RV Winterizing and Winter Storage: The Other Stuff
It is extremely important to protect your batteries from freezing. A battery will freeze if it discharges too much in cold weather, so you need to keep it well charged. The best practice for RV winterizing the battery is to remove it and store it in a warm place, but if you can keep a battery charger operating while in storage, that is OK too. Preventing discharge is also good for your battery’s long term health.
Mice and other critters are also looking for a safe place to winter, so try to close off as many possible openings as you can. The area where water lines come to the interior is always a potential entry path – mice can flatten themselves to fit through tiny openings. Besides prevention, it is a good idea to put out some mouse bait or traps so the little critters can’t thrive if they do get in. This is a commonly overlooked part of RV winterizing, yet one that could be costly if omitted.
The cold can wreck havoc on your RV tires. Tire care should be consideration for everyone when RV winterizing. Most tire manufacturers recommend increasing the tire pressure when in storage and/or removing weight on the tires. You can pump the air pressure up to the sidewall maximum, or even up to 10 psi over, and you can use jacks to partially lift the RV frame to reduce the weight on the tires.
Preventing Snow Damage
This is one area where it pays to play RV winterizing defense. If snow and ice are heavy in your region, consider placing a wood shield over the roof skylights and refrigerator roof vent. Both of those are vulnerable to crushing if snow and ice builds up on them and then goes through repeated freeze and thaw cycles. You can make a simple shield with some scrap 2×4 lumber to make a rectangle and cover it with a piece of plywood or sheet metal. Set the covered box over the skylight or vent so that it carries the snow load.
To Cover or Not?
One hotly debated topic is the use of an RV cover for outside storage. Despite advertiser claims, they are a pain to put on and take off, so you probably don’t want one if you need occasional access to the inside. However, some covers have zip-in doors or slits to make access easier. The best covers are made from a material that “breathes” yet is water resistant. If you choose to cover, be very careful about leaving any place that can flap in the wind. A flapping cover will quickly wear away paint, decals, or even the gel coat from fiberglass. Also watch for sharp corners on the RV that can rub through the cover material.
Considering the damage moisture may do should be part of your RV winterizing process. Moisture build-up inside the RV can be a problem in some climates, so it is best to provide some air circulation if possible. If you can, leave a roof vent or window open a small amount. It may be necessary to put something over the vent or window to deflect rain and snow.
How To Winterize a RV Video
Conclusion: RV Winterizing and Winter Storage
Use these tips for your RV winterizing this off season and you should increase your chances significantly that your RV will be ready to go come spring. Not to mention the years you will add to the life of your RV.