Date Published: 2023/10/17

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Preparing your RV for Canadian Winter

Two RV’s parked next to evergreen trees covered in snow on a snowy winter day.

Across Canada, the coldest months of the year are quickly approaching. Unfortunately, this also means that it's time to park and store those RVs until the warmer weather of spring makes its welcome appearance.

However, preparing your RV for winter requires a lot more than simply parking it and forgetting it. Taking the time to winterize your RV properly is a must. Still trying to figure out where to begin? We've got some tips and tricks!

The Importance of Winterizing Your RV

Carefully winterizing your RV is vital for several reasons. For starters, you need to take the correct steps to prepare your RV for winter to avoid many issues when you try to use your RV for the first time in the spring. You could end up with burst plumbing pipes, dead batteries, or other costly problems that will be a hassle to repair.

Winter RV Maintenance Tips

While this is by no means an exhaustive list of every winterization step you should take with your RV, it's a great starting point with specific maintenance tasks that will apply to most RVs. Still, for winterization steps specific to your RV, it's always a good idea to check your owner's manual.

1. Flush and Winterize Pipes

Water is your RV's biggest enemy over the winter. Any water that is left inside your RV's pipes will run the risk of freezing, which can cause cracks and other pipe damage that will create major headaches in the spring. One of the best things you can do to protect your RV this winter, then, is to winterize your plumbing.

This typically involves draining and flushing all of your RV's pipes based on the instructions in your owner's manual. From there, you will fill your RV's plumbing system and drains with antifreeze to prevent any liquid from freezing inside the system, regardless of how cold temperatures get.

2. Protect Your RV's Exterior

Protecting the exterior is one aspect of winterizing an RV that often gets overlooked. However, unless you have a cover that will fit over your entire RV, there's a good chance it will be exposed to several harsh elements over the winter months. The best way to protect the exterior of your RV, then, is to wash it one final time before you winterize it and apply a quality wax.

Even if you have a cover to put on your RV, it's a good idea to ensure you're using a breathable cover. Otherwise, you could be trapping moisture against your RV's exterior, which can lead to problems.

3. Cover Your Wheels

RV wheels can also become damaged when they're exposed to prolonged periods of extreme temperatures and the sun's UV rays. With this in mind, it's a good idea to cover your RV's wheels while they're in storage. Keep in mind that your wheels will probably deflate gradually due to low temperatures over the winter, so you'll need to fill them to the proper PSI again in the spring.

4. Remove and Store Batteries

Leaving a battery in your RV over the winter is a surefire way to end up with a dead battery in the spring. Ideally, your RV's batteries should be carefully removed and stored in a warm, dry spot all winter long. Before removing a battery, be sure to shut off all breaker switches on your RV.

Keep in mind that some RVs will be powered by multiple batteries, so make sure you know the locations of all batteries within your vehicle and how to safely remove them. Throughout the winter, it's a good idea to check the charge on these batteries and recharge using a portable jumper when needed.

5. Remove AC Filters

Winter is also a good idea to remove your RV's air conditioning filters. Depending on the style of filter you have, you can either clean and reuse your filters or replace them entirely. Either way, doing this now will leave you with one fewer maintenance task to handle once the weather warms back up.

See You in the Spring!

Taking the time to properly winterize your RV will save you a lot of hassle (and money) come springtime, so be sure to follow these RV maintenance steps. And for more RV care and maintenance tips, keep an eye on the Orbit Insurance Services blog!