How to Winterize a Camper Van

Written by eric cedric
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How to Winterize a Camper Van
Camper vans require a few modifications to ready them for winter and cold weather. (Gary John Norman/Lifesize/Getty Images)

When Old Man Winter comes knocking you don't have to put the camper van away for the season. Winterising your camper van keeps you on the road and adventuring well into the white months. It does, however, require a bit of attention to the interior and the engine. Once you're ready, you can keep camping and adventuring in the great outdoors and have a comfortable and warm camping rig to come back to after a day spent in the snow.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Antifreeze
  • 5D30 oil
  • Spare blankets and sleeping bags
  • Heat shrinkable window film
  • Hair dryer

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  1. 1

    Drain all of the plumbing and holding tanks. If needed, drive to an authorised dump station found at campgrounds and interstate rest areas.

  2. 2

    Add a half-gallon of antifreeze into the holding tanks. Pour two or three cups of antifreeze into each drain on the camper van. This includes sinks or showers, if your van is so equipped.

  3. 3

    Change the oil to a cold weather-based oil such as a 5W30. Consult your owner's manual for winter oil recommendations. If no manual is available, use the 5W30 as a general winter oil.

  4. 4

    Adjust the tires to a lower PSI. Read the side of the camper van tires to get the recommended tire PSI settings. Winter driving requires a better surface area for your tires. This is achieved by letting a little air out of them. If you can afford it, change the tires to a studded or winter/ice set.

  5. 5

    Place extra sleeping bags and blankets in a storage closet or drawer in the camper van.

  6. 6

    Place the heat-shrinking cold weather film over each camper van interior window -- in the camping area only, not the cab. Blow the hair dryer onto the heat film to set in onto the windows and prevent heat haemorrhage from the window seams.

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