Winter is coming or, in many cases, has already made itself at home. Besides shoveling your sidewalks and panicking about what to get that finicky aunt for Christmas, for the RV community, it also means parking our rigs until spring.
But see, the thing is: winterizing your RV encompasses more than simply protecting the water system from freezing.
Whether you’re parking your RV inside some sort of storage facility, or you intend to leave it parked on your driveway all winter, there are a few things you should check off your winterization “To Do” list before you let your RV hibernate.
Here is the 8-step checklist that will ensure your RV makes it through the cold winter months unscathed:
1) Your RV should be level when parked for an extended period of time.
When parking your RV for the winter (or any extended period of time), your rig should be as level as possible. It’s best to store it level in case you decide to use it as a guest house, for a well-deserved nap, or you want to run the refrigerator, which should be level to function properly and to avoid causing damage to your refrigeration system. Chock the wheels in the front and rear and, among other things, keep in mind that proper leveling will prevent tire overloading and will make it much easier to get your fridge going again after a period of storage.
Now, before you go reaching for the wooden blocks you’ve so carefully crafted, remember that wood has this annoying tendency to get soggy and rot when wet, not to mention it attracts termites and other bugs that can compromise the integrity of the wood. Even if you’re storing your RV in a dry space, but are trying to lift it up four to five inches on stacked boards, you’ll have a very difficult time doing so.
Save yourself the trouble and check out our complete RV leveling system. Lynx Levelers may not be the cheapest, but our levelers are reliable, safe, and provide an easy way to level almost any vehicle.
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2) Make sure the water in your pipes doesn’t freeze.
Besides leveling your rig, this is one of the most important maintenance items you’ll have to check off your winterization “To Do” list. Start by removing as much water as possible from the pipes; then add non-toxic RV antifreeze so any remaining water doesn’t freeze. “RV approved antifreeze” is actually recyclable and can be re-used year after year, so you can feel good about your environmental footprint.
Note: Ensure that the antifreeze is specifically for RVs or Marine-grade; these are non-toxic as they are intended to be used in a plumbing system. Steer clear of automotive antifreeze, as it is made of propylene glycol which is poisonous.
3) Check your tire pressure.
As a best practice, bring your tire pressure up to the maximum pressure rating as suggested by the manufacturer. You may also want to cover the tires to prevent weather and UV rays from causing damage. It’s typically advised to not have your tires sitting directly on the ground – Lynx Levelers can help with that!
Word of caution: Stabilizers aren’t meant to reduce the weight on your tires, so don’t try to level with them - only stabilize.
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4) Disconnect your battery.
You may want to disconnect your battery to prevent slow voltage drains. Even if you have everything shut off, there may be some kind of tiny drain you didn’t count on. You may also want to remove your propane tank(s).
5) Do some spring cleaning in the winter.
Take the time to thoroughly clean your camper inside and out. Check for tears in the roof, failing seals around doors and windows, and inspect the underside of your rig to look for any spots where mice or other rodents could get in. Use mothballs and dryer sheets to prevent pesky critters from making a home inside your RV. You can also leave moisture and odour control products on the counter to pull any moisture from the air.
While you’re at it, you might want to take care of your awning as well! After it's been thoroughly cleaned, make sure to let it dry completely so that no mold develops.
6) Service your locks.
To prevent your locks from breaking or jamming due to the cold temperatures, use a spray lubricant to service all locks, hinges, and moving parts.
7) Don’t forget the wax!
Applying a coat of wax on your RV’s exterior will protect it from any harsh weather conditions that you may encounter in the winter. Additionally, a perk of waxing your RV is that it will keep the motorhome’s sheen looking new and fresh!
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8) Use a tarp.
If you don’t have one already, you might want to think about purchasing a tarp for your RV, preferably one that’s waterproof. Tarps not only keep your RV’s paint and finish intact, but it also protects your motorhome from dust, water, and any other elements that could age your motorhome and possibly lower its resale value.
If you have any questions about leveling your RV for long-term storage, don’t hesitate to call (1-800-463-5505) or email us.
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