Winter is coming… properly preparing your RV for winters in Canada can drastically extend the life of your home on wheels. Unless you are part of the lucky few RVers in Canada who spend their winter touring warmer climates, then ensuring your RV is properly winterized is a top priority.
If you want to get into action preparing your RV for winter, you can also take a look at GoRVing’s Winterizing Your RV Checklist.
We will go into a little more detail on some of the main focus areas to consider when winterizing and storing your RV over the winter season:
Seek out tears, openings or cracks in the body or roof
Properly sealed external breaches are little more than minor aesthetic issues. Untreated external breaches can lead to a world of trouble and cost. Even the smallest opening can lead to water leaks and, through the winter, mildew formation.
Give the exterior of your RV a solid clean and wax
This is more advice to maintain the appearance and value of your RV over the long-term. Rubber and vinyl can be damaged in the sunlight, causing unnecessary repair or fading. Sunlight can also have negative effects on the paint job. If you decide to store your RV outside and uncovered for the winter, you will definitely want to make sure you take this step.
Manage pest control by covering external vent and pipe openings
Brrr…. winter is cold for rodents too. In their search to survive the winter, they will be looking for anywhere warm. Your RV is a perfect winter getaway. Take the time to properly cover any external access points.
Give a quick tire pressure check
Inflated tires minimize tires weakening during storage season. An even better step is to jack your RV up to reduce pressure on the wheels through the winter, but this is an optional step. If your tires are going to be resting on asphalt, drive the RV wheels onto wooden planks instead. Surface oils on the asphalt can wear on your tires, causing blowouts during your next adventure in the Spring.
Make your vehicle unattractive to thieves
A special lock designed for your RV is a smart investment. It is a good investment both for storage season and while you and your family are out on day-trips, away from your RV. Thieves prefer easy targets so making your RV a challenge will have them looking elsewhere quickly.
If you are choosing a storage facility, ask the manager to show the security features that will keep your RV safe over the winter. Cameras, outdoor lighting and onsite security are ideal.
And, of course, ensure you keep appropriate insurance in case anything does happen while your RV is stored away.
Wash the interior fully and thoroughly
First, it is great feeling to walk into a clean RV at the start of next season. Beyond that, cleaning your RV limits potential for mould and odours from growing through the winter. It is also a good way to find any cracks or holes you do not know about.
Keep the cabinet, closets and fridge doors open
This step minimizes moisture and mould build-up while the RV is stored away. Place a box of baking soda inside the fridge as well to limit odour.
Clear the RV or items that shouldn’t freeze
Things like liquid soap, water bottles, pop, and RV cleaning items and others can easily freeze. These items can burst and thaw, leading to an unfortunate mess when returning.
Remove anything that pests may like as food or nesting material
Little rodents spend their winter season trying to stay warm and fed. They will look for anything and anything that can fulfill these needs. They’ll look for any type of food, toilet paper, soaps, rags, newspapers, towels, blankets and more. Ensure these items are packed up and moved out for the winter.
Remove batteries from the RV
Keeping your primary battery from freezing will prolong the life of the battery and save you money in the long run. Store the battery in a dry place that does not freeze. It is also a good idea to remove other batteries as well from things like your radio and other appliances.
Use antifreeze in your RV’s piping system
It is a good idea to run antifreeze through your RV’s pipes, valves and drain traps. This is primarily important if you are storing your RV outside for the winter, but it is also good practice for indoor storage as well.
Shut off the liquid propane gas supply valve
This is a pretty simple step and a good precaution. While you are doing this, it is also good practice to turn off all the appliances and pull out any fuses.
Plan some fun visits through the winter!
Even though you’re not adventuring in your RV through the winter doesn’t mean you can’t go say “hi” to it! Going to check on your RV every once and awhile ensures everything is in order. This is especially important if you are storing your RV outdoors.
By being proactive with your end of year RV maintenance, you will be good to go when adventure season rolls around again. While you’re waiting for the warmer weather to come back, take a minute to find out if you have the best insurance for your RV with our instant quoting tool.