Storing and Winterizing Your RV

A Comprehensive Guide for Winter Care

November 8, 2023
By: Team Keystone

Learn how to properly store and winterize your RV in this comprehensive guide. Ensure your recreational vehicle is protected from the winter elements, so it's ready for your next adventure when the weather warms up.

As the leaves change color and the temperature drops, it's time for RV owners to start thinking about storing and winterizing their beloved recreational vehicles. Properly preparing your RV for winter is essential to protect it from the harsh elements and ensure it's ready for your next adventure when spring rolls around. In this comprehensive guide, we'll walk you through the steps to store and winterize your RV, so it remains in top condition and ready for your next adventure.

Choose the Right Location

The first step in storing your RV for the winter is finding the right location. Here are some options to consider:

  1. Covered Storage: An indoor storage facility or a carport offers the best protection from the elements. It shields your RV from snow, ice, and freezing temperatures.
  2. Outdoor Storage: If indoor storage isn't an option, look for a secure outdoor storage lot with good security and proper drainage. Consider investing in a high-quality, breathable, and vented RV cover for added protection.

Clean Your RV Thoroughly

Before storing your RV, it's crucial to give it a thorough cleaning, both inside and out. Cleanliness is not only a matter of pride but also a crucial step in preventing damage during winter storage. Here's what to do:

  1. Exterior: Wash the exterior to remove dirt and grime. Check for any cracks, gaps, or damage that may need repairs. Apply a coat of wax to the exterior fiberglass to protect the finish.
  2. Interior: Clean the interior thoroughly, removing any food, liquids, and perishables. Empty and clean the refrigerator and pantry. Vacuum and mop the floors, and make sure all cabinets and drawers are securely closed.

Prepare the Plumbing System

One of the most critical aspects of winterizing your RV is protecting the plumbing system from freezing. Here's how to do it:

  1. Drain Water Tanks: Empty the fresh water tank, gray water tank, and black water tank. Flush and clean the black water tank thoroughly.
  2. Water Heater: Drain the water heater and bypass it to prevent any remaining water from freezing and causing damage.
  3. Pipes and Fixtures: Use an RV-specific antifreeze to fill the plumbing system. Open each faucet, including hot and cold, until the antifreeze flows through, ensuring all water lines are protected.
  4. Check out these additional articles on specific Compressed Air and Antifreeze methods with step-by-step instructions and video demonstrations.

Protect the Exterior

To shield your RV from the elements, there are a few additional steps you can take:

  1. Tire Care: Inflate the tires to the recommended pressure and consider using tire covers to protect them from UV rays.
  2. RV Cover: If storing your RV outdoors, invest in a high-quality breathable and vented RV cover to protect it from snow, ice, and UV damage. If not vented or breathable, mold is likely.
  3. Window and Vent Covers: Install insulated window and vent covers to reduce heat loss and prevent condensation inside the RV.

Battery and Electrical Maintenance

To maintain your RV's battery and electrical system during winter storage:

  1. Disconnect the battery or use a battery tender to keep it charged.
  2. Remove the battery and store it in a warm, dry location if your storage area does not have electricity.
  3. Turn off the main electrical breaker to prevent any phantom power usage.

Pest Control

Don't forget to take measures to prevent pests from making your RV their winter home:

  1. Seal Entry Points: Seal any openings or gaps where rodents could enter the RV.
  2. Use Pest Deterrents: Traps, or other pest deterrents inside the RV.

Regular Maintenance

Lastly, perform routine maintenance on your RV during the winter months. This includes checking the roof and seams for leaks, lubricating moving parts as recommended by their manufacturer, and inspecting for any signs of damage or wear.

Storing and winterizing your RV is an essential process that ensures your investment remains in excellent condition. By following these steps, you'll help protect your RV from the harsh winter elements and be ready to hit the road when spring arrives. Proper storage and winterization can also extend the life of your RV and reduce the risk of expensive repairs. Remember to consult the Keystone Owner's Manual for specific instructions, and if you're unsure about any step, it's always a good idea to seek professional assistance. Happy winterizing, and we'll see you on the road when the snow melts away!