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How to Prepare Your RV for Winter | Winterizing Your RV

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Harvest Hosts
October 25, 2021

Prep your RV for winter: maintain tires, drain water, block pests, and cover up to avoid costly repairs.

How to Prepare Your RV for Winter | Winterizing Your RV

Fall is in full swing, and for many, that means the final weeks of RV season are here. Winter will be here before you know it, so it’s not too early to start thinking about prepping and storing your RV for winter. If you miss any key steps when storing your RV,  you may face expensive repairs by the time spring comes around. The time and effort put into winterizing your rig now will save you in the long run. We have compiled a few essential steps to prepare your RV for storage. Follow these tips so that your RV is ready to tackle the harsh weather of winter.

  1. Maintain Your Tires
  2. Drain the Plumbing
  3. Don't Host Unwanted 'Guests'
  4. Keep Your RV Covered

Maintain your tires

wp-content-uploads-2021-10-Screen-Shot-2021-10-21-at-1.46.54-PM.png Image courtesy of BannerSnack

If you’re not planning on driving your RV during the off-season, it is still important to protect and maintain your RV’s tires. You want to make sure that the weight of your RV is evenly distributed between all four tires. If there is an uneven distribution of weight, then ensure that the RV is being stored on flat, level ground and that any heavy objects inside the RV are not all on one side. Lastly, check that all four tires are filled up to the recommended PSI. The tires may lose pressure during the storage period, especially in the cold. Re-inflate the tires if needed before taking your RV out on the road again. 

Even though winter is not known for being sunny, UV light from the sun is just as damaging during the winter. UV rays reflect off of the snow and can be redirected toward your tires, causing them to dry out and crack. You can get RV tire covers to ensure that your wheels are fully protected from the elements.

Drain the Plumbing

The most important step in winterizing your RV is to drain the water from the plumbing. Water left in the pipes or tanks will freeze during the winter, leading to cracks that are costly to repair. The main sources of water you need to drain are listed below, but depending on your RV, more water lines and tanks may also need to be cleared.

  • Water heater and water lines

Before draining your water heater, make sure it is turned off and has been given time to cool down. Then, remove the drain plug and open the pressure relief valve to drain the water. Open all of the hot and cold water faucet knobs to drain the rest of the water lines.

  • **Black and grey water tanks **

Your waste water tanks not only face the threat of freezing, but they can also become an incubator for bacteria growth. First, you should drain your black water tank and then your grey water tank. Once both have been drained, clean the inside of the black tank to rid it of any harmful bacteria. Once all the water has been drained from the RV, you can then add anti-freeze into the water lines as an additional preventative measure. *You might also enjoy: *Tips for Driving your RV in Winter Conditions

Don’t Host Unwanted ‘Guests’ 

During the winter months, mice, squirrels, and other small animals will happily make themselves at home in your RV if possible. While unwanted guests are already an annoyance, these animals can also damage your RV. They can chew through wiring, plastic, and rubber components, making you the one that has to pay for their unwelcomed stay. To avoid this issue, first make sure your fridge, cupboards, countertops, and floor are clear of any food or crumbs that would attract animals. Next, inspect the bottom and sides of your RV for any small gaps or holes. You can fill any potential points of entry with silicone or expanding foam. Lastly, if applicable, make sure your RV’s power cable is disconnected, and that the cable hatch is closed. This will stop any rodents from climbing the power cord and entering your RV through the wall the cable goes through.

Keep it protected. 


Properly storing your RV during the winter off-season months is critical, especially if your RV will be stored outside. Rain, snow, wind, sun, dirt, and other debris can be a heavy burden on your RV and a costly clean-up or fix. UV rays are also a threat during the winter. UV light can cause the roofing and seals to dry out as well as cause fading and discoloration. A winter RV cover is the most cost effective way to ensure that your mobile home stays in the best possible shape, so it will be ready to use the next time you want to take a road trip. EmpireCovers.com offers heavy-duty RV covers with long-lasting weather protection. The material is fully waterproof and the covers feature a zippered access panel so that you can still go in and out of your RV even when it’s covered. When it’s time to take your RV out of storage, covers also save you time that you would be spending on cleaning the roof and exterior.  Although winterizing your RV may seem like a big to-do, you’ll thank yourself when winter is over and your RV is ready to hit the road with no hiccups. Trying to take shortcuts with RV winter storage will only result in an expensive repair bill. RV season will be here again before you know it, so don’t let any of your trips get delayed due to preventable issues with your rig.

About EmpireCovers

Since 2004, EmpireCovers has specialized in manufacturing and selling high-quality covers for cars, trucks, RVs, boats, and other vehicles. With employees in PA and KY, EmpireCovers is proud to be a Made in the USA cover manufacturer. The semi-custom fit design allows their covers to fit 99% of vehicles on the road and water, and their focus on quality ensures that their products will protect the things you love. For online shopping, resources or to learn more, visit www.empirecovers.com.

About Harvest Hosts
Harvest Hosts is a unique RV camping membership that offers self-contained RVers unlimited overnight stays at over 5,657 small businesses across North America with no camping fees. Boondock at farms, wineries, breweries, attractions, and other one-of-a-kind destinations throughout North America, and you’ll get peace of mind knowing that a safe place to stay is always nearby!
Harvest Hosts-profile-image
Harvest Hosts
Harvest Hosts is an RV membership program that allows self-contained travelers to overnight at unique locations around the country including farms, wineries, museums, breweries, and more!