Creating a safe and comfortable place in your RV is not an easy task. First of all, it is never easy for people to live in a vehicle the first time because of the limited spaces compared to their homes. Second, even though RVs have mechanisms and systems in place, it is still not enough to make you feel comfortable. Thus, there is the need to winterize your RV to make it winter-ready for the colder seasons. However, once the colder seasons have ended, you must be doing something to de-winterize your RV to make it more comfortable in the warmer seasons. Thus, people have to think about the costs of de-winterizing their RVs.
How much does it cost you to de-winterize your RV? It costs around $130 to $170, depending on the size of your RV. It is important to note that it costs the same as winterizing your RV, except for a few additional costs that might include asking for RV maintenance centers for help.
This article discusses everything you must know about de-winterizing your RV, especially the costs and other expenses. We will also discuss the different factors one must put into consideration in de-winterizing your RV. We will also include the additional steps you must take in de-winterizing your RV safely and efficiently.
Factors to Consider in De-winterizing Your RV
There are several factors one must consider in de-winterizing their RVs. Here are some of those.
The Additional Costs
De-winterizing an RV does not cost a lot. However, you must remember that there might be other additional costs that you might spend while de-winterizing your RV. They’re not usually that expensive, but it matters to be ready because it is better safe than sorry.
The Amount of Time
Of course, even though most people say that de-winterizing your RV is an easy task. Not everyone has the same level of capabilities in handling charges such as these. You must consider the amount of time you’re going to spend taking on this task. Consider the amount of time you pay when it comes to performing crucial steps. These include recharging the batteries, lubricating suspension systems, filling and draining the freshwater tank, and so on. These steps might be easy for some, but it can take several hours to a whole day just to finish these tasks for others.
The Cost of De-Winterizing Your RV
De-winterizing your RV costs the same as winterizing it. That means whatever amount you spent in winterizing your RV is the same amount you will pay in de-winterizing it. Simply put, it costs anywhere from $130 up to $170 for a basic winterizing package at an RV dealer. Hence, it costs the same for de-winterizing it. Of course, this depends on how big your RV is, so that should also be considered. However, keep in mind that these costs can really rack up over the years, so you must be thinking hard and carefully about it.
Essential Steps on De-Winterizing Your RV
These are the steps that you should follow in de-winterizing your RV. Some might depend on the size of your RV and the amount of work needed to be done, but it basically just follows this pattern.
Check Your Tires
If you store your RV somewhere outside or somewhere cold, your tires might get even more deflated when you uncover them in spring. It can be potentially dangerous to drive an RV with underinflated tires. It may cause uneven wear, poor handling, a blowout, and it can even lead to a vehicular accident. Also, your RV tires lose up to three psi of air pressure monthly when you store them or park them somewhere. It can put your lives in danger if you ignore your tires.
Check the pressure in all your tires using a tire pressure gauge. You should also check the spare tires. Then, reinflate the tires based on the manufacturer’s recommendations, based on the road. You can always check your owner’s manual if you are not sure how much tire pressure is enough for your RV.
Check for signs of wear and tear, such as worn down treads and cracks in the sidewalls. Replace tires that look already tired — pun intended — and keep your spare tires in check too.
Check How Your Exterior is Doing
Take this time to inspect the exterior of your RV. Check the outside for any leaks, cracks, or damages that can be visually present. Also, examine the weatherstripping around the windows and doors, and replace any sealant you see that is already cracked or peeling. Apply new seals whenever necessary, and check all the body, roof, and slide-out seams.
You can also check for any water damage if you stored your RV outside for the winter season. Pay particular attention to the roof, where heavy snow can lead to cracked seams or structural damage. Be careful when working on the top of your RV to avoid accidents or injuries. Inspect the hitch components for rust and other damages if you have a towable camper. Replace everything damaged to prevent accidents and other hassles, such as getting stuck out on the road because of a broken hitch.
Recharge and Reinstall Your Batteries
This is one of the most essential parts of de-winterizing your RV. Your RV batteries also lose a percentage of their charge because of internal leakage. Make it a habit to periodically check and recharge your batteries during the off-season to prevent losing a small percentage each month they sit on the storage. Charging and reinstalling your batteries help extend the lifespan of your RV batteries, thus making them ready for the next trip.
To charge your batteries, you must attach the battery charger to the RV charger while the former is turned off. Then, turn the battery charger on to allow the battery to charge completely. The charging time for your RV batteries depends on the battery size. Some might take a few hours, while some might take a few days.
Next, check the water level in the battery. Then add distilled water to reach the correct level. Water should be added before you charge the battery if the water level is below the plates. This is because the plates should always remain covered at all times.
In reinstalling your RV battery, make sure that it is connected as securely as possible. Doing this prevents any unnecessary damages to your batteries, which translates to savings. You can always contact an RV maintenance service if you are not confident in doing this independently.
Flush Your RV’s Water System
This is one of the most essential steps in de-winterizing your RV. You must flush the antifreeze you put to the water system for the winterizing efforts of your RV out of the plumbing system to make sure that the water you drink is safe and clean.
You must drain the tank entirely if you added the antifreeze directly to the freshwater holding tank. Then, add potable water back into the holding tank. Then, turn the pump on and open all the water faucets in the RV. Allow the water to run through the water system for several minutes. Flush the toilet a few times while the pump is still running. Then, you must close the faucets and turn off the pump when the water comes out clean.
Next, you have to take the water heater out of the bypass mode. Then replace all water filter cartridges that you removed for storage. Lastly, dump the gray and black water holding tanks and dispose of them responsibly by leaving them at an official dumpsite.
Sanitize The Water System
This step is vital because this removes any bacteria or mold that could have grown during the months your RV is in storage:
- Close all the drains and install drain plugs.
- Pour a quarter cup of household bleach for every 15 gallons of freshwater, and fill it with clean water.
- You can add the bleach and water mixture into the freshwater tank fill.
- Then, fill the freshwater tank with potable water.
Next, turn the water pump on and open all the faucets. You should smell the bleach in the running water then close the taps. After that, let the solution sit up to 12 hours in the water tank and the water lines. Then, drain all the water from the system.
Refill the tank with potable water, and flush the system until it no longer smells like bleach. Remember that it is crucial to let the bleach sit for long to eliminate harmful bacteria quickly.
There are other things that you are supposed to do in de-winterizing your RV. You should also check your RV for leaky pipes, be it the gas pipes or the water pipes. You should also replace your propane tanks to see if the tanks are leaking or defective. Check the propane appliances as well if they are still functioning well. Check the engines, test your appliances especially ones that run on 120 volts, check the generators, change the filters, and check the windows and vents if there are any damages present.
Lastly, you should also consider getting an insurance plan for your RV to keep you covered when you are on the road in case accidents occur. It matters to be prepared and ready for every situation.
De-winterizing your RV may sound like a tedious task, but it is not at all. If you are confident in your skills and experience, you can de-winterize your RV on your own. De-winterizing your RV is very important because it allows you to be prepared for the next travels. It also lets you feel much more comfortable and at ease living in your RV, knowing that your RV is in excellent condition. You can always ask for professional help if you find it challenging and strenuous at times. Doing this is much better rather than doing everything on your own and incurring damages from it.