Frozen RV Door Locks, Windows & Doors: Prevention & Solutions

As refugees from the frozen north, snowbirds escape winter at home by migrating southward each year. However, some RVers, either by choice or by circumstance, end up living in their RVs in cold weather areas.

Frozen RV Door Locks, Windows & Doors: Prevention & Solutions (Photo credit: Photos.com)
Frozen RV Door Locks, Windows & Doors: Prevention & Solutions (Photo source: accuweather.com)

Winter’s bitter winds can freeze RV door locks, windows, and doors. Use these quick and easy tips to combat the ice.

Frozen Door Locks

Nothing can be more frustrating than finding your RV door locks frozen.

Frozen Door Locks: Prevention

One way to prevent frozen locks is to dip your key into Petroleum jelly or Vaseline, put it into the lock, and turn the key back and forth a few times. Repeat this to make sure the Vaseline is well-distributed onto the parts of the lock.

Frozen Door Locks: Solutions

Petroleum jelly or Vaseline. Petroleum jelly or Vaseline can also be used if you find the lock already frozen. Dip the key into the Vaseline, then insert it into the lock. Once in the lock try to wiggle the key. Do not force the key to turn; this could result in breaking the key off in the lock. If this does not work right away, repeat the steps three or four more times, then wait for five minutes.

Deicer: If you find the lock already frozen, spay deicer into the lock.

Heat the key. An effective option in severe ice conditions is to heat the key. This method usually offers a quick fix.

Hold the key with an oven mitt or gloves with the toothed tip over a lighter or match, then insert it in the lock. The heated key inserted into the lock should melt the ice. If the key is made of only metal, you can heat the key while it is in the lock. Do not try this with keys that have plastic at the top.

Frozen RV Door Locks, Windows & Doors: Prevention & Solutions (Photo source: accuweather.com)
Frozen RV Door Locks, Windows & Doors: Prevention & Solutions (Photo source: accuweather.com)

Hair dryer. As a last resort when all else fails, you can use a hair dryer. Warm the lock with a hairdryer or your own breath. This method is less effective, but worth a try if no other options are available. A cardboard tube placed over the frozen lock will help direct the warm air. Keep trying for several minutes, especially if you do not have a tube or if conditions are windy. When using this method, you can put the key into the lock to help direct the heat.

Lock Lubricant. Experts tend to have differing opinions about lubricant choices, but some options are recommended more often than others. Use only one of the following options per lock, since a mix could easily gum things up. Options include graphite lubricant, Teflon-based lubricant, WD-40, and rubbing alcohol. Since there’s little consensus, use as a last resort.

Frozen Windows

The simplest solution to frozen windows is to wait until the RV interior warms up. The ice should then melt shortly.

If your RV is equipped with power windows, do not keep pushing the button. If you force the window down, you can damage the motor, and this could be expensive to repair.

Frozen Doors: Prevention

To help prevent your door from freezing shut completely clean the door frame and rubber seals with soapy water and thoroughly dry. This should remove road debris and other detritus that can build up over time. Water can collect around the dirt and freeze the door shut once the temperatures drop.

Apply a rubber conditioner or rubber care product over the rubber seals with a clean cloth. Use 303 Protectant or other non-petroleum based product. This will repel water, reducing the amount that enters the seal and freezes.

Frozen Doors: Solutions

Frozen RV Door Locks, Windows & Doors: Prevention & Solutions (Photo source: youtube.com)
Frozen RV Door Locks, Windows & Doors: Prevention & Solutions (Photo source: youtube.com)

If you have not treated the doors and find them frozen shut, try these steps to unfreeze them.

Do not try to force a frozen door open. This can damage the rubber seal around the door.

While wearing gloves, hit the ice with the palms of your hands, and remove the ice as it breaks.

If this method does not work, you can use a hair dryer to melt the ice. Be  aware that excessive heat will damage the exterior paint.

Worth Pondering…

Forecast for freezing rain…. sometime in the future, but not today!!! What a beautiful day!

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Preparing the RV for Long-Term Storage

Palm City, Florida-based Shurhold Industries now offers a step-by-step guide for RV owners preparing an RV for long-term storage.

Shurhold Industries SMC in 32 ounce bottle
Shurhold Industries SMC in 32 ounce bottle

The guide covers all the bases, so a rig remains in top shape and is ready to go for the next season, according to a company news release.

