Winter is here and once your RV is parked for the winter, it may be the last thing on your mind. Well at least until Spring. But if your RV is parked outside, you should start to worry. Especially if there is snow. High amounts of accumulating snow can serious damage your RV, costing you thousands of dollars in the spring.
Today, many RVs are constructed with lightweight materials, especially the materials used for the roof. When 12″ to
18″ of wet slushy snow builds up on a lightweight constructed roof, the damage can be devastating, possibly collapsing your roof in. Even a few inches of snow can cause serious damage.
The ice buildup can be the worst damage your RV could endure. If the snow is not removed, the snow acts like an insulator and starts to melt the ice under the snow. The water can start to open up seams on your roof. It then can migrate throughout your RV, causing serious structural and cosmetic damage. If you don’t take care of the buildup snow during the winter, you could have a big surprise waiting for you in the Spring!
Here are some tips to keep your RV protected from the snow during the winter months:
1. Before putting your RV into storage, winterize the whole trailer. Not only do your pipes need to be winterized, but the items inside your RV need to be protected too. Make sure to remove all the food from the cabinets, remove anything that can freeze and bust, and clean your RV one last time before putting it up for the winter. Also, go through your RV and make sure there are no holes or entry points where mice or small critters could enter.
2. Unplug all the batteries and propane bottles from your RV. If you have a garage, store your RV batteries and your propane tanks in there during the winter months. Just make sure both the RV batteries and the propane tanks are secure and away from moisture.
3. If your RV will be stored outside during the winter, make sure to cover it. Buy an RV cover to cover the entire trailer or use a breathable tarp to cover the roof. A well fitted breathable RV cover is recommended. Whichever cover you decide to use, make sure it is secure, especially if the wind picks up. If you choose a tarp to cover your roof, make sure you purchase wheel covers for your tires. When putting on your wheel covers, make sure the covers are secure from the winter elements.
4. Once a snow storm is over, bundle up and go out to your RV to remove the snow off your roof. Even though you have a cover over your roof, that still doesn’t protect it from the heavy snow. Use a plastic snow shovel to remove the snow (DO NOT USE AN ALUMINUM SNOW SHOVEL OR A SHOVEL WITH A METAL TIP). Plastic snow shovels are less likely to tear or damage your roof. When removing snow from your roof, concentrate on removing the snow and leave any ice that has built up. Once the ice is exposed to the sunlight, the ice will start to melt and run off your RV. DO NOT USE A HAMMER TO REMOVE THE ICE: this will damage your roof.
5. When removing snow, make sure to use a portable ladder that you can move around the RV. Do not stand on your RV roof! The extra body weight along with the heavy snow could collapse the roof in by just stepping in the wrong spot. Just remember safety first.
For more tips about protecting your RV from the snow, read “Winter Snow Load Can Seriously Damage Your RV” or “Heavy Snow Load Will Stress Your RV Roof To The Point Of Destruction.” Both articles are by Curtis at thefuntimesguide.com in the RV Road Trips section.