Yes, it is sad, but for those of use who haven’t made the full transition to full time rv living, we have to park our RV’s for the winter months. But is it really that hard to get your RV ready for winter and is it worth the $200 most RV shops charge to do it?
Well, that call is up to you, but if you are handy at all, you can get things done in about two hours and for under $20.
There are three areas to be worried about when it comes to winterizing your RV for the winter time. They are the electrical system, the fuel system and the water system.
Winterizing Your Electrical System
If you have batteries in your RV, the best thing you can do is remove them once you’ve parked your RV. Even if you have a solar panel, consider the fact that the solar panel will get covered in snow and there will be systems in your RV that will deplete your batteries, if you do not at least disconnect them.
If you decide to remove your batteries, be very careful, as they are full of acid, and be sure to wrap your electrical lines to the battery in electrical tape to keep them isolated from each other and the RV body.
If you do remove your batteries, bring them into your home garage and consider picking up an inexpensive trickle charger that you can connect the batteries for a day or so once per month to keep them 100% topped up for spring.
Winterizing Your Fuel System
If you have a RV that has it’s own engine or generator, be sure to add fuel conditioner for the winter months. It’s a simple matter. Figure out how much gas you have left in your tank and then add fuel stabilizer to keep the gas from going stale over the winter months.
It’s best to do this before you take it for the last run of the fall, so it will mix well with the remaining fuel in the fuel tank. Once you’ve parked, be sure to run your gas generator, if you have one fit to your RV as well to bring the conditioned fuel right to the generator.
If you don’t do this, you can damage the main engine or the generator and again have expensive repairs to fix the problem.
Plus remember that fuel stabilizer is only good for about six months of sitting. After six months, add about $40 of fuel to your fuel tank to refresh the fuel and that will keep things good for a month or two more.
Winterizing Your Water System
This is probably the largest overlooked and most troublesome things you can miss if you don’t do it before parking for the end of the season.
Remember that water freezes at 32 F or 0 C, so be sure that you pick up the non-toxic anti-freeze from your local RV dealership or even better from your local Walmart, if you have one. I recommend picking up a smaller container if you just have a simple tent trailer and a larger jug if you have a motorhome. You will go through it.
You will need to check your owner’s instructions or at the very least ask your local dealership how to transport the anti-freeze into your water system. You will be replacing the water with the anti-freeze in your water system.
Before doing so, you must ensure that you find the water turn offs that will not allow the antifreeze to go into your RV’s water holding tanks or the hot water tank (if it is equipped).
And it should go without saying, be sure you have completely emptied the water tank, and the waste holding tanks! They can be very expensive to replace!
Once you’ve performed this task once, you’ll see how quick and easy it is to do, and you can save yourself a few dollars at the end of the season!
Finally, be sure not to forget to drain the hot water tank, if you have one. It’s a simple matter of removing the water plug and draining it. Once you’ve drained the tank, replace the plug with proper plumbing tape.
There you go! That overs about 95% of what you will have to deal with at the end of the season. Possibly the only tasks that can be up and above this include getting wheel covers to keep the sun off the tires when parked and general tasks like clean up and removing food stuffs that should be removed at the end of the season.
If you have any comments or questions, be sure to leave your comments below!