All things that mold or mildew should be discarded to prevent foul smells. Owners should also get rid of all food and liquids, emptying the refrigerator.

For better airflow, cushions can be removed or propped up and storage hatches can be left open. Once the above is accomplished, the entire RV should be cleaned and vacuumed with dehumidifier bags placed throughout the cabins.

Cleaning the drains and the sump prior to storage is absolutely crucial to keep odors and bacteria from becoming a problem. The RV can absorb the odors and mildew that grow in moist, dark environments and they will spread throughout.

Shurhold products available for use in these procedures include Serious Multi-Purpose Cleaner (SMC) and Moldaway.

Moldaway can be used to clean the drains in sinks and showers with one scoop into each with a cup of water. After letting it work for a few minutes, owners can rinse it out.

Bleach-free and chlorine-free, Moldaway is an oxygenated cleaner that is safe on most

Shurhold Industries Moldaway
Shurhold Industries Moldaway

fabrics/colors.

Moldaway cleans and deodorizes drains without harming the piping and also helps clean the sump container by oxygenating the sump water, killing mold/mildew spores and other bacteria, safely and without bleach. Depending on where an RV is stored, the yard may suggest flushing antifreeze through the system.

The cleaner carpets and canvas surfaces are, the better they will look when taken out of storage. Before sealing up the RV, owners should vacuum and shampoo the carpet with SMC, and let it dry. This will reduce the likelihood of any bacteria growing there. If possible, cockpit carpet should be cleared out or at least rolled up and stored in a cabin. It is best to remove canvas and store it in a dry environment. Then, owners can clean it in the spring with Moldaway or Brite Wash.

The undercarriage should be washed with a pressure washer and/or plain water with a soft-to-medium brush. Soaps and detergents are generally not used. Wax is also a good idea.

Lastly, all mechanical, electronic, and other systems should be readied for a long storage nap. Owner’s manuals must be consulted on these crucial tasks because it can affect the warranty.

Shurhold’s SMC and Brite Wash are available in 32 ounce ready to use trigger spray bottles for $11.98 each.

Moldaway is available in a 12 ounce bottles for $12.98.

Details

Shurhold Industries

shurhold-logo1-mediumShurhold manufactures specialty care items and accessories to clean, polish, and detail.

Shurhold began as a small, one-man operation based out a garage in Port St. Lucie, Florida.

It was started on July 1, 1973 by William E. Peach, who self-admittedly had no knowledge about the design or manufacturing of Boat Detailing Products.

Since its beginning in the garage plant, Shurhold Industries has designed and manufactured the most innovative specialty care and accessory products available for the marine, RV, and auto industries.

Shurhold is dedicated to educating owners on RV value preservation.

As the original creator of the “One Handle Does It All” design, Shurhold continues to maintain the highest standard of quality and service. Innovative designs, combined with top quality materials, and meticulous workmanship make each and every Shurhold product a premium item.

Address: 3119 S.W. 42nd Avenue, Palm City, Florida 34990-5558

Phone: (772) 287-1313 or (800) 962-6241 (toll free)

Website: www.shurhold.com/rv

Worth Pondering…

Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course, of action and follow it to an end require … courage.

—Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Preparing Your RV For Winter

Fall is fast approaching, and not far behind another long, northern winter. As the colder weather sets in, those in the Northern climes either snowbird south for the winter or prepare their recreational vehicle for another winter of ice, snow, and freezing temperatures.

Preparing Your RV For Winter
Preparing Your RV For Winter

That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few do hang
Upon the boughs that shake against the cold
Bare ruin’d choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.

In Sonnet 73, William Shakespeare makes reference to autumn.

Oh, Autumn, that time of year when the earth changes colors before our very eyes, temperatures start to dip, the light begins to fade away, and RVs are readying for their long winter’s nap.

In true Shakespearean style, let’s count the fourteen things (as in the fourteen lines of a sonnet) that will help prepare your RV for the winter:

Perform end-of-season RV repairs. As with any vehicle that will be sitting for a period of time, it is necessary to take care of any minor or major problems that would be worsened by inactivity and weather.

Check roof for leaks, dents, or tears. Clean and examine the roof for sealant wear or other damage, and repair it. Also ensure that the seals around the doors and outside compartments are working correctly. This will also help to prevent the cold weather from getting in. To ensure that these seals and compartment locks do not freeze up, a graphite lubricant can be applied to the locks and a silicone lubricant can be sprayed around the door and compartment edges.

