As the warmer months give way to fall and winter, the camping and RV season starts to wind down. While fall and winter camping are both fun activities, it’s essential that you take proper care of your motor home. Properly winterizing your motor home not only prolongs its longevity, it’s a necessary part of being a motor home owner and a camping and RV enthusiast. Winterizing your motor home will help for preparation in the spring when you’re ready for another season of camping and RV adventures. We’ve got some tips and tricks to help you with your motor home winterization process.
A vital part of winterizing your motor home is protecting the RV water system from potential damage that can be caused by exposure to freezing temperatures. Frozen and damaged water lines are the one of the most common problems related to not winterizing your motor home.
Cut the Fuel
If your motor home is equipped with a generator, you’ll need to drain it of fuel. If you don’t, the fuel can turn to lacquer over the months, and they will plug the jets in the carburetor. You can save yourself a sizable repair bill if you drain the fuel over the winter. Installing a fuel shut-off valve will allow to run the generator until it quits from lack of fuel. Make sure you push the kill switch after it stops running. Otherwise, some generators that have an electric fuel pump will run as long as the button is in the ON position.
Kill the Power
Some RV trailers might only have one battery, while some motor homes may have more. For a single battery, simply disconnect it and store it in a warm, protected environment. Make sure the water level is sufficient and that the battery is fully charged, then put it in a safe place. Don’t set the battery directly on a concrete floor because it will allow it to slowly drain. If you’re storing it in a garage or shed, put it on a piece of plywood.
If your motor home is equipped with multiple batteries and a battery disconnect system, you can prepare your batteries as stated and turn off the disconnect. Don’t forget to remove all of the small batteries in your motor home as well. They can freeze, leak, and become destroyed. Remove the batteries from TV remotes, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and don’t forget the clock on the wall.
Clear the Shelves
Remove all of the food items in your motor home including boxed dry goods and canned goods. Cans can freeze and split, and dry goods will keep winter rodents fat and happy. Keeping your motor home free of mice can be a real problem. They will chew up fabric or insulation to make nests, and they can damage wiring and other non-food related items as well. Setting a good multiple-catch mouse trap will keep your motor home secure from the little four-legged intruders.
Wash and Cover
Any dirt, grime, or road chemicals that aren’t removed from the exterior of your motor home will continue to rust, dissolve, or discolor the finish over the winter months. This will quickly age your RV and spoil that shiny new look. Give your motor home a nice clean wash before your begin the process and invest in a good motor home cover to protect it from harsher elements.
Draw the Shades
Prolonged sun exposure can also damage the interior of your motor home and cause fabrics to become brittle, plastic to yellow, and carpeting to fade inside of your motor home. Prevent this by lowering the shades, covering the windshield and windows, and doing whatever you can to keep direct sunlight from entering your motor home. Make sure all of the windows are closed and latched, and that the roof vents are closed tight. Unlike rain, snow will blow around and even with vent covers, it will get in through any opening.
Keep it Oiled
Motor homes need a little more attention than RV trailers. The most critical thing is to make sure your engine coolant is protected from below-zero temperatures. Any plain water you may have added over the summer will dilute the mixture, raising the temperature at which your coolant will freeze. It needs to be protected at least to -30 degrees Fahrenheit. Fall is a good time to service your motor home with oil changes and chassis lubrication. A quick oil change will remove any impurities that might be lingering in your old oil. Additives break down, and acids build up. By doing your servicing in the fall, once those first warm days of spring return you’ll be ready to go. Topping off the fuel tank will also prevent condensation from forming in the tank. Moisture leads to rust and corrosion which can plug fuel filters and fuel systems.
Keep it Pumped
Keep your motor home tires properly inflated. If your motor home sits for months with under-inflated tires, flat spots can develop. Worse still, if allowed to go flat, the sidewalls will develop cracks and cause weak spots. Constant sun exposure will also cause the tires to rot, so be sure to install tire covers for your motor home.
Flush it out
Camping and RV enthusiasts know that the plumbing system in your motor home is the most vulnerable system caused by freezing temperatures. Camping and RV enthusiasts know that it’s also very easy to protect the motor home’s water system from the elements. It should go without saying, but make sure you drain all of the water from your motor home. Flush it out completely with an air compressor and then pump anti-freeze through your motor home’s plumbing system. This will protect your motor home’s plumbing system from an expensive disaster.
Properly winterizing your motor home means that you’ll be reading to go for all your camping and RV adventures in Nebraska next year. The Sandhills Motel & Glidden Canoe Rental is your Nebraska Sandhills camping and RV vacation destination. To make your reservations your next camping and RV adventure in Nebraska, give us a call at (308) 546-2206 or contact us online. Don’t forget to Like Us on Facebook to stay updated on all things Sandhills Motel!