How to De-Winterize Your RV

As the season shifts from winter to spring, the time comes to pull the RV out of hibernation and get it ready for the road. Here's what you need to do.

Remove all Covers

When you packed your rig away at the end of last season, you should have sealed up any vents and covered the air conditioner, skylights and tires to prevent water, insect and varmint intrusions, and to protect against weather damage.

First, remove all covers and unblock everything—especially the refrigerator and furnace vents. Next, open the roof vents and windows to air out the place.

Check for Unwelcome Guests

Mice, insects, spiders and other critters can get through the smallest openings. Check all closets, cupboards, storage areas, refrigerator drawers and under mattresses to make sure they haven't been wintering in your snug RV. Areas around the water heater and behind the refrigerator are also favorite haunts; inspect these zones too. If you find any intruders, get them out.

Re-Install the Batteries

If you pulled your rig's batteries last fall, now is the time to put them back so you can test any RV systems that run on DC power. Check the fluid levels in maintenance-style batteries and top them off. Be sure to wear eye protection and rubber gloves. All batteries should be fully charged using an auto battery charger. You can also use the RV's internal charging system once you've connected your RV to shore power.

To re-install, place the batteries in their rack in the same orientation as when you removed them, and then secure with the proper battery straps. For safety, connect the positive cables to their respective terminals first, and then the negative cables. Make sure the battery clamps are tight. Once the batteries are charged, test all DC-powered appliances, antennas and accessories.

More: 6 Common RV Repairs You Can Do on the Road

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About the Author

Jeff Adams

Jeff Adams is a California-based freelance writer, contributor to ReserveAmerica.com and an avid camping enthusiast. He's been dragging his trailer and willing family around the western U.S. for more than a decade.

Jeff Adams is a California-based freelance writer, contributor to ReserveAmerica.com and an avid camping enthusiast. He's been dragging his trailer and willing family around the western U.S. for more than a decade.

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