Preparing Your RV For Winter
Preparing Your RV For Winter

Remove personal items. Inspect the interior living space. Food including canned goods and bottles, bedding, towels (kitchen, bathroom, swim), leisure activities (books, board games, coloring books/crayons, arts/crafts supplies) and other essentials that may be needed during the winter should be stowed away and relocated or packed in an organized manner until spring.

Inventory items remaining in RV. Anything that will be left in the RV, such as kitchen tools and utensils, or bathroom toiletries, should be added to a list and filed with important RV paperwork. If at any time there is a question or concern about what has remained within the unit, this list will serve as a source of referral during the off-season.

Clean refrigerator. Remove all foodstuffs, clean the refrigerator thoroughly, and leave it open a crack. This helps prevent mildew.

Clean the RV. Clean the entire RV, interior and exterior, including all storage areas. Empty gray/black water holding tanks. Dump and flush both black and gray water holding tanks, in an appropriate manner, especially the black water tank. It is not acceptable to empty tanks in a city drain; always use a designated RV dump station.

Winterize water system. The primary concern when winterizing the RV is to ensure the water system is protected against damage caused by freezing. Drain the fresh water tank and hot water heater. Fully back flush the water system to remove all water from the lines. Add RV antifreeze to the system (NEVER, NEVER, NEVER use automobile antifreeze in your RVs water system). Open each faucet, one at a time, until the red-colored antifreeze appears. Don’t forget the shower and toilet. Leave gray water valve open. Shut the faucets.

Preparing Your RV For Winter
Preparing Your RV For Winter

RV tire covers. RV tires are especially vulnerable to the elements. Tire covers help protect tires from the sun’s harmful UV rays in the summer and from damage caused by wind, rain, snow, and freezing temperatures during the winter. Keeping your tires and wheels covered when you store your RV also helps to keep them cleaner and make them last longer and look better at the same time. Tires that are left uncovered can crack and become brittle, causing them to go flat before their time. Secure the tire covers firmly to your tires so that they don’t fly off in windy conditions. Tires should be clean, and kept off the ground during storage; boards work well. Ensure the recommended tire pressure is maintained.

Dehumidifiers. To prevent condensation buildup and help keep mold from forming, place dehumidifiers in each room and outside storage areas.

Remove batteries. Depending on the length of time your RV will be sitting, it may be beneficial to remove batteries to extend their life. Never store batteries directly on concrete.

Cover exterior. Store your RV in a covered area or cover with a tarp for added protection.

Consult owner’s manual. Be sure to check your owner’s manual and follow any additional information on storage, cleaning, and winterizing procedures.

LP gas. Turn off propane valve at the tank.

In conclusion. This list of 14 tips is a good place to start when creating your own winter-ready checklist.

Worth Pondering…

Now is the winter of our discontent.

—William Shakespeare

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Preparing Your RV for Winter Storage

Preparing an RV to be stored for a prolonged period of time can be simple, if the proper steps are followed.

Shurhold Industries SMC in 32 ounce bottle
Shurhold Industries SMC in 32 ounce bottle

Follow these tips to make to ensure your RV is in great shape during and after long-term storage.

It is important to banish “stink fuel” before closing the RV for winter. This will help keep the RV from smelling foul when it’s opened back up in the spring.

Owners should get rid of all things that mold, mildew, and other smelly organisms need to flourish, according to a Shurhold Industries news release.

Start with the obvious, such as the refrigerator. The fridge should be emptied and cleaned.
Cushions should be removed or propped up to encourage airflow, and all cupboard and closet doors should be open for air to circulate.

Clean, vacuum, and place dehumidifiers around the cabin, two to three bags or more for a large rig.

Clean the drains and the sump prior to storage. This task is crucial to keep odors and bacteria from becoming a problem. The RV can absorb the odors and mildew that grow in moist, dark environments and they will spread throughout the RV.

Owners can first clean with Shurhold’s SMC. It can be sprayed on and wiped away with paper towels or rags. The areas should be rinsed and dried.

RV owners can use Shurhold’s Moldaway to clean the drains in sinks and showers. Place a scoop into each drain with a cup of water and let it work for a few minutes, then rinse.

