3 Mistakes to Avoid When Preparing Your New RV for Winter Storage

If you recently invested in an RV and had a great time this past spring and summer traveling the country with your family, then you may need to temporarily retire it for the winter while the children are in school and the snowfall and icy roads make driving more hazardous.

Be sure to follow the instructions your RV dealer provided you to help you prepare it for winter storage.. While there are many steps to preparing your RV for winter storage, take note of these common mistakes made before and during winter RV storage, so you don't make them yourself. 

1. Using the Same Winter-Preparation Techniques for Your RV's Gasoline Tank and Your Generator

If your RV has a generator and you read a guide about winterizing your RV that does not mention how to prepare your generator for a break during the winter, then you may assume that you should take the same steps to winterize your generator as you do to winterizing your gas generator. 

However, the process for winterizing each is not the same, and in fact, the techniques are virtually the opposite. To winterize your fuel tank, you should fill it up completely with gasoline and, optionally, add a fuel stabilizer. A full fuel tank will protect your tank from condensation build-up that can cause rust and corrosion. 

To winterize your gas generator, it is best to completely drain it of fuel to keep it in good shape when not in use. If gasoline is left in your generator, it can thicken and plug the generator carburetors.To drain the generator completely, you will need to use the shut-off valve before running it until the gasoline is fully burned.  

2. Neglecting to Remove Snow from the Top of Your RV During the Winter

While it is idea to store your RV indoors in the winter, not everyone has the space in their garage to store it or the extra cash to afford an indoor RV storage unit. If this sounds like you, then don't worry, because you can still keep your RV in good condition by storing it outdoors as long as you do it properly. 

First, invest in a good RV cover for the winter instead of just throwing a tarp over it. The right RV cover will not only protect the exterior much better than a tarp, but it can also protect the interior of your RV by blocking more of the sun's harsh rays that can fade upholstery and damage other heat-sensitive items in your RV. 

However, once you cover your RV, you can't just ignore it all winter if you live in an area of the country that gets snow. While snow may often look fluffy in appearance, it can become very heavy when allowed to accumulate all winter on the top of your RV. Heavy snow accumulation can ultimately lead to your RV roof collapsing!

How often should you clear the snow from your RV roof? After every snow fall if your RV is parked near your home. If you are parking your RV in an uncovered storage unit a distance from your house, then keep an eye on how much snow accumulates on your roof. If you notice it building up there, then it is likely time to go clean off your RV roof. 

3. Not Covering Your RV Tires

When preparing your RV for winter storage, it can be easy to forget that you need to protect it from not only the winter-specific elements (cold, snow, ice), but also the sun. Even on a cold winter day, the sun's rays can be just as powerful as they are during the summer. Thankfully, a good RV cover will protect most of your RV from the sun's harsh rays, but it will not protect your tires.

While tires are replaceable when damaged, if you just bought your RV, you may not know just how expensive they can be too replace. The cost of replacing all of your RV tires at once can easily cost as much as $3,000 or more. While you will eventually need to replace them, you want to take all steps you can to prolong their lives to keep this cost from wreaking havoc on your budget. When tires suffer damage, it is not always obvious to the eye, and tires that dry rot from the sun can deteriorate quickly in the middle of a long trip once you are out on the road and lead to a collision. Then, instead of enjoying your trip, you will be spending time at an RV collision center having your RV repaired. 

An experiment conducted by an RV-enthusiast showed that RV tires left uncovered year-round age four times faster than those protected by tire covers when the RV is not in use. This means that when you use tire covers every time you store your RV, your tires can last four times as long before you need to replace them. 

If you have just broken in your new RV this summer, then you likely know that you need to winterize it before storing it for the long winter ahead. Make sure to follow the winter-preparation guide provided to you by your RV dealer, making sure to avoid these three common mistakes. Contact companies like Stadium Storage to learn more.