A wonderful season of RV camping has come and gone (unless of course you take on some winter camping, which we highly recommend!), so now what do you do with your camper or trailer while it’s not in use over the winter? Your RV is an important part of your lifestyle and a big investment, and we want to help you ensure that it stays in tip-top condition for years to come. That’s why the winterization and winter storage process is so important when you are an RV owner! The team here at Get-Away RV has seen some costly and avoidable repairs over the years, so we’ve put together a handy guide on how to properly winterize and store your RV this season.
When it comes to winterizing and storing your RV, water is not your friend! When the temperature plummets, any remaining moisture in your water lines can freeze and cause cracked pipes, hoses and tanks. There are a few things you’ll need to consider when it comes to ridding your RV of moisture this winter:
• Drain Your Water Lines. It doesn’t matter whether you only have one small water tank or a full suite of water systems, such as a dishwasher, washing machine, toilet, shower or ice maker, your water lines need to be drained before the temperatures reach subzero. You will need to turn off your water heater, open all faucets, drain water from all pipes and hoses, and run an RV-specific antifreeze through all water systems. Some folks feel more secure knowing they’ve pushed every last drop of moisture from the water systems using compressed air, and although this is completely possible it can also get complicated. You need an air compressor, a special “blow-out plug” and to make sure you connect the plug to the correct water inlet. We highly recommend consulting with your owner’s manual as a bare minimum before starting this process, or simply make an appointment with our Service Department at Get-Away RV! Our team will make sure that this crucial step is done properly and safely.
• Avoid Mould and Mildew. Mould and mildew have a sneaky way of growing in just about any moist area they can find. Make sure you don’t have any yucky surprises in the spring by removing pillows and linens from your camper, propping couch cushions and mattresses vertically against a wall, and thoroughly cleaning and drying the inside of your RV. If you have access to your RV over the winter, running a dehumidifier every few weeks is a great way to clear excess moisture from the air and make sure your camper stays nice and dry.
• Seal and Protect. Take the time to inspect the outside of your RV and use a sealant to patch any cracks. You can apply a thick layer of wax to the entire external shell of your RV, which will act as a major barrier between the outside elements and your RV’s interior. Again, be sure to check your owner’s manual to find out which sealants will work with your RV’s specific exterior shell, or have our Service Department steer you in the right direction!
Nothing ruins a battery quite like an unexpected deep freeze, so you will need to disconnect and store your RV battery in a warm, dry place - don’t forget to carefully read through your owner’s manual to ensure you disconnect the cables in the correct order! With our moisture-laden Abbotsford winters, RVs that are stored in this neck of the woods are particularly susceptible to dry-rot on the tires, so protective covers for the wheels or even elevating your RV onto blocks and removing the wheels completely is a good idea. There are many options for winter storage solutions, including heated storage facilities with a monthly fee, a pop-up “garage” style shelter that you can easily build yourself, or a breathable tarp to protect your RV from the elements - though be warned that not all tarps are created equal and can actually trap moisture if they are not an RV specific breathable tarp.
Winterization IS a lot of work! However, it’s also truly an essential part of RV ownership if you want to preserve the life of your RV and be able to hit the road as soon as the spring weather hits. One option to lighten the load is to call in the Get-Away RV experts! Our team has been helping with winterization and off-season storage for many years. Whether you are bringing in an RV you already own, or you are taking advantage of our massive end-of-season clearout sale and purchasing your first camper, trailer, toy hauler or fifth wheel, simply schedule an appointment to bring your RV to the dealership and let our experienced Service Department quickly, efficiently and safely prepare your RV for winter storage.
The Get-Away RV team also highly recommends four-season camping, so that you don’t have to fully store your RV at all! With limitless fall and winter camping options around Abbotsford and across our beautiful province of British Columbia, you will feel like a true Canadian when you embrace the plethora of outdoor winter activities that you can easily enjoy when you are an RV owner: take on cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, winter hiking, wildlife watching, or simply curling up in your cozy RV with a hot tea under the winter sky.
No matter what you decide, our Get-Away RV experts are here to help you every step of the way. Once you are an RV owner you belong to our family, and we are here to help you every step of the way. Schedule an appointment or come visit our Abbotsford dealership to chat with one of our helpful team members about your winterization (or winter camping!) options today!