How do you winterize a Travel Lite truck camper?

In today’s blog post, we will explain: How do you winterize a Travel Lite truck camper? We will discuss the basics of winterizing any truck camper.

How do you winterize a Travel Lite truck camper?

To winterize a Travel Lite truck camper you want to follow these simple steps:

  1. You want to drain all excess water from the truck camper pipes and tanks;
  2. You want to prepare your water heater for below freezing temperatures;
  3. You must protect the whole water system with RV antifreeze. 
  4. Empty and clean everything inside (storage spaces, fridge, closets, etc). 
  5. Store your camper in a sheltered place or under a truck camper cover. 

While Travel Lite truck campers can be used in winter (with a few additional heaters and proper insulation), making sure you do a thorough job when winterizing the camper will ensure its durability and longevity!

Essential tips for a through winterization of a Travel Lite truck camper

Here are a few more steps to consider if you decide to winterize your Travel Lite truck camper by yourself:

  • Avoid leaving anything that can take moisture and attract rodents, clothing, linens, food, and so on.
  • If you empty the drawers and the closets, it will be easier to check whether there are any infiltrations, by checking whether the walls are not soft in the corners, at the height of the pull handles, under the windows, around the skylights and other openings.
  • Leave the doors of cupboards, wardrobes and drawers open without forgetting the fridge door.
  • Remove the cushions from the exterior walls, place a moisture absorber (to be replaced regularly) and check that the ventilation grids are clear. If your camper spends the winter in the shelter, leave the berries in the first locking position.
  • The circuits and tanks of clean and used water will be emptied and rinsed; the taps and inspection hatches will remain open to allow ventilation. The water tank and the toilet cassette will suffer the same fate.
  • Close the gas bottle and since you are headed in the gas box, take the opportunity to check the validity date of the lyre.
  • A little blow of the grease gun on the drawbar and on the axle for certain models without forgetting the rack of the handbrake and the jack screws after having cleaned the old grease with petroleum for example.
  • Cover the drawbar with a cover or, failing that, a plastic bag to protect it from the elements.
  • Once the camper is in place on its wintering site, as far as possible avoid grass, a ground with gravel retains less moisture, over inflate the tires to 500 grams, if possible put it on chocks, and hide the wheels from the sun’s rays; check the age of the tires and plan to replace them at the end of winter if necessary and do not apply the handbrake to prevent the linings from sticking to the drum.

Here you are, your Travel Lite is ready to face winter in good conditions. When spring returns, a good washing of the bodywork and it will be ready for a new season!

If you leave your Travel Lite truck camper outside for winter

If you leave your Travel Lite truck camper outside during the winter, make sure you follow our advice:

  • Leave the camper slightly tilted so that water, snow, etc. can flow. 
  • Grease all the hinges, the support wheel and the handbrake.
  • Cover the drawbar with a protective cover.
  • When covering your camper with a tarp, leave enough space for air to circulate.
  • We recommend that you carry out the necessary repairs before preparing the camper for winter.
  • If possible, move your truck camper about once a month to prevent tire damage or immobilization damage. Ventilate the interior thoroughly.
  • Special motorhome advice
  • Fully charge the battery.
  • Fill the motorhome with fuel to avoid the risk of condensation in the tank (be careful, diesel expands, so do not fill it completely).
  • Dry the brakes: drive at low speed, braking lightly.
  • Lift the motorhome and place it on jack stands to relieve the tires.
  • Raise the wipers.
  • At regular intervals of several weeks, recharge the battery, ventilate thoroughly and replace the dry aggregate.
  • If your motorhome is left outside during the winter, park it in a slightly tilted position so that rainwater can run off the roof and do not freeze in low temperatures.
  • Make the necessary repairs without waiting for spring.
  • On the wintering site
  • Once the vehicle is installed on its wintering site, engage first gear and release the handbrake. If the ground is sloping, use chocks if necessary to block the wheels.
  • Close everything and store the truck camper in a secure space. 

Precautions when winterizing a Travel Lite truck camper

Even if you follow the above tips to the minute, there are some aspects you prevent in order to find your truck camper dry and ready to go in spring.   

  1. Watch out for humidity: The presence of moisture inside the truck camper can cause serious problems during the winter. This is why it is advisable, as far as possible, to remove all upholstery/mattresses from the vehicle and store them in a dry place.

If this is not possible, arrange the linings and mattresses in the vehicle in such a way that they are well ventilated on all sides and do not come into direct contact with the exterior walls.

Open all shutters and doors so as to ventilate well. You can also place a large, flat crate on the floor and fill it with kitty litter to lower the humidity in the air.

  1. Cover the truck camper with a tarpaulin : If conditions do not allow the camper to be stored under a roof during winter, it is recommended to cover it with a special tarpaulin to protect the bodywork from winter weather. We are talking about a special tarpaulin insofar as it must be breathable. 

We strongly advise against opting for an inexpensive polyethene tarpaulin purchased from a DIY store. It may be affordable and perfectly waterproof, it will not be breathable.

In this case, the humidity in the air under the cover and in the vehicle will not be able to evaporate if it lasts throughout the winter, thus promoting the appearance of rust and corrosion. Worse yet, mold could form inside the trailer, which should be avoided for health reasons.

  1. More expert advice and precautions:
  • Check all gaskets regularly, at least once every two years.
  • By devoting half a day to winterizing your truck  in the fall, you can avoid moisture or rust problems in the spring. And as soon as the sun comes out, the motorhome or camper is ready to come out of hibernation and hit the road again without a hitch.
  • Checks during the winter break: it is recommended to carry out a check-up of your camping vehicle once a month. This is to make sure that everything is in order, that there are nowhere any traces of humidity or even water infiltration.
  • Freshwater: If there is one topic that has divided for years and has fueled heated discussion, it is that of freshwater. 

Conclusions

After winter, when you want to use your truck camper again, you need to remove the antifreeze. Using a garden hose, pour water into the drinking water tank. Start the trailer’s water pump and turn on each cold water tap. Let it run until the colour and taste are back to normal.

Fill the water tank and flush the toilet repeatedly. Open the bypass of the water heater and place it in Summer mode. Fill the tank with potable water. Before screwing the water heater element back on, let several tens of litres of water flow to drain it completely.

Run water through all hot water faucets. To make sure you kill all bacteria, rinse the water tank with bleach. I use 1 teaspoon (5 ml) per 4 litres or 1 cup for a 50 gallon or 200 litre tank. I leave the bleach for 24 hours and then drain.

Please feel free to leave any comments, questions or tips on how to winterize a truck camper!

FAQ on How do you winterize a Travel Lite truck camper?

How do you winterize a truck camper?

To properly winterize a truck camper you must take care of three important aspects:

  1. You want to drain all excess water from the truck camper pipes and tanks;
  2. You want to prepare your water heater for below freezing temperatures;
  3. And you must protect the whole water system with RV antifreeze. 

Should you cover a camper in winter?

Yes, you should cover a camper in winter with good quality, breathable and light

. A camper with a protective cover can be safely stored inside and outside, no matter the season, but especially in winter. 

How to protect a camper in winter?

The first solution is the most economical: the protective cover. It covers a camper that usually sleeps outside. It is never advisable to leave a motorhome outdoors for a long period, it is damaged and degrades more quickly (bodywork, gaskets, batteries, tires, etc.)

Can truck campers be used in winter?

Yes, truck campers can be used in winter, although – you are warned – they can be quite cold!  Proper insulation is the most important factor in keeping the truck camper warm. Before lighting a heater be sure to insulate your camper’s walls, floors, and windows. The more insulation there is, the less energy you need to keep warm. Spray foam and silicone caulking are your friends.

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References

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