Tips for Winterizing your RV

By Noah Botnick

Owning an RV in the Inland Northwest offers outdoor enthusiasts the freedom to explore breathtaking landscapes all year round. But, hey, Jack Frost is knocking at the door, and it’s time to get your RV ready for his chilly arrival whether you’ll be parking your rig for the winter or getting a van, trailer, or camper ready for some cozy nights at the ski area or trailhead. To pull together these winterizing tips, I tapped the expertise of Dennis Garrett, the Service Manager at R’n R RV Center Liberty Lake who has been in the industry since 1994. When not at work servicing RVs, he’s often out camping with his wife in their Springdale trailer, where they enjoy biking, kayaking and relaxing. Garrett’s tips will help guide you through the essential steps to winterize your RV, ensuring it survives the freezing months.

1. Water System 

Before Old Man Winter starts freezing your pipes into ice sculptures, it’s crucial to drain all the water from your RV’s tanks, pipes and faucets. Think of it as performing a synchronized water ballet with your RV to avoid any “frozen fountain” mishaps. Don’t forget to add some RV antifreeze to the mix to protect your plumbing system from freezing.

2. Exterior Maintenance

Winter can be harsh to exteriors, so show your RV some love by giving it a thorough cleaning and waxing. Think of it as giving your RV a spa day before it goes into hibernation. Don’t neglect the roof—patch up any cracks or leaks so that it doesn’t become a winter wonderland inside your cozy abode. And for that extra layer of protection against snowball bombardments, invest in a trusty RV cover.

3. Engine and Fuel System

Your RV’s engine needs some pampering too! Give it an oil change and new filters, like a clean out for your vehicle’s heart and lungs. And remember, fuel stabilizer is the equivalent of a warm blanket for your gas tank, preventing fuel deterioration and making sure your engine stays cozy.

4. Battery Care 

Cold temperatures can be a buzzkill for your RV’s battery. So, give it a vacation of its own by removing it from your RV and placing it somewhere warm and dry. Keep it charged and connected to a battery tender to avoid any winter blues.

5. Interior Preparations 

Pretend like Marie Kondo is visiting your RV—declutter and say goodbye to any perishable food items that may attract creatures seeking a winter feast. Let the air flow by opening cabinets and drawers, creating a winter breeze to keep the musty odors away. And, remember, nothing says “cozy winter cabin” like moisture-absorbing products and dehumidifiers to keep the mold monsters at bay.

6. Tire Maintenance

Tires are the unsung heroes of your RV’s winter adventures, so don’t leave them out in the cold. With the changing temperature this season brings, be sure to inflate your tires to the recommended pressure before they hit the icy roads. Invest in new tire covers, if applicable. Your tires will appreciate the extra warmth and style.

7. Heater Maintenance

If your RV has a heater you plan to use while winter camping, be sure that it has been serviced properly before you head out on your first adventure of the season. Nothing will ruin a night of camping out in the frozen wilds like finding out that your RV heater has stopped working in the middle of the night!

Preparing your recreational vehicle for winter in the Inland Northwest may sound like a daunting task, but with these essential tips, you’ll be ready to take on the frozen wonderland like a seasoned winter warrior. Go ahead and winterize your RV yourself or take it into a professional RV service center like R’nR to ensure that it survives the chilly months with style and grace. Let the adventures continue, even in the frosty embrace of Old Man Winter! //

Noah Botnick is stoked for the upcoming snowboard season and plans to RV camp at several Inland NW ski resorts this winter.

Cover photo courtesy Derrick Knowles

Share this Post

Scroll to Top