Every seasoned RV owner knows when the weather turns cold, it’s time to winterize! But what, exactly, does it mean to winterize your camper?
Winterizing your camper is an important chore to check off your list before winter sets in. When the temperature drops, your camper needs a little extra protection from the cold. Water can expand in lines and cause breakage or leaks. Slides can become weighed down with snow, causing damage. And mice can slip into your rig, creating a big headache in the spring.
While RV dealers and repair facilities will winterize for you, you can also do it at home.
- Bypass or remove the water filters. You will be adding antifreeze and it can damage these parts.
- Drain your tanks. Don’t miss any tanks- remember to get your freshwater holding tanks, your grey tanks, and your black tanks. You don’t want any of that sitting for a long period of time over the winter.
- Drain your water heater and your waterlines. Make sure your water heater is OFF and the water is cool- you don’t want built-up pressure!
- Bypass your water heater. Again, you do not want antifreeze getting into your water heater, so you need to bypass this piece of equipment.
- Add your antifreeze! You can either install a water pump conversion kit or use the inlet side of the water pump.
- Remove and store your batteries. What happens to your laptop when you leave it in a cold car? The battery dies. The same goes for leaving your battery sitting too long in an unused camper.
- Block any holes that lead to the exterior. Check under your sinks for small holes that rodents and pests can squeeze through. Block these holes and add dryer sheets to this area.
- Remove any and all food. The quickest way to attract mice is to feed them! Remove your cereal boxes, bags of sugar or flour, and perishables!
That’s it! You’re done! Now it’s time to cover your camper or store it in a facility/vehicle port to further protect it from ice and snow.
For more in-depth information and instructions, check out a professional RV website or YouTube video. There are many resources out there for newcomers or people who want to try winterizing their rig for the first time!
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Audrey Mattevi, Reporting