Properly Winterize Your Travel Trailer
Properly Winterize Your Travel Trailer For Trouble-Free Traveling
A travel trailer gives you the comforts and amenities of home when you are on the road, and is a way of life for countless happy travelers. It is important to take good care of your home on wheels, which means knowing the rules of safe winterizing so that everything is in good shape when you ready to hit the road during the popular travel seasons – spring, summer, and fall. Whether you are family vacationers, retirees free to take extensive vacations, or use your recreational vehicle as a means of pursuing another hobby – hiking, mountain climbing, surfing, etc. – you expect safe, convenient, and inexpensive accommodation, which means taking safety precautions and practicing regular maintenance.
Safety Measures for Your Travel Trailer:
- Having a reliable, safe hitch for your trailer is of utmost importance so that you don't have to worry about the trailer fishtailing on slippery or rough roads. Make sure your vehicle is equipped with the best fifth wheel trailer hitch you can afford, and check out receiver hitches as well to make sure you have the best and that everything is installed correctly.
- Check tires to make sure they're inflated properly for the weight of the trailer, fully loaded.
- Check and service the wheel bearings at the start of the season.
- Check the trailer lights, turn signals, side marker lights, and the brake lights to make sure everything is working perfectly before each trip.
- Check the brakes on the trailer and your vehicle regularly.
Winterizing Checklist for Your Travel Trailer:
- Remove all food, canned and otherwise, and clean trailer thoroughly.
- Turn refrigerator off and open doors.
- Drain the fresh water tank.
- Lower the stabilizers.
- Pressurize tires to the maximum allowed and cover them.
- Check battery water.
- Turn off propane tanks.
- Blow out waterlines.
- Open all faucets and drain hot water heater and flush it out.
- Add RV antifreeze to the fresh water tank. (Note: Always use RV antifreeze, as automotive anitfreeze is toxic. RV Antifreeze is not harmful when ingested and so you needn't be paranoid about residue when you reverse the process and flush out the antifreeze in the spring.)
- Run each faucet and the shower, including the outside shower, until red, and flush toilet until red.
- Run some hot water to get antifreeze into the hot water heater tank.
- Shut off the pump and remove the screen from your water inlet, and then push on the anti-backflow valve to allow water to run out and antifreeze to flow.
- Pour antifreeze down the shower drain and sink drains.
- Make sure tanks, heaters, pumps, and lights are off.
- Pull propane alarm fuse; remove smoke detector.
- Close all windows and roof vent, and lock all doors.
- Keep battery charged by connecting a solar charger to the trailer connector.
It might be a good idea to consider rentals before you buy to make sure you really want to invest in a trailer. If ownership appeals to you, don't forget about used trailers, and you can check out appropriate market values in the Blue Book for RV's which contains reviews and pricing information. Look for good value from such well-known manufacturers as Coachman, Fleetwood, Jayco, and Keystone. Online, you can find travel trailer insurance as well as videos, DVDs, and books to teach you all you need to know about renting, purchasing, and maintaining a trailer, as well as useful travel tips and information on camp grounds.
The travel trailer lifestyle appeals to a huge portion of the population who enjoy independent travel and weekend getaways, as well as those who want a comfortable place to cook, eat, and sleep with room to transport their toys: painting, golfing, hunting, and fishing equipment, or bicycles and jet skis. Trailers offer a comfortable way to travel and can create an exciting new lifestyle.