You gaze out your kitchen window one morning and realize that the snow is finally melting and the sun is starting to come out! Winter is over and you can start prepping for a fun spring and summer filled with RVing adventures. But before you can go anywhere, you have to take a few minutes to unwinterize your RV so that it's ready to roll when you are. Follow these steps to unwinterize your RV so you can enjoy safe, uneventful travels.
Inspect the outside of your RV to see if any damage occurred to the exterior during storage. Hopefully it was parked away from limbs or other debris that could fall, but check to see if there are any dents or cracks from falling items. Check to make sure there aren't any cracks on the windows or the headlights and taillights (if applicable). Also look under your RV to see if any little critters took up residence under there during the cold months. When you park your RV for the winter, it's best to park it in an area where heavy limbs can't fall on top of it when they're weighted down with snow/ice or blown around during a winter storm.
Venture inside your RV and check for any damage from furry critters! During the winter, mice and other rodents might have found their way into your warm RV and set up camp. They can do a lot of damage and make a huge mess! Clean up any nests or droppings that you find and fix any areas where an animal might have caused some destruction (chewing cushions apart, nesting in cabinets or drawers, etc.).
Also check for any damage that might have happened to the ceiling/roof. If your RV was stored outside in an area where there was heavy snowfall, the extra weight could have caused sagging and a leak. Repair any leaks that you find before hitting the road. To avoid this, shovel the roof during the winter so that snow doesn't pile up.
When walking around the outside of your RV, take a good look at the tires! These carry the weight of you and your RV on them and they need to be in good working order. Using a tire pressure monitor, check the PSI of each tire. Refer to your RV's owner's manual for the correct PSI for each tire (they're not all the same). Inflate if needed. Also check for any tears, cracks, or holes in the tires that could potentially cause a blowout while traveling down the road. Trust me when I say that it's not fun having to veer into the median to get out of the way of traffic because you've blown a tire. Been there, done that! A good way to avoid getting tears and cracks in your tires during storage is to cover them with wheel covers. This protects them from freezing temperatures and harmful sunlight.
The Pink Goo
Follow these steps to flush the pink goo out of your RV's system:
Step 1 - Open the valve on the water heater and flush it out. Bypassing it should have kept all of the antifreeze out, but you just want to be sure there isn't any in there. It also won't hurt to give it a good cleaning.
Step 2 - Hook your water hose to the fresh water intake like you would if you were using the water at a campground instead of your tank.
Step 3 - Go inside your camper and turn the faucets on one by one and let them run until the pink stops coming out. This goes for the showers as well as flushing the toilets to get it out of those lines too.
Step 4 - Fill up your fresh water tank about 2/3 full. You will want to use a tank cleaner and sanitizer or just add a cup of bleach for every 30 gallons of water. This will kill any bacteria in there.
Step 5 - Run all the faucets again and give the toilets another flush.
Step 6 - You will want to repeat those last two steps with clean water afterward to flush out the bleach.
Step 7 - Don’t forget to dump your grey and black tanks now that they are most likely full.
After performing these unwinterizing steps, you should be good to go! The best maintenance you can do is preventative maintenance, meaning preparing your RV for a safe and secure winter to avoid any surprises when you're ready to get rolling in the spring.
Share your RV unwinterizing tips in the comments below! We'd love to hear from you!