10 Tips to Preparing Your RV for a Winter in Placerville, CA

10 Tips for Storing Your RV During the 'Off Season' in Placerville, CA

Placerville, California has long been touted as a town that is “Above The Fog, and Below The Snow,” which makes it the perfect place to store your Boats and RVs during the ‘Off Season’, or colder months.

What many forget, or don’t realize, is that our little town is not impervious to weather. Recreational Vehicles may be subject to high winds, rain, freezing temperatures, and humidity. We get it, when you store your RV for the winter season it is out of sight, out of mind, and more often than not unworried about. 

This List is designed to help you protect your RV while it is parked over the winter months and keep it in tip-top shape for future adventures.

Empty Your Tanks, All Of Them!
Any tank, or aftermarket system that can retain liquid should be emptied prior to parking your RV for an extended period of time. - This includes: Water filtration and/or softener systems, hot water heaters, grey, black, and yes, even fresh water tanks.

Dumping the Waste Tank after a trip is a standard practice of all RV owners, But, If you are looking for locations where you can take a load off, you might want to check out our post: RV Dump Stations in El Dorado County

Battery Protection - Remove or Unhook Your Batteries
Batteries and the fabled Goldie Locks have a lot in common when it comes to temperature. Batteries are sensitive to weather temps, and prolonged sitting. Weather that is too hot, or too cold can drain or weaken your battery's charge. Batteries like a temperature that is just right (between 50-70* F). This is especially true for a battery that is not in regular use. RVs have two batteries; the Starter battery (the regular car battery), and the deep cycle battery which is responsible for operating the RV’s cabin when the RV is not on. Fortunately, these deep cycle batteries are designed to last. However, the regular car battery in an RV tends to have a significantly lower shelf life than the batteries we use in our cars, specifically due to the fact that they sit for months at a time. The best way to protect your battery is to either unplug and remove it, or set it up with a trickle charger.

There is a really great article you should read on RV Share called ‘RV Battery: The 7 Things You Need to Know‘ 

Battery Protection - Small Batteries (AAA, AA, C, D 9-Volt, and the like)
Removing batteries from your remotes, flashlights, and power tools is always a good idea if they will be sitting for long periods of time. This will prevent batteries from leaking and causing any acidic corrosion to your devices and items.
Tire Protection
Tires are not cheap, and replacing them before your next seasonal outing has the potential to ruin a trip. Recreational Vehicles and Travel Trailers tend to sit over the winter months, but that does not mean that are not subject to harsh winter sunlight that can cause tires to crack and rot. Tire covers or skirts are worth the investment to prolong the longevity of your tires.

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Freezer & Refrigerator
After you have cleaned out your fridge and freezer leave the doors open to prevent condensation that can lead to the growth of molds. This should also be a step you take with your washing machine and dishwasher if your rig has them.
Remove All Food & Drink Items
This should go without saying, but this list would be incomplete without a gentle reminder to clean out any food and drink items stored in your RV. This includes spices, salt & pepper, and cooking oils. You'd be surprised what rodents and other pests are attracted to.
Liquids That Have The Potential to Freeze
Liquid soaps, cleaners, tank treatments, as well as shampoos & conditioners should all be removed before you close your RV for the off season as they all have the potential to expand when they freeze, which undoubtedly can cause an unwelcome mess to clean. As a precautionary measure to prevent attracting ants remove your toothpaste as well.
Stabilizer Jacks
When storing your RV, your stabilizer jacks should be kept in the up position. Stabilizing jacks are not meant to withstand the weight or pressure of the RV should a tire lose air.
Secure All Entry Points
Ensuring that windows, doors, skylights, and vents leading outside are closed and locked helps prevent unwelcomed pests that may take up residency in your vacant RV (rodents, arachnids, and insects). Ensuring that all entry points passable by humans are secure and locked, also helps to deter pests of the human variety from entering your recreational vehicle while it is stored for the season.
Remove Any Items of Value
This is the most commonly skipped step among those storing their RVs, it is also the one that causes the most trouble for both RV owners, and RV Storage Facilities. Items such as bicycles, fuel cans, telescoping ladders, generators, and ice chests have the unfortunate potential to attract break-ins and thefts. If you've left one of these items on the outside of your rig, what other treasures may be inside? Protect your road abode by simply removing reason for temptation.