As an RV traveler, the impending temperature drop means one thing: it’s time for your RV’s winter maintenance. Just like anything else, your RV requires attention and maintenance, and this is never more true than during this changing season. There are maintenance items you should check off your list every season in order to ensure your rig is working in prime condition. In this blog, we’ll go over winter maintenance items not to overlook during cold weather months.
A Labor of Love
Whether you’re a full-time RVer or a weekend warrior, maintaining your RV should be a top priority. Taking care of your investment will allow you to keep enjoying your travels for years to come. Think about nurturing your RV in a fun and positive way. Ongoing maintenance comes with the territory of owning an RV, and while the work never really ends, the payoff comes in the form of adventure, togetherness, and the freedom of the open road.
Managing your RV maintenance doesn’t have to be an overwhelming task. Consider keeping a list of repairs and maintenance dates so you always know where you’re at, and what task comes next. When you’re on top of your RV game, fewer unexpected breakdowns will arise. Oil changes, filter changes, generator service, coolant & transmission checks, and air filters are things you should keep at the top of your list year-round. Keep an eye on these items as you prepare for travels, return from the road, or pack it in for the winter.
If your RV will be in colder conditions or where it snows/rains, it’s important to check your seals regularly. Any type of cracks or openings is an opportunity for water damage! It is common for sealants and seams to move in place as you move your rig, and these shifts, along with cracking, allow your rig to be exposed to unwanted water. Slide-outs, windows, lights, doors, latches, water & electricity hookups should all be a part of your seal check. These wear down with use and age, so you’ll want to keep a close eye on them. Remember, water and moisture are your RVs worst enemy, and there’s a lot of moisture to go around during the winter months!
Let’s Check the Roof
Your roof can be easy to overlook, especially since you’re not looking at it directly. But there are a couple of checks that should be done before your home-on-wheels is in extreme weather conditions. Just like we mentioned before, check the seals on your roof. Next, clean and treat your rubber roof with a high industry-leading cleaner and treatment product. A great way to clean your roof is to use a good ole fashioned mop and bucket. This will be the most effective way to get dirt, debris, and tree sap off your roof. If there is mold or mildew on your roof, treat it with diluted bleach and vinegar.
While you’re maintaining your roof, now is the time to check your vent covers. A cracked vent cover will allow rain or snow to enter through your roof. This needs immediate attention and should not be left for “another time.” Also, as part of winter maintenance, you should inspect your skylight covers. RV skylight covers can become scratched over time due to weather conditions, and in some cases, they can crack. Replacing the cover improves RV longevity and prevents water damage from occurring.
If you won’t be traveling for the season, this next step is arguably one of the most important. Now we can begin to winterize the RV water system to protect it from freezing by introducing antifreeze. Be sure to read your owner’s manuals for unit specific winterizing guidelines. When you’re shopping around for antifreeze, check out options for non-toxic products to ensure your health and safety. If you are planning to fully winterize your RV and store it for the winter, check out The Fundamentals of RV Winterization at our sister site, RV Repair Direct.
Your RV plumbing and water tanks are extremely important. They’re a big part of what makes RV living so comfortable! As always, before you start on any major maintenance item, be sure to check your owner’s manual for specific instructions. Replacing your water filters every season will not be necessary. Instead, choose a season to replace filters every year to make sure you never miss a beat. Next, drain your freshwater, gray water, and black water tanks for a seasonal clean! Your holding tanks get dirtier than you think. Tip: for water conservation, clean your freshwater tanks when they are empty, and especially before storing your rig for winter. For a complete list of RV cleaning products, click this link.
You shouldn’t forget about your water heater and running all of your facets in your rig like the shower, kitchen, and bathroom faucets. For a step by step checklist, click this link. Keep this list handy for your yearly winterization maintenance.
Snow and rain can deteriorate your paint over time. A good way to maintain your rig’s appearance is to clean and wax it. It may seem redundant to clean your rig in the colder months but trust us, it’s important. Oxidation will dull your RV’s finish over time, making it appear older than it really is. Clean your rig as often as you can this winter season!
You’re Ready for Winter
Now that you have completed your winter maintenance, it’s time to get cozy!
What winter tips do you have to share with your fellow RVers? Share in the comment section below!