Winterizing your RV or Vacation Rental

Summer living with Sun RV Resorts is always top notch with tons of events, activities and amenities to keep the whole family busy all summer long. Sadly, all good things must come to an end and once the cold weather really hits, it’s time for RV and vacation rental owners to start preparing their places for the winter season.

Whether you plan to do the work yourself, or use an authorized contractor, to make sure your place is ready for those cold months, here are some tips to help you winterize your RV or vacation rental.

 

Toss the food

One of the first things owners should do when closing up their RV or vacation rental for the year is to empty and clean all appliances. Remove remaining food from the fridge and freezer before disinfecting them and wiping them clean.

It is a good idea to place chopsticks between the doors of the fridge and the freezer. This leaves them open enough to allow air flow through which will prevent mildew.

Owners should also make sure all their appliances are disconnected, such as clocks, radios and lights, before leaving.

 

Turn off the water

Water damage is very expensive, so prevent pipes from bursting by shutting down the water system. Start by disconnecting the waterline that runs from the outside tap to your unit. RV’s should turn off the electrical switch to your water system pump, open all water valves and drain both the hot and cold-water taps. You must empty your toilet tanks and bowls. We would advise anyone to contact your local RV repair and services company to perform winterizing services for you, to ensure a smooth opening in the spring.

Winterizing with Compressed Air

  1. Purchase 2 gallons of RV approved non-toxic antifreeze.
  2. Drain the fresh water tank and empty the waste water holding tanks.
  3. Turn the two water heater bypass valves to the ‘bypass’ position. The valves are located near the water heater incoming lines at the rear of the water heater. (RV only)
  4. Drain the water heater by removing the anode (1-1/16” socket wrench) and opening taps. Flush out sediment buildup in water heater if necessary. Reinstall hot water tank plug with new Teflon tape.
  5. Open all faucets, including shower head sprayer, toilet flushing device, and any other water lines that are closed.
  6. Turn on the water pump for at least 30 seconds to clear any water from the lines.(RV only)
  7. Connect an air hose with an adapter (blow out plug) to the city water fill connection.
  8. Set the pressure to no greater than 30# (pounds) and blow out the water lines until no water can be seen coming out of the fixtures and lines.
  9. Pour antifreeze down sink and shower drains to fill P-traps.

NOTE: Do not attempt to start the water header or use the plumbing system after everything has been winterized. Dewinterize, flush and sanitize the water system prior to use.

Winterizing with Antifreeze Only

WARNING: Never use automotive antifreeze in your fresh water system. Automotive antifreeze is toxic and not for use in portable (drinkable) water systems.

  1. Purchase 4-6 gallons of RV approved non-toxic antifreeze.
  2. Drain the fresh water tank and empty the waste water holding tanks. (RV only)
  3. Turn water heater bypass valves to ‘bypass’ position. (RV only)
  4. Drain the water heater by removing the anode (1-1/16” socket wrench) and opening taps. Flush out sediment buildup in water heater if necessary. Reinstall hot water tank plug with new Teflon tape.
  5. Fill the tank above minimum water pump operation level with the RV antifreeze. Use of a long funnel may be helpful.
  6. Turn the pump switch ‘ON’ (RV only) and open the cold water side of all faucet fixtures. Leave the faucets open until the antifreeze, generally pink in color, flows out of the faucets and shower heads. Repeat for the hot water side.
  7. Flush toilet until antifreeze is visible inside the bowl and pour one gallon of antifreeze down the toilet to winterize the black holding tank.
  8. Pour antifreeze down sink and shower drains to fill P-traps.

 

Protect your mattress

Dust happens — minimize it by putting plastic sheets on all of the mattresses in your cottage.

It is also a good idea to use plastic sheets to cover any chairs or sofas. Some owners choose to place sheets of fabric softener liberally in dresser drawers, on furniture and in closest to prevent mice from settling in for the winter.

 

Don’t forget your outside space

Your outside space is just as important as the interior. When winterizing your place for the season, owners should move any outdoor furniture inside and should ensure all canoes and kayaks are stacked together and locked.

Disconnect your BBQ from the propane tank and store them in a protected place.

 

Winterizing and storage of your electric golf carts

  1. Get a full charge on your batteries
  2. Clean off any corrosion around the battery terminals. Top battery terminals with a mixture of baking soda and water, then rinse gently as to not get acid splashed around. Let the terminals dry and coat them with battery terminal spray.
  3. Store cart in a cool, dry area. This will reduce discharging of the batteries.
  4. Adjust tire pressure according to the requirements of your specific tires.
  5. Grease suspension parts and do all yearly lubrication.
  6. Give the body, seats, battery compartment, and underside of golf cart a good cleaning.
  7. Leave the parking brake off. Place tire blocks around to prevent the cart from moving. We would advise to install steering wheel lock clubs as well as wheel lock clubs to ensure your cart is stored safely for the off season.
  8. Batteries should be kept fully charged during long storage down times.
  9. If you don’t have a shed, or off-site winter storage, to store your cart please consider using a weather-proof tarp and tie-downs to securely protect your cart from the winter elements.
  10. Lastly, if you are not keeping your cart in storage, please ensure to use thick heavy duty chains and locks and secure your carts for the off season.

 

You had a great summer and the best way to ensure that the fun continues next year is to make sure your RV or vacation rental is prepared for you in the spring when you head back to your vacation destination of choice.

 

Sun RV Resorts offers amazing locations from coast to coast! For more information please visit us on www.sunrvresorts.com.