It’s never fun to call it quits on camping season. Some of us even experience what we call “the winterization blues,” a mild to severe case of gloominess that can linger until the rig gets reopened in the spring. But for many RVers, whether they like it or not, camping season does come to an end, and winterization is a sad reality.
Our best bet is to take some precautions and do it right. Here are six quick tips to show your RV some winter love and make sure she is ready to hit the road come spring.
Empty the cupboards and medicine cabinets
Get all food and liquid items out of the RV! This includes hand soaps, toothpaste, shaving cream, and the like. These bathroom items can freeze and crack in the winter, leaving a sloppy mess in the spring when they melt. A friend of ours ruined the medicine cabinet one winter by leaving a tube of shaving cream in a dark corner of the bathroom. Don’t Do It!
Vacuum until it hurts
People tend to be gifted at getting crumbs into every imaginable nook and cranny of a RV. When it’s time to shut down the shop, make your RV as critter proof as possible. That means getting down on your hands and knees and working that vacuum until your back hurts. Follow up with a wet mop for good measure.
Scrub that fridge
Your RV refrigerator can get all kinds of nasty during the winter months, but not if you scrub it until it shines. Leftover food residue will get moldy and make your fridge look a middle school science experiment. Propping open the fridge and freezer doors is also a must if you don’t want a nasty surprise come spring.
Protect your RV plumbing system
Water is your RV’s worst enemy during winter storage, so make sure to get it all out of your tanks and fill them with antifreeze. If you are not confident with this relatively easy process then we suggest having your RV winterized by a local dealer or mobile RV repair service. This will only cost around $100.00. If you prefer to do it yourself, make sure you follow the instructions of your dealer or manufacturer, since each RV has different requirements. If you are not in a cold climate, we’d suggest that you at least drain all your lines and tanks.
Cover your tires
We always cover our RV tires when we are setting still for a few days and always covered them during the off season before we became Full-time RVers. It is a very important stop that is a simple and inexpensive precaution. RV tires can look healthy to the eye and have excellent tread, but extensive exposure to the sun can degrade the rubber and cause weather cracking.
Buy a quality RV cover and use it
When we bought our first RV, the salesmen recommended using a good quality cover for the RV during the winter. He suggested that we purchase a cover that would repel water BUT it allowed it to breathe so mold would not grow. We didn’t really want to spend the extra money but we did it anyway. However, the good quality cover, that the RV salesman recommended, tore very quickly. So, we can not personally recommend a specific brand or type of cover. We’d suggestion getting on the RV forums to ask others what they use so you can learn from others personal experiences.
Now that you have your beloved memory-making machine to bed for the winter, it is critical to keep the winterization blues at arm’s length. We have a tip for that as well…start planning your next great RV adventure!