The kids are back in school, the days are growing shorter, and there is a chill in the air - summer is officially over. Although we believe there are many reasons why you should enjoy year-round camping in beautiful British Columbia, we understand that for many people the beginning of fall signals the end of RV season. Now it’s simply time to park the trailer and forget about it until next year, right? No! If you want to protect your investment and make sure that your RV is ready for adventure in the spring, then you need to properly winterize your vehicle. Here at South Thompson RV, we are happy to walk you through all of the winterization steps necessary for your camper, trailer, or fifth wheel - and our experienced Service Department is also available to do the work for you!
Protect Against Water. Water is necessary for our comfort, but can be a major problem for your RV if you haven’t winterized the water system before the temperatures drop below freezing. Each unit will have specific guidelines for water system winterization in the owner’s manual, and will include things like turning off the water heater, opening and draining all faucets, hoses and pipes, and running non-toxic antifreeze through the system. This process is important, and will safeguard you against costly repairs in the spring due to frozen and cracked pipes.
We Repeat: Protect Against Water. Mould and mildew thrive where there is trapped moisture, and you don’t want any nasty surprises in the spring! Take the time to fully clean the interior of your vehicle, removing blankets and pillows, and propping couch cushions and mattresses up against a wall for the winter. If you have access to your RV while it’s being stored, you can run a dehumidifier a few times throughout the off-season to clear any excess moisture from the air and ensure the interior stays dry.
Battery Basics. Nothing will destroy your battery more than subzero temperatures. You’ll want to disconnect your batteries by turning off the battery breaker switches, and removing the negative cable from the battery first. For single batteries, simply store them in a warm, dry place (not the garage floor!), and for larger systems with multiple batteries you’ll want to consult your owner’s manual for specific instructions. If you are ever in doubt, our helpful staff at South Thompson is here to help!
Exterior Details. There are a few things you need to consider to properly winterize and protect the exterior of your RV. First, clean the exterior of your RV completely, keeping an eye out for any cracks. Cracks can be patched with a sealant that is specific to the composition of your vehicle (once again, check your owner’s manual or simply give us a call!), and then a coating of protective wax can be applied to the entire exterior shell of your RV to help shield it from the elements. You also need to clean and dry your awning, making sure that the fabric is completely dry before storing it for the winter (refer to point number 2!). Consider other exterior elements that need attention, like replacing your air conditioning filters, and lubricating your locks and hinges. These small steps will go a long way in extending the life of your vehicle, and helping you get onto the road quickly when the snow melts.
Cover Up. If your RV is going to be stored outside, you will want to consider covering the wheels to protect them from the elements. You can also cover the entire vehicle with a breathable tarp to keep it free of snow, ice and debris.
There is nothing worse than heading out to your RV in the spring, only to find heaps of work and repairs ahead of you before you can start another season of adventuring. If you take the steps to carefully winterize your RV now, then you’ll be the first one to hit the open road as soon as the snow melts. You will also be taking proactive measures that will help keep your camper in tip-top shape for years to come. We know that the winterization process can be confusing and time consuming; that’s why our experienced staff at South Thompson RV are happy to do some, or all, of your RV’s winterization needs for you. Give us a call, or come visit us at our Kamloops, British Columbia dealership, and ask about how we can help winterize your RV before the snow starts to fly!