September is here… that means Fall is upon us! Time to pack-up the summer toys and get ready for winter. Preparing your RV, trailer or boat for winter is vital to ensure it stays protected through the long winter months. Here are a few tips to guide you in closing up your RV or trailer until the next camping season.
Cleaning Your RV or Trailer
When preparing your RV or trailer for the winter, the first thing you should do is properly clean it. Thoroughly wash the exterior including the wheels, roof, windows and doors. Open slide outs and awnings to wash and dry, then close and securely lock. Moving to the interior, clean and store all your dishes. Wash down countertops and bathrooms. Turn off and clean out your fridge, oven, microwave and any storage cupboards to ensure all food is removed. Leave the fridge, oven and cupboard doors open to help reduce any odors. Remove and wash all linens and store for the winter.
Drain and dry all water lines. This is one specific task that you do not want to wait until the last minute to do, it can be quite costly should a water line end up freezing and bursting. Drain your black water followed by your gray water then your cold and hot water line drains. Next drain the water from fresh water holding tanks. If your RV is equipped with a built-in system, refer to your owner’s manual to ensure the proper steps are taken. Finally drain your hot water heater. With respect to adding antifreeze to your plumbing system, consult your owner’s manual or contact your RV / trailer dealer regarding the amount of anti-freeze necessary to protect your lines from freezing.
If your trailer or RV is equipped with additional plumbing components such as a washing machine, dishwasher, or appliance that contains a waterline ensure you consult your owner’s manual to properly winterize and clean.
Protecting Your RV or Trailer
Do a full inspection of your RV or trailer to check for cracks, rips, rust, or any other flaw that could become worse or cause substantial damage over the course of the winter. Take the time to repair these minor damages now. Seal all windows, outside doors and anywhere else that may allow exposure to outside elements. Applying a good quality wax will help protect the exterior from the winter weather. You should also look for cracks that animals, particularly mice, will be able to make their way into. Filling mice-sized holes with brass or aluminum wool can help prevent mice and other pests, from entering your trailer over the winter. This also includes covering your exhaust pipe, but ensure you remember to remove the cover when you open your RV up in the spring.
It is important to remove any propane tanks from trailers that will be stored inside and cap the propane line. Propane tanks should be stored in well-ventilated areas.
Leaving the weight of your trailer on its tires over the winter months can result in damage to your tires. Consider transferring the weight of the trailer off of the tires to blocks or supports while your trailer is parked for the winter. Ensure the tire pressure is at the manufactures recommendation.
Closing Up Your RV or Trailer
Working through the interior of your RV or trailer, ensure all small appliances are unplugged and all dry-cell batteries are removed from clocks, gas detector, smoke detector, etc… Close all windows and exterior doors. Draw the day blinds to help reduce sun exposure on the interior. Ensure you strategically place moisture absorbing materials within your trailer to prevent mold and mildew. If your RV is stored close to a power source, consider running a dehumidifier a few times over the winter months. Once clean and dry your trailer should be covered either inside a building or with a cover should you store your trailer outside. Ensure your cover is breathable so that any moisture won’t turn into mold. If your trailer is stored outside, install a roof support to help with the weight of the snow and ensure you are periodically removing excess snow. Should your RV or trailer have an Air Conditioning unit discuss with your RV/ trailer dealer or owner’s manual on proper winterizing maintenance with respect to covering the unit through-out the winter months.
RV Engine Maintenance
If you park your RV for the winter months ensure you top up your gasoline or diesel tanks and don’t forget to add a fuel stabilizer. In addition, top up all other engine fuels such as antifreeze, windshield, brake fluid and oil. If possible, make a point to check the levels throughout the winter so you are able to top up if necessary.
Taking the time to properly winterize and close-up your RV or trailer will ensure you are ready to enjoy the next camping season.
For tips on winterizing your boat make sure to check out our blog:
The tips outlined in this blog do not supersede the information found in your owner’s manual. Please refer to the owner’s manual first and foremost and consult your local RV/trailer dealer with any questions.
If you ever have questions regarding your insurance policy or coverage in general, contact Rizk Insurance today and we’ll help answer any inquiries you may have.