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Winterizing your RV or Park Model Cottage

October 17, 2017

By Darren Arcaro

Summer living at Sherkston Shores is always top notch with tons of events, activities and amenities to keep the whole family busy all summer long. Sadly, all good things must come to an end and now that the 2017 season is almost over, Sherkston cottage and RV owners need to start preparing their places for winter.

Whether you plan to do the work yourself, or use one of Sherkstons authorized contractors make sure your place is winter ready, here are some tips to help you winterize your vacation cottage or RV.

Toss the food

One of the first things owners should do when closing up their cottage/RV for the year is to empty and clean all appliances. Remove remaining food from the fridge and freezer before disinfecting them and wiping them clean.

It is a good idea to place chopsticks between the doors of the fridge and the freezer. This leaves them open enough to allow air flow through which will prevent mildew.

Owners should also make sure all their appliances are disconnected such as clocks, radios and lights before leaving.

Turn off the water

Water damage is very expensive, so prevent pipes from bursting by shutting down the water system. Start by disconnecting the waterline that runs from the outside tap to your unit. Rv’s should turn off the electrical switch to your water system pump, open all water valves and drain both the hot and cold-water taps. You must empty your toilet tanks and bowls. We would advise anyone to contact your local RV repair and services company to perform winterizing services for you, to ensure a smooth opening in the Spring. Some service companies we recommend in the Niagara area are Empire Contracting or Park Model Repair.

WINTERIZING WITH COMPRESSED AIR

Purchase 2 gallons of RV non-toxic antifreeze.

  1. Drain the fresh water tank and empty the waste water holding tanks.
  2. Turn the 2 water heater bypass valves to the ‘bypass’ position. (The valves are located near the water heater incoming lines at the rear of the water heater.) (RV only)
  3. Drain the water heater by removing the anode (1-1/16” Socket Wrench) and opening taps. Flush out sediment build-up in water heater if necessary. Reinstall hot water tank plug with new Teflon tape.
  4. Open all faucets, including shower head sprayer, (if applicable), toilet flushing device and any other water lines that are closed.
  5. Turn on the water pump for at least 30 seconds to clear any water from the lines.(RV Only)
  6. Connect an air hose with an adapter (blow out plug) to the city water fill connection.
  7. Set the pressure to no greater than 30# (pounds) and blow out the water lines until no water can be seen coming out of the fixtures and lines.
  8. Pour antifreeze down sink and shower drains to fill p-traps.

NOTE: DO NOT ATTEMPT TO START THE WATER HEATER OR USE THE PLUMBING SYSTEM AFTER THE SYSTEM HAS BEEN WINTERIZED. DEWINTERIZE, FLUSH AND SANITIZE THE WATER SYSTEM PRIOR TO USE.

WINTERIZING WITH ANTIFREEZE ONLY

WARNING: NEVER USE AUTOMOTIVE ANITFREEZE IN YOUR FRESH WATER SYSTEM. AUTOMOTIVE ANITFREEZE IS TOXIC AND NOT FOR USE IN POTABLE (DRINKABLE) WATER SYSTEMS.

  1. Purchase 4-6 gallons of RV approved, non-toxic antifreeze.
  2. Drain the fresh water tank and empty the waste water holding tanks. (RV Only)
  3. Turn water heater bypass valves to ‘bypass’ position. (RV Only)
  4. Drain the water heater by removing the anode (1-1/16” Socket Wrench) and opening taps. Flush out sediment build-up in water heater if necessary. Reinstall hot water tank plug with new Teflon tape.
  5. Fill the tank above minimum water pump operation level with the RV antifreeze. (Use of a long funnel may be helpful.)
  6. Turn the pump switch ‘ON’ (RV Only) and open the cold water side of all faucet fixtures. Leave the faucets open until the antifreeze, (generally pink in color), flows out of the faucets and shower heads. Repeat for the hot water side.
  7. Flush toilet until antifreeze is visible inside the bowl and pour one gallon of antifreeze down the toilet to winterize the black holding tank.
  8. Pour antifreeze down sink and shower drains to fill p-traps.

Protect your mattress

Dust happens -- minimize it by putting plastic sheets on all of the mattresses in your cottage.

It is also a good idea to use plastic sheets to cover any chairs or sofas. Some owners choose to place sheets of fabric softener liberally in dresser drawers, on furniture and in closest to prevent mice from settling in for the winter.

Don’t forget your outside space

Your outside space is just as important as the interior. When winterizing your place for the winter, owners should move any outdoor furniture inside and should ensure all canoes and kayaks are stacked together and locked.

Disconnect your BBQ from the propane tank and store them in a protected place.

Winterizing and Storage of your Electric Golf Carts

  1. Get a full charge on your batteries
  2. Clean off any corrosion around the battery terminals and top with a mixture of baking soda and water, then rinse gently as to not get acid splashed around. Let the terminals dry and coat them with battery terminal spray.
  3. Store cart in a cool, dry area. This will reduce discharging of the batteries.
  4. Adjust tire pressure according to the requirements of your specific tires.
  5. Grease suspension parts and do all yearly lubrication.
  6. Give the body, seats, battery compartment, and underside of golf cart a good cleaning.
  7. Leave the parking brake off. Place tire blocks around to prevent the cart from moving. We would advise to install steering wheel lock clubs as well as wheel lock clubs to ensure your cart is stored safely for the off-season.
  8. Batteries should be kept fully charged during long storage down times.
  9. If you don’t have a shed or off-site winter storage to store your cart please consider using a weather-proof tarp and tie-downs to securely protect your cart from the winter elements.
  10. Lastly, if you are not keeping your cart in storage, please ensure to use thick heavy duty chains and locks and secure your carts for the off-season.

You had a great summer at the beach and the best way to ensure that the fun continues next year is to make sure your cottage is prepared for you in May when you head back to the Niagara Region.

About Sherkston Shores:

Sherkston Shores RV Resort is a family beach resort & campground located in the Niagara Peninsula on the beautiful shores of Lake Erie. Our resort offers 560 acres of varied landscapes, topped off with two-and-a-half miles of sandy beachfront. We offer an abundance of family recreational amenities including pools, hot tubs, water slides, a variety of outdoor games and an interactive Family Fun Zone with arcade.

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