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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
some boxes, garbage bags, cleaning material, duct
and store all dishes
Turn-off and clean the refrigerator (leave the refrigerator doors open and place some baking soda inside to absorb odors)
the oven (leave the door slightly open)
all cupboard doors slightly open (for air circulation)
your RV is equipped with appliances such as icemaker
or washer/dryer, follow the manufacturer's recommended
procedures to winterize them
Waste water system
and lubricate the termination (inlet) valves
sewer hose and seals
the fresh water holding tank
Drain and flush the gray and black holding tanks. Clean the black tank with a hose/wand
the valves (fully) as this prevents damages to
Fresh water system
the city water (and store the hose)
Remove any inline water filters (if any)
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)
the water heater drain plug and drain all the
water from the water heater.
CAUTION.... never drain when hot or under pressure
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)
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.
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.
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.
the main breaker to the "off" position
LP tanks valves
regulator assembly with plastic bags
all dry-cell batteries (clocks, gas detector, smoke detector....)
all freezable foods and cleaning liquids from the
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
all slideouts (if so equipped)
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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....)