It’s that time of year when the great outdoors transforms from warm, sunny days into a winter wonderland. For outdoor enthusiasts, this marks the beginning of a new and exciting season—winter. Transitioning to colder temperatures doesn’t mean you have to bid farewell to your outdoor treasures. Instead, it’s an opportunity to ensure that your RV, trailer, boat, and snowmobiles are well-prepared for the snowy adventures that lie ahead.
Winterizing Your RV
Your RV has been your faithful companion throughout the warmer months, but now it’s time to protect it from the perils of winter. Here’s how to get your spring and summer home on wheels ready for the colder season:
Cleaning and Inspection: Begin by giving your RV a thorough cleaning, both inside and out. This will help you identify any damage or wear that needs addressing before winter. Clean all appliances and cabinets, remove any perishables, and most importantly, make sure there are no crumbs or food particles that could attract pests. Also, don’t forget to look inside the cabinets, as there have been plenty of times where we have found missing articles of clothing months later due to not thoroughly checking all the nooks and crannies in our trailer. And while you’re at it, remove your Twistlock Drinkware so you can enjoy never spilling your drink again while on your winter adventures.
Draining Water Systems: One of the most critical aspects of RV/trailer winterization is preventing water from freezing in your plumbing system. Drain the fresh water, gray water, and black water tanks. Flush the plumbing system to ensure all water is removed. Run antifreeze through all faucets, toilets, and the water pump to protect the plumbing system from freezing. You do not want the surprise of a cracked hot water tank come spring as you’re prepping for a weekend getaway. Ask me how I know. No, actually, don’t. Cheers to learning the hard way.
Adding Antifreeze: To further protect your RV’s plumbing system, add RV antifreeze. Make sure to bypass the water heater before running antifreeze through the plumbing system. This step is essential in preventing frozen and burst pipes.
Battery Care: Remove your RV’s battery and store it in a cool, dry place, periodically charging it to maintain its health.
Tire Care: Overinflate the RV’s tires slightly to prevent flat spots. Consider using tire covers to shield them from UV damage.
Sealing Vents and Openings: Seal all vents, windows, and any openings to prevent drafts and moisture from entering your RV. Another pro tip: don’t put your kids on this chore unless you’re the one in charge of double-checking every vent, window, and opening yourself <<wink, wink.>>
Pest Control: To keep unwanted critters out of your RV during the winter, place rodent repellent or traps inside.
Storage: Store your RV in a dry, covered area to protect it from snow, ice, and extreme cold. Rust and mold are common culprits in wetter regions. Keeping it covered will help prevent damage from happening due to rain, snow, ice, freezing temps, and any combination thereof.
Winterizing Your Boat
Proper winterization is crucial to ensure your boat remains in excellent condition for the next boating season. Here’s what to do:
Cleaning and Inspection: Clean your boat thoroughly, both inside and out, to remove dirt, salt, algae, and debris. Look for any signs of wear or damage. This is an ideal time for maintenance and repairs so you’re not trying to cram them in last-minute once the warmer weather hits. When adventure’s calling, you need to be able to answer the call quickly.
Draining Water Systems: Drain the fresh water, plumbing, and sewage systems to prevent freezing. Flush the plumbing system with antifreeze to protect it during winter.
Fuel Stabilizer: Add a fuel stabilizer to the gas tank to prevent fuel deterioration and protect the engine.
Engine Maintenance: Change the oil and filter, fog the engine, and inspect spark plugs. Proper maintenance is essential to ensure your boat’s engine remains in good condition. Is there anything worse than getting out on the lake on the first warm day of the year just to realize your engine has an issue? Maybe, but it’s certainly not a fun experience and puts quite a damper on your mood. Don’t be ‘that guy’. Or gal.
Battery Care: Remove your boat’s battery, store it in a cool, dry place, and periodically charge it to maintain its condition.
Propeller and Outboard Motor: Lubricate the propeller and outboard motor. Remove the propeller, inspect it for damage, and store it indoors to prevent corrosion.
Sealing Vents and Openings: Seal vents, windows, and openings to prevent drafts and moisture from entering the boat’s interior.
Storage: Cover your boat with a quality boat cover to protect it from winter elements. Quality really does matter for this.
Check for Twistlock Drinkware: Don’t wait until spring to find your Twistlock Drinkware! You’ll be needing those for all your outdoor winter adventures.
Prepping Snowmobiles for Winter Adventures
If you’re an avid snowmobiler, you can’t wait for the first snowfall to hit the trails. Ensure your snowmobiles are ready for your winter treks:
Cleaning and Inspection: Start by thoroughly cleaning your snowmobiles to remove dirt, debris, and salt from previous outings. Inspect them for any signs of wear or damage.
Lubrication: Lubricate moving parts such as the suspension, drive chain, and throttle cables to ensure smooth operation during winter. It’s important to note that different parts of the snowmobile require different types of lubrication, and it’s crucial to use the recommended lubricants specified in the owner’s manual.
Fuel and Oil: Fill the fuel tank and change the oil. Fresh, clean oil is essential for cold weather operation and snow many new memories. Too cheesy? Meh, we had to try.
Battery Maintenance: Check the battery’s charge and condition. Ensure it is fully charged and maintained throughout the season. You thought getting stuck without a running engine in the lake was bad…don’t push your luck! Be prepared.
Cooling System: Inspect the snowmobile’s cooling system for leaks or issues. A properly functioning cooling system is crucial for winter rides.
Replace Worn Parts: If you notice any worn or damaged parts during your inspection, replace them promptly to avoid any potential issues that could ruin your day.
Safety Gear: Ensure your safety gear, including helmets, goggles, gloves, boots, and clothing, is in good condition and ready for use.
Trail Permits: Make sure you have the necessary trail permits and licenses for your snowmobiling adventures. Get a head start on this process—depending on where you’re going, permits may sell out quickly.
Add a Twistlock Beverage Locking System: No vehicle is complete without a Twistlock Beverage Locking System. Never spill your drink again by adding one of our combo packs to your snowmobile.
Transitioning to colder temperatures can be an exciting time for outdoor enthusiasts like yourself, provided that you take the necessary steps to winterize your RV and boat and prep your snowmobiles. Proper winterization safeguards your investments, extends their lifespan, and ensures that they’re ready.