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Winterizing your RV checklist.

Danielle Williams October 14, 2016
A parked RV with a fall background.
Saying goodbye to summer is always tough. Not only does the temperature drop, but you need to pack all your summer gear and prepare for the changing seasons. Getting your RV ready for winter is crucial, especially if you want to avoid any problems when you want to hit the road next spring.

The biggest mistake RV owners make when ‘winterizing’ their vehicle is not being prepared for the elements. Of course CAA RV Insurance has you covered, but not preparing your RV can cost big bucks in repairs and insurance claims.

You’ll need to know how to keep it protected (inside and out) from the frigid temperatures. Besides having your CAA RV Membership, here’s a checklist of how to get your RV ready to battle old man winter:

Inside the RV.

  • Remember to remove all liquids and foods left behind because they can explode in extreme temperatures.
  • Do not leave old food and paper products as they might attract outdoor critters looking for a new, cozy home.
  • Tip: Place fabric softener sheets in between mattresses, cushions or couches to keep away field mice since they hate the smell.
  • Clean and turn off the refrigerator.
  • Tip: Leave the refrigerator door open with a box of baking soda to absorb any odors.
  • Leave cupboard doors slightly open for air circulation.
  • Drain all the water from the water heater, freshwater and wastewater tanks.
  • Clean all lines and tanks.
  • Close all windows, but consider leaving one sheltered window open a crack to get some fresh air into the RV.
  • Antifreeze is crucial for your waterlines, tanks and toilet to avoid anything freezing.
  • Turn the main breaker off.

Outside the RV.

  • Inspect and check all entry points into the RV (vents, cracks, doors) to keep out unwanted visitors. Seal and patch them if necessary.
  • Turn off propane tanks, remove any electrical heating devices and store your battery.
  • Tip: When storing your battery, store in a cool and dry place and check to re-charge every three months. Do not store on a concrete floor.
  • Inflate tires to recommended max cold pressure and consider covering them to prevent weather damage.
  • Tip: Move the RV once in a while to avoid flat spots on the tire.
  • Check the roof and window seals for cracks and openings to avoid water coming into the RV.
  • Wash the RV and apply a wax exterior coat to avoid damage from freezing temperatures.
  • Lubricate locks and hinges as they may wear out.


  • If you’re going to park your RV in the winter, store it in a covered area and avoid parking it under trees.
  • To cover your RV, use a good quality cover made of breathable fabrics to prevent mildew and mold from growing on the vehicle.
Now that you have all the tips and tricks to keep your RV protected during the winter months, you’ll be ready to hit the road in the spring. Before you head out on your next RV adventure, don’t forget to add  CAA RV Membership to your checklist.

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