How to Winterize Your Pleasure-Way Motorhome
While you await next season’s adventures, protect your RV and keep it safe and sound with our suggestions for winterization and storage.
Preparing for the Cold – PW Winterization
For RVers living in moderate climates of the world, the changing of the seasons from summer to fall is a bittersweet time. The thought of winterization and storage isn’t far from our to do lists. As much as we hate to put our campervans into storage for the winter, it’s an essential part of ownership for anyone who lives where freezing temperatures are expected.
If you’re one of the many RVers who place their campervan into storage for the winter, read on for advice for winterizing your Pleasure-Way, as well as recommendations for what to expect and what to look for when it comes to winter storage.
Winter Camping vs. Winterization
Many love winter camping. Although Pleasure-Way motorhomes are not built for four-season travel, with extra equipment, a few procedural changes, and a healthy amount of determination, winter camping can be fun.
Your campervan is built for taking all the comforts of home along for adventures during the warmer months, but camping in freezing temperatures can result in major headaches and maintenance issues – even when all recommendations are taken into account and procedures are followed perfectly. Not draining the water heater and holding tanks, or even by leaving a few drops of water in your water pump, tap, or toilet can cause damage when temperatures drop below zero – damage that could require costly repairs.
Preparing Your PW for The Winter Slumber
While winterization of your Pleasure-Way involves removing all the water from its plumbing, winterization also involves several other important procedures – wheel and tire care, battery, and propane tank maintenance, and other vital practices that prepare your RV for a long winter slumber.
Winterization begins with draining all the water out of the system. Flushing the system with non-toxic RV antifreeze is essential to this process. If you want to try your hand at winterization yourself, beyond dealing with the water in your Pleasure-Way, you’ll also need to:
- Shut off propane tank
- Protect your tires: Clean, inflate, and cover
- Defrost and prep the fridge and freezer
- Wash the exterior and inspect for damage
- Take any precautions necessary to prevent pests
For more information on winterization (including a step-by-step procedure) check out your specific model Pleasure-Way’s owner’s manual to prep your van, or watch our video installment on winterization.
A Place for Your Pleasure-Way for the Winter
Placing your motorhome in storage is an annual practice for most RVers who live in colder climates. But what’s the best storage for your Pleasure-Way? There are different options that can vary depending on what’s available in your area. Ask fellow Pleasure-Way owners where they store their units during the winter, or simply start calling around. If one place is full, ask them for recommendations until you find an acceptable spot. Often you’ll get the best recommendations from the folks who know the ins and outs of the local storage landscape.
Garage and Climate-Controlled Storage
The more costly option is covered storage in a garage. It’s also the most effective method for preserving your investment. Roll up the garage door and back your rig into the building – it’s almost that easy. Often, garage-style storage units include conveniently located power so it’s easy to plug in and keep your batteries topped off.
Occasionally these garage storage units are climate-controlled, offering the best protection from environmental elements. With a roof overhead, heating, and other conveniences to protect your van, you don’t have to worry about snow, rain, and hail. With a roll-up, lockable garage door you can rest easy knowing your investment is protected and safe. Pests and vandals are less likely to intrude when you’ve got your motorhome inside a secured garage.
The most common method of storage under a roof, covered storage offers great protection at a more affordable cost. Covered spots can vary from site to site, but at minimum offer a roof overhead to protect from the elements. Sometimes they offer “three-sided storage” with a roof overhead and walls that protect on either end – though often these types of sites slot a whole row of RVs next to each other under a long, covered roof.
While these types of spots offer less protection than a fully enclosed garage, three-sided storage is preferable to simply leaving your van exposed to the elements. Usually, these types of spots are inside a locked gated area and fence, offering additional protection. Some RVers even set up their own covered storage in their side yard or next to the house, adding power options and creating a makeshift site to enjoy their Class B while not out on an adventure.
Until Next Year
Winterizing your motorhome and storing it for the winter doesn’t have to be a huge undertaking, it can be a procedure that you can do yourself. Take it from those who have gone before you. The time you put in now to prepare your Pleasure-Way for storage will pay off in the spring. Get a head start on next season and think about winterization and storage now.
Safety is the difference that makes a trip memorable for all the right reasons. Follow these steps to make sure your Pleasure-Way motorhome is ready to go when you are, and you’ll be able to travel with peace of mind. Please reference the owner’s manual for model-specific requirements.