By Mike Willis
As the RVing season comes to an end, it’s time to start thinking about some end-of-season maintenance. To avoid unwanted surprises in the spring, take a little bit of time to put your RV to bed for the winter. Below is a list of maintenance items to perform in the upcoming weeks.
Wash the roof of your RV. Use a product made for cleaning an RV roof to ensure that you are not damaging the rubber. Rubber roof oxidation and dirt buildup cause streaking down the sides and can be very difficult to remove.
Once you have cleaned the roof, wash and wax your RV to preserve its looks. It is important to clean the roof first so that you don’t rinse sludge down your clean RV sides. Lots of people wait until spring to clean their rig. When you leave dirt, grime, and oxidation on your RV, it becomes very difficult to restore its shine.
Thoroughly rinse and drain your holding tanks. If your black water tank is especially dirty, fill it three-quarters full with water. After adding water, pour a bag of ice cubes down the toilet. Before the ice melts, haul or drive the RV to a dump station. The ice will beat any buildup off of the tank walls while you are driving.
Clean out the refrigerator and freezer and leave the doors open. This simple step will save you from trying to scrub the mustiness out in the spring.
Prevent Water Damage
Cleaning your RV will help identify any waterproofing issues. Carefully look over all caulk, seams, and gaskets. During the winter, you will have snow and ice lying on the roof. Don’t wait until spring to clean and seal your RV!
If you notice any issues starting to develop, take the time to fix them before temperatures are too cold. Most waterproofing products require temperatures to be around 50 degrees or higher. Attempting to use waterproofing products in colder weather could result in product failure.
As the temperatures begin to plummet, mice and other unwelcome guests will attempt to move in. Be sure to remove all food that could attract rodents. I like to remove all linens and pillows to ensure that nothing tries to build a nest.
Make sure to check underneath your RV for anything that needs to be re-sealed. Most penetrations are spray foamed from the factory. However, over time gaps begin to form. If mice are problematic in your area, it may be helpful to put out a few traps.
When storing your RV for the winter, don’t forget to maintain your battery. You don’t want to be continuously hooked to power. You also don’t want your battery to go dead in freezing temperatures. Both circumstances will lead to battery failure.
Lastly, remember to lock everything up. Not only is locking everything good for security reasons, but it will also prevent kids from accidentally leaving something open all winter long.
Don’t forget to winterize your RV! You can winterize the RV yourself or have a shop do it for you. The good part about having a shop do it is that they will cover any work required due to improper winterization.