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At this point in the fall, if you are not planning to RV south for the winter, you’re about ready to tuck the little trailer, motorhome or fifth wheel away for a long winter’s nap.
You’ve winterized the unit, a great first step, but have you really prepared it for winter storage? Here are a few tips from our seasoned RV Care dealership pros on storing your RV and RV Battery for the winter.
- Take all perishable and non-perishable food items out of the fridge and cupboards.
- Remove any items you might need to wash or will need over the winter.
- Give the entire interior a good deep clean using a mild cleaner.
- Add a dehumidifier to your unit to keep mold and mildew at bay.
- Close all windows and blinds to prevent too much sun getting into the RV.
- Double check that all appliances are turned off.
- Dryer sheets are a great way to keep mice out. Place these inside crevices or areas where mice might make a home.
- Defrost your freezer.
- Leave cabinet and fridge doors open.
- Remove and clean your batteries and store in a cool, dry place (see below).
- Give the exterior a good wash.
- Turn off your LP gas.
- Check for any cracks or openings on the exterior molding around windows and doors and patch as necessary.
- Cover any exterior vents such as your fridge or furnace vent to prevent unwanted rodents from camping out, or look for rodent repellent on your RV Care dealership shelves.
- Check the roof for cracks in the seals around A/C, roof vents and other extremities.
- Cover the tires with ADCO tire covers.
- Cover the entire unit with an ADCO Plus Wind Designer Series cover (including tire guards).
- Put down your stabilizer jacks to take weight off your tires.
- Tilt your RV to the front or back slightly to assist in snow and water drainage.
- Chock your wheels.
- Remove your RV Batteries to prevent freezing and clean.
- Fill the fuel tank and add a fuel stabilizer.
- Change the oil and oil filter.
- Drain the windshield washer fluid or add antifreeze.
- Remove any corrosion using a mixture of baking soda and water, and then clean and dry the top of the battery. This will eliminate potential discharge paths.
- Terminals can be cleaned with a wire brush to remove remaining traces of corrosion.
- If the battery is being stored in a vehicle, disconnect it to avoid self-discharge due to parasitic loads such as clocks, ground faults, etc.
- Fully charge your battery before putting it into storage.
- If the battery has removable vent caps, check the electrolyte (battery fluid) level in each cell. If required, add distilled* water to bring the fluid level to just below the filler tube. Charge the batter prior to topping up the electrolyte, otherwise electrolyte expansion during the charging process could cause the fluid to overflow.
- Keep your battery above 75% state-of-charge at all times. Check state-of-charge every 90 days and recharge if necessary.
- Store your battery in a cool, dry place with temperatures no lower than 32°F (0°C) and no higher than 80°F (27°C). Do not allow your battery to freeze and NEVER attempt to charge a frozen battery – the battery could explode!
- Never leave a battery on trickle charge longer than 48 hours, or serious damage to the battery will occur.
*Using regular tap water may introduce contaminants that could cause internal corrosion and premature battery failure
Follow these simple steps and you’re sure to have a smooth transition in the spring.