Autumn is full of fun events, like pumpkin patch visits, trick-or-treating, and Thanksgiving get-togethers. But it’s also time to say goodbye to summer activities, which often include RV trips. Fortunately, warm weather will return soon, and you can pack up your recreational vehicle for another getaway—if you’ve stored it properly. Remember to follow these tips when preparing for winter RV storage.
Clean your RV thoroughly.
Clear out personal belongings and every scrap of food you can find. Leftover snacks will attract pests, so vacuum all the carpets and wash the fridge, cabinets, and counters to catch every crumb.
Make it mouse-proof.
Check your RV’s exterior and undercarriage for cracks that rodents may crawl through. Then, seal any you find. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this job yourself, take the vehicle to a service center so a professional can complete it. The sealing will also help keep water out during the off-season.
Finally, place mouse traps inside the RV, just in case some still find their way into the vehicle.
Add fuel stabilizer.
Use a fuel stabilizer to keep your gas from going bad over time. Just follow the instructions on the stabilizer package.
Drain the lines.
Never skip this step when preparing for winter RV storage—or you’ll end up with busted lines in the spring. So, remove the contents of your fresh water and waste tanks, and drain every drop from your pipes. Your owner’s manual will detail how to complete this task, but you can pay a professional to do it if you prefer.
Then, if you live in a colder climate, pump nontoxic RV antifreeze through the water system.
Protect your battery.
Remove the battery from your RV and store it in a dry, cool—but not cold—location. And keep it charged throughout the winter because a fully charged battery won’t freeze as quickly as a partially charged one. Then, check it every four to six weeks and charge it as necessary. Or invest in a battery tender.
A good RV cover will protect the vehicle from UV rays, wind, tree sap, and bird droppings. Use one made specifically for an RV, so it will fit snugly around the sides. A plastic tarp might damage the siding by flapping in the wind, and it could trap moisture between its surface and the vehicle.
Also, invest in covers that protect your tires from UV rays. Otherwise, you might have to deal with cracks in the rubber.
Review your recreational vehicle coverage.
Accidents can still happen—even if you’ve followed every rule of winter RV storage. For example, branches could fall on the roof, or a family member could back into the side. Check your recreational vehicle insurance and ensure you have enough coverage to take care of any unwelcome surprises.