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Camp Trailer Winterization Tips

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Kimberly has a camp trailer and loves outdoor adventures. She likes to share her knowledge and experience with others!

Be prepared for coming winter months.

Be prepared for coming winter months.

Why Winterize?

I will be sharing with my readers the essential steps of winterizing a camp trailer for a victorious spring. Nobody wants to find broken pipes, cracked tanks, or vermin damage when they return to their camp trailer after the winter is over.

Follow the steps outlined below to ensure your winterization success.

Winterizing Your Camper

I live in an area that has four seasons in a year. Wintertime temperatures can dip well into the teens and below freezing throughout much of the winter months. Therefore, I must take every precaution in winterizing my camp trailer before the cold temperatures arrive.

Every camper is a little different when it comes to "how" to winterize them. I will be sharing generalized winterization tips with you that were handed down to me by a "Wise Friend," with 40 years of camping preparations and experiences.

Winterize your camper before storing it."

— Words of a Wiseman

List of Winterization Tips to Follow

  • You will need 2-3 gallons of RV antifreeze.
  • Make sure your black water and the gray water tank are clean and drained. Leave both of the tanks open. Drain the freshwater tank. Note: There should be a short hose from the tank through the floor with a shutoff valve. Open the shutoff valve outside your water heater and leave it open. There should be a couple of valves next to your water heater inside. You will have to turn at least two of them to bypass your water. (When you pump the water lines with antifreeze, you don't want it to go into the water heater)
  • Disconnect the inlet hose from the fresh water tank that goes to your 12v water pump. Be advised you will put that end into the gallon of antifreeze. Turn on your "on-demand" water pump and open the cold side of the faucet that's farthest away from the pump. Generally, it's the kitchen. Let it run until pink. Turn off and then open the hot side until it runs pink. Work your way back towards the pump. Bathroom sink, tub/shower, toilet. You will have to watch the antifreeze and switch them, so you don't run out. Otherwise, you will get air in the lines.
  • Pour about two cups of antifreeze in each sink drain and tub/shower.
  • Disconnect all batteries and bring them in to store in a warm place for the winter. Recharge your batteries in the spring before you reinstall them.
  • I highly recommend that you bring all linen such as bedding, blankets, towels, and extra clothes indoors and store where it's warm. A lesson learned after leaving such items to winter outdoors in the camper. In the spring, upon a new season of camping, the bedding and articles of clothing had a musty smell. Therefore, everything needed to be washed and freshened before use. Depending upon your location, if there's any humidity, you can end up with some pretty musty items. Removing such articles and storing them in totes indoors can save you a lot of hassle when you de-winterize.
  • I suggest putting dryer sheets all around the camper's interior. My wise friend thinks Bounce Dryer Sheets are the brand that works the best. You'll place these fragrant dryer sheets under the mattresses, in the closets, in the drawers, and anywhere you think a mouse or other small critters might invade. This easy method has proven to be quite effective in repelling mice and squirrels. Perhaps not 100% guaranteed, but so far, they've worked very well for my camping mentor, and as he recalls, it leaves everything smelling good.
  • This next step is a personal preference, but one can leave a couple of camper windows cracked all winter so the air can circulate. If you have covers on top of your roof vents, it works best Ito leave a roof vent cracked open.
  • Another winterization suggestion would be to place a de-humidifier in your campers' bathroom and kitchen space. These can be found online or at most local hardware or supercenter shopping establishments.
  • Park your camper undercover. Having a camping carport structure would be ideal. I do not; therefore, I improvised by covering my camper with a tarp, and will be most diligent in sweeping off my roof during heavy winter snowfalls.

"No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn."

— Hal Borland

Wishful for Spring

Now comes the bitter winter, a time for slowing down. Winter provides a time of reflecting on past adventures and dreaming of journeys yet to come. I will be eagerly awaiting spring's new birth. When the warm weather season unfolds, it will be time to de-winterize my little camper and set out to explore new horizons.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Nana