It’s hard to believe that winter is around the corner. New York State has seen some warm weather for November so far, even breaking records. And although it’s getting cooler, it is forecast to still be fairly mild for the foreseeable future.
But, for most campgrounds, their season is over (though you can start planning for the 2016 season now!), and for many campers, if not already done, it’s time to get ready for winter by storing camping gear, winterizing RVs and more. Here are some tips for preparing your camping equipment for the winter.
For outdoor campers:
Thoroughly clean out tents.
Before you prepare to put away your tent, make sure you clean it of any food or other debris that could cause mold or mildew.
Prior to storing camping gear, make sure it’s completely dry.
Avoid mold and mildew caused by dampness by ensuring that tents, sleeping bags, backpack, and other material-based camping equipment is dry before folding and storing.
Remove batteries, oils, gas, etc.
Before storing flashlights, kerosene lamps, gas for mini stoves, or any other product or substance that creates energy or can start a fire, be sure to remove. This will allow you to avoid battery corrosion and remove the risk of fire related to these items.
If you have an RV and are not planning on using it during the winter months, it’s important that you prepare it for the cold weather before storing.
Most importantly, winterize by removing any water from water lines or tanks.
Be sure to empty and flush out any sources of water in the RV. Any water left can potentially cause serious damage to water lines or water tanks due to expansion and contraction with freezing and thawing. See a full, step by step list on preparing your RV for winter.
Clean your RV inside and out.
To avoid mold and mildew, be sure to clean and dry your RV inside and out before storing. Clean out all food and beverages from refrigerators, cabinets, etc. as well as wash and wax the exterior.
Look for any cracks or other wear and tear.
Be sure to check window and door seals and other areas of the RV for any cracks and seal with caulk or other sealant. For other wear and tear, assess the damage and determine if it needs to be (or you’d like it to be) taken care of right away or if it can wait.
Place your RV on jacks.
An RV that sits for an extended period of time puts a lot of pressure on the tires. By putting your RV on stabilized jacks, you take the pressure off the tires, extending their longevity.
Protect against the rain, wind, and snow.
If you’re able to, park your RV in a shelter or protect with an RV cover. Doing so will help to keep it of the elements and extend the overall life of your RV.
If you’d rather not winterize your RV yourself, there are many RV dealers or repair service locations that will winterize for you.
By preparing your camping equipment and RV for winter, you will help extend the use for many camping seasons to come. It doesn't take long and will make a big difference. And, just because you're preparing your camping equipment for storage doesn't mean you can't take it out again for use if the occasion arises. This preparation can also be considered your yearly comprehensive clean.