7 RV Winter Storage Tips
RV storage should be on every camper owner’s mind now that winter is here. Have you incorporated any of these seven RV winter storage tips?
Many RVs, campers, and motorhomes go into storage this time of the year. This is true for those who live in the Midwestern or Northeastern parts of the United States. Unless you travel all year long, you’re going to store your RV when the snow starts coming down. To help you do this, we’ve complied these seven RV storage solutions. Use them to help winterize your RV.
1) RV Water Tank Maintenance
Water freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Frozen water inside your RV plumbing will freeze and break the fittings and lines. This is why it’s important to drain the RV water system before putting the camper into storage. To prepare for winter, drain your RV sewer tank and fresh water tank. Also drain the water from the pipes. Once you do this, it’s best to pump nontoxic specialty antifreeze through the water system. You can buy this antifreeze at your local RV dealer or online. Check your owner’s manual for more draining tips.
2) Check Windows, Doors, and Panels
Remember our tips for fixing leaky RV windows? Winter is a good time to inspect your recreational vehicle’s windows, roof, and access panels. If you find any leaks, it’s time to caulk the holes and cracks you find. If you’re going to take the do-it-yourself approach, make sure you use the right sealant. It’s the only way to be sure that it sets properly and prevents water damage.
Here are seven steps for fixing window leaks:
- Locate the source of the leak. It might have missing caulk or holes in the existing caulking around this point.
- Use a razor blade to remove old caulking from the edges of the window where you located the leak.
- Once you remove the old caulking, clean the window frame with your favorite cleaner and sponge.
- Once the area is dry, apply painter’s tape to cover the areas where you don’t want the caulk to attach.
- Open the tube of sealer and cut a hole in its tip. Punch a hole in the tube’s membrane with a nail or similar object. Insert the sealant tube into the caulking gun.
- Apply caulking around the edge of the window where the leak is located. Apply constant pressure on the trigger as you work, and avoid pauses.
- Remove tape after caulk has dried for 24 hours.
3) Use Best RV Parking Practices
Many RV owners put their vehicles in a professional storage location. For those who park their campers at home, you have to make sure you pick the right place to park. Given the height of most motorhomes, a shelter or roof isn’t always an option. If you’re going to park in your driveway, don’t do so beneath trees. Ice storms can send trees and branches crashing through your recreational vehicle. If you’re planning to park your RV in the street, check the parking regulations in your area. No one said that RV parking was going to be easy!
4) RV Covers are Your Friend
RV covers can protect your camper against snow and ice. They also protect your camper against ultraviolet (UV) light, tree sap and bird droppings. Get an RV cover designed for your vehicle and follow the instructions for putting it on. This is the best way to keep out moisture. Speaking of RV covers, don’t forget ones that cover your camper’s tires. Also, remember to check your tires pressure to make sure each one has the required amount of air pressure.
5) RV Batteries Must be Disconnected
If you’re storing your motorhome, be sure to disconnect the batteries. The next step is to store them in a cool, dry place. This slows down the loss of charge that happens with disconnected motorhome batteries. To make sure the battery keeps its charge over the winter, use a voltmeter to check it every four to six weeks.
6) RV Fuel Stabilizer a Must!
Add an RV fuel stabilizer to your camper’s gas tank. It’s one of the best ways to protect your engine during the winter. Unused gas forms gummy deposits that damage an RV’s engine. RV fuel stabilizers prevent these deposits from forming. In most cases, adding this stabilizer to your RV fuel is as easy as these three steps:
- Add RV fuel stabilizer to vehicle’s gas tank.
- Fill the rest of the tank with fuel.
- Start the engine and generator and let them run for five to 10 minutes.
If you’re in doubt, read the directions on the back of the bottle. It’s also a good idea to change your RV oil and oil filter before putting your recreational vehicle in storage.
7) Prevent Rodent Damage to RV
RVs left in storage are susceptible to damage from mice and other rodents. These pests destroy wires and other RV components. One of the best ways to reduce infestation is to remove the food that attract them. Clean your recreational vehicle’s refrigerator, freezer, shelves before putting it in storage. Here are six more tips to prevent rodent damage to your RV:
- Seal your firewalls. You can place a simple piece of scrap metal over the gap to block this common entry point.
- Remove the auxiliary power cable and closet he cable hatch, thus removing another entry point.
- Seal water line access holes, as this is yet another common point of entry.
- Some well-placed mousetraps inside your motorhome might take care of any mice or chipmunks that have already taken up residence inside.
- Moth balls can be a great deterrent for rodents. Place several in a bowl and leave in various places throughout your motorhome.
- An ultrasonic rodent and bug repeller provides an additional deterrent, if power outlets are available. You may also consider this underhood animal chaser to keep critters out of your engine block.
If your camper has suffered rodent damage, check your motorhome insurance policy. If it doesn’t cover damage caused by pests, you can always shop the other RV insurance companies for a better plan and RV insurance rates.
RV Winter Storage Tip: Don’t Set It and Forget It
If you follow these RV storage ideas, your motorhome should have a safe and uneventful winter. Pop in on a regular basis to check for water penetration and other damage. If something occurred in storage, you can prevent the damage from becoming a bigger problem. Make regular checkups a regular part of your RV storage solutions. Also, you can always turn to your local RV dealer if your busy schedule prevents you from doing these RV winter storage tips yourself.
RV Storage, DIRECTV, and Signal Connect…
What does RV storage and DIRECTV have to do with one another? Everything, as far as Signal Connect is concerned. We’re a DIRECTV Authorized Dealer. We’ve helped many RV owners get the best DIRECTV equipment and viewing packages. We also help RV owners save money while storing their motorhome for the winter. Our reps can suspend a DIRECTV account so owners don’t have to pay for those months they won’t be watching. Do you want to know more? Give us a call at 866.726.4182. Signal Connect is your source for satellite TV for RVs, campers, and motorhomes.