How to Winterize Your RV

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Winterizing Your RV

Settling in for a Long Winter’s Nap

For those of you who are not full-time RVers, the summer wind will have come and gone, and the brisk air of fall will be upon you. Which can mean only one thing, winter is right around the corner. It’s now time to winterize your RV so that it is protected from the elements and will be ready to ride again come next spring.

When it comes to winterizing your RV there are a few things that are needed, so let’s start there.

You will need the following items:

  • A basic set of hand tools
  • Two to Four Gallons of NON-Toxic RV Antifreeze
  • If possible your Owner’s Manual is always a great thing to have at the ready
  • Water Heater Bypass Kit
  • Water Pump Converter Kit/Clear Tubing

Step 1. RV Water System

  • Consult your Owner’s Manual if possible and follow instructions specific to your RV
  • Remove and bypass any inline water filters
  • Drain and Flush the Freshwater Holding Tank
  • Drain and Flush the Grey and Black water Holding Tanks (Flush King is an excellent product for cleaning these tanks)
  • Lubricate valves with WD-40
  • After making sure that the Hot Water Heater is no longer under pressure or hot, remove the drain plug and open the pressure relief valve to drain the Hot water Heater fully
  • Turn on all hot and cold faucets including any outside showers and flush the toilets until you are confident that all water is out of the plumbing system
  • Use the Water Pump to force any excess water from the low point drain lines, STOP once drained
  • Close all faucets and recap all drains
  • Bypass the Hot Water Heater if you don’t already have a Hot Water Bypass installed (This will prevent wasting RV Antifreeze)
  • Connect clear tubing to inlet side of water pump and the other end to RV Antifreeze
  • Pressurize the system by turning on the Water Pump
  • Replacing the Antifreeze container as needed and beginning with the closest faucet open the hot then cold valves until RV Antifreeze appears
  • Repeat the process going from the next closest faucets until you finish at the farthest (Don’t forget any outside showers or valves
  • Flush all Toilets until antifreeze comes out
  • Shut off the Water Pump and open a faucet to release pressure
  • Pour a cup of RV Antifreeze down each drain, and a few cups into the toilet/s and in the toilet tank/s, finish by flushing into the holding tank
  • Should your RV Hot Water Heater have an electric element be sure to turn it off

Step 2. Tires

  • Top up the air pressure on your tires to the manufacturer suggested PSI

Step 3. Batteries

  • Remove your batteries
  • Clean Terminals with solution of baking soda and water with old toothbrush

Now that you have winterized your RV and taken the necessary steps to guarantee your RV will be protected during its winter slumber don’t despair. Just because your RV will be hibernating doesn’t mean that you have to. Camping in the winter can be a lot of fun if you know what you are doing. So be sure to check out our article ‘Essential Tips for Winter Camping’. It might not offer all of the creature comforts that your RV affords you, but it will offer you a unique perspective on the great outdoors’ forgotten season and allow you the opportunity to keep on camping all year round.

Then when you are ready to wake up your RV for spring, just refer to our guide ‘De-Winterizing Your RV’ and get back on the road to adventure.

Here's a helpful video we found on YouTube. 

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