The most wonderful time of the year is approaching. Temperatures are dropping, leaves are falling, and campfires are crackling all across the campground as friends and families gather to roast marshmallows and sip hot chocolate. While the winter season brings many wonderful and beautiful things, it can be a time of stress for RV owners across the country.
For many seasoned RVers, the approaching Winter means that it's time to take the proper precautions to winterize their motorhome to ensure everything is ready to hibernate during the Winter. Whether you're storing at home or a facility, there are specific steps to follow to protect your motorhome.
The term "winterize" is used to prepare something for the Winter, whether it's a house, automobile, or motorized RVs. But as with any winterization, it's important to cover not just the delicate piping systems but the unit as a whole, interior and exterior.
If you're new to the RV life or if you aren't sure where to start with winterizing, read on for five tips to help you thoroughly prepare for the chilliest weather so you can make the most of RV all year long!
Five Tips for Winterizing your RV
Preparing for the Winter in your RV is different from any other time of year. Spring RV maintenance is all about getting back out on the road and back into nature, but winterization requires you to slow down and monitor all the intricate details in your motorized RV.
To effectively winterize your RV, follow these five tips, and put a plan in place to ensure your RV is protected from the harsh elements and ready for your next voyage.
Tip One: Water Systems
Cracked, frozen pipes are an expensive nightmare that you can easily avoid by following the steps in your Jayco user manual. All areas in your motorhome that use water need to follow the right steps to ensure all systems are cleaned, drained, and filled with antifreeze before temperatures drop.
Tip Two: Batteries
All batteries should be removed from your RV and stored in a warm, dry spot for the Winter. To disconnect, remove the negative cable first and consider labelling all cables and wires, so it's easy to get everything back where it belongs in the Spring. Proper removal and storage can extend the life of your RV batteries, so they're ready for use again when you head out.
Tip Three: Cleaning
Your RV's interior should be thoroughly cleaned before storing, which means pulling out items, vacuuming hard to reach spaces, and cleaning out anything that could hold moisture or attract rodents and other pests in cold weather. Arrange things to encourage airflow and be sure to take all clothing, linens, and especially food and beverage items out of the RV if possible.
If you're storing outside, wash the RV and apply a good-quality RV wax to protect it from the elements. Check all seams and repair damaged ones, applying sealant where necessary. You should also clean and dry your awning fabric and any canvas siding slideouts to prevent mould and mildew buildup.
Tip Four: Air Conditioning
Clean your air conditioning unit, inside and out, and wash your vent covers to remove any accumulated dust or grime. Remove all filters and wash or replace them before storage.
You may want to consider running a dehumidifier a few times through the Winter if you have access to a power source or find another way to reduce humidity in your RV to reduce the risk of mould and mildew buildup.
Tip Five: Wheels
If you're storing your RV outside, you need to cover your wheels to protect them from the elements. Wheel covers can be helpful year-round to help with the changing season and can easily be applied if you'll be parked somewhere using your RV or while it's in storage.
When Should You Start Preparing to Winterize?
As soon as the weather starts to dip in the Fall, it's crucial to decide when your last camping trip will be and plan to winterize shortly after that. Parking your RV during the winter months takes some preparation, so the sooner you know when you're done, plan to winterize your RV to ensure the process is effective.
Early and thorough preparation can be the difference between easy seasonal transitions and costly repairs when the weather thaws. For the sake of your RV, don't wait until it's too late to start planning. Start today to ensure your winter season is bright and carefree!
Why is Winterizing Motorized RVs Important?
One of the most important reasons you need to winterize your RV is because the Winter brings freezing temperatures that can severely damage your RV piping systems. Water in the pipes can freeze, causing the pipes to burst beyond repair.
Additionally, the delicate seals around your windows, doors, and seams can split in cold weather, and the rubber of your tires could experience similar issues. Your engine is also susceptible to severe damages if the right fluids aren't used during the winter months.
It's important to remember that many of the damages your RV can experience due to inefficient winterization probably aren't covered by RV warranties, so proper preparation could save you time and money year-round.
How Proper Seasonal Care Increases RV Performance
Whether you're travelling around in the Fall to see the changing leaves, storing your RV for the Winter, prepping to hit the road in the Spring, or soaking up the sun in the Summer, each season brings harsh conditions that can damage your RV. In order to extend the life of your Jayco RV and make the most of each season, preparation and initiative are vital to saving your time and money in the long run!
Now that you know how to winterize an RV get a plan in place before winter hits. Making a plan ahead of time to care for motorized RVs can help ease the stress of preparing for the season.
To learn more about Jayco RVs, RV care, and more, check out our blog! To learn more about what we do and who we are, contact us!