De-Winterizing Your RV
A Thaw in Relations
Well spring is upon us and the Cold War is over, or should I say the war against the cold. At the end of last fall you took the vital steps to winterize your RV and keep it safe from the frostier months of the year. Now it’s time to reverse those steps and get back on the road and back to living outdoors. So here at Campers & Gear our expert “RV Doctors” are writing you a prescription to get rid of that cabin fever that you have had over the winter. All you need to do is to follow these tips to getting campground bound again, take two breaths of clean wilderness air, and call us in the morning. Actually, leave your phone at home along with your stress and spend your morning hiking a pristine trail.
Step 1. RV Water System
- Evacuate all antifreeze from your plumbing.
- Flush potable water through the water system until all RV antifreeze is gone.
- Drain any holding tanks, flush with potable water and while pump is turned on, run all of the faucets until you are positive that only clean antifreeze free water is coming out. Then turn faucets off.
- Make sure you don’t forget plumbing fixtures such as ice-makers, outdoor showers, toilets, and any washing machines or dishwashers.
- Drain the hot water tank and flush all antifreeze out of it. Then seal back up.
- Install new water filter cartridges.
- Empty flushed antifreeze from gray and black water holding tanks as soon as you have access to dumping station.
- Mix half a cup of household bleach with one gallon of fresh water for every thirty gallons of fresh water your tanks hold and flush the system again to sanitize for safety. Pour bleach directly into a potable RV drinking hose if you do not have a fresh water fill location. Completely fill fresh water holding tanks with bleach and water solution, then turn on the faucets and run until the smell of bleach is present. (You will need to turn the pump on for this)
- Let solution rest in tanks for twelve hours, then drain the tanks and lines and flush with potable water until the smell of bleach is gone. (Repeat if necessary)
Step 2. Tires
- Since your tires will lose pressure sitting over winter it is necessary to add air to the correct PSI and confirm with a reliable tire pressure gauge.
- Research the necessary PSI for your particular tires.
Step 3. Batteries
- Batteries lose charge while being stored so fully re-charge your batteries.
- If they were removed for storage, re-install and then re-charge.
Step 4. Engine
- For motorized RVs check the fluid levels and top up where necessary.
- Fill with fresh fuel and optionally a fuel additive.
Step 5. Appliances
- Have an authorized RV repair facility check lp gas fueled appliances for leaks and operating pressure.
- Refill lp fuel tanks.
- Once water heater is full test for hot water.
- Test electrical appliances such as microwave and a/c once you are plugged into a proper electrical source.
Step 6. Generators
- Inspect the oil level and exhaust system according to the owner’s manual.
- Refrain from operating generator if it has sustained any damage!
Step 7. Safety
- Install new batteries in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.
- Make sure your fire extinguishers are at full capacity.
- For motorized RVs inspect windshield wipers, headlights, and brake lights. Replace bulbs and fuses as needed.
There you have it. A little time researching on Campers & Gear and you are loaded up with all the knowledge it takes to head down the highway like a band of gypsies and get on the road again as Willie would say. Before you know it, you’ll be using the skills gained about how to make the perfect s’more and telling fish stories to your friends. Happy travels!