According to a study by The RV Industry Association, more than 11 million households own an RV, with annual spending on camping reaching into the billions. With such a large number of people investing in the RV lifestyle, it’s important to know how to properly care for or “winterize” your camper throughout the year.
With the arrival of winter, the time is approaching to prepare your camper for cold and harsh weather. Neglecting to properly care for your camper during this time can result in costly damages and a shortened lifespan of your beloved camper. But fear not, we’ve got 10 tips to help you winterize your camper not only this year but for many winters to come.
The Damage Winter Can Bring
If you think making winter preparations sounds pricy, just imagine the much higher price of damage and repairs. According to Camp Addict, winterizing a camper or RV can cost anywhere from $100-$500, while neglecting to winterize campers can lead to damages that may require repairs costing up to $15,000! So what’s causing all that expense? We’ve got a list of things to look out for for peace of mind:
- Frozen Plumbing: Freezing temperatures can cause the water in your camper’s plumbing system to freeze, leading to burst pipes, cracked fittings, and damage to fixtures.
- Roof Damage: Heavy snowfall or ice accumulation can put a strain on the roof of your camper, potentially causing leaks, structural damage, or even collapse if not properly maintained.
- Battery Issues: Cold temperatures can drain the battery of your camper, making it difficult to start the engine or power the onboard systems.
- Tire Damage: Extreme cold can cause the tires of your camper to lose air pressure, leading to flat spots or even cracks in the rubber.
- Exterior Cracks: The expansion and contraction caused by freezing and thawing cycles can result in small cracks on the exterior surfaces of your camper, including walls, windows, and doors.
- Moisture and Mold: Condensation and trapped moisture inside the camper during winter can create an environment conducive to mold growth, leading to potential health hazards and extensive damage to the interior.
- Rodent Infestations: Winter can force rodents to seek shelter in your camper, causing not only an uncomfortable environment but damage to wiring, upholstery, and insulation
- Propane System Issues: Cold temperatures can affect the functionality of your camper’s propane system, potentially leading to problems with essential needs such as heating, cooking, and refrigeration.
10 Tips to Winterize Your Camper
Don’t let the potential damage scare you away from enjoying your camper! Whether you plan to camp throughout the winter or simply store it away for the cold season, these 10 tips will help you avoid any issues and enjoy a cozy and safe camping experience in your winterized camper at any time of year.
1. Winterize Your Water System
One of the most important steps for storing your camper in the winter is to properly winterize your water system. This includes draining all water from the tanks, pipes, and appliances, as well as adding antifreeze to prevent any remaining water from freezing and causing damage.
Pro-tip: make sure to also disconnect hoses and store them indoors to prevent cracking.
2. Seal All Openings
To prevent moisture and cold air from seeping into your winterized camper, it’s important to seal all openings. This includes windows, doors, vents, and any other areas where drafts may enter. You can use weatherstripping or caulking to seal these openings and keep your camper insulated.
3. Protect Your Batteries
To prevent your camper’s batteries from freezing and becoming damaged, it’s important to fully charge them before storing your camper for the winter. You can also remove the batteries and store them indoors in a cool, dry place for extra precaution.
4. Inspect Your Roof
Before winter arrives, take the time to thoroughly inspect your camper’s roof for any cracks or damage. Snow and ice can weigh down on your roof, causing it to cave in if not properly maintained. Make sure to repair any damage and remove any debris that may accumulate on the roof during winter.
5. Cover Your Camper
Investing in a quality RV cover can protect your winterized camper from the harsh winter elements. This will prevent snow and ice from building up on your camper’s exterior and damaging it. Make sure to choose a cover that is specifically designed for your camper’s size.
Pro-tip: give your camper a thorough clean before covering it to make sure it’s stored in good condition!
6. Properly Store Your Tires
Properly storing your tires during winter can prevent flat spots and other damage. Make sure to fully inflate the tires, clean them, and cover them with tire covers. You can also store them on wooden blocks to elevate them off the ground.
7. Ventilate Your Camper
Proper ventilation is key to preventing moisture and condensation buildup inside your camper. Make sure to open windows occasionally, use air vents, or invest in a dehumidifier to keep the air circulating and prevent mold and mildew growth.
8. Care for Your RV Tochta Mattress
Ensuring your camper’s mattress is in good condition is crucial for a comfortable and warm winter camping experience. Tochta mattresses are specifically designed for RVs and can provide the perfect balance of support and comfort. Make sure to clean and rotate your mattress regularly to maintain its quality.
9. Protect Against Rodents
During winter, rodents may seek shelter in your camper, causing damage and creating a mess. To prevent this from happening, make sure to seal any openings where they may enter. You can also use deterrents such as peppermint oil or mothballs.
10. Plan for Winter Use
If you plan on using your camper during the cold season, it’s important to take extra precautions to winterize your camper. This may include investing in a heated hose or using alternative heating methods, such as an electric fireplace. Furthermore, make sure to pack appropriate winter gear and emergency supplies so you’re always prepared.
Sleep Warm, Camp Safe With Tochta
Taking the time to properly winterize your camper can save you from costly repairs and ensure that you have a comfortable and enjoyable camping experience. And don’t forget about an RV mattress from Tochta, which can provide the perfect combination of comfort and warmth during those cold winter nights. Check out our heated mattress pads for extra warmth this season! With a comfortable and warm bed to sleep on, you’ll be able to enjoy winter camping trips without worrying about the effects of harsh winter weather. Happy camping, no matter the season!