Shurhold Industries Moldaway
Shurhold Industries Moldaway

Moldaway will clean and deodorize drains without harming the pipes. It will also help clean the sump container by oxygenating the sump water, killing mold/mildew spores, and other bacteria, safely and without the use of bleach.

Depending on where an RV is stored, the yard may suggest flushing antifreeze through the system.

Thoroughly clean all soft surfaces including carpets and canvas.

Owners can vacuum and shampoo carpet with SMC, and let it dry before closing the RV for winter storage. This will reduce the likelihood of any bacteria growth.

Remove cockpit carpet if possible. Roll it up and store it in the cabin after a thorough cleaning. It is best to remove canvas and store it in a dry environment.

These tips take care of only some of the important steps needed for successful long-term storage of your RV.

Consult your owner’s manuals regarding mechanical, electronic, and electric systems.

Details

Shurhold Industries

shurhold-logo1-mediumShurhold manufactures specialty care items and accessories to clean, polish, and detail.

Shurhold began as a small, one-man operation based out a garage in Port St. Lucie, Florida.

It was started on July 1, 1973 by William E. Peach, who self-admittedly had no knowledge about the design or manufacturing of Boat Detailing Products.

Since its beginning in the garage plant, Shurhold Industries has designed and manufactured the most innovative specialty care and accessory products available for the marine, RV, and auto industries.

Shurhold is dedicated to educating owners on RV value preservation.

As the original creator of the “One Handle Does It All” design, Shurhold continues to maintain the highest standard of quality and service. Innovative designs, combined with top quality materials, and meticulous workmanship make each and every Shurhold product a premium item.

Address: 3119 S.W. 42nd Avenue, Palm City, Florida 34990-5558

Phone: (772) 287-1313 or (800) 962-6241 (toll free)

Website: shurhold.com/rv

Worth Pondering…

When I was very young and the urge to be someplace was on me, I was assured by mature people that maturity would cure this itch. When years described me as mature, the remedy prescribed was middle age. In middle age I was assured that greater age would calm my fever and now that I am fifty-eight perhaps senility will do the job. Nothing has worked… In other words, I don’t improve, in further words, once a bum always a bum. I fear the disease is incurable.”
—John Steinbeck

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The 4 Categories of RV Winterizing

All recreational vehicles require preventative maintenance, especially when placed in storage for a considerable period of time.

winterizinglogoAs RVs remain parked during the long northern winter, it is important that owners understand exactly how to winterize one of their biggest investments, according to a Five Star RV news release. Otherwise you may be in for some rather unpleasant surprises next spring.

1. Winterize the Plumbing, Appliances, and Fresh Water System

Winterizing your plumbing is one of the most important components in protecting your investment. Following are the three basic steps in successfully winterizing your RV.

First, flush out the black and gray tanks. Then drain the water heater and the fresh water system.

Secondly, if your rig has any large appliances like an icemaker, dish washer, or washing machine you will need to follow the manufacturer’s recommended procedure for winterizing their systems.

Lastly is the fresh water system.

You have a choice of either using antifreeze or air pressure to protect your fresh water system. Both are effective means, but each has its pros and cons, as outlined below.

Anti-Freeze

Pros: This is the most effective means to protect your fresh water system.

Cons: Be sure that the antifreeze that you are using is approved for RV use and is non-toxic. The last thing you want to do next spring is accidentally sicken your family and friends. You will also need to flush out the taste of the antifreeze before your next excursion.

winterize-pumphookupAir pressure

Pros: This is a cheaper method than antifreeze and you can avoid the extra work at the beginning of summer when you are stuck flushing out the taste of antifreeze.

Cons: With this method, it can difficult to get all the water out. Some portions of the plumbing will still require you to drain them manually. Also if enough water collects in faucets or valves, it can freeze and cause damage. To avoid this, open each faucet briefly while blowing air through the system.

2. Pest Control

During the winter months, critters like mice or squirrels will try to avoid the elements by holing up inside your rig. While some people might find these critters cute, the mess they will leave behind is far from it.

The first and most obvious precaution is to remove any foodstuff or fragrant items like shampoo or toothpaste. Clean thoroughly; you never know where those crumbs may have fallen while you were eating. It is also recommended to get some kind of deterrent. Dryer sheets like Bounce are known to work, but conventional mouse and ant traps are quite effective.

Check the entire exterior of your rig for any openings. Remember, if you can stick your finger through a hole a mouse will have no problem entering. Cover any openings you find with duct tape or fill with expanding foam.

3. Interior Preparation

It’s always better to enter a fresh, pleasant smelling RV, then one stinking of old food and mildew. To ensure this, defrost and clean the freezer as well as the refrigerator. Leave the doors propped open and place a container of baking soda inside to absorb odors. Also, use a moisture absorbent like Damp Rid or Dri-Z-Air tol deter mold and mildew taking hold.

Close all the curtains and blinds to protect the upholstery and fabrics from the sun. To complete your interior RV winterizing, remove any dead cell batteries from items like clocks or flashlights.

The wear and tear of being out in the elements can be quite destructive. Thankfully, taking the proper precautions will keep your rig looking shiny and new. The best precaution is to store your rig undercover on a concrete pad. However, this isn’t always the most cost effective method. Getting a cover made from a breathable material such as polypropylene is a relatively cheap option and will protect against the elements and prevent the growth of mold and mildew.

Likewise, getting covers for your tires is recommended, as the rubber will degrade due to the elements. Placing a board between the tire and ground is recommended, since the frozen ground and asphalt can damage the tires over time.

4. Engine Preparation

winterrvtipsKeeping your rig’s engine in good condition is an essential step in preventative maintenance. The first step is changing the oil and oil filter. Dirty oil contains acid that will eat away at the engine bearings. Check and adjust, as needed, all fluid levels: antifreeze, transmission, oil, brakes, etc.

A full gas tank and taking the time to run a fuel stabilizer through the engine and generator is a good idea. This will keep condensation from building up in the fuel tank. Disconnect the battery and make sure its water is topped off. If your rig is in long-term storage, it is often best to just remove the battery and store it somewhere it won’t freeze.

Details

Five Star RV Center

Five Star RV Center strives to serve potential RV buyers and renters, offering exceptional professionalism in every area of expertise. Their consignment system has sold hundreds of RVs, placing private owners in position saturated with honesty, integrity, and most importantly, more cash for their sold RV.

Address: 13210 Highway 99 South Everett WA 98204

Phone: (425) 741-9600 or (866) 423-9595 (toll free)

Website: fivestarrvs.com

Worth Pondering…

Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things.

—Peter Drucker

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Innovative Energy Introduces Arctic Package for RVs

Three months ago, Lowell, Indiana-based Innovative Energy announced it was launching a program to support RV manufacturers that purchased its Arctic Package insulation.

As of mid-October, the Indiana-based manufacturer of reflective insulation products has become the principal register of the trademark for Arctic Package.

“The popularity of the Arctic Package program within the RV industry is growing and the feedback we’ve received thus far is very encouraging,” said Eric Baker, executive director for RV and technical at Innovative Energy.

“Arctic Package offers the insulation RV owners need so, of course, RV manufacturers are going to have a strong interest in it.”

Innovative Energy plans to establish Arctic Package as a feature RVers come to recognize as a symbol of energy efficiency and comfort in RVs, while also establishing it as a feature RV manufacturers recognize as marketable, Baker explained.

Arctic Package

Arctic Package is an example of a hybrid insulation system whereby the performance of conventional mass insulation used in RVs is enhanced by the addition of R+HEATSHIELD radiant barrier in conjunction with mass insulation.

This hot box test demonstrates how the addition of R+HEATSHIELD radiant barrier enhances the ability of conventional mass insulation to reduce heat transfer. (Source: insul.net)

R+HEATSHIELD provide a reflective surface that blocks up to 95 percent of radiant heat transfer.

Innovative Energy’s Arctic Package delivers improved comfort and energy efficiency by helping interior spaces cool down faster in hot weather, and warm up faster in cold weather.

R+HEATSHIELD can dramatically improve thermal performance and energy efficiency, keeping energy costs lower and interior spaces more comfortable.

Reflective insulation and radiant barriers are key to maximizing thermal performance and energy efficiency of insulation within an RV.

Innovative Energy products are perfectly suited to help maintain comfortable internal temperatures in an RV, especially in extreme external air temperature situations.

Unlike mass insulation, Innovative Energy’s reflective insulation products are very thin — ideal for installation in the thin wall and roof construction of an RV. The products’ reflective properties help prevent radiant heat transfer, for energy efficiency and comfort year-round.

Innovative Energy’s Arctic Package helps improve the thermal efficiency of RVs by enhancing the performance of conventional insulation used in RVs.

Key Benefits of RV Reflective Insulation Products include:

  • Improve overall thermal performance of the insulation system
  • Reduce overall energy consumption
  • Interior comfort levels are easier to achieve and maintain
  • Thin materials allow for reduction in mass insulation requirements
  • Custom sizes available, including 8-foot widths

Details

Innovative Energy, Inc.

Innovative Energy plans to establish Arctic Package® as a feature RVers come to recognize as a symbol of energy efficiency and comfort in RVs (Source: insul.net)

For more than three decades, Innovative Energy (I.E.) has been a leader in delivering high-performance reflective insulation products to a growing market of energy-conserving industries.

I.E.’s extensive array of insulation materials meets the requirements of a wide range of applications, such as building products, insulated packaging, original equipment manufacturer (OEM) materials and do-it-yourself solutions.

Innovative Energy offers high-performing insulation products featuring energy-efficient radiant thermal technology.

Address: 10653 W. 181st Avenue, Lowell, IN 46356

Phone: (219) 696-3639 or (800) 776-3645 (toll free)

Website: arcticpackage.net

Worth Pondering…

If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?
—Percy Bysshe Shelley

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Getting RVs Ready for Winter

Spending a northern winter in an RV might sound like a crazy idea, but hundreds of people are about to do it. And if you’re one of them, there are steps that need to be taken immediately to get ready for the cold.

Preparing your RV for winter (Source: kfyrtv.com)

“It’s absolutely critical that everybody gets ready if they`re going to stay in one of these RVs for the winter, they have to get them skirted up and do all these precautionary things to survive,” Coates RV manager Tim “Dutch” Deick told KFYR-TV.

The most critical step is keeping the heating and water systems under the trailer from freezing. This can be done by “skirting” the bottom of the RV with wood or plastic.

“The reality is, when we do get some sub zero weather, it will be near impossible to keep a trailer warm. You will not be warm, plain and simple. Worse-case scenario, people can and will die and that is absolutely what we want to help prevent,” Deick said.

Winterizing Your RVs

Water Systems

If the fresh water storage tank is located inside the coach, the normal heating of the coach during cold weather should be enough to insure it is not freezing.

In severe cold weather however, it is wise to monitor the water temperature in the tank, and take appropriate steps to drain and winterize if necessary. In severe cold it may be necessary to open lower cabinet doors at night in both the bath and kitchen areas to keep warmer air circulating around water fixtures.

Now, it’s time to winterize your RV before the temperatures drop and the snow starts falling. (Source: rvpartssupplier.com)

If you plan to leave the coach unheated for any length of time in severe cold conditions, it is best NOT to keep water in the fresh tank. It may work best to carry cooking and drinking water with you in plastic jugs instead.

If you will be using you RV when conditions fall below the freezing level, it will be necessary to protect the drainage system components from damage by the addition of an approved antifreeze solution as outlined on the product directions. Drain lines which are exposed outside the RV are especially susceptible to freezing and steps should be taken to protect them from damage.

Food Storage

In the event the RV is left for a period of time without the furnace in operation, canned goods and other foods packed in water should be stored as high as possible, since heat rises.

They may also be stored in the refrigerator as insulation against the cold; store dry foods and other items that are not damaged by freezing in the lower storage areas.

LP Gas System

Make sure to use an LP gas that will vaporize properly in the colder temperatures. Check with your LP gas representative for the proper fuel, and reread the information on LP gas selection in the LP Gas section of the owner’s manual.

Heating

Use ONLY the furnace to heat the RV. It is properly vented to the outside. NEVER use the range/oven for heating—asphyxiation and death could result.

Condensation

Cooking produces large amounts of moisture. Not just as steam from pots and pans, but also as a product of combustion. Make sure to use the exhaust vents and open a window slightly to control the humidity. At night, leave a roof vent and/or a window slightly open.

Storage Preparation

When storing your RV for winter (or other extreme conditions), certain precautions need to be made to protect it until you open it again for use. Make sure to talk with your local dealer concerning any special requirements for storage in your particular geographic area.

The following steps are general, and your dealer can help you choose those that are most appropriate for your needs:

  • Park the RV on a level surface
  • Winterize the chassis as outlined in the chassis owner’s manual, and also the 110v generator (if so equipped) as outlined in the generator owner’s manual
  • Clean the RV thoroughly, both inside and out, including the refrigerator
  • Turn off all electrical switches and appliances
  • Securely close all windows, doors, and vents
  • Cover exterior vents on appliances to prevent moisture and insects from entering during storage

In storage, a battery will gradually lose charge over a 30 to 45 day period, even when disconnected by use of the battery disconnect switch.

Make sure to follow precautions associated with battery care and maintenance outlined in the electrical section of your owner’s manual.

Be sure to read your owner’s manual and follow any additional information on storage, cleaning, and winterizing procedures.

(The above information on winterizing your RV is provided courtesy CrossRoads RV)

Worth Pondering…

I played as much golf as I could in North Dakota, but summer up there is pretty short.  It usually falls on Tuesday.

—Mike Morley

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Winterizing an RV for a Northern Winter

When it comes to a northern winter and surviving its sub-zero temperatures, few things could be as tricky to prepare for as living in a recreational vehicle.

Well it’s that time of year again. (Source: arbogastrvs.com)

At a recent event organized at the Williston (North Dakota) Village RV Resort, Mark Petterson from Coates RV offered suggestions on ways to survive in cold temperatures.

Pettersen reviewed a list of the most important ways to ensure that an RV is ready for an onslaught of winter weather but said that skirting and safeguarding against potential hazards are the most important things to remember, reports Williston Herald.

He said there is a lot to remember, especially when it comes to blocking vents, which could asphyxiate anyone inside the camper.

“You want to make sure what you do is not something that you heard from somebody else that’s going to endanger your life,” Pettersen said.

Skirting can be done fairly easily with a kit and must be done well to ensure energy efficiency, he said.

Also key is making sure to choose the right RV Park so that nothing freezes up in the winter, Pettersen said.

Pettersen provided a complete list of tips to the audience gathered under a tent at the new RV park.

The joys of living in a northern climate (Source: hilltopicswithsteve.com)

“Many easily accomplished things can be done that will have a significant accumulative effect on your comfort and safety and will dramatically increase your energy efficiency,” according to the guide.

Beginning with skirting and insulation, energy savings can be dramatic. The trickiest thing is if the trailer has a slide-out that must be particularly well insulated, Pettersen said.

Other tips included never bringing an LP tank into the trailer for safety, having an internally heated hose and exposing the thermostat to the ambient temperature, positioning the RV as close as possible to the sewer connection and using heat tape to keep the connection warm enough, having a fully charged battery and using insulated styrofoam panels on the inside of storage compartments and at hatches, according to the guide.

“If you have something that worked last year, don’t necessarily change it,” Pettersen said.

“Although we didn’t have winter last year,” he joked.

For safety reasons, though, an RV owner should be careful to never restrict venting to the furnace, fridge or water heater, Pettersen said.

“That could be deadly,” he said.

“You have to know what you can do and what you can’t do.”

Inside of the RV, residents should be cautious not to use an unlimited number of heaters and other appliances into outlets, which could overload the service, the guide said.

Condensation and resulting mold is also something to be careful of, in the bathroom area especially, Williston Herald reports.

RV residents also should be aware that RV fridges were never designed for freezing temperatures. He said his advice is to replace a fridge hesitantly as in many cases, a new fridge will not fix the problem, he said.

“Don’t let somebody talk you in winter into a new refrigerator,” he said.

Foam board insulating skirting (Source: homeiswherethe5thwheelis.blogspot.com)

The most important thing once again, Pettersen said, is to ensure that venting to a gas fridge is not obstructed.

Vern Haugen, developer of the Williston Village RV Resort, said the workshop aimed at helping make the public aware of ways they can be prepared for winter and said at the new park he has allowed extra space for RVs and aims to do things right.

“We’re trying to keep this thing really nice,” he said.

Attendee Sue Hughes, who said she returned to the Williston area a year ago and lives in an RV outside of town, said she appreciated the tips and hopes for another mild winter.

“It wasn’t winter,” she said of last year. “I hope we’re fortunate.”

Chris and Debbi Shafer said they are also living in an RV in another location and are weighing the option of moving before winter. They said they will take away several points to apply to their RV

“It was actually very informative,” Debbi Shafer said, adding that she hopes she can be ready for what comes.

“I hope I won’t make his life too miserable,” she said with a smile.

Worth Pondering…

There’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing.

—Alfred Wainwright

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