If you are new to the RV scene, welcome! We hope you had a great summer visiting all the beautiful camping spots Alberta has to offer. It’s hard to say goodbye to summer and park the RV. To help you get back on the road without delay next RV season here are some winter storage blunders to avoid:
- Not removing food and liquid items from the RV! Food and pet foods attract rodents. Once mice or rats get inside your RV the damage they cause can impact your RV for years. Soaps, toothpaste, sunscreen, and the like – these items can freeze causing their containers to crack, leaving a gooey mess when they melt. Chemicals inside these products can eat wood and plastic finishing. I ruined a medicine cabinet one winter by leaving a sunscreen bottle in the bathroom. Never again!
- Not cleaning the fridge. Food leaves a residue in the fridge that grows mold. This will cause a lingering odour for the lifetime of the fridge. Use a kitchen cleaning product to scrub out the fridge. Then, prop open the fridge and freezer doors. Leaving fridge doors open during winter storage allows air to circulate further preventing mold growth.
- Not flushing the water from RV plumbing and not filling the lines with RV antifreeze. When water freezes in the plumbing the pipes will crack or burst. These types of repairs are expensive and will delay your first outing next year. Flushing water and filling plumbing with antifreeze is fairly easy, but if you don’t feel comfortable with this process have your RV winterized by a local dealer or mobile RV repair service. If you do it yourself, make sure you follow the instructions of your dealer or manufacturer, because each RV has different requirements.
- Not removing your RV batteries or storing batteries on the floor. When RV batteries freeze the case can crack leading to complete failure. Even if winter is mild in your area, cold batteries drain quicker and any time the charge drops to less than 20% the life of the battery is reduced. So, keep your batteries warm and keep them off the floor. Flooring can cause batteries to drain (Use cardboard or other material as a mat). To keep your RV battery in optimal condition and ready to go for next year put them on a battery trickle charger set to maintenance mode.
- Not checking the exterior of the RV for cracks and holes. Rain and thawing snow can cause expensive damage if it gets inside the RV. Thoroughly inspection the roof, vents, sidewalls, seams, windows, doors and access panels, and reseal or re-caulk any holes or cracks. It’s important to select the right sealant for our climate, so check with your RV dealer for the best product. The wrong sealant might not set properly, leaving your RV susceptible to more water damage. You may feel more comfortable having your local dealer reseal your RV. This can be done in conjunction with draining the water system.
By avoiding these pitfalls, you will be back on the road in no time next year and creating more great memories with your family.
~ Tamara Traub