How to winterize your RV

How to Winterize Your RV? The Complete Process

Updated October 2, 2022

- By Tim Harris

Are you looking for a guide to know how to winterize your RV? If yes, you don’t need to look further. Instead, go sharply through this article as we will discuss the details of how to winterize your camper. So, first, you need to know what does winterize RV means? Winterizing the RV means that your RV is ready to perform in spring with minimal effort. The process to winterize RV may require some time or a few hours, but this will significantly help you to prevent the winter month’s damage.

You may feel scared thinking about how to winterize a travel trailer? But the truth is winterizing the RV by yourself is not as intimidating as you are thinking. The winterization process will be very easy once you break down the entire process into smaller segments. And if you find your RV’s rig area where you need to perform the work, your RV winterization process will be much easier.

Couple trying How to winterize your RV

Why You Should Winterize Your RV?

The RV winterizing process includes the water line’s water removing, holding water heater and tanks, and other water systems. Even if your RV water system contains a small amount of water, it could expand, freeze and damage your RV.

If you winterize RV, it will keep your RV safe and save you from paying higher costs for repairing it. Whether you use the method of blowing out the lines or adding RV antifreeze, the goals of these two methods are the same. Their work is to keep the water out of the system.


The Best Time to Winterize Your Rig

i) When Temperature is Too Low or Below Freezing

Before starting the first freezing season or winter, you should think about winterizing the RV. If suddenly the temperature gets too low or a cold snap catches you, you will find it challenging to winterize the RV. Thus the simple way is to use a weather app and regularly monitor the temperature.

By monitoring the weather, you will know the hourly details, and you will hopefully get enough time to winterize your RV before starting the dip-freezing weather. If somehow your RV gets caught in the freezing situation, it could damage severely.

ii) When You Need to Store Your RV

If you require to store your RV in the coming winter, you should definitely winterize it. However, you can still do it at a warm temperature to have peace in your mind. Making your RV ready in advance for the cold is an excellent decision.

iii) Traveling Through Winter or Cold Climate

If you decide to keep your RV in summer mode while you are headed to travel in the winter climate, you should winterize your RV. If you drive through the cold temperature in winter, significantly, it could damage your RV.

How to winterize your RV learn the process


What Do I Need to Winterize My Camper?

Before starting the RV winterizing process, you should collect everything or each piece of equipment required to complete the job. However, we prepare a list of items that you need to winterize your camper or travel trailer. So, let’s have a look at it:

  • Owner’s manual
  • Flashlight
  • Bucket
  • Towels
  • RV pink antifreeze
  • Air compressor
  • Small container or bowl to collect the sink’s water
  • Screwdriver
  • Tool for removing anode rod
  • Air compressor blow-out plug


How to Winterize Your RV: 9 Easy Steps

You can easily winterize your RV by yourself as it’s an easy task. But, irrespective of whether you or an expert RV technician winterize the RV, the crucial thing is preparing your RV for the cold. So, you should learn the easy 9 steps to complete this winterizing job.

RVers own different types of RVs. Thus the winterizing process is not the same for all RVs. So the best task is to follow the owner’s manual before starting the process of your RV winterization. However, you may need to perform additional winterize steps as some RVs consist of additional components. The extra parts in RV include an ice maker, washing machine, or dishwasher.

Step 1: Dump and Drain

Start the winterizing process by dumping and draining the grey and black water holding tanks. Ensure that both the grey and black water holding tanks are empty and clean.

Step 2: Drain your RV’s freshwater tank

Step 3: Clear out your RV line’s water

For clearing the water in the RV lines, follow the simple steps below:

  • Prevent the going back of water into the RV’s holding tanks by placing a bowl below the faucets
  • Open the faucet’s cold side by turning on the water pump as long as there is a lack of water or no water in it.
  • Close the faucet’s cold side and open the faucet’s hot side as long as there is no more water
  • With every shower and sink, which are RV’s inside and outside, you have to repeat these above steps.
  • Now under the low-point drain valves, place a bucket.
  • Open these drain valves and remain them open.
  • Locate the water heater’s pressure release valve. If there is an anode rod with the water heater, you can assist in the draining process by removing the rod after pressure release.
  • If there is a black water flush, you can blow out the black flush inlet and city water line.
  • If any faucets remain open, close them.

Step 4: Use the water heater’s bypass valve and then bypass the RV water tank

Step 5: Use RV Antifreeze to Protect the Lines

From the converter kit of your water pump, find out the siphon tube and then insert the line into the pink RV antifreeze’s one-gallon jug.

Note: Already, many new RVs may have the installed water pump kit and siphon tube for installation. But if you lack this kit, you should first disconnect the line with the fresh water tank. Then connect the water pump inlet’s box to the pink RV antifreeze jug.

Step 6: Through the system, push the RV antifreeze

  • Turn the water pump on. As soon as flowing the pink RV antifreeze is visible, you should instantly close all low point drains.
  • Until you see the pink RV antifreeze flow through the low point drain, outside and inside of the RV, you should open the toilet valves, faucets, and showers.
  • Repeat this entire process for the faucet, both hot and cold sides.
  • For releasing the faucet’s built-up pressure one more time, you should open the faucet and close the water pump.

Step 7: On the RV’s outside, through the water intake line, push the pink RV antifreeze

  • A small-cap covers the inlet. At first, take it off and remove the inlet’s small screen cover
  • Use a screwdriver to push on the valve as long as you don’t see the antifreeze
  • Replace both the cap and the screen

Step 8: Drain the siphon tube

  • Keep the tube in your pink RV antifreeze bottle but keep