Preparing Your RV or Travel Trailer for Winter Hibernation
With fall quickly approaching, many campers are putting away their trailers and RVs and preparing for a winter spent at home. It is not enough to simply park your RV in one place and expect it to be in operable condition the following summer. Instead, you must prepare it for a season spent in park. At Premier Coach Works Auto & RV Body Shop, we understand the importance of winterizing your recreational vehicle for optimum maintenance. Here is a checklist for getting your RV or travel trailer ready for the chilly season.
- Remove and bypass your RV’s inline water filter and seal it in a plastic bag.
- Use high-quality, non-toxic RV anti-freeze rated to -50 degrees. While the temperature will never drop that low in the Phoenix Valley, it is still good to use the highest quality anti-freeze available for your rig.
- Check the Sealants on the Roof, Windows and Seams for cracks and wear. As an RV travels, it is common for seams and sealants to face some wear and tear from the stress of moving.
- Protect the RV from pests. Remove all food products from the pantry and refrigerator and use rodent and bug repellant to keep these pests from hiding out the winter in your vehicle.
- Clean and treat your rubber roof. While you should do this three times a year, it is especially important that this maintenance is done before the winter months to remove all traces of tree sap, mold and mildew before they become worse. Often, when a vehicle is parked for months at a time, it is easy to forget about it. This is why performing a deep-clean before parking it is a practical solution for maintaining its exterior and interior.
- Inspect your tires. The last thing anyone wants to do before going on a road trip is have to get new tires at the last moment because the old ones were damaged. When spring comes and it is time for another adventure, you at least know that your tires are up to the challenge.
- Protect your trailer connector by keeping it lubricated and wrapping it a plastic or canvas bag to protect it from the elements.
- Flush the sediment from your hot water heater tank to prevent corrosion, extend the life of the heater, and keep it working at optimum performance.
- If you live in an especially cold environment (or at least one that is below freezing at night), it is advisable that you elevate your windshield wiper blades by placing something as simple as a tennis ball under the wiper arms to keep them from freezing.
- Take care of your batteries: most RV batteries are lead-acid, deep cycle batteries, and unlike the batteries in a car, the batteries in an RV are not sealed. If you are putting the vehicle into storage, remove the batteries, top off their fluids and place them in a cool, dry place for the winter. If not, you must take care to monitor your batteries’ fluid levels. When the temperature is low, the batteries in RVs lose approximately 25% of their capacity, so it may be necessary to top their fluid level with distilled water from time to time.
- Wash, wax and lubricate your RV. If you have any slide mechanisms, lubricate them at least once a year, preferably before putting the RV away for the winter. Washing and waxing the vehicle will help to prevent the oxidation that will make your RV look older than it actually is.
Premier Coach Works knows that you want the best for your recreational vehicle, which is why we pride ourselves on taking the same time and care to repair and restore your vehicle that we take on our own vehicles. If you need help getting your RV or trailer ready for the winter season, or if you need repairs made to your rig, give us a call at (623) 935-6678 or check out our website at premiercoachworks.com today!