Protect Your RV’s Exterior (Winterization Series: Part 3)

Winterizing can be a chore, but it’s also vital for protecting your RV for years of camping adventures to come. We’ve been covering how to prep your RV for winter from the inside out. In this post, we’ll show you how to protect your RV’s exterior.

If you haven’t already read our posts about winterizing your RV’s water system or cleaning the interior, check those out before putting your RV in storage.

Pro tip: Stop by one of our Supercenters and ask a Parts Specialists to help you find everything you need to winterize your RV, including: RV anti-freeze, rodent repellent, RV covers, and more.

Read on for our final check list to protect your RV’s exterior for winter!

How to Protect Your RV’s Exterior for Winter

Start by giving your RV’s exterior a good wash. Use cleaning products recommended by your manufacturer. Let everything dry before putting your RV into storage. You may want to wait for a sunny day or use a clean microfiber towel to speed up the drying process. The soft fibers will protect your RV’s exterior from scratches while drying.

A woman cleans an RV's exterior with a long-handled soft bristle brush.
Washing your RV before putting it into storage is a simple step that helps protect your RV’s exterior.

Next, remove any remaining cargo and equipment to prevent theft. This is especially important if you store your RV off-site or somewhere other than home.

There is no need to remove the propane tanks, unless you are prohibited from storing them with your RV. As for the batteries, if possible, keep the RV plugged in while it is in storage. If there is not a power source available, it’s recommended to remove the negative cable (only) from the battery.

Choosing the Right Spot 

When parking your RV for the winter, be smart about choosing the spot in order to protect your RV’s exterior. Try not to park near lots of trees to avoid bird droppings, sap, and falling branches.

Also, if possible, park on something other than the bare ground. Parking on treated lumber planks or something similar will help protect your tires.

Lastly, leave your RV at a slight angle so water can flow off the roof easily, rather than collect and pool. Heavy, wet snow can buckle any roof, so be sure to follow this step.

Tuck in for a Winter Slumber

Consider purchasing tire covers to protect them from the sun’s rays. They are easy to put on once you’ve parked at your site. You should also purchase an RV cover to protect the exterior of your rig from the elements. It is not recommended to use tarps, as sometimes these can cause damage if not secured properly. Instead, protect your RV’s exterior by purchasing a properly-fitting cover. This small investment will prolong the life of your paint job and exterior graphics.

An RV is shown with an RV cover in place.
A properly-fitted RV cover will protect your RV’s exterior from the elements.

Once you’re done winterizing your RV, don’t forget to stop by regularly and make sure everything is okay. Walk around and ensure all covers are still properly in place, look for signs of unwanted guests and any potential damage after winter storms. Completing these small steps will ensure your RV is safe all winter long and help you be ready for another season of camping in the spring.

Now, kick back and enjoy your favorite beverage. You’ve earned it!

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