Summer is drawing to a close which, for many people, means RV season is also ending. Unfortunately, preparing your RV for storage is no easy feat. There are many steps to prepare your RV for winter storage. If you missed the interior RV storage tips, make sure you take a look at those too.
For now, keep reading for everything you need to get the exterior ready to hunker down. By following these steps, you’ll help keep your RV safe over the winter so you can enjoy it when the first hints of warmer weather arrive.
Clean the Exterior of Your RV for Winter
One of the simplest ways to prepare for winter storage is to wash the RV. Washing off all the dirt and grime means it won’t eat away at your RV for months. Don’t forget about the roof and the awning. Maintaining your RV awning and doesn’t have to be a painful experience, but it is something many RVers neglect.
You should also ensure you protect your tires by giving them a good wash with warm soapy water. To clean your RV before winter (or anytime) it is best to use a sponge and a mild soap. Some people also choose an all-in-one RV wash and wax. Waxing your RV before winter gives it some added UV protection if you use the right product.
When washing your RV, steering clear of power washers is also wise. RVs weren’t really made to stand up to this kind of force and leaks or other issues can sometimes arise.
Inspect Your RV Roof and Other Areas that Might Require Sealant
Winter is a perfect time for leaks in your RV. If you live somewhere with lots of winter precipitation, rain and snow can quickly do a number if you have a leaky roof or seals. Worst of all, you won’t be in your RV regularly to catch the problem.
That’s why it is so important to inspect your seals and roof before RV winter storage. If you notice issues, you’ll need to re-apply the sealant. Dicor self-leveling lap sealant is one of the best products you can use to get the job done.
Perform Regular RV Maintenance Before Storing Your RV for the Winter
When preparing your RV to store for winter, or for any extended period of time, there are several things to do first. Performing regular RV maintenance is necessary to keep your RV in top shape.
Some things to do before storing your RV include changing your oil and preparing your engine for storage if you have a motorhome. To prepare the engine, fill your gas tank and add a fuel stabilizer. Make sure you choose the correct stabilizer based on if your RV uses gas or diesel.
Cover Your Vents
Vents are a nice place for animals and insects to get into. Make sure your vents are covered before storage. This should also include the fridge and dryer vent if applicable. I have heard of more than one RVer with a wasp nest in their vent after storage. In some cases, this can even lead to an RV fire. Just be sure to uncover your vents before firing up the engine (or fridge) come spring.
Protect Your RV Tires During the Winter
There are several ways to protect your tires during RV winter storage. Snow, ice, sun, and other elements can damage your tires. These conditions make a blowout more likely which is not something you want to deal with.
One of the simplest ways to protect your tires is to use RV tire covers. Another strategy is to get your tires off the frozen ground. The most effective way to do this is to use wheel blocks or cradles.
You can also consider jacking up the RV up to take some of the pressure off the tires.If you don’t want to purchase yet another RV item, you can periodically move the rig during the winter. These strategies will help prevent flat spots from forming during the many months of storage.
Remove Your Propane Tanks
If you have removable propane tanks, removing them when storing your RV for winter is a good idea. You should also cap your lines.
Be Cautious With Winter RV Storage Covers
Many people tout RV covers as the be-all-end-all solution to winter storage. While it is true some RV covers can protect your rig from UV damage, you need to proceed with caution. A cheap or ill-fitting RV cover can sometimes cause, rather than prevent, damage.
Winterize the RV
It is also important to winterize your RV if you live somewhere with below freezing temperatures. If you don’t why are you even storing your RV at all?! There are two options for winterizing an RV. You can winterize an RV using an air compressor or you can use antifreeze to winterize an RV. Check out the linked guides to decide which option is the best for you.
Store Your RV in a Safe Place
Finally, when planning for RV winter storage, it is important to store your rig in a safe place. Make sure you also lock all the doors and windows. Even if your rig is stored in a facility, adding additional locks and deterrents is a good idea. I have even seen some people put a boot on their own rid to stop thieves. With the massive demand for RVs, you can never really be too safe.