Fall is a beautiful, relaxing time of the year. The leaves are changing colors, and your Sundays are spent at home watching football or in your RV. It’s the time of the year when the days are shorter and the nights are colder—and for those of us who live and breathe the RV lifestyle, now is the time to decide if your camping season is over and in the books. Parking your RV for the winter requires some important RV winterization steps—that is, if you want your camper to be in tip-top shape for the spring.
Here at Beckley’s Camping Center, we believe this is the right time for you to complete an RV winterization checklist. We’ve created one just for you—some of the items are pretty self-explanatory.
Remove whole-house water filter and place in a plastic sealable bag: As part of proper RV winterization, it’s important you remove and bypass your RV’s inline water filter.
Use non-toxic WINTER BAN – 50 Antifreeze: A real RV winterization means your RV should be winterized with a high-quality, non-toxic RV anti-freeze rated to -50 degrees.
Inspect sealants on roof, windows, and seams: Any seam on the roof, and any opening cut in the roof, has the potential for a water leak. When an RV moves down the road, it’s common for seams and sealants to move with it. This, along with age, causes sealants to separate and creates an entrance for water to get through the seams and sealant. As part of your RV winterization checklist, thoroughly inspect the roof seams and sealant.
Clean and treat rubber roof: You should thoroughly clean and treat your rubber roof at least three times a year with an industry-leading cleaner and treatment product. Definitely take care of this as part of your RV winterization checklist. We suggest a “sponge mop and bucket method” so that only the roof gets a cleaning. To get rid of tree sap, pour mineral spirit on a piece of rag and then rub it on the required spot. Remember to never pour mineral spirits directly on the roof. If there is mold or mildew, treat with diluted bleach and scrub the region.
Inspect vent covers and skylights covers: A cracked vent cover will require immediate attention so that rain or snow will not penetrate the roof opening when the vent is open. Also, as part of RV winterization, you should inspect your skylights covers. RV skylight covers can become scratched over time due to weather conditions, and in some cases they can crack. Replacing the cover improves living conditions and prevents water damage from occurring.
Protect your RV from rodents: You don’t want rodents roaming around your RV throughout the winter months. An important step in RV winterization is removing all food products from the pantry and refrigerator. You should place Fresh Cab in the interior of your RV. Fresh Cab® is the only Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) registered botanical rodent repellent for indoor use. It’s safe, natural, and easy to use.
Inspect tires: A thorough tire inspection is an important part of any RV winterization checklist. Follow some key steps involved in proper RV tire care: regularly inspect your tires for damage; keep your tires properly inflated in order to maximize performance; make sure the load on your tires is evenly distributed; and have your tire and wheel maintenance performed regularly. When adventure calls your name in the spring, your RV will be ready because you followed this RV winterization step.
Put conditioner on slide room seals and lubricate slide room mechanisms: Slides are one of the most popular innovations brought to RVs in the past 15 years. RV slide-out rooms have both inner and outer seals, and you should lubricate them at least once a year to make sure they are working smoothly.
Wash and wax the exterior of your RV: Oxidation will dull your RV’s finish over time, making it appear older than it really is. A great RV winterization move on your part is to use RV industry approved cleaning agents and waxes to wash and wax the exterior of your RV.
Place tennis balls under the wiper covers (Motor homes): This is such a simple and practical RV winterization step that everyone should complete. Place tennis balls under the wiper arms to keep wiper blades elevated off the windshield to protect the wiper blades from freezing.
Check battery: RV batteries are lead-acid, deep cycle batteries. Unlike car batteries, they are not sealed. An important RV winterization task for you to complete is to monitor your batteries’ fluid levels. If necessary, add distilled water to bring the fluid level to within one-eighth of full. If you intend to put your RV into storage, remove the batteries, top off their fluid, charge them, and place them in a cool, dry place.
Flush sediment out of water heater tank with a flush wand: RV winterization means you should flush accumulated sediment from your water heater tank to prevent corrosion, restore heating efficiency, and extend water heater life.
Protect your trailer connector: A key part of RV winterization is protecting your trailer connector by spraying WD40 on it, and wrapping it securely with a plastic bag.
These are among the most important RV winterization steps you should follow now—before the cold winter weather really hits us. Contact us online if you want some help completing this RV winterization checklist.