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Winterizing your RV    We hope you had a great camping season! Now it's time to prepare your RV for the coming winter months. So here's our "Winter RV Checklist" to help you "winterize" your RV. You can print this list and bring it with you on your "closing" day.
 
For starters Camping trailer in winter



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Buy enough "non-toxic" anti-freeze before you head out there (the amount depends on the layout and length of your plumbing lines.... 2 to 5 gallons will normally do). Note that "RV approved antifreeze" is recyclable and can be re-used year after year.
Buy and bring a water heater bypass kit (if not already installed on your RV)
Buy and bring a water pump converter kit, or tubing to connect to the inlet side of the water pump
Bring basic hand tools to remove drain plugs
Bring some boxes, garbage bags, cleaning material, duct tape etc....
Clean and store all dishes
Turn-off  and clean the refrigerator (leave the refrigerator doors open and place some baking soda inside to absorb odors)
Clean the oven (leave the door slightly open)
Leave all cupboard doors slightly open (for air circulation)
If your RV is equipped with appliances such as icemaker or washer/dryer, follow the manufacturer's recommended procedures to winterize them

Waste water system
Inspect and lubricate the termination (inlet) valves
Inspect sewer hose and seals
Drain the fresh water holding tank 
Drain and flush the gray and black holding tanks. Clean the black tank with a hose/wand
Close the valves (fully) as this prevents damages to the seals
Install valve covers 

Fresh water system
Close the city water (and store the hose)
Remove any inline water filters (if any)
Install the water plug (at the water hose connection)
Open the floor drain plugs (normally located under the sinks) to drain all the water from the water lines
Open all hot and cold faucets (don't forget the toilet valve and outside shower if any)
Remove the water heater drain plug and drain all the water from the water heater. CAUTION.... never drain when hot or under pressure
Reinstall the water heater drain plug 
Set the water heater "bypass valve" to "bypass" if so equipped (if you do not have a bypass kit, the water heater will fill up with antifreeze before it goes through the water lines, wasting up to six gallons of antifreeze)
Close floor drain plugs
Install a water pump converter kit, or disconnect the inlet side of the pump (the line coming from the fresh water holding tank) and connect tubing from the pump into a gallon of RV antifreeze
Turn the water pump on to pump your antifreeze in the system. Starting with the closest faucet slowly open the hot and then cold valves until antifreeze appears. Use as many antifreeze jug as necessary. Repeat on all faucets from the closest to farthest away. Don't forget the outside shower. Also flush the toilet until antifreeze appears.
Pour one cup of antifreeze in each drain (including the shower). Pour a couple of cups in the toilet and flush into the holding tank.
Make sure all faucets are closed.

Electrical system
Remove the battery, check the water level and make sure it is fully charged. Put a coat of petroleum jelly on the battery terminals and and store in a cool, dry place. Check and re-charge the battery (if necessary) every 3 months. NB: never store a battery on a concrete floor as it will discharge quickly.
Cover the battery cables (RV wires) with plastic bags
Turn off all lights
Remove the fuse for the LP gas leak detector while the unit is in storage. This will prevent the batteries from discharging.
Switch the main breaker to the "off" position

Propane (LP)
Close LP tanks valves
Disconnect all hoses 
Cover regulator assembly with plastic bags

Finally
Remove all dry-cell batteries (clocks, gas detector, smoke detector....)
Remove all freezable foods and cleaning liquids from the RV
Wash your RV thoroughly and apply a coat of good quality wax or protectant to help protect the exterior from the ravages of the winter weather
Retract all slideouts (if so equipped)
Install a roof support to help with the weight of ice/snow (in open areas inside your RV). Periodically check for snow accumulation and remove as necessary (NB: NEVER walk on a roof without proper support in place)
Clean and let dry your awning. Lubricate all moving parts using silicon spray. Once the awning is dry, roll it up and ensure that it is in the "lock" position.
Check tire pressures. Bring all tires up to the maximum pressure rating as found on the sidewall. You may want to cover the tires to prevent weather (and sun) damage.
Lower the radio / TV antenna
Insects are attracted to the odorant that is added to LP gas so install plastic bags/covers on outside vents (furnace, refrigerator, water heater) to prevent nesting
Remove, clean and replace your air conditioner filter(s). Cover the air conditioner
Install an air conditioner winter cover (buy an A/C cover, do not use a plastic bag because condensation may damage the unit)
Inspect the underside of the unit thoroughly. Look for anywhere that mice or other rodents can get it, and seal as necessary.
Install roof vents covers. Inspect vent openings and re-caulk if necessary
Place mothballs near (not in) the gas burner assembly of the refrigerator (to prevent spiders from nesting and causing gas flow blockages at the burner)
Place sheets of Bounce or Fleecy (or similar product) under each mattress, cushion etc... This will keep field mice away as they don't like the smell. Note that you can also place a package of mouse bait / poison on a paper plate on the floor. You can also strategically place mouse traps in and around the unit
Close all windows. Consider leaving one sheltered window and one roof vent open just a crack. This will provide some air flow through the RV and help prevent musty odors or mildew
Close all of the window blinds to avoid sun exposure to the carpet, drapes and upholstery. Leave doors, drawers and cabinets open.
Service all locks with a graphite spray lubricant. Lubricate all hinges and moving parts with WD 40.
To further keep condensation down, if possible, leave a small source of heat inside the RV.... such as a 40 watt light bulb which is inexpensive to run (approx. $25-$40/year) and a safe source of heat
If you want to cover your RV, make sure that you use a good quality cover constructed of breathable materials. Regular (black, blue or green) plastic tarps from hardware stores can do more harm than good as they allow moisture to build up (and eventually can cause rot). Note that as a general rule, we do not recommend "tarping" an RV unless absolutely necessary (leaking roof....)
   
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