There are two things you can do with an RV in the wintertime. You can drive it south, spend the winter there and avoid snow and ice altogether. Or, if your RV stays up north, you can put it into storage. It’s not a good idea to drive it around in winter weather for many reasons.
So I’m storing mine for the cold months here in New Jersey. It’s at KADCO Camping Supplies & Service, and Ken showed me how to do a couple of things.
Preparing an RV for northern winter weather is called “winterizing.” There are many ways people winterize their RV’s, but here are the basics: You need to flush out the plumbing — make sure no objects or water is left in there — so the pipes don’t freeze and break. You also need to remove your coach batteries and store them in a cool dry place so they don’t freeze. And to prevent condensation from doing any damage, you can cover your RV, to keep it safe from snow and rain.
So these are the things I did. Ken did the pipes for me because that takes special machinery and plumbing experience.
Winterizing Part I, The Coach Batteries
The coach batteries are different from the engine battery. They power the ceiling lights and little 12-volt things. Some RV’s just have one coach battery but mine has two, and they are beneath the stairs:
So remove the connectors that hold them in place, first one
then the other
then lug out your batteries
(they’re heavy but luggable) and cart them home for safekeeping.
Winterizing Part II, The Cover
My mom helped me with this one.
That’s what it’s supposed to look like when it’s on. Did mine end up like that? Read on to find out…
Here’s the Chateau parked at KADCO with all the other RV’s. Only a handful of them had covers, mostly the travel trailers. You can see the sun guard in the windshield of the neighboring Class A.
So how to get the contents of this box
up and over my RV? The directions seemed doable. Unfurl, identify front and back, climb the ladder while carrying the cover, clamber around on the roof, attach the ladder cap (which protects the inside of the cover from the ladder…) and throw the cover over the front, sides, and back. Then secure with rope and knots. This cover fits 24′-26′ Class C’s, and mine is a 24-foot so I knew there would be a little extra room.
There’s the unfurling process.
Very helpful that they labelled that.
We tied a rope around it to make it easier for me to carry it up the ladder, and we unzipped the panels:
But first I had to put the ladder cap on. It really does look like a baseball cap, when it’s on right.
I finally got to use the ladder! All this time I thought it was reserved for air conditioning repairpersons. (RV air conditioners are on the roof.) Then, I dragged the cover to the front and tossed the front and sides over.
Somehow, amid a lot of yelling back and forth… pulling this side and letting out slack on that side… reaffixing the ladder cap… pulling this corner to that corner… and walking to and fro over the roof… it got to look like this:
and then we had to zip the side panels (there are ropes attached to the zippers so you can reach them).
I walked around the whole RV and took a video, which you can see here.
You’re not actually supposed to do this on a windy day. But at least it was sunny out.
Now, the next step was to secure the cover with ropes running underneath from one bottom edge to the other. I wanted a secure knot, so Ken showed me the Taut Line Hitch,
and I did that for each of them.
The final step: burning the frayed ends of each rope to stop the fraying!
Not bad for the first time!
Sleep tight, Chateau! See you in the spring!