Knowing how to weatherize an RV is an essential skill when living in your motorhomes in the hard wintertime. With this, you can save a lot when things start to get cold in winter and thaw. You might find weatherizing your RV overwhelming for a beginner but do not worry; this article will guide you on how to weatherize your RV in the simplest way possible. I will discuss the two primary ways to get your RV cold-proof.
Step 1: Check your RV
Before you do anything to your RV, check first its parts and components. You should identify what the lacking accessories or parts that need improvement to make your RV cold-proof are. Specifically, check if you need additional insulation and window covering.
Secondly, check your lines and plumbing systems to check what ideal RV antifreeze product should be used. This is crucial so that your water sources within the RV do not freeze when the temperature drops. When all of these crucial things are checked, you can now get the supplies you need.
Step 2: Gather The Tools and Supplies
Like any other activity, you will do this by preparing the needed tools and supplies. You will need rubber strippings and reflective foil, curtain or drapes, foam board flooring, and an RV skirting if you desire to add extra insulation.
The supplies for your water lines will include RV antifreeze which is the essential recipe, screwdrivers, towels, buckets, and an air compressor if you do have one.
Step 3: Properly Add or Replace RV Insulation
Make sure that you examine your RV correctly before adding any insulation. This insulation will keep heat inside and keep you warm throughout the cold days, not just for winter.
Make Use of Thick Curtains and Drapes
For a start, you should examine the seals of your windows and doors. If you find missing or loose areas, replace them with stripping to avoid the cold air seeping in through your RV.
After ensuring that all openings are sealed, you can now install additional insulation in your RV. You can use drapes over your curtains so that they can keep the humid air inside your space. This can also be used to cover your bed area, creating a smaller space to heat. Drapes can effectively block cold air from your windows.
Place Window Films
An effective way to block the cold air is to add a window covering beside the drapes. This can include film and reflective foils. These materials are affordable and effective in insulating your windows. If you use reflective foils, it can partially reflect the heat to your RV space, creating a warmer RV area.
Improved Floor and Underneath Insulation
Another way to insulate your recreational vehicle is to add insulation to your floors. One thing you can do is put carpets or heavy and thick rugs to block the cold air from beneath in getting in. If you have extra cash to spare, one great product you should check is foam board flooring.
It is also a fact that cold winds can come from underneath your RV, and this can cause your tanks to freeze. What you can do is to add RV skirting around your RV’s base to block cold air that may damage your vehicle. Similar to the floor, you can also use foam boards for your RV’s base.
Keep your Pipes and Hoses Warm
For the last step, make sure that you keep your hose and pipes warm by wrapping them up with heat tapes externally. This is essential so that these lines will not freeze, causing them to burst. Include also valves and connections that are high-risk to freezing. You can again add foam to enhance the insulation in these components.
Step 4: Winterize Your Water Tanks
It would help if you considered when you weatherize your RV to keep your water lines and plumbing system from freezing. This should be avoided because this is expensive and a pain in your pocket. The ultimate solution to this is adding an RV antifreeze, but there are specific steps you should perform before doing so.
Empty All Water Content In Your RV
The first step to do is to drain all water in your RV; this is done so that you can add a new fresh supply of water with the right amount of RV antifreeze. You should remove all water from holding tanks like the gray and black water tanks and include your freshwater tank.
All tanks have a water outlet, open this up and empty all contents. Ensure that you have a nearby water source available when you are ready to replenish your water supply.
To make sure no water remains, open all faucets and showers. You can also flush the toilet. This is a crucial step to make sure that all water is emptied.
Return All Caps and Close All Water Outlets
After draining all the water in your RV, make sure to return all the water tank caps and close all water outlets like faucets and drains. This time you are now ready to add RV antifreeze to your water lines. Make sure to purchase the non-toxic antifreeze.
Skip the Water Heater
You should ensure that no RV antifreeze will go to your water heater since there is no need for the antifreeze to be in your water heater. If you accidentally put some, drain them so that your water heating system will not be affected.
Bypassing this will also be cost-effective since you can focus more on areas of your RV that need antifreeze the most. Some RVs already have a bypass installed, and if yours do have, you can directly switch it on. If not, it might be an excellent option to have one installed.
Most bypass valves are found at the back of the water heater. Note, though, that not all RVs have this bypass valve readily accessible. In some, it is likely enclosed or contained in your kitchen appliances or other paneling, which requires removal before having access to the valve.
Add An RV Antifreeze
Once all the previous steps are done, you can fuel up your RV water system with RV antifreeze. This is primarily a helpful product since it lowers the water freezing point. You can purchase this and use it directly on your RV.
Depending on your RV size, you may need at least 2-3 gallons to ensure all the water lines are covered, including the water holding tanks.
A reminder, though, is to check the ingredients of your RV antifreeze so that you will know if it’s safe or unsafe for use. Do not dump any antifreeze also in sewers or directly to the ground.
The Final Output: A Weatherized RV
After doing these steps, you will indeed have a weatherized RV. A motorhome ready to take on the challenge of cold temperatures. Stay warm! Do it properly, so the cold would not bother you in any way.