5 Steps to Winterizing Your RV: You Want it to be Good as New for Next Summer

As the winter weather begins to set in, our minds often wander back to the comfortable warmth and fun memories of summer. As we recall all the fun vacations and beautiful sights, we are also reminded of the pressing need to get our RVs cleaned up and put away for the winter. Winterizing your RV is incredibly important and diligently attending to these five steps will keep your RV good as new for years into the future.


Preparing your RV for winter is an important project. Failing to properly winterize your RV can result in broken plumbing, mold growth, rodent infestation, and more. To protect your investment and to ensure many future years of fun summer memories in your RV, consider the following steps to winterizing your RV.

1. Prepare Your Water System

Winter weather brings freezing temperatures that can easily destroy your plumbing. Replacing and restoring your RV’s plumbing is incredibly expensive and can easily be avoided with a little foresight and planning.

The general process requires first draining the fresh water, grey and black holding tanks, along with the water heater of their contents. Also, draining low point drain lines and using the water pump to force all the water out will ensure your plumbing is clear of water.

After closing up all faucets and drains, connect your water pump to a container of non-toxic antifreeze and proceed to flush all pipes and plumbing. While the amount of antifreeze necessary to complete this project will vary between vehicles,  two to three gallons of non-toxic antifreeze should do the trick for your motorhome.

The process of emptying your water system and replacing it with antifreeze is a unique step-by-step process that is different for every kind of RV or motorhome.  Checking the owner’s manual for a specific winterizing guide and searching for additional information online regarding your brand will help you know the proper process for preparing your RV’s plumbing for winter.

2. Rodent Prevention

Discovering that rodents have set up shop in your RV is never good news. Rodents that discover the shelter of an RV will leave droppings and nests all throughout the vehicle, and they can also be responsible for chewing through electrical wires and destroying the interior.

To avoid this unpleasant surprise, conduct a thorough inspection of the exterior and underside of your RV. Keep in mind that mice will fit anywhere they can get their head through, so cracks or holes are perfect for sneaking inside. Check the basement compartments, around the plumbing, around drains, and along the roof. Be sure to close any holes you find. Also, take a stroll through the inside of your RV. If you see any light coming in through the walls or corners, be sure to get those sealed as well.

3. Spot Sealing

Maintaining the roof of your RV is crucial to ensuring the longevity of your vehicle and protecting it against mold and water damage. This should be done once or twice every year to ensure that cracks or wear that appear are not given the opportunity to cause further damage. In warm, dry weather, inspect the roof of your RV and apply the necessary sealant to fill the cracks and protect against water damage. Not only will this keep the damage from progressing, it will also work to keep moisture out of the interior of your vehicle.

4. Battery Maintenance

When preparing your RV for a long season of inactivity, be sure that preparing your battery for storage is on your to-do list. A battery that is not cared for can end up having a lower capacity and shorter life span, potentially requiring the purchase of a new one to ensure safe travels.

You can avoid this unnecessary investment by completely charging the battery in your RV to help keep it from freezing. Also, remove and clean all battery connections with a dressing to fight corrosion before storing your RV.

5. RV Cover

If your RV’s final winter resting place is in the great outdoors, consider investing in a strong, protective RV cover. While it may seem like a cheaper and smarter option to simply throw a giant blue tarp over the top of it to protect it from the rain and snow, choosing this option can actually be harmful for your RV. Manufactured RV Covers allow moisture to escape from underneath the cover while keeping outside moisture locked out. However, a tarp will trap and hold moisture against the surface of your RV, damaging its exterior and threatening to allow mold to damage the interior. A proper RV cover should be installed carefully, and it will protect your RV through the long winter months and will have it ready to go in the summer.

If your RV has weathered too many winters without proper preparation, it may be time for you to invest in a more trustworthy vehicle. Here at Kirkland RV, we have a wide selection of new and used RVs and motorhomes so you can find the one that meets your needs. For more information on our selection, visit our listing page for details.

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