How to Winterize an RV?
RVs or recreational vehicles have been a constant favorite of American vehicle owners for a long time now. These vehicles range from smaller single person RVs to large luxury styled vehicles with endless amenities.
However, owning a vehicle of this size means that a significant amount of time is required to keep it in shape. And with winter at our doorsteps, RV owners need to know the various effects which cold can have on their vehicles and also how to counter the process.
So, if you own an RV and need to take steps to protect it from the dreaded effects of the oncoming winter, here are a few things that you must do.
Start from the outside. The outer shell of an RV is as important as the machinery packed inside it and if the outside freezes it can easily affect the engines and the pipes. Start off with a thorough cleaning procedure of the entire outer cover of your RV and spot any cracks or dents, no matter how small.
These cracks will need to be sealed using any automobile adhesive. Once done, wash the entire RV, dry it thoroughly and make sure that it is well covered during the storage period. This will stop the RV body from freezing and not allow the cold to seep inside.
If you are new to the world of RVing, then you need to understand that these vehicles have a more complex water distribution system than most others, and the heating process is done through this piping system.
If an RV is left during winter with water still in the pipes, the water is going to freeze and eventually crack the pipes. To stop this from happening first refer to the manual which comes with the RV since not all RVs follow the same process of winterizing water pipes. Some of the bigger RVs which house systems are running on water such as a dishwasher or a washing machine have much more intricate piping systems and therefore just using an antifreeze solution will not suffice.
To apply the antifreeze, drain the entire water from your RV. Leave all faucets on and ensure that every last bit of water is flushed out before the antifreeze is applied. Pour it into the drainage systems and make sure that it is present in all the pipes up to the faucets. Make sure only to apply non-toxic antifreeze solutions to ensure safety.
For those who will be setting aside their RVs for the winter and also those who might use it but have to park it out in the snow, removing the battery is a must. Once again pay close attention to your RV’s manual, and in case the battery cables are not sufficiently marked, make sure to get it done by a professional so that later on you can do it yourself.
Batteries should never be stored on a concrete floor as this may drain the power from them, and since they will need to be stored for over two months make sure that the storage is dry and warm.
If you have a single battery RV, then this process should not be much of a hassle. But if you own one of the larger luxury RVs with multiple battery systems, this may be a tedious process. And in case removal and storage cannot be an option make sure that the cables and especially the negative cables are removed from the battery when the vehicle is parked out in the open overnight or for a long period of time.
AC filtering Systems
The outlets of the air-conditioning systems usually get choked up with a lot of dust over time. While this accumulation is not a big deal as long as it is cleaned from time to time, but during winter it can turn into a real problem.
The dust particles on the AC filters can freeze and choke up the entire system. And while RV owners do remember to check their air-conditioning during winter and run it from time to time to ensure nothing is wrong, forgetting to clean the filters before trucking it away can lead to ruin.
Protection from Mold and Mildew
Winter does not come alone; rather it brings forth a series of hostile conditions and these may affect your RV anytime. So, it’s not enough to have your guards up against the cold. Winter means higher levels of moisture, and if this moisture can manage to seep into your vehicle’s mechanisms and set off a mold outbreak, you are going to end up spending huge amounts to have it removed.
Luckily there are dehumidifiers readily available, and you should use them about 3-4 times during the entire season to ensure that the moisture does not get to collect itself in the interiors of the vehicle. For added protection, you can fill the RV interiors with moisture absorbing materials or solutions such as Damprid.
Covering the wheel
Now that you have ensured that both the exterior and interior parts of the RV is protected from the cold and the snow, it’s time to take care of the wheels. And this becomes important so that when Spring finally arrives your RV should be able to power up instantly and not have to gas the pedals to heat up the wheels which have adverse effects on both the wheels and the engine.
You can cover up the vehicle including the wheels with a trampoline to ensure that snow doesn’t get collected in the crevices of the wheel. But since this can trap moisture and ruin the piping, ensure that the tarp is a breathable one.
Keep in mind that protecting individual parts of the RV from the cold is as important as taking steps to cover up the entire vehicle. Unless you own high-end luxury RVs, usage during winter is not advised, but in case you have to it’s better to take precautions before heading out on the road.
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