Before temperatures drop below freezing, winterizing your RV is highly recommended to maintain it for years to come. If it’s not properly prepped for winter, your RV could suffer damages such as frozen pipes, cracked tanks or a discharged battery. You can go to a professional to winterize your RV for you, but if you are doing it yourself, make sure to consult your owner’s manual for what tools you’ll need and comprehensive maintenance instructions. Here are some reminders to keep your RV in tip-top shape for when spring comes.

Protect Your Water Lines and Plumbing

Taking care of your water system is key. Remove any filters for the water line, drain your freshwater tank and then the gray and black tanks. You’ll want to make sure you clean the waste tank as well before storing your RV for the season. You don’t want bacteria to build up for months! You’ll also want to drain your water heater, but only do so after it is cooled and not pressurized. Once you have everything drained, you’ll want to run antifreeze through your lines and faucets, bypassing your water heater, and pour some down the sinks and toilet. You may need to open up your faucets to relieve any lingering pressure before closing them for the winter.

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Keep Pests and Mold Away

Before parking your RV for the winter, you’ll want to clean it up. Any food left inside could attract insects and vermin or it spoil and mold. Remember that liquids like canned sodas could freeze and explode in low temperatures. Remove any food and wipe down the fridge, counters and cabinets. Turn off and open your fridge and cabinet doors for ventilation. Vacuum the floors and close all windows and vents. Plus, using pest prevention, such as essential oils like peppermint, can deter mice and ants.

Properly Store Your Propane and Battery

Along with regular care like filing up motor oil and transmission fluid or adding fuel stabilizer, you’ll also want to take care of your battery. Make sure it is fully charged first before removing. Once you disconnect the battery, be sure to safely store it somewhere warm and dry, such as a garage, and on a mat or in a battery box. You’ll also want to shut off your propane once you top it off; then remove it and store it away in a safe place separate from your RV.

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Take Care of the Exterior

Just like the inside, you’ll need to give the outside of your RV a good cleaning, including the awning. You should also use an awning cover and drape a well-ventilated tarp over your RV or store it under a shelter that can protect it from the winter elements. Make sure all hoses are stored properly and that your RV is secure with wheel chocks.

Keeping these tips in mind will help you get your RV back on the road when the temperature warms up. With proper maintenance and storage, you’ll have many camping and road trips in the future.

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