RV Prep: An Expert Guide to Winterizing your RV
Most people think of RVing as a three-season activity, limiting their exploration to the warm and temperate months, but RVing in the winter can be a true joy. The roads are emptier and so are the campgrounds. What could be better than sipping your morning coffee snug as a bug, with adventure waiting just outside your door?
But winter RVing comes with its dangers. Colder temperatures put your rig to the test — which is why it’s essential to prepare and conduct proper winter RV maintenance. We’ll explore some tips in this article to make sure your extended camping season is safe, warm, dry, and fun.
Upgrade Your Insulation
We’ve all had the experience of waking up colder than we’d like. When you’re on the road in the winter, that feeling can sneak up on you — and potentially put you in danger. Having the right type of insulation (and enough of it) can avoid that situation entirely.
If you’ve woken up chilly on fall days, you’ll want to upgrade your insulation or pack more in to make sure the inside of your camper stays warm. You can add insulation to your windows with heavy curtains, or add custom-cut Reflectix or foam board to keep out the cold air.
If you have a skylight in your RV, invest in a pre-made skylight cover for extra warmth.
If your bed is cozy, you won’t need to use your heater so much.
Invest in warm sheets and blankets — and potentially an electric blanket or mattress pad for added warmth. That way, you can warm up the bed before you turn in for the night.
Just make sure that by turning down your heater you aren’t neglecting your water compartments. It’s a good idea to install a remote temperature sensor to make sure everything’s warm enough down there to avoid a freeze.
Protect Your Water System
When the temperatures dip, low water stores are at risk of freezing. When water freezes, it expands — potentially damaging your water storage system. Taking care of your rig is the key to its longevity.
If you’re only going on a short trip, you’ll want to make sure your fresh water tank is filled up. Make sure you have enough water to drink, wash, and cook. If your trip is longer, only connect your water hose to a source when you need to, otherwise the hose could freeze and leave you water-less.
Just like with your water tanks, make sure your propane tank is full before you head out. You can connect to an external tank to take some of the prep work out of your trip.
Before you go, calculate how much propane you’ll need and take substantially more. It’s better to be prepared in case of an emergency than to think you have enough and run out when you need it most.
Remember: you should never rely on one heat source while camping in the winter. If it fails, you’ll be left with no way to stay warm.
Keep Critters Out
Your warm RV is very inviting to bugs and mice when it’s cold outside.
It’s a good idea to plug any ports or holes with steel wool so little guys can’t get in. You might want to lay a couple traps as well, just in case.
You should be well-versed in moisture control even in the warm seasons, so mold and mildew don’t take root and damage your RV or health.
In the winter, keeping moisture out takes on new importance. Damp spaces are harder to heat than warm ones and once things are damp it can be really hard to dry them out again.
You know all the condensation that forms on the inside of your tent when go camping? The same thing can happen in your RV if you seal everything up super tight. So run your vent fans, wipe down your shower with a squeegee and/or microfiber cloth after using it, and invest in a small dehumidifier for extra peace of mind.
Know Who To Call When You Need Help
This prep might seem daunting, but Good Sam RV ProCare is here to help. Our on-site seasonal RV service sends a professional technician to you to make sure everything is in perfect order for your winter trip.