Preparing our RV for a hot summer in Arizona

The time has come for us to leave our winter home here at Imperial Dam long term visitor area.

Coming from Canada, where most rvers winterize their RV ready to face the sub-zero temperatures of a Canadian winter, this is the opposite. Temperatures inside an RV, during an Arizona summer can reach 150°F (66°C). This means you are very limited on what can remain inside.

All batteries must be removed from any remote controls, solar lights, candles, flashlights etc. as these may heat and cause a fire. I have left some spices over the summer and they seem to be fine. We also leave clothing down here. Some in the closet, which is cedar lined and not accessible to insects and some in a cooler or tote. The only other thing I do is to put Bounce fabric softener sheets in all the cupboards and drawers to help keep rodents out. People also swear by moth balls, Irish Spring soap, and bay leaves. As long as it’s easy to clean up when we return, I say go for it!

All the Windows will have insulated silver foil added to cover everything up, which you can buy at any hardware or RV store by the yard.

We have done a lot or reading and talking to fellow rvers on what to do about the RV storage tanks. This year after flushing everything out, we will leave some water in the fresh water tank, along with some drinking water stabilizer added, which is supposed to keep water fresh for up to 6 months. (Not that we would drink it when we return). The grey and black tanks will have some water left in them with a product called Happy Camper added, which helps break down waste/organisms. All the pee traps will have RV antifreeze added, the toilet will be covered with Saran Wrap, and drain plugs put in the wash hand basins, kitchen sinks and bath tub.

We leave 2 or 3 five gallon containers, full of water, with the lids off in the RV once it is parked for the summer as these add moisture as the water evaporates. The fridge/freezer doors are also left partially open.

The storage lot where we keep the fifth wheel requires that all propane be turned off/disconnected and that batteries are also disconnected.

For the past couple of years we have used the services of the Christian Service Center adjacent to the long term visitor area, to store our fifth wheel and also deliver it to our site in fall and back to the storage area in the Spring. The cost for this service is $25 each way. This enabled us to leave our fifth wheel hitch at home and put a canopy on the truck to keep items secure when travelling. The storage cost is $20 per month, and is about as good a deal as you can get.

We have the advantage of pulling the smaller travel trailer back and forth from Canada to Arizona, so we have enough room to transport anything we need back at home.

Now all that is left, is the 4 day trip back home to Alberta. It has been an interesting winter with the month long Government shutdown, the longer than normal and cooler than normal temperatures, but what remains are the friends that meet here each fall, and the new campers who will be on friends. Paul has his calendar marked for this falls arrival date.

10 responses to “Preparing our RV for a hot summer in Arizona

  1. We are planning on doing Imperial Dam this winter for the first time. We hope to stay a full 4 months if all works out as planned. Lots to do and get ready before then including buying a travel trailer. Thanks for sharing your experiences with us.

      • Update……we are a few steps closer. Purchased a Venture Sonic 190VRB 23 foot and have just about everything we will need including solar panel etc. Just looking at totes for hauling the waste. Your information has been so helpful to us creating which we hope will be great memories!

      • How exciting for you! We had so many questions when we first went down, but the community at Imperial Dam are very friendly and always willing to pass on helpful tips and information. With the weather we are having in Alberta, we are on countdown for some desert sun!

      • Quick question. Do propane trucks and sewer trucks ever attend the site? I realize we will need a tote for waste. Also, when you arrive how do you keep from taking someone’s regular spot that has been going there for a long time? Any help is appreciated as we just don’t want to butt in to someones else’s regular yearly site.

      • John there are no regular spots, it may ok like someone has put nice rocks all around a site but in reality it may have been like that for 20 years. If there is a. Hair or a tarp in an area, assume they are coming back, otherwise it is yours.
        There are no pumper trucks allowed on the long term visitor area, so the use of a blue boy or a bladder in your truck for fresh water is convenient rather than moving your rig every week to 10 days
        There are hot showers at Squaw Lake Campground, just a mile from the LTVA which a lot of people use rather than filling up their holding tanks quickly

  2. Great entry! We’ll be going down for our third winter this year. We’ve stayed in the Gravel Pit area of the LTVA in the past, but this year i want to get further out. Wish one of the neighborhoods was solar-only: i get really tired of listening to generators. 🙂 See ya there!

    • We leave October 17th, and looking forward to some warm weather. We go down on Fishtale Flats, where most people only use their generators minimally. Hope to bump in to you down there!

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