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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

How to Winterize a Camper

Photo by Nora Tarvus via iStock

As the chilly embrace of winter looms, the thought of safeguarding your camper from its icy grasp becomes paramount. For every passionate camper owner, the onset of cold weather isn’t just about cozy fires and snowflakes; it’s a call to action, a reminder to shield their cherished mobile abode from the harshness of the season. 

Winterizing is more than just a routine chore; it’s a ritual of care, an investment that ensures the longevity of your camper and its readiness for countless adventures ahead. From plumbing to batteries, you should ensure your camper remains unaffected by winter’s fury and emerges in spring, ready to roll, and rearing for the open road.

Today, we aim to offer a comprehensive look into the process of winterizing, offering insights and recommendations that go beyond the basics. So, let’s start delving into every nook and cranny.

Table of Contents

How to Winterize a Camper: Start With the Plumbing

RV toilet

Image by Ziga Plahutar via iStock

Winterizing your camper’s plumbing is a critical task that safeguards against the damaging effects of frozen water. When water sits and freezes in the pipes, it can expand, leading to potential cracks and costly repairs. Two primary methods exist for ensuring your camper’s water system is prepared for winter: using anti-freeze or employing an air compressor.

The first method involves draining all water systems, from the fresh water tank to the gray and black water tanks. After emptying and closing all tank valves, introduce non-toxic RV anti-freeze into the system. This pink-colored solution should flow from each faucet, ensuring protection even in the coldest conditions. Additionally, pour a cup of anti-freeze down each drain to protect the traps.

Alternatively, if you opt against using antifreeze, an air compressor can be a handy tool. By attaching it to the water intake and ensuring the pressure remains below 30 psi, you can blow out any residual water. Opening each faucet, in turn, ensures the lines are free from water. Whether you choose antifreeze or the air compressor method, the key is to ensure no water remains, eliminating the risk of freezing damage.

The RV Tips & Travels YouTube Channel explains both of these procedures in 2 separate videos. If you want to know more about using anti-freeze for winterizing, please check out this video. And if you are leaning more towards an air compressor, check this video out. 

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How to Winterize a Camper: Remove the Batteries

ultimatron lithium battery

Winterizing a camper isn’t just about safeguarding its exterior or plumbing system; it’s also about ensuring its power source remains intact and efficient. This is where the battery comes into play. With the myriad of options available, our top recommendation for winter is the Ultimatron battery line, and here’s why.

Ultimatron batteries are designed with state-of-the-art lithium iron phosphate technology. This ensures long service life, high performance even under extreme conditions, and an impressive storage capacity that’s constantly improving. What sets Ultimatron batteries apart, particularly for winter, is their built-in heaters. So, even in the throes of a snowstorm, this battery ensures your camper’s electrical system remains unhindered. 

ultimatron 200ah 1

With models ranging from 100AH to 280AH, there’s a fit for every camper’s needs. Furthermore, their Integrated Battery Management System (BMS) ensures protection against overcharging, overvoltages, and overheating. And with Bluetooth 4.0 Monitoring, you can track your battery’s performance in real-time directly from your smartphone or tablet.

ultimatron lithium battery review

However, if you’re planning to leave your camper idle throughout the chilly season, it’s crucial to consider the battery’s well-being…

Despite Ultimatron batteries being designed for cold weather, prolonged exposure to extreme cold can still affect their longevity. Thus, to maximize their lifespan, it’s best to remove the batteries and store them in an environment with a consistent and warm temperature. By doing so, you’re not just protecting your investment but ensuring your camper is ready to power up when adventure calls again.

How to Winterize a Camper Interior

a young woman cleaning and sweeping the inside of her RV.

Image by AleksandarNakic via iStock

Winterizing the camper’s interior is crucial to maintain its longevity and ensure it’s ready for your next adventure. Begin by turning off all propane and electrical systems and storing propane tanks indoors to avoid potential hazards. Emptying the camper of perishables prevents unwanted pests and odors; remove all food items, especially those that might spoil over time.

Electronics such as TVs, tablets, and laptops should be taken out, as the cold can damage their batteries. For optimal airflow and to deter mold, prop open your camper’s fridge and freezer. Place ant and roach traps in strategic locations, ensuring no critters take refuge during the cold months.

Cushions and mattresses should be aired out. If this isn’t feasible, an anti-condensation mat can help prevent mold buildup. To absorb excess humidity and further reduce mold risk, place containers filled with moisture-gathering beads throughout the camper.

A thorough clean is a must before sealing your camper for winter. Attend the floor, walls, and sanitation facilities. Once done, protect your upholstery from potential UV damage by drawing the window shades. 

How to Winterize a Camper Exterior

rv trailer covered by white snow

Image by izanbar via iStock

The exterior of your camper faces the brunt of winter’s fury, making its preparation paramount. Begin by sealing your camper from the elements. Ensure all vents, windows, and any other openings are securely shut, especially those with latches on the outside.

A thorough wash can protect your camper’s longevity. Clean the exterior, including the roof, tires, wheels, and even the underside. This step is crucial to remove any corrosive substances like salt or mud. After washing, consider applying a high-quality wax or protectant formula compatible with your camper’s exterior material. This will offer an extra layer of protection against harsh weather conditions.

Awnings can be repositories for dirt, leaves, and other debris. Extend them fully, giving them a gentle sweep and a wash with mild soap. Ensure they’re entirely dry before retracting to prevent mold or mildew. If your camper has other pop-out components, they deserve the same care.

If your camper has an A/C unit, check its filters. Consider replacing them if they’re nearing the end of their life cycle. Maintenance doesn’t stop there. Lubricate all locks and hinges, ensuring they don’t freeze or rust during the cold months. If your camper features a retractable step, ensure it’s pulled in to avoid ice accumulation.

Lastly, consider the benefits of a cover. While not essential, a camper cover can provide an added layer of protection against the winter elements. At the very least, protect your A/C unit with a specialized cover, ensuring it runs optimally when you need it next.

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