rv driving through californiaIt's getting closer to the time of year when many people are squeezing in the last camping trip of the fall, and it's time to think about closing it up for the winter. To make sure you don't have unexpected surprises in the spring, do the work now to make sure your vehicle survives winter storage.

First, you'll want to empty all the tanks. Flush out the black and gray water, and don't forget the fresh water too. Then drain the hot water tank and close the valve. Open faucets and run the toilet to get as much water out of the lines as possible.

Most people opt to use non-toxic RV antifreeze to ensure there are no problems with freezing pipes. If possible, bypass your water heater and simply pump the antifreeze into your water inlet. Then run the pump and open the faucets until you see the antifreeze coming through to make sure all the lines are filled. Don't forget the indoor and outdoor showers.

Once your pipes are protected, you can move on to the rest of the rig. Remove all food (even canned goods can freeze and make a big mess) and liquid cleaners. Give the refrigerator a thorough cleaning and prop the door open a crack so you don't find mold in the spring. Turn off the gas valve, and pull in any roof vents, slides and awnings (do this step once they are dry to avoid mildew). Disconnect batteries if they will not be hooked up to a power source.

RVs often become a winter home for rodents, so cover any outdoor vents with cardboard and duct tape where they can gain access and plug any holes. Most seasoned campers have tried a few tricks to discourage mice, including dryer sheets, moth balls and peppermint oil.

The best place to store an RV is indoors, but not everybody has that option. If storing outdoors, inspect your parking place to make sure there are no dead or diseased tree limbs near the camper. Some people like to cover it, but make sure you use a special RV cover made of breathable fabric. A plain plastic tarp will trap moisture, which can lead to mildew.

After all of these steps, your RV should be ready to hibernate for the winter. In the spring, you will hopefully be able to flush the system, do a quick cleaning and be ready to go when you get the itch to hit the road.

Protect your vehicle all year round. Call Insurance Agent2000 at (925) 827-0510 for more information on Concord RV insurance.

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