If you own an RV, you probably look forward to a summer full of exciting trips each year. While you might be able to squeeze in one or two final trips during the fall months, you’ll eventually need to store your rig for the winter. It’s important to store your RV correctly so it will be ready to hit the road as soon as warm weather returns. Take a look at how to store an RV for the winter the proper way.
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Drain It Out
To prepare your RV for winter, one of the first things you’ll need to do is drain it out. If you leave water in the system throughout the season, cold outdoor temperatures may cause it to freeze. And, when the water freezes, it will expand and potentially damage your RV.
The good news is that flushing out your water system is not a particularly difficult job. However, it will vary a bit from RV to RV, so the best thing to do is consult your owner’s manual for directions.
A General Assessment
It’s a good idea to take an overview of the condition of your RV before you park it for the winter. Over the course of the summer, you may have been so busy using the rig that you failed to notice some issues that popped up along the way. For instance, maybe a seal around one of your windows has come loose, or maybe the roof picked up some damage from a tree you passed on your way to a campsite.
It’s important to review the condition of your RV prior to the arrival of winter so you can deal with any maintenance tasks ahead of time. Problems like a loose seal or roof damage are particularly important to take care of so moisture doesn’t make its way inside when rain or snow comes down.
Cut the Power
You’ll want to disconnect your RV’s batteries before it goes into storage. Once disconnected, you can store the batteries over the winter in a cool place, such as your garage. Keeping them in the RV when temperatures drop below freezing can cause them damage, or at least shorten their lifespan. Of course, it’s important to be careful when disconnecting your batteries. Be sure to ask for help from a professional if you aren’t comfortable working with this part of your rig.
Where Will It Live?
There are two general options for parking your RV for the winter months—on your own property, or at a storage facility. Obviously, if you can park it on your property, you will be able to avoid the cost associated with storage. On the other hand, it might be in the way if you don’t have plenty of extra space available, and your homeowner’s association might have rules regarding RV parking. Plan well ahead of time on this point so you aren’t scrambling to come up with somewhere to park as winter sets in.
Cover It Up
One of the best things you can do for the long-term health of your RV is to cover it up during the winter. Keeping the RV covered will protect it from the elements, helping you to avoid—or at least limit—costly repairs later on.
For your RV tires, you can purchase tire covers at most dealers or camping stores. Place a cover over each tire to protect the rubber, and make sure your tires are inflated to an appropriate pressure before doing so. Even in the winter, UV rays can damage your tires, so investing in a set of covers is a good option.
For the body of the RV, you will have a couple of options. You can purchase a cover for this job, although it will be more expensive than the tire covers. The RV cover is strapped in place and provides a nice protective barrier during the cold winter months.
Alternatively, if you are storing on your property, you could go with a carport. By choosing to use an RV carport, you’ll have an affordable structure that puts a roof over your RV’s head all winter long. Not only will this improve your winter storage situation, but it will also give you a protected place to park throughout the rest of the year when the rig is not in use.
Protect Your RV with a Carport
If you know how to store your RV for the winter the right way, it will be ready to go when warmer months roll around. To provide your RV with a safe home for the long, cold season ahead, order an RV carport from American Steel Carports, Inc. You may find that one of our standard sizes fits your RV perfectly, or you can create a custom solution with our Build & Price tool. Either way, the end result will be protection from rain, snow, and debris, leaving your RV in great condition for next summer’s adventures. We hope to serve you soon!