If you're a snowbird and you're headed away from the cold this winter to a sunnier and warmer spot, you can move on to the next article. Just know that we here at Kelley, Jiggins & Associates wish you a safe journey – and that we're all a little jealous. But no hard feelings; we'll still be here, standing ready should you need us.
But for those RV owners who aren't able to escape the winter weather, or who are simply storing their RV in a warmer locale for an extended period, it's important to prepare for it. Just as with your home, a little maintenance now will go a long way toward preventing frustration – and expensive repairs – later.
The basic tips below should help you get started. For more detailed information, including step-by-step instructions on replacing the water in your motorhome with antifreeze, simply do a web search for RV winterization and you'll find several great resources. Of course, you should consult your owner's manual for guidelines specific to your unit.
Winterizing your RV's exterior
This is the "easy" part of winterizing your RV. You'll want to clean it thoroughly, and make sure any awnings are fully dry before rolling them in for the winter. Also, keep your tires covered to protect them from sunlight and the elements. Make sure all doors and windows are closed.
Protecting your motorhome's interior
After cleaning the interior, leave the cabinets open and make sure to remove any food or food residue. If you aren't going to be in your RV over the winter, you sure don't want to attract any animals or insects looking for a cozy spot. Close your curtains or blinds to keep the sun out. And never store a propane tank inside your RV, even over the winter.
Engine, tanks and plumbing
If you live somewhere prone to freezing weather, make sure you have enough antifreeze in the engine, and change the oil and filter if needed. If possible, you'll want to charge the battery a few times during the winter (you may even want to remove it from the RV). Then, empty the holding tanks and replace the water in the plumbing lines with non-toxic antifreeze.
Just a little preparation will help ensure your RV is ready to roll when summer comes back around in California. You'll be back on the road before you know it. (And then we'll be jealous of you, too!)