Winterising your RV

Hints on Keeping Your Motorhome Warm in Winter

Winterising your RV

The arrival of cooler weather and shorter days heralds the time of year when many motorhomers consider winterising their motorhome.


Although Australian winters don’t get quite as cold as some parts of the world, there are still a few things we recommend you take care of before travelling or storing your RV over the chillier months.

Whether you’re travelling in a fully self contained vehicle or a van conversion, a little bit of preparation will go a long way over winter!


What does winterising a motorhome mean? 


Winterising your motorhome really just means getting it ready for winter. That could mean preparing it for travel, or for parking it up or storing it until the warmer weather arrives.


Why you need to winterise your RV


Preparing your motorhome for winter travel is all about maximising your safety and comfort. It will also help ensure your RV remains in tip-top condition. It does take a little effort, but it can make a big difference!

Prefer to hunker down at home and take your RV off the road? Getting stuck in with a few jobs first will mean your motorhome is ready for action when you are. The last thing you want to worry about when spring arrives is discovering an expensive issue that developed during storage!


How to store your motorhome for winter


Before parking up your motorhome for an extended period, there are a few steps to take first – especially over winter. A little pre-storage TLC and maintenance – both inside and out – means your RV will be clean and ready for the road come summer.


1. Have a good clear out 

Now is the time to empty out the fridge and cupboards, sort out the glovebox, and declutter the storage lockers. You may like to remove any expensive RV accessories, such as the TV, and store these at home for safekeeping.

You may also want to take out any bedding and removable soft furnishings like cushions to help prevent them from developing mould or becoming musty.


2. Wash and wipe 

Now that your motorhome is empty, it’s time to give it a good clean. Wipe down interior surfaces and inside cupboards, lockers, and the fridge. Give the exterior a good wash too – including the roof. Don’t forget to take down your RV awning and give this a good clean and dry.


3. Catch up on maintenance 

As you’re going about your cleaning routine, make a note of any RV parts that might need repair. This could include broken handles, ripped upholstery, or exterior damage.

It’s also worth checking all your window, hatch, and door seals to ensure that no moisture can get inside. Now is also a good time to book your regular service and update your WOF or COF if needed.


4. Switch off 

If your motorhome is going to be off the road for a bit, it’s a good idea to switch off anything that uses power and turn off all LPG appliances. Turn off your gas tanks, disconnect, and store safely either outdoors or in a well-ventilated area away from heat sources.

We don’t recommend removing your 12V house battery, instead consider connecting the battery to an intelligent multi-stage charger. This will help keep it in good condition while it’s not in use.


5. Flush and clean tanks and lines 

A key step in winterising a self contained vehicle is to flush out and sanitise the water tanks and lines – including the waste tank and toilet cassette. Once this is done, completely empty your freshwater tank and flush any water out of the taps.


6. Allow airflow 

To help prevent condensation and mould inside your motorhome, it’s important to ensure some airflow. If your RV is stored inside a secure locker, you may like to leave windows and hatches open slightly. Otherwise, it’s a good idea to open up your RV on occasion and let some fresh air through. Moisture absorbers placed throughout your motorhome are also a good idea.


7. Cover and store 

If you’re keeping your motorhome parked up outside, it’s worth investing in a good quality RV cover to help protect it against the elements, bird droppings, pollen, and dust. When you’re choosing a cover, look for one that offers good UV protection, is waterproof, tear-resistant, and has easy access in case you want to air out your RV. RV Sales Centre has a wide range of covers and other motorhome accessories and RV parts. Shop 24/7 with delivery across Australia.


Preparing to travel during winter 


Travelling in your motorhome over winter can be just as much fun as travelling at any other time of year. In fact, for some, it’s even better! The roads are generally quieter, campgrounds and attractions are often cheaper, and of course, there’s skiing and snowboarding fun to be had.

With a little extra preparation, you’ll be warm, safe, and ready to make the most of the cooler weather. Here are a few tips to help you winterise your motorhome for travel:


Make sure your camper is safe 

Safety as you travel in your motorhome is always a priority. Before you hit the road over winter, it’s vital to ensure your RV is in tip-top condition and roadworthy. This means checking things such as:

  • Tyres – check your tread and ensure your tyres are suitable for winter conditions.
  • Fluids – make sure all fluids (such as water, oil, and brake fluid) in your campervan are topped up. Don’t forget to check your windscreen wash too!
  • Service – if your campervan is due for a service, be sure to get this done by a specialist motorhome expert before you head away.
  • Battery – ensure your batteries (house and engine) are in good shape and well charged.
  • Paperwork – make sure your WOF or COF, registration, road user charges, and your driver’s licence are all up to date.


Watch the weather 

With winter comes rain, shorter days with less sunlight, and frost and snow (in alpine areas). Keeping an eye on the weather forecast means you can plan more for those days when the skies are clear and avoid getting caught out in the worst of the weather.


Care with driving in winter 

Driving in winter can be more challenging. Here are a few tips to help you stay safer on the roads:

  • Ensure your tyres are in good condition
  • Take it slowly on wet roads
  • Allow other drivers to pass when possible
  • Keep your headlights on
  • Keep your windscreen clean
  • Have sunglasses on hand in case of sunstrike
  • Avoid parking on soft ground


Crank up your RV heater 

Good heating in your motorhome or van conversion is a must for winter. Diesel heaters are a good option, just note that you will need to have a continuous source of power to run the electronics. LPG heaters are another option and work equally well to keep your RV warm. Another good option is to use a portable 12 volt RV heater.


Other ways to keep warm 

One of the benefits of travelling by motorhome over winter is that a small space is easy to warm up! Here are a few tips to help you keep cosy in your campervan even on the chilliest of days:

  • Plan for keeping warm by packing extra warm clothing – including thermals, a beanie, and warm socks
  • Bring along a hot water bottle
  • Draw curtains before sunset
  • Check your RV for any draughts around doors, windows, and hatches
  • Check that your RV heater is in good working condition before you head away.
  • Camp at powered campgrounds and holiday parks where you can plug in, use the laundromat, and perhaps a hot spa if they have one!
  • Enjoy hot drinks, soups, and warming comfort foods


Other ways to keep cosy during winter 


A cosy winter campervan trip can make for a memorable holiday. Here are a few tips to help make your motorhome cosy, comfy, and as enjoyable as possible:

  • Stay active: Australia is packed full of amazing outdoor activities that will get your blood flowing and help you warm up fast.
  • Make the most of the indoors: On those days when venturing outdoors just isn’t an option, it’s helpful to have some indoor activities planned. Bring along some cards and board games, books, and puzzles, or download a few movies to watch.
  • Get cooking: Bring along some ingredients for baking or creating a special meal.


Keen on a winter adventure? 


We hope our tips on winterising have been helpful in preparing your motorhome for storage or have inspired you to enjoy some winter travel!

Need some inspiration on what to see and how to make the most of your motorhome?

Check out more of our helpful blogs here:

Thinking about buying a motorhome or KEA ex rental campervan? KEA has you covered. Visit KEA and check out our range of motorhomes for sale. Not sure which motorhome is right for you? Chat with one of our KEA-certified dealers today.