Interior: Keep the inside of your RV in excellent shape and prevent the stale odors that typically accompany extended storage with these essential steps:
Make sure all the appliances are disconnected, and that your fridge and freezer are fully defrosted. Propping the fridge and freezer doors open will prevent stale odors from forming.
Since winter storage is several months long, it’s important that your RV isn’t connected to any electrical sources. Stem the flow of power by flipping off the main breaker on the distribution panel. It’s also advised to turn off the LP-gas supply valve, which is located on the LP tank. Give your cabin and upholstery a thorough cleaning to avoid any microbial buildups.
If you have vent covers that will prevent water from getting inside, open your vents to allow free circulation, so you’re not greeted with a blast of stale air when you open your RV in spring. Also, adding Fresh Cab or dryer sheets prevents the musty smell from forming, while helping repel any mice or other small rodents.
Winterize your plumbing and tanks by flushing them thoroughly with antifreeze.
Exterior: Properly protecting the exterior of your RV during storage will extend the lifespan of your RV. Whether your RV will be stored in a garage or covered and tied down in your driveway, take the time to protect the exterior:
Get a full wash and wax before it goes into hibernation for the winter. A thorough wash and wax will remove any buildup that may damage the clear coat and paint if left unchecked over the winter months. If your RV has an awning, be sure to clean it thoroughly as well to prevent staining. Check all of your seals and caulking to make sure your RV is airtight. If you notice damage to a seal, have it repaired – leaving it unattended allows moisture and bacteria in during the winter months, leading to any number of costly damages.
Investing in an RV cover is an easy, effective way to protect it during storage. RV covers keep rodents and pests out of your cabin, prevent moisture from entering through your vents, and protects the paint and upholstery from UV fading. A good cover will bear the brunt of the elements so your RV doesn’t have to.
Safe Parking: Choosing where and how to park your RV is also important to your tires. Follow these essential steps to avoid any long-term issues when parking your motorhome for months at a time: Make sure your parking spot is on flat, level cement. Parking on a surface that shifts with changing temperatures – like dirt or asphalt – will subject your RV tires improper weight distribution which puts excess strain on your tires and chassis.
Place wood underneath the tires to prevent damage to them from the frozen ground. The wood must be large enough that the tires do not hang over the sides.
Invest in a set of wheel chocks to keep your RV securely in place, preventing accidental movement and costly damages. In addition, make sure the parking brake is off before sealing up your cabin.
Keep the RV tires covered or at least out of direct sunlight. Constant exposure to UV rays degrades the rubber, and you will have to replace your tires sooner.
Cooler temperatures will cause the air in your tires to contract, so it’s recommended to inflate your tires to the recommended PSI, without exceeding the manufacturer’s inflation capacity.
Engine: Engine repairs are costly, and can easily derail your vacation. These tips will help keep your motorhome’s engine in prime condition:
Store your RV with a full tank of gas, and add a bottle of fuel stabilizer.
Change the engine oil before prepping it for storage. Check and fill the rest of the fluids if needed. Prevent your windshield washer fluid reservoir from cracking by adding winter blend washer fluid.
Remove the batteries before storage and give them a good cleaning with a 50/50 mixture of baking soda and water. Be sure to store your batteries in a cool, dry place where they’re not going to freeze or be subjected to the elements. Storing your battery on wood is recommended because a cold garage floor will drain the charge faster.
Winter camping is fun – but it can be much harder to do than in the summertime. Learn what supplies you need to bring and how to prepare for it.
Whether you are with friends or family camping gives you the chance to enjoy the beauty of nature without being bordered by the madness of traffic and the people moving all around you. While many people will do this in the summer there are a few who prefer the winter months to go out on their trek.
First, you should decide on what dates you would like to go. Talk with the individuals you are going with and decide how many days that you all can handle. If you have not camped during the winter than you might want to only be gone for two days and one night. The weather can be difficult to manage if you are not used to it.
The hardest thing about going during the winter months is to know what food you need to bring along. It is best to bring foods that are already prepared and are easy to consume. You don’t want anything freezing on you so be sure they are stored in a safe place. Also, be sure to bring along a good amount of water and any cooking provisions you may require.
In a different bag, you need to store the safety equipment. You should bring with you a first aid kit that is filled with ointment, bandages, rubbing alcohol and anything else that might come in handy. This needs to be with you at all times when you leave the camp. Make sure to give each individual a mini first aid kit to store in their packs.
Every backpack needs to be filled with their personal items and water. The rucksack needs to be large enough to hold everything including the tent and camping tent lights. However, it has to be lightweight enough to carry when you are walking to your destination.
Some more tips on winter camping.
Plan for the coldest possible temperatures in your area.
Whether it starts in October or ends in April, winter can be brutal. The most important thing about winter camping is planning. In the summer, make a mistake like getting wet and you can survive. But get soaked at 20°, and you’re in trouble.
Winter camping begins with a good night’s rest.
Camping, as opposed to day-tripping,
means sleeping outdoors. Proper gear and proper preparation dictates the difference between jogging in the bag or snoozing until sun-up.
Liquid intake is critical in winter camping.
It’s a white desert out there! Dry winter air saps internal water reserves – especially while cross-country skiing, fishing, or hiking. Drinking liquids will help keep you warm.
The hardest thing about winter camping is getting out of bed.
Mornings will generally be the coldest time of the day. Be it 10° or –20°, it’s hard to face the reality of leaving a warm nest. While still in the bag, I drink from my water bottle, eat another candy bar, stretch in place and start putting on all my clothes. When my hands get cold, I grab the hand warmers.
Prepare nearly all your food at home and make twice as much as you normally eat.
Regardless of how much I eat on winter trips I always lose weight.
Keeping warm during the day depends on your clothing.
Technology has provided today’s winter camper with more and better choices than cotton and wool. Polypropylene, a synthetic fabric, holds little moisture and actually moves body dampness away from the skin into outer clothes. I start with polypropylene underwear tops and bottoms.
Take care of your extremities with the proper hats, gloves, and boots.
Seventy percent of heat loss can come from your head, so a good hat must provide warmth and wick moisture. I believe in being prepared and take a musher’s hat, wool watch cap, fleece headband and fleece balaclava.
Lest you think winter camping is all work and no play… What’s there to do for fun on a winter camping trip? Plenty! Cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, hiking the backcountry and ice-fishing to name just a few.
It may still be winter, however, it’s never too early to start planning your first outing on the big beautiful lakes of Colorado. Here is a list for you to be reminded of or find something new for you and the whole family! Remember if there’s anything you need to be serviced on your boat or RV seek out your local service center before you start any journey.
The largest natural lake in Colorado sits outside the western entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park in a town of the same name, with a boardwalk, marina and lots of family fun and events each year.
One of the most popular lakes near Denver, Chatfield Reservoir in Littleton bustles with swimmers, sailors, fishers, campers, horseback riders and bird watchers.
Summit County is known worldwide for its skiing, but the joys of this high-country paradise aren’t confined to the slopes. On Lake Dillon, a massive reservoir lined with pines and studded with islands, boaters rejoice in the beautiful views and fresh air.
This 700-acre recreation hotspot boasts fun events all summer long, a popular swim beach, water skiing, fishing and spectacular views of Boulder’s famous Flatiron Mountains
Admire silhouettes of the foothills in the distance at this lake in Colorado Springs’ Memorial Park, a lovely place for swimming, boating and picnicking on a warm summer’s day.
In Colorado’s Middle Park area between Winter Park and the town of Grand Lake, and with spectacular Continental Divide views, Granby is another of the state’s largest lakes and popular with trout, salmon and ice fishers.
On Horsetooth’s six and a half miles of water near Fort Collins, canoeists and kayakers explore hidden coves while hikers emerge from wooded areas and hogbacks to find blue waters snaking into view and the Great Plains extending to the horizon beyond.
Lake San Cristobal
Near Lake City and Creede, Lake San Cristobal is a geologic marvel amid the San Juan Mountains formed by a rare earthflow. It’s popular with boaters, campers, and fishers.
Just 20 miles north of Durango, the town and namesake lake of Vallecito sits in a beautiful valley at 8,000 feet. A full-service marina makes getting on the water a cinch.
Part of the McPhee Recreation area outside of Cortez, the lake’s nearly 2,500 surface acres and 50 miles of shoreline sits in a beautiful river canyon and supports warm- and cold-water fish.
Grand Mesa Lakes
Colorado’s Grand Mesa is home to more than 300 lakes and reservoirs perfect for finding your own private water hideaway near the towns of Grand Junction, Paonia, Delta, Cedaredge, and Hotchkiss.
Blue Mesa Reservoir
Driving Hwy. 50 west of Gunnison, you’ll eventually ask the question, “Does this reservoir ever come to an end?” In fact, it’s the largest body of water in the state, with many-fingered coves and narrow tributaries.
Colorado state parks lakes
The 41 Colorado State Parks is one of best places to start when looking for boating and other lake activities, check out these locations in the areas you plan to visit:
• Cherry Creek Reservoir • Staunton Lake
Front Range region:
• Barr Lake • Boyd Lake • St. Vrain
• Elkhead • Harvey Gap • Highline • James M. Robb Colorado River • Pearl Lake • Rifle Gap • Stagecoach • State Forest • Sylvan Lake • Vega • Yampa River
• Jackson Lake • North Sterling
• John Martin Reservoir • Lake Pueblo • Lathrop • Trinidad Lake
• Crawford • Mancos • Navajo • Paonia • Ridgway • Sweitzer Lake
South Central region:
• Arkansas Headwaters • Eleven Mile • San Luis • Spinney Mountain
There is more!
Colorado is also home to the headwaters for some of the nation’s mightiest rivers. So, do some more internet seeking on Colorado rivers, beaches, lodging, and fishing hot spots. On your favorite search engine, use some keywords as, Lakes in Colorado, and you will find more links to more exciting Colorado favorites.