Thu. Dec 7th, 2023
5 Tips to Prepare Your Motorhome or Caravan for Winter Storage

With fall approaching, it’s time to prepare your RV for winter storage.

Do you plan to use it a few times during the winter season? It is still important to prepare your RV to protect it from the cold.

Even climate-controlled storage areas can lose power. The last thing you want is to spend the first few days of spring repairing burst pipes when you’re eager to hit the road.

We’ve teamed up with our friends at Wayfarer Insurance Group to share 5 tips to prepare your RV for winter!

Don’t forget: there are always professionals you can hire to winterize your unit!

If you’re new to RVing, don’t be afraid to ask for help!

1. It’s time to drain the pipes

Empty the fresh water and holding tanks, then rinse the tanks and drain the water heater.

Once you’ve drained everything, turn on all the faucets to make sure there’s no water left in the system.

person with hose in tank

Turn off faucets and make sure the water pump is off.

At this point, you can choose to pump non-toxic antifreeze through the system, but it is generally not necessary as long as you remove all the water from the entire system.

If you leave water in the water heater, you will need to add antifreeze to the system.

2. Don’t leave your battery in the cold!

Batteries hate the cold. If you don’t use it at least once a week, the frigid temperatures will quickly drain the battery.

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Be sure to remove the batteries from the RV and store them in a cool place.

If you have a basement where the temperature does not drop below 10ºC, you can store them in the basement.

RV battery

Leave the engine battery in your RV so you can start it every two weeks during the winter.

If you must leave your home batteries in, make sure they are charging when you turn on the RV. You may need to let the RV run for more than half an hour to make sure all the batteries are charged.

3. Take care of and maintain your fuel system

If you have a motorized recreational vehicle, add fuel stabilizer to the fuel tank.

Turn on the RV and run it for about 10 minutes.

If the RV is diesel, add diesel fuel stabilizer; Make sure the brand you choose prevents the fuel from gelling.

boy leaving the mobile home

If the fuel gels in the cold, it could be costly to remove the gel from the system.

Diesel tanks also accumulate condensation. Keeping the fuel tank full will help reduce the formation of condensation.

The best thing to do is start your RV every two weeks and let it run for about half an hour.

RV at night with stars in the sky

Turn on the generator while the RV is running to ensure that the fuel stabilizer passes through the generator system.

The fuel stabilizer prevents fuel from breaking down and prevents rancid fuel deposits from adhering to the fuel system.

4. Keep bugs at bay

Mice and insects will look for a sheltered place to hide during the winter.

Many RV owners prefer to remove anything from their units that might make an attractive home for these creatures during the winter months.

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food in motorhome

If that’s not possible, try these suggestions:

  • Ensure airtight seals on storage containers
  • Place mothballs in storage containers and lock them.
  • add mothballs to interior storage, such as closets and under-bench storage
  • Place mothballs in the water heater and refrigerator compartment if they are accessible from the outside.
  • Remove all food from the RV, including canned goods.
  • Vacuum the RV well to make sure there are no crumbs left that could tempt critters
  • wash blankets and pillows and store them in plastic bags in beds or closets
  • Tie large garbage bags tightly to prevent mice from hiding in your bedding.

If you use mothballs, keep in mind that they are toxic to dogs and cats, so safe handling is key. When you take them out of the RV in the spring, you will also need to dispose of the mothballs according to your municipality’s waste program.

Keep in mind that damage caused by rodents may not be covered by your RV insurance policy.

To further prevent bugs, try spraying the underside of the RV with bug spray, just as you would spray your house.

If the insect repellent you choose doesn’t discolor your RV (test it in an inconspicuous location), spray it around the doors and windows.

5. Tires and roof

Cover your RV tires with covers to protect them from the sun.

Although the sun is not very warm during the winter, ultraviolet rays can still cause dry rot.

recreational vehicle wheel

Don’t forget to protect the roof by covering the top of the RV with a tarp.

If there is a heavy snowfall and you are concerned about the amount of snow on the roof of your unit, we recommend hiring a professional to help you.

Now your RV is ready for a long winter sleep and rest for the next season!

walker logoOntario Parks thank you Corporate partners like Wayfarer Insurance Group for their support.