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If your RV stays on the road year-round, you probably have a few winter essentials on your list. There’s so much beauty to explore in Canada even after the snow falls!

Though we don’t blame you if you aren’t the winter camping type. Certain parts of Canada can get pretty chilly in the winter months, which means it’s about time to winterize your trailer for another year.

Contrary to popular belief, you can winterize your rig yourself. Whether you choose to store your rig outside for the winter, at your RV dealership’s warehouse storage, or install your own sturdy cover, these little tricks are must-dos for any RV.


Prevent broken pipes

Drain all the water in your water heater. You don’t want any water inside to freeze! As for the empty pipes – you have the option of adding antifreeze or draining and drying them completely with a low-pressure air blow-out method. If you choose antifreeze, a pro-tip is to drain and bypass your water heater when pumping antifreeze.

If you skip this step, your pipes will be prone to freezing and cracking, and pumps will fail. Not a good way to start off your next season!


Prevent mold and odours

After you’ve cleaned out all your cupboards and the refrigerator, it’s best to leave all these doors open through the winter to prevent mold and odors.
Other tricks include leaving dryer sheets, baking soda and small, open containers of kitty litter around your trailer. These soak up moisture and odours while the doors are closed all winter.

Another tip to avoid moisture: remove or raise fabric cushions and mattresses. Prop them against walls to leave room for air to move below them.


Deter unwanted houseguests

Rodents and bugs love winterized RVs. Check all your seams are sealed, plug pipes with bronze wool, and consider removing any soft fabrics like cushions and mattresses from your RV for the winter. Cover or close all vents to keep the small creepy crawlies out.


Avoid flat spots on tires

Tires don’t fare well in the cold. Two things to do to avoid flat spots: inflate your tires to the appropriate level and use jack stands to alleviate some weight.


Next: Should you cover your RV?

Now that you’ve winterized your RV, the cover or not cover debate is a hot topic for some. You have a few seasonal storage options under both categories. Which will you choose?

Some RVers are lucky enough to also have large backyards to install garage-like structures to cover your RV. Some companies offer DIY steel building kits to create these self-storage options for trailers relatively easily. These are also good for weekenders who bring their rig home with them every week.

Another option: opt for a fabric RV cover. These offer water and top protection, but are sometimes tricky to put on and take off. You also lose easy access for the entire storage period. However, these are affordable and are good for park site storage if you have a permanent site.

The most expensive, but sometimes safest option: store your RV at a dealership’s warehouse for the winter. Oftentimes, they’ll even winterize it for you. Just be aware that you know what you’re getting before you sign because some paid storage options are still outdoors!


How to Store Your RV 

We the great outdoors all summer long, but after all the adventure is over and we pack up for the winter, the Canadian elements can start to take a toll on our RV. Here are some precautionary measures you can take when storing your RV to ensure it stays in excellent condition season after season.

  • Unless your RV is kept inside a heated building, the top priority is to protect the RV water systems from freezing. This involves the fresh water lines, water heater, waste tanks and drains, and the icemaker, washing machine and dish washer if you have those. There are two methods for RV winterizing the fresh water system: The Antifreeze Method (adding enough antifreeze to the water in the system to prevent freezing or the Blow-out Method (removing all water from the system).
  • Keep your RV protected from the elements by keeping it in covered or indoor storage. Never cover your RV with a tarp or non-breathable fabric, as moisture condensation can be extremely damaging.
  • Wash your RV frequently after trips to remove surface grime that can damage the exterior if allowed to build up. Wax the exterior using a quality wax formulated for your RV’s exterior finish, it’s the most effective way of protecting your RV from damming dirt, grime and roadway chemicals.
  • Check for water damage regularly. Inspect all seals and caulking for signs of wear, and repair promptly with approved RV sealant.
  • Scrub off black streaks as soon as you discover them. Wait too long and you may not be able to remove them completely.
  • Remove food as it is common for mice and insects will be attracted by the smells and a warm home for winter. So clean out the fridge, remove the snack packs ‘ even if sealed in plastic.


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