As the summer winds down and the chill of the fall begins to creep in, it's time to start thinking about storing your RV for the offseason. Whether you've had a summer full of adventures or just a few weekend getaways, a thorough cleaning and winterizing of your RV is essential to ensure it stays in top condition and is ready for your next road trip. Here's a comprehensive checklist to make sure your RV is spotless and safely stored away.
1. Empty the Tanks: Begin by emptying all the holding tanks – fresh water, gray water, and black water. Ensure all valves are shut tight after draining.
2. Deep Clean the Interior:
- Kitchen: Wipe down all surfaces with a disinfectant. Clean out the fridge and freezer, leaving the doors ajar to prevent mold growth. Empty and clean the microwave, oven, and stove.
- Bathroom: Scrub the toilet, shower, and sink. Check for any signs of mold or mildew.
- Living and Sleeping Areas: Vacuum carpets and wipe down all surfaces. Wash all linens and store them in airtight containers. Remove any perishable items and store away non-perishables.
4. Clean the Exterior:
- Wash the body of the RV with appropriate soap. Don't forget the roof, as debris tends to accumulate there.
- Check for any cracks, seals, or other areas that might need resealing.
- Clean and lubricate slide outs and seals.
- Ensure all windows and vents are shut tight.
- If your RV isn't being used for an extended period, it's advisable to disconnect the battery to prevent it from draining. Store it in a cool, dry place.
- Check the engine, brake fluid, transmission fluid, and coolant. If you're unfamiliar with these tasks, consider getting a professional checkup.
7. Winterize Plumbing Systems: If you're storing your RV in a place where temperatures dip below freezing, winterizing the plumbing system is crucial. This involves adding RV antifreeze to the plumbing to prevent pipes from freezing and bursting.
8. Secure the RV: Lock all doors, windows, and storage compartments. If your RV is stored outside, invest in a high-quality cover to protect it from the elements.
9. Insurance and Documentation: Check your insurance policy. Some policies might have off-season rates. Also, ensure that all your documentation is stored safely and is up to date.
10. Take Photos: Before you store your RV away, take photos of its interior and exterior. This will serve as a reference in case there are any discrepancies or issues when you retrieve it.
Wrapping up your RV adventures for the season can be bittersweet. But with this thorough cleaning and storing process, you can rest easy knowing that your beloved vehicle will be in tip-top shape, ready for the road when the new season dawns. Safe travels and happy cleaning!