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Winter RV Storage: 5 Things To Think About

With the falling of the leaves, comes the reality that it is time to prepare your RV for winter storage. The thing to remember is that, getting the longest life out of your RV means doing more than, just winterizing the plumbing system. There is a checklist of things you should do to prepare your rig for the winter. So, before you throw on that RV cover and forget about things for the next few months, be sure you have done everything you can to protect your RV.

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We could probably just provide you with a list of hundred different suggestions from RV dealers and manufacturers and confuse you. Instead, here are five things you may not have thought about in terms of winter RV storage, which you may want to add to your annual routine.

#1 – Protecting Your RV Tires

Believe it or not, the tires on your RV take quite a bit of abuse during the winter. Some people physically remove them from their RVs and store them separately in the garage. If that is too much work for you, there are still things you can do as an alternative. First, make sure your tires are inflated to the highest cold pressure listed in your manual. Several times during the winter, check the tires with a gauge and keep them properly inflated.

Second, if you don’t parking on concrete or asphalt, place something between your tires and the ground so it is hoisted. Also, give yourself plenty of room to move the vehicle back and forth by several feet. By moving it three or four times over the winter, you will prevent flat spots from developing on your tires.

#2 – Check for Proper Ventilation

Your RV needs proper ventilation even during the winter months. This is one of the reasons, many manufacturers recommend using a combination of a breathable cover and ventilation components that keep sufficient air circulating, to prevent moisture buildup that can lead to mold. If you do not know how to properly ventilate your RV, contact your manufacturer or dealer for instructions.

#3 – Insect and Rodent Traps

A parked RV is a magnet for rodents and insects who may turn it into a winter home. Make sure to place an appropriate amount of traps in and around your rig as a preventative measure. Check those traps on a periodic basis until the snow flies. If necessary, replace them in the spring and resume a regular schedule of checking.

#4 – Leave Cabinets and Drawers Open

Inside your rig, make sure to open all cabinets and drawers – and leave them open throughout the winter. The purpose here is to allow them to expand and contract as the temperature changes. Leaving them open also prevents moisture from being trapped inside.

#5 – Remove All Batteries

Inside your rig, remove all batteries from any remote controls and appliances. You might want to bring the batteries inside so that they aren’t exposed cold temperatures during winter. If your rig is an RV rather than a trailer or a fifth wheel, it is also a good idea to remove the batteries from the engine compartment. Clean them thoroughly and store them in a cool, dry place.

Only when you properly prepare your RV are you ready to put the cover on the for winter. You will be able to enjoy the season with the peace of mind that your RV will be ready for the road when spring comes around.


Tips for Using RV and Trailer Covers

Now that the autumn season is upon us, RV and travel trailer owners are putting their vehicles away for the winter. Many of them will use an RV or trailer cover to protect their units from the weather. There are pros and cons to this strategy, as evidenced by the fair amount of disagreement that exists among RV and trailer owners. We will let you decide whether it’s the right strategy for you or not.

With that said, we do have some helpful tips should you decide to cover your RV or trailer with a winter cover. The tips are designed to make sure your cover does not damage your vehicle during the winter months. We want you to be able to uncover and go next spring without any problems.

1. Properly Secure Your Cover

Make sure to properly secure your cover with bungee cords or ropes. You do not want any portion of the cover to be loose enough to flap in the wind. Any flapping can cause cosmetic damage to the outside of your vehicle by way of grommets striking the surface. Continual striking can even loosen the grommets.

2. Create a Crown

It is a good idea to create a slight crown across the top of your vehicle so that the cover is not laying flat on the roof. Modern vehicles have air-conditioning units that make this task easier. You can also use things such as foam blocks and winter swimming pool inflatables to create the crown. The point is to create a surface that will allow precipitation and leaves to run off the top rather than collecting on the roof of your vehicle.

3. Check Cover Condition

Unless you are using a brand-new cover right out-of-the-box, it is a good idea to inspect your cover before putting it on. You are looking primarily for holes that can allow moisture in. The problem with moisture is that if it becomes trapped under the cover, it could cause a number of problems. Caulking could become moldy, aluminum parts could start to rust, and so on. You want the surface underneath to remain completely free of moisture throughout the winter months.

4. Beware of Abrasion

RV and trailer covers will not usually suffer rips and tears under normal conditions. The enemy of these covers is abrasion. You can get the most life out of your cover by reducing exposure to abrasive surfaces such as mirrors (fold them in), antennas (retract them), and roof vents (close them). If there are any potentially abrasive surfaces around windows or doors, you can reduce the friction by using foam padding or electrical tape.

Ordering a new RV or trailer cover is a matter of getting the right size. Although you do not want a cover that is excessively large, having one that is slightly too big is definitely better than purchasing one that is too small. The good news is that covers come in standard sizes. You just need to measure the length, width, and height of your unit to know what to order.

For RVs, measure the length from tail to nose and the height from the roofline down to the bottom of the chassis. Do not measure down to the ground. Also, there is no need to account for air-conditioning units. Manufacturers already take them into consideration when designing their covers.

For trailers, measure the height the same way. For length, there is no need to account for the tongue. You only need to measure the actual size of the trailer shell. Width measurements are pretty straightforward regardless of the RV or trailer unit you have.