How To Quickly Winterize Your Trailer

Winterize Your Travel Trailer

We own the tent trailer, or pop-up trailer as it’s known.  After a couple of frosts and a bit of snow, it was time to say “Goodbye” for the winter.  Here is how we it.

Water lines: If you have them/use them, you’ll need to flush the water out at home and put RV antifreeze in the lines.  We have one simple line to a sink, but many of you will also have a bathroom.  To cover all of your needs you should also read this step by step guide  We always cut the label off the jug and leave it in the sink as a reminder.  FYI, we have a cutting board that covers the sink, so I also store my dish soap, etc. in there.

Rodents: They are looking for a place to live this winter.  Remove ALL food, go through every nook and cranny.   Put a couple of open boxes of moth balls on the floor.  We have never had a problem.

Year Around Items: We’ll use our lawn chairs well before spring, and the kids will use their sleeping bags for sleepover and scout events.  Pull out everything you may need over the winter.

Valuables: Take anything that is “irreplaceable” out of the trailer.

Propane Tank: Take it off and leave it at home.  It’s easily removed and, therefore, easily stolen.

Refrigerator Switches: Ours are located on the outside of the trailer.  Flip them all to the OFF position.  We have two sets.  One behind each panel.

Locks: Place locks on the pop-up hasps and use them.  Also lock all of the exterior compartment doors with your keys.

Battery: Remove this as well and keep it at your house.  We need it to operate the electric breaks, so it’s removed before we leave the warehouse.

Photos: Take a photo of the condition of your trailer and the location, including the ceiling in case of damage.

Go home and start planning a trip for next spring!

Vehicle Maintenance

Day Two

Our dog sitter (read: Grandma) lives north of our home, and we need to go west.  Lake Michigan was in our way of traveling west, so we came back home and spent the night.  It’s a good thing we did!

Who knows what caused this mark on our driveway before we left? Not something he wanted to wake up to yesterday before getting on the road. 

Here is Mike’s Maintenance Checklist (which had already been done):

Replaced the trailer tires, checked the bearings and the brakes.  The van maintenance: engine belt replacement, oil change and tires. Now the deep cycle battery is screaming “replace me”. Glad to have it done before we leave. Glacier National Park campgrounds do not have electricity, so we’ll be using it every night. Think of us when you turn out your lights!

Services Interupted

Nathaniel’s 16th Birthday

 “Before Leaving” Camping Checklist:

Order Then Wait

Ask Nathaniel to show you his “almost driver’s license”.  We’ll be driving out of the country to CA again, eh?  So we did a bit of research and found that only kids 15 and under can cross the boarder with a birth certificate these days.  A month or so ago, we ordered him an “enhanced” state ID from the MI driver’s license bureau.  No big deal, but it took three weeks to get it in the mail.  Mike and I ordered our enhanced driver’s licenses years ago.

Last week I called in a couple of prescription refills.  Of course one of the allergy medications “has a problem that requires action from your Dr.”.  Today I’ll follow-up and get that resolved. . .

Pets and Plants

Our little Shih-tzu dog, Lacey, has been hiked off to “Camp Grandma’s” for the month.  She’ll have a great time growling at the squirrels, and weigh a pound more when we pick her up.   This year I learned that I need to call the vet’s office to have my parents and in-laws put on her records as people they can talk to about my dog’s health.  Were she to need veterinarian care “up north”, HIPA applies (really?!?).  One call and they made a note in her permanent file.

The fish need week feeders and a teenager hired to add them.  She’ll also water the outdoor/indoor plants as needed.

This is how the kids imagine she’ll spend much of her time.
This AM I’m stopping our daily services.  Ugh.  US postal service mail is quickly put on hold at via their website.  South Bend Tribune newspaper has a vacation hold available on-line, too.  Our hometown newspaper required a telephone call.  You can also save a few pennies by putting Netflix on hold, if I remember right.  We’ve decided to just cancel the mail-order service today, scaling back to the basic instant package.
Our credit union, where we have a visa/debit card, is on my list of stops today.  A block automatically goes onto an account when lots of out of state charges start popping up.  That’s a pretty important place to make aware of our travel dates.   The kids will use their free coin sorter and cash-in our vacation change jar while we’re there.
Happy Travels!