Like it or not, colder weather is on the way. If you’ve put some miles on your new or used Class A RV or other motorhome over the summer, there are a few things you’ll want to do to get it ready for storage. Or, if you plan to keep traveling, there are some maintenance issues you should handle now before you continue your journey.

Many winterizing services can be done by the owner. But if you don’t have the time, the patience, or the skills to winterize, your local RV dealership has a host of services they can provide to prep your RV for a cold-weather nap or get it shipshape for your next adventure. RVT is breaking down common winter services that are often offered at your local dealership’s service center.

Winterize Your Pipes

When winterizing where temperatures will be below freezing (32°F or 0°C) for more than 24 hours at any given time, water becomes your vehicle’s enemy. Any water left in the plumbing system could potentially break fittings and lines when it freezes, which could be very costly to repair when you want to roll out your used fifth wheel RV or other camper again in the spring. So, the first step in winterizing is to drain all the water out of the fresh water and waste tanks, then pump in a non-toxic antifreeze to the entire water system. This will push any excess water and safeguard your lines and tanks. The dealer should open all faucets and valves during the process, and include service to the hot water heater. Once drained, the dealer should close all faucets and valves back up. 

Walk The Caulk

Do an inspection of your RV and look for any holes or cracks that may need service by your local dealer. This would include areas around the windows and exterior-facing doors, seams, access panels, and storage areas. Even if you plan to do the sealing yourself, it’s a good idea to check with your local RV dealer to see what types of sealants are best for what you want to seal and the weather conditions for your area. Better yet, you can have your dealer take care of this for you while they are draining your water system.

Tempt Me Not

If you’re going to be storing your RV outside during the off-season, be aware that rats, mice, and squirrels might find it a great place to winter, too. Remove all food and other items that may be enticing to rodents, then visit your dealership service center to browse all their products that can help with winterizing and pest prevention. Be sure to buy a cover that is designed specifically for your make and model to protect it from the elements. You may also want to buy traps or bait in case any unwanted visitors drop by unexpectedly.

Power Play

Right before you’re ready to tuck your Class B camper van or other RV in for the winter, remove all batteries and store them in a cool, dry place away from freezing temperatures. Do not store the main battery in your home. It can give off gasses and may potentially leak acid that can be very harmful to your health and well-being. For the best results, you may ask your dealer service team to remove the battery for you, and give you personalized tips for proper battery storage.

To keep the main battery from freezing during the coldest months, make sure you check it every month or so to see if it needs to be recharged. The battery will lose power over time and a partially charged battery can freeze faster than a fully charged unit.

Avoid Bad Gas

Octane in fuel can break down over time. Before storing your RV, either you or your local service team can add fuel stabilizer to the gas tank, fill the tank with fresh gas, then run the vehicle’s engine and generator (if you have one) for five to 10 minutes—or whatever is recommended in the stabilizer’s directions. Again, your dealership can give you the best, most personalized advice and service for your specific RV and gas type.

Location. Location. Location.

If you plan to store your RV at home, be sure to check with your municipality about parking on the street, as well as your homeowner association (if you have one) to see if there are any ordinances or rules about having the vehicle on your property.

Otherwise, there are a variety of facilities—both indoor and out—that specialize in storing RVs. They can provide a space for your used toy hauler or other vehicle, and some will do routine inspections over the winter to make sure there are no issues that might need immediate attention so they don’t become worse over time. Check with your local dealer for RV storage advice. They can recommend local storage facilities, and may even have local storage partnerships that can give you a discount.

Road Warriors

If you plan to continue traveling over the winter—perhaps migrating to southern areas of the country with warmer climates—the end of summer/beginning of fall is a good time to have routine maintenance done to your RV. In addition to doing a full inspection, your local dealer can flush out your black and gray waste tanks and scrub the lines to make sure everything is flowing as it should.

No matter how you spend the winter months, use RVT’s convenient Dealer Search tool to find a dealer near you that can help prep your RV for the colder season and keep your rig in prime condition all year-round. And if you want to use the offseason to search for your next RV, be sure to browse all the new and used motorhomes available for-sale on

By Barrett Baker

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