The Off-Season: Things to do and Prep for Your RV Adventures

As of right now, it’s still pretty cold and gloomy in most parts of the country. While some continue to camp through the cold, vast majority of campers are taking a break from RVing. Many are probably getting pretty restless as they wait for the off-season to end and camping season to roll around again. 

If you’re among those who just can’t wait to hit the road in an RV once again, you might be on the lookout for things you can do right now to prepare for those RV adventures of the future. Lucky for you, there are actually a number of things you can do right now to ensure getting back on the road is quick and easy once the weather finally does warm up. 

Here are our top tips for keeping busy through the off-season and ensuring you are 100% ready to camp when spring arrives.

Vacuum

Wash the Curtains, Carpets, and Furniture

Camping can be a messy business. Dirt and dust finds its way into every nook and cranny it can, and while most of this gets cleaned up when you sweep, mop, and dust, there are some things that don’t get cleaned quite as often. These include things like the curtains, carpets, and furniture, and most people don’t even realize just how dirty these things can get.

Why not use the cold months to head out to the RV and really give those things a good cleaning? Rent a steam cleaner for the carpet, invest in some furniture cleaning spray, remove the covers on your dinette cushions and throw them in the washer, and take down the curtains and put them in the laundry as well. 

Getting these tasks done will make your RV feel much fresher, making it a more pleasant place to be once you can hit the road again. 

Update Your RV Decor

While you’re doing your deep clean, you could also take the time to give your home-on-wheels a fresh look.

Many RVs use a lot of grays or browns for their interior color schemes, making them pretty dull places to spend time in. By changing out the bedspread, shower curtain, and couch pillows, you can add pops of color that are sure to brighten the place up. Hanging decor on the walls adds a personal touch, and changing out the window coverings to something you love helps make the place feel more like home. 

Most decor updates are actually quite easy to do, and you can use the winter to shop around for good deals on the perfect pieces and put together a whole new look for the new camping season. 

Getting these tasks done will make your RV feel much fresher, making it a more pleasant place to be once you can hit the road again. 

Tools

Make Repairs and Keep Up with Maintenance

It’s also a good idea to use the off-season to make repairs and catch up on maintenance. This option may not be as fun as redecorating your tiny home, but it is important and will help you get camping sooner when the weather allows.

If you need to send your RV to the shop to be worked on, now is the time to do it because you aren’t using it anyway. It’s also the time to make DIY repairs, replace appliances and broken parts, change the oil and filters on the generator and/or RV itself, change the water heater anode rod (if your water heater model has one), and reseal any spots that need it so that the rig is in good working order and completely ready to go. 

Don’t want to be working on the rig in the cold? If you’re making inside repairs, you can always turn on the furnace while you work. 

For outside repairs, we recommend trying to find an indoor storage facility that will allow you to make repairs onsite and has availability for a single month. Pay for that month and do all exterior work while your rig is parked inside.

Another option is to ask family and friends if they have covered parking that could hold your RV for a few days while you make repairs. In this case, some space heaters can really come in handy for keeping things warm. 

Watch Out for Pests

While you’re in and out of the rig, make sure you’re keeping an eye out for mice, ants, roaches, and other pests. This task won’t really fill much time, but it is something you should be doing regularly while your RV is in storage. After all, if you catch an infestation now, you can take care of it before it becomes too bad, and you won’t be stuck dealing with a horrible issue when camping season arrives.

To help ensure you don’t get mice or bugs in the first place, be sure to remove all food from the camper while it’s in storage. It’s also a good idea to set out cotton balls with peppermint oil on them. If you end up with pests anyway, set out bait and traps as soon as possible and visit daily to change them out until the critters are gone.

RV in Summer

Start Planning and Booking Your Adventures

Even while the snow is still falling, you can be planning what you’ll do when the sun is shining again. Sit down and take a look at your options. What have you done already and what’s still sitting on your bucket list? Narrow down your options based on what your family enjoys most and start picking out dates for your getaways. 

Many campgrounds and RV parks will even take reservations several months in advance, meaning you can start booking your campsites and snagging tickets to attractions. In fact, if you plan to visit national parks at all, now is the time to book national parks campgrounds, as well as any timed entry tickets to the parks that require them. 

Having a plan for where you’ll go and when you’ll get there can really help get you through the winter by giving you something to look forward to, and it’ll give you peace of mind about what the future holds.

Check Batteries, Propane, and Tires

Hopefully, you winterized your RV before putting it into storage. As the off-season draws to a close, you can start de-winterizing your RV. This is a process that involves a lot of cleaning up, checking things out, and preparing for your first trip. Some of the most important things you’ll do during this process can be started a week or two before you plan to head out. 

These include:

  • Recharging and reconnecting the RV batteries
  • Replacing all alarm batteries
  • Refilling and connecting propane tanks
  • Checking tires for wear and ensuring the tire pressure is correct

De-Winterize Your RV Plumbing

Finally, you will need to de-winterize your RV plumbing. This task should be saved for after the final hard freeze of the season (so you won’t have to repeat the process all over again). Fortunately, it’s a super simple job that can be done relatively quickly if need be. 

To de-winterize RV plumbing you will need to:

  • Connect your RV to city water (be sure to use a water pressure regulator) and turn the water on.
  • Take a minute to watch and listen for leaks.
  • Turn on the tap nearest the water connection and let it run until the water turns from pink to clear before turning it off.
  • Move to the next tap over and do the same, repeating the process on every sink, shower, and toilet in the rig. 
  • Fill the freshwater tank with clean water and use the pump to run each tap until clear again. 
  • Flip the water heater bypass switch to allow the heater tank to refill. 

Many people also choose to sanitize their freshwater tank at this point, something we also recommend doing in order to ensure your water system is giving you the cleanest water possible. 

There you have it, folks! A number of productive things you can be doing to your RV to ensure it is fully ready so you can start camping as soon as possible. Why not get started now? The sooner you do, the sooner you’ll be enjoying RV adventures once again.

RV faucet