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How to Winterize Your RV

5 minutes read Nov 10,2018
How to Winterize Your RV

We're sad to see the camping season go, but with this simple guide on how to winterize your RV, trailer, or summer home, you'll be ready to go when the weather breaks next spring!

No matter where you spend your summer, if you have a seasonal dwelling there are steps you need to take to ensure a worry-free winter. With the help of our friends at Sherkston Shores Beach Resort & Campground in southern Ontario, we've put together these five tips to prepare your summer home for the winter season.

How to Winterize Your RV or summer home

1. Clean out your living space

To prepare for winter, take some time to deep clean your trailer from top to bottom. Here's a quick checklist to follow when cleaning out your summer home:
  • Wash all windows and floors/vacuum carpet areas.
  • Remove stored items like food and toiletries.
  • Routine cleaning of appliances such as your oven, toilet, and areas like the bathroom and laundry areas included in your RV, trailer, or summer home.

2. Prepare your water and sewage system

Guidelines for maintaining your water and sewage systems vary for RVs, trailers, and summer homes. Though requirements range, you should always ensure that you're following these general guidelines.

Sewage system

Here's how take care of your sewage system:

  1. Turn off the water to the sewage pump, toilet, and lines.
  2. Flush the toilet to remove water from the bowl.
  3. Disconnect the sewage pump and remove all lines so the water can be drained.
  4. Re-attach sewage lines.
  5. Fill the toilet tank with antifreeze, flush, and repeat the entire process.

Water system

Turn off your water heater, then drain and flush out all pipelines. Use an air compressor to ensure all water is out of the lines.

Antifreeze should be poured through all pipes and down all drains. Before this process, it is a good idea to use a water heater bypass kit to help avoid antifreeze waste. Drain plugs can be reinserted after this process.

3. RV-specific requirements

Make sure to disconnect the RV's battery cable, whether you are keeping the battery inside the RV or not. If the battery is smaller and mobile, simply disconnect the battery and store it in a warm area during the winter.

For larger systems, be sure to check the battery periodically throughout the winter and keep its charge level up. You should also clean and dry your RV's awning and apply wax or protectant to its exterior to prevent weather-related damage.

4. Indoor and outdoor maintenance

Make sure your summer home is in tip-top shape for next year by following this quick checklist:
  • Check the exterior of your trailer or home and seal any cracks, no matter their size.
  • Use weather stripping to prevent the cold air from seeping through doors.
  • Tune up your furnace or heating system.
  • Replace any old hinges or knobs.
  • Ensure outdoor surroundings are maintained so any damage from falling branches or trees won't be an issue.
  • Store propane tank on an outdoor shelf and cover the propane valve with a dust cover.

5. Take a second look

It's common to forget some important steps when it comes to winterizing your summer home. To make sure you're prepared for the harsh winter months, bring in a professional or second pair of eyes to make sure you've covered every required step. Build a checklist and ensure that you, along with another person, have covered the essentials for a worry-free winter!

Now that you know how to winterize your RV, it's time to help your friends. Share this post on social media and help others out!  

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