Dave Solberg

Preparing and Dewinterizing Your RV

Dave Solberg
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  • In-depth Instruction; over 138 mins
  • On-demand video access anytime
  • Bonus downloadable PDF resources
  • Access to class Q&A
  • Available for purchase: $39.99
Most RVers understand the importance of getting their rig ready for winter or just a long storage. Frozen water lines can be very expensive, but it’s just as important to spend a little time checking all the appliance, tires, batteries, and other components when bringing your rig out of storage and ready for a new camping season.
A good walk-around of the unit will help identify if there are any immediate issues that have happened during storage, such as a cover that has a rip or damage allowing moisture in, any damage from branches or weather, or signs of mice or other rodents! If there is any noticeable damage, you will want to take pictures or call an insurance agent before venturing too much further.
During extended storage periods, tires can be exposed to some extreme weather conditions, with the UV rays from the sun being the worst. Checking for cracks in the sidewall known as “weather checking” is important before taking to the road, as well as proper inflation. It’s not uncommon for a tire to lose 2 psi every week when sitting, and you cannot see a 10 psi lower pressure just by looking at the tire.
A close inspection of the roof and sidewall is important, as the temperature changes during storage make components expand and contract – so a visual inspection of the sealants, gaskets, and materials is critical.
Inside you should look for any leaks that might have occurred by opening the overhead cabinets and looking for stains or wrinkling at the roof to sidewall joint. Open the slideroom and look for soft floors at the openings. And open all the drawers looking for rodents!
Improper charging and storage is the number one culprit of battery sulfation in lead acid batteries and why they do not last very long. Proper storage is important, but cleaning all the terminals, checking fluid levels, and inspection of the cables will ensure your house batteries last longer.
When winterizing a water system, RVers either use RV antifreeze or use compressed air to remove all the water from the system. In the spring, you will not only want to remove the RV antifreeze and/or fill the system with fresh water, but also sanitize/deodorize the tanks and pipes as well as condition the seals for the valves and toilets.
Since the LP tanks should have been shut off and all appliances turned off, you will need to purge the air out of any LP line, which can take several minutes. Also, if the LP tank is turned on too quickly, there is an excess flow valve that will shut the line off.
Generators are having a tough time with cheaply refined fuel and ethanol and can varnish if not properly cared for. Spring is a good time to change oil, filters, and add a fuel stabilizer that can help clean the fuel components of the generator.
There has been a huge marketing/advertising emphasis to change the batteries in smoke detectors in the residential market – however this is also a good time to change the batteries in an RV smoke and CO detector as well.
By code, all RVs have a 10 BC fire extinguisher usually mounted just inside the entrance door. If it’s a typical powder style unit, once a year it needs to be removed, held upside down, and “smacked” to dislodge the powder.
Slide rooms require very little maintenance, but if your rig does not have an awning over the top of the room, sticks and other debris can fall on the top – and when the room is retracted, that debris could tear the rubber gaskets. It’s important to check all gaskets and alignment of the room before hitting the road.
Awnings also require little maintenance, but condensation can lead to mold and mildew and an ugly awning! During storage, it’s not uncommon for condensation to form, therefore it’s a good idea to bring the awning out, clean and condition it, and let it dry.
For owners with a motorized unit, an inspection of the power train is important before starting up the unit and driving away. During storage, wind can blow leaves and other debris underneath the unit and up into the “pockets” of the exhaust manifold, in which case the hot temperatures of the engine could start a fire.
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16 Lessons
2  hrs 18  mins

Most RV owners take a great deal of time getting their rigs ready for storage due to the extreme temperatures that will be encountered and the length of non-activity.

However, too often, they don’t use the same attention-to-detail when bringing their rigs out for the camping season. Rather, they fill the water and propane and hit the road.

But there are several areas of an RV that need attention – to reduce failure later on and prolong the life and value of RV appliances and accessories.

This Class will be a great lesson in giving your rig the complete once-over that it deserves after a few months in waiting, and before hitting the road!

Tires, for example, are the most vulnerable component on our RV, but are the most neglected. RV tires must be checked for proper pressure every time you hit the road and a thorough inspection of the sidewall, tread, and wear pattern in the spring are essential to reduce tire failure later.

Spring is also an important time of the year to check all the exterior sealants to see how they “weathered” throughout the storage period. With the extreme temperature changes common during storage, components will expand and contract and sometimes sealants just can’t keep up! This includes the roof, slide rooms, compartments, windows and doors.

The water system will have either RV antifreeze or all water removed from the system and before just filling the tank and running new water, it’s a good idea to use tank sanitizer and deodorizer as well as checking the water pump filter, check or replace the anode rod if applicable, and adding some of the Thetford product for valve and toilet seals.

Other procedures include cleaning and conditioning the awning, turning the fire extinguisher upside down and dislodging the powder, replacing smoke and CO detector batteries, and getting your house batteries ready for the camping season.

In addition to the detailed video instruction you’ll receive, this class provides you with several downloadable PDF support materials, including a detailed Class Guide you can follow as a reminder for the key points of the class, and several support documents to reference as you remove your RV from storage.

Add this video class to your library, and you’ll have an invaluable resource to use for many upcoming seasons.

Dave Solberg

Dave Solberg is the Managing Editor of the RV Repair Club. For over 25 years, Dave has conducted a wide range of RV maintenance and safety seminars, developed dealer and owner training programs, written RV safety and handyman articles, authored an RV handbook reference guide and logged over 100,000 miles on the road in an RV.

Dave Solberg

Bonus materials available after purchase

Preparing and Dewinterizing Your RV Purchase this class for $39.99.