What Can I Leave In My RV Over The Winter?

The temperature is getting cooler and the leaves are changing colors. This means it’s time to think about storing your RV for the winter. While you may be tempted to just leave everything inside your RV over the winter, there are some things that should stay outside or at least in a different location.

But what can you safely leave in your RV over the winter? Here’s a quick checklist of what can be safely stored in your RV over the cold months.

  • Furniture 
  • Kitchen fixings
  • Kitchen utensils and cutlery
  • TV (Up to -20 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • Fridge (Up to -20 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • Clothes
  • Cushions and Bedding (you can store your bedding in a vacuum bag)

So essentially all your furniture and fixings can stay in place, and non-perishable items like clothing and bedding will be fine. As long as temperatures don’t get below -20 degrees Fahrenheit then your TV and fridge should be fine inside the RV over winter.

What Should I Remove From RV For Winter Storage?

So now you know what you can leave in your RV, which isn’t very much, let’s detail what you should remove.

Unfortunately you will need to remove a lot to get your RV ready for winter storage, most of these items will apply for any prolonged period that your RV is not in use like food, propane and water.

Things To Remove From RV Interior

When you store your RV over the winter the shelter they provide is particularly attractive to mice and squirrels. You will want to prevent them from making your RV their home by removing any traces of food from your RV, read this to prevent mice from getting in your RV underbelly.

Make sure that the surfaces are clean and the trash is empty so there is nothing for these rodents to feast upon. You will also want to remove the following:

  • Remove everything from the fridge and freezer and defrost it, leaving the doors open to reduce odors.
  • Remove all food
  • Take out the trash
  • Remove toiletries and any water bottles, they could freeze and burst.
  • Remove any items you will need or could get damaged by moisture.
  • Remove batteries from appliances like smoke alarms, clocks and remotes etc.
  • Remove clothes to protect them from mold.

Moisture build up is a real problem in RVs, especially if they are being left unattended for a while, follow these steps to help keep your RV in a good condition whilst in storage.

  • Leave all cabinet doors open to reduce moisture build up inside.
  • Add stand alone dehumidifiers.
  • Close windows and doors and ensure the curtains and blinds are closed, to protect the interior from sun damage.
  • Turn off the main breaker for the power.
  • Turn all appliances off and make sure that the LP gas supply valve is off.
  • Leave vents slightly open to allow air circulation but make sure that they have covers to prevent rain and snow from getting in.
  • Clean your air conditioner filters.

Things To Remove From RV Exterior

You’ll also want to protect your RV exterior and plumbing system if putting it into long term storage. Follow these steps:

  • Drain the plumbing system – to prevent your RVs plumbing system from freezing in the winter which could lead to tanks and pipes bursting, you will need to drain your water lines and tanks. Use an air compressor to flush out any water.
  • Put RV antifreeze in your tanks – if your RV is being stored in very low temperatures then it’s a good idea to put RV antifreeze into your plumbing system to prevent it from freezing.
  • Remove your RV batteries – cold temperatures can shorten the lifespan of your RV batteries and make them drain quicker, so it’s best to remove them for the winter hibernation.
  • Disconnect the propane – it’s always safer to disconnect all the propane lines whilst your RV is in storage to prevent leaks.
  • Lift up your RV with jacks – if your RV is going to be instorage for months then it’s best to reduce the strain on the tires by taking the weight on a jack, this will help the lifespan of your tires.
  • Use a fuel stabilizer – adding fuel stabilizer to your RV is a good idea if its going into storage, keep enough fuel in it so you can turn it over every few weeks to keep the engine going.

Before putting your RV into storage give it a good clean and a wax to help maintain it, if you can it’s also a good idea to cover it with a tarp or RV cover. This will reduce sun damage and give extra protection against the elements.

Is It OK To Leave My TV In My Camper Over Winter?

You can leave your TV in your camper over winter, as long as temperatures stay above -20 degrees F. If temperatures get too low then the fluids inside the TV can freeze and once this happens there’s no way of fixing it. 

Cold temperatures are not too much of a problem in itself, the bigger problem is moisture. If the TV thaws out too quickly then the condensation that’s produced can get into the device and short the electronics. [1]

If you keep your TV in your camper over the winter make sure that you keep dehumidifiers in there too. If you do decide to take your RV out of storage, heat it up slowly and give your TV 24 hours to thaw out completely and remove any condensation.

Final Thoughts

You can leave most non-perishable goods in your RV over winter, but it’s really important to remove all food to stop rodents getting in. Also make sure that you have some dehumidifiers in your RV to help reduce the moisture and prevent mold.

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