Prepare Your RV for Winter Storage

3:28:00 PM La Mesa RV 13 Comments

Prepare RV for winter storage

Unless you're headed to Yuma this winter, RVing is likely only a seasonal enjoyment for you.  The cold bombardment known as winter puts a halt to the long summer days and RV travel.  Since you'll need your RV in tip-top shape once spring comes around, it's important to prepare your RV for winter storage to lessen the possibility of damage.  Prepare your motorhome for vacancy just as you would if you were leaving your house for an extended amount of time.

Turn everything off.  Turn off the LP gas tank in your RV and turn the thermostat to off.  You'll want drain your water heater, water tank and holding tank.

Inspect exterior RV.  Outside of your RV, check all seals and seams on windows and doors.  See if there is anything that you need to replace or repair.  Close all windows and roof vents to leave out dirt, dust and bugs.   Before storing your RV for winter, wash and wax the RV.  When completely finished, shield your motorhome from the elements with an RV cover.
Clean the interior of your RV.  Clean the carpets, counters and surfaces inside your motorhome.  Stains are more easily removed when fresh (follow us on Pinterest for great tips to clean and organize your RV).   Close all your shades to prevent sunlight damage on upholstery.
Clean out the refrigerator.  Remove all perishables from the kitchen cabinets and refrigerator, and discard food items that are expired or expiring soon.  Wipe the inside of the fridge clean and defrost it.  Place an open box of baking soda inside to help absorb odors.  Finally, leave the refrigerator door propped open.
Service your RV.  The most important step is to take your motorhome in for service.  Have the vehicle completely serviced and lubricated.  Be sure the radiator antifreeze protection level is sufficient for the lowest anticipated temperatures at your home.  If you have any questions about winterizing your RV, your service advisor will be able to guide you in the right direction.
Check on the RV monthly.  Once properly stored, a monthly visual check will prove helpful so you can catch small problems before they turn into big problems.  This may include leaks from rain, vents or windows that opened in the wind, or covers that blew off.
If you are storing your RV in extremely cold climates, be sure to talk to an RV service professional, as extra preparations need to be made to protect from freezing temperatures.
For you lucky RVers in areas that don't see a cold season like Arizona or Florida, enjoy your warm winter RVing.  And for those of you tucking your motorhome away, check back in the spring for how to properly "de-winterize" your RV!

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  1. Handy tips. I remember leaving a few beers in a storage cupboard under a chair before the temperature dropped a lit... One exploded and made a huge mess, so I would suggest removing any glass bottles full of liquid before any cold snaps!

    1. Good tip Bob, thanks for sharing! No sense in wasting perfectly good beer!

  2. Thanks for the tips. These all seem as if I'll be having a vacation out from my home, though I'm out of the RV here. It's just that RV requires intensive care than our own home.-Sam

  3. This is a great article and I did not know you had to prepare an RV this much for the winter. Unfortunately, there are a lot of things that need to be done before the winter. I do enjoy the winter because of Christmas but preparing for the weather can really be a pain. This year I decided to make sure that my pool was properly prepped and my hot water heater was working correctly. Last year my family lost hot water for 2 weeks in the middle of January. To make sure that did not happen this year I decided to get water heater repair services. They knew the right parts I needed to get it working properly. I hope you do not have any of these issues this winter!

  4. I like the last tip of checking your RV monthly when it's in storage. Usually you can catch small problems that can have big consequences. In your first tip, you say that you should turn everything off. Where can I find how to turn everything off in my RV before we store it if I don't have the owner's manual?

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