How to Winterize Your Tent Trailer

by Caprice Castano

Yes, there is more to storing your tent trailer than just lowering the top and parking it for the season. Dry rot, mildew, corrosion, broken pipes and other damage can occur if you do not prepare your tent trailer for winter. Take a few steps at the end of your camping season to make sure everything is in order for the cold months, and your trailer will stay in tip top shape when spring and the next camping season rolls around.

Clean out the trailer thoroughly. Remove any food items that may attract rodents. Wash out the refrigerator and vacuum crumbs from cupboards or storage areas. Sweep the floors and clean rugs or cushions. Be sure to lift all beds and cushions and clean beneath them to remove any debris.

Remove all gear such as aerosol cans, toiletries that may freeze, pillows, coolers or fishing gear that you may want to store elsewhere for the winter.

Wash the exterior of the tent trailer with a mild detergent, soft scrub brush and water.

Perform any minor repairs inside or out that you think need attention.

Open all drains and faucets and drain the water lines and water tanks. Bypass the hot water tank if you have one according to your manufacturers instructions. Close faucets and drains and add RV antifreeze to the other water lines and tanks. This is not the same as automotive antifreeze, which is highly toxic, this is special antifreeze that you can purchase from an RV supplier or dealer.

Remove the battery and store elsewhere.

Cover all vents and openings other than the door with heavy plastic or tarp to keep unwanted visitors out during the winter.

Lubricate moving parts, check and grease the wheels and re-pack the bearings if necessary. Check all electrical connections and make sure the lights are in working order and repair any burned out bulbs. Park the trailer so that the wheels are not resting on dirt. You can lift and block the trailer after it is closed if you desire to keep the tires from sitting on the ground through the winter.

Add a chemical air dryer to the tent trailer by setting it on a level surface, such as the floor, before closing the trailer. This will keep humidity and moisture out and reduce the chance of mildew.

Cover, or leave the tent trailer uncovered, according to the manufacturer's instructions. Some tent trailers should be sheltered by a tarp, others are not meant to be covered. Consult your manual to determine which step is necessary for your type of trailer.

Items you will need

About the Author

Caprice Castano recently left the field of construction management to operate her own contracting business and spend time developing her writing career. Current projects include freelance writing for Internet publications and working on novel-length fiction.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Andy Reynolds/Lifesize/Getty Images