If you’re an RV owner living in a city with four seasons (a.k.a. not San Diego), you have to worry about winterizing your RV each year. Fail to do so, and your RV could suffer costly damage.

Whether this will be your first year prepping your RV for winter or you’re a seasoned pro, it’s useful to go over the most common mistakes. This way, you won’t be the one making them.

1. Forgetting to Drain Plumbing/Storage Tanks

As we all know from leaving a soda can in the freezer as kids, water expands when it freezes. For this reason, failing to remove all liquids can lead to one or more of your pipes exploding.

2. Leaving Traces of Food

Even the smallest amounts of food left unrefrigerated for months will cause a nasty odor. Be sure to thoroughly clean all areas where food has been. To be extra thorough, try placing baking soda in the fridge to absorb the smells.

3. Failing to Pump Antifreeze Through Your Pipes

All water lines, including your water tank, hot and cold lines, and toilet, should have antifreeze run through them to ensure they don’t freeze.

4. Leaving Fuel in Your Generator

If your RV uses a generator, you need to drain all of its fuel. Failing to do so may result in leftover fuel converting to a lacquer that clogs the carburetor. To prevent this, simply shut the fuel valve and leave the generator running until it gases itself out.

5. Leaving the Battery in Your RV

Disconnect and remove your RV’s battery and make sure to store it in a safe, warm place. Avoid placing a battery directly on concrete floors, as this could drain its power.

The first time winterizing your RV is the hardest. Once you get the routine down and avoid the mistakes above, the process becomes much more comfortable. When spring arrives the following year, you’ll be glad you took preventative measures while storing your RV so you can embark on your first camping trip without any hiccups.

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Joseph Pineiro