeze. You might also consider adding insulation to the pipes or buying a holding tank heater to help your system keep from freezing over. Do the same for the water pump! Adding insulation around the RV between the ground and the frame can help keep the bottom of your rig at a safer temperature as well.
In order to keep yourself warm inside, you’ll want to look over the RV and patch up any spots through which you might lose your warm air or get a cold draft sneaking inside. Check the seals on your windows and the stripping on your doors to make sure they’re in good shape. Consider switching out your windows for specially insulated windows, or just cover them over with foam insulation or insulated curtains. Insulated curtains are an easy solution to help you stay warm at night. Add insulation to your ceiling vents too, as those are another spot where you’re likely to lose significant heat.
If you’re going to be out in extremely cold weather, you might want to get a heater for the engine, too. This way, you can let it heat up for a while before starting up. Make sure you have plenty of propane and other fuel and that you know where you can go nearby to get more. Don’t forget emergency supplies!
Getting the RV out of Storage
When it’s time to take the RV out of storage after winter’s over, even if you haven’t used it even once over the winter, you’ll want to run through these steps to make sure it’s prepared to get back out there. First you’ll want to clean the rig out, air out the RV and the ‘fridge, and make sure all the basic parts of the system are still working fine. Look around for damage from animals that may have taken up shelter in there during the winter, and make sure all the lights, batteries and electric connections are still working fine.
Go back through everything you did to get your RV ready for winter. Put the battery back again and make sure it’s charged. Drain out all the antifreeze you added and consider cleaning out your water system, whether or not you’d left water in there before. You can use bleach to sanitize and then keep draining it until you don’t smell the bleach.
Before you go on your first big trip of the spring, you should also double-check all of the tires, replace the fire extinguishers if necessary and consider taking it to the mechanic to look over everything. Then take it out for a test drive or two around town so you can check for any other problems before you get out into the wild again. Enjoy your next adventure!