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Winterizing Your RV: A How-To Guide
The fall season, just when the summer’s up and all the getaways are done, is the best time to park your RV and prepare it for hibernation during winter. Although you can pay someone to do it for you, winterizing your RV on your own is quite a satisfying adventure. Sure, it would entail some amount of hard work, but it guarantees you a hands-on maintenance and, of course, savings.
If this is your first time winterizing, don’t be overwhelmed by the task. Think of it as a routine RV check up. To help you, here’s an RV winterizing guideline.
1. Mind the plumbing. A great part of the RV winterizing tasks deals with preventing winter-frozen water lines and pipes, but all these are manageable. First, drain the fresh water tank by opening the faucets until all water comes out. Do the same to the showers, toilet tanks, and bowls. You can use an air compressor to help you siphon out all the water. Then, by-pass your water heater using a by-pass kit provided by the RV manufacturer. To prevent the remaining water from freezing, treat it with RV antifreeze solution.
Pump the antifreeze solution into the water system using a pump conversion kit, which uses a tube that transports the solution from its container into the water system. Then, check if the solution has been flushed into the water system by opening one faucet at a time. If the faucet releases something pink (the color of antifreeze solution), it means the antifreeze solution has made its way into the water system. See if all the faucets, showers, and toilet sinks and bowls do the same. Finally, pour around four to five ounces of antifreeze into the drains.
2. Clean the RV. All consumable items—food, beverages, medicines, and the likes—should be disposed of. Remember, rodents are likely to be looking for a snug place to spend the winter, and all these items attract them to your RV. You don’t want your RV to be their choice of home because, as you know, rodents have a notorious reputation of messing up any place they end up living in. To keep them out and all the other nasty insects, close every tiny hole they may use to get through with brass wool or aluminum.
3. Turn off all appliances. The refrigerator, particularly, should be thoroughly cleaned. Get rid of all its contents and keep it open to allow air circulation and prevent it from stinking. The air conditioner is also another concern. Clean before shutting it down for the winter and cover it with plastic.
4. Have a moisture control at hand. Some RV owners use chemical absorbents inside the RV to prevent moisture and consequently the development of mold and mildew. Others, meanwhile, find charcoal as effective.
5. Cover the RV. This will protect the RV from snow and water. But make sure to use the cover that doesn’t trap moisture inside. Some advise getting a cover made of breathable materials.
6. Have a double check-up. Even if you think you’ve done all you need to do in winterizing your RV, it doesn’t hurt to re-check things. See if there is an unplugged appliance, if one window is open, if a light is turned on, etc. This can assure you that there’ll be no heartbreaking and unnecessary surprises waiting for you come springtime.
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