With cooler weather approaching, there’s no better time to start preparing your RV for winter storage. Winterizing your RV is crucial in order to protect your investment and make sure it's ready to hit the road again when snow thaws. In this article, RV Trader is sharing essential tips to prepare your RV for winter storage, giving you time to relax and enjoy the holiday season.


1. Clean and Declutter

Before you tuck away your RV for the winter, thoroughly clean and declutter the interior. Remove all perishable items, clothing, and anything that might attract pests. Vacuum and wipe down all surfaces to prevent the buildup of dust and dirt. Don't forget to clean the refrigerator, microwave, and other appliances. A clean RV is less inviting to rodents and insects.


2. Inspect the Exterior

A comprehensive inspection of your RV's exterior is vital to prevent damage during the winter months. Check for any cracks or gaps in caulking and seals, paying particular attention to the roof, windows, and doors. Any issues should be addressed and repaired immediately to prevent moisture infiltration.

Clean the exterior thoroughly, removing any dirt, grime, or tree sap that could damage the RV's paint or finish over time. A good waxing can provide an extra layer of protection. Don't forget to clean and cover the tires to prevent them from cracking.


3. Protect Your Plumbing

One of the most crucial aspects of RV winterization is safeguarding the plumbing system from freezing. Here's what you need to do:

a. Drain and Flush: Start by emptying your fresh water and gray/black water tanks. Use RV-friendly antifreeze to flush the tanks, ensuring all water is removed.

b. Bypass the Water Heater: Confirm that your water heater is bypassed, so it doesn't fill with antifreeze. To do this, simply move the appropriate valves into the closed position.

c. Protect Water Lines: Use an RV-specific antifreeze to protect your water lines. Connect a hand pump or use your RV's water pump to push the antifreeze through the lines, including faucets and the toilet. This will prevent any residual water from freezing and causing damage.


4. Appliance Maintenance

Properly maintaining your travel trailer or other RV's appliances is essential for a smooth winterization process. Below you’ll find essential maintenance tips for your propane system, refrigerator and freezer, water heater, and furnace:

a. Propane System: Turn off the propane system at the tank. This will further guarantee the safety of your RV during storage. If you leave your propane system on, you could develop a leak, which could lead to a fire and even an explosion.

b. Refrigerator and Freezer: Clean and defrost your refrigerator and freezer. Leave the doors slightly ajar to prevent mildew growth.

c. Water Heater: Drain the water heater and remove any anode rods, if applicable.


5. Battery Maintenance

Your RV's battery is vital for maintaining systems like the alarm, ventilation, and propane detector. To keep it in good shape, follow these tips:

a. Disconnect the Battery: Disconnect the battery or use a battery tender to maintain a charge throughout the winter.

b. Clean Terminals: Check that the battery terminals are clean and free from corrosion.


6. Pest Control

Preventing pests from making your RV their winter home is crucial. A couple of tips for pest control include:

a. Sealing Entry Points: Check for any openings or gaps where pests could enter and seal them with appropriate materials.

b. Using Pest Deterrents: Consider using pest deterrents like mothballs or dryer sheets inside the RV to discourage unwanted visitors.


7. Cover Your RV

A high-quality RV cover is an excellent investment to protect your RV from the elements. Look for a cover that is breathable and fits snugly. It will shield your RV from snow, ice, and the damaging effects of UV rays.


8. Check Tire Pressure

Properly inflated tires can prevent flat spots from forming during winter storage. Inflate your tires to the manufacturer's recommended PSI and consider using tire covers to shield them from the elements.


9. Check In Regularly

Even though your Class C RV or other RV is in storage, it's essential to perform regular check-ins throughout the winter. This includes checking for any signs of moisture or pest intrusion and ensuring that your RV cover is securely fastened.


Winterizing your RV is a necessary process to ensure your home-on-wheels remains in excellent condition for years to come. By following these essential tips, you can enjoy peace of mind knowing that your RV is protected during the colder months. When spring arrives, your RV will be ready for another season of unforgettable adventures. So, take the time to prepare and store your RV properly, and you'll reap the rewards of a well-maintained and reliable vehicle.

If you’re looking to buy an RV so that you’re ready to hit the road when spring rolls around, check out our inventory of new and used listings on RVTrader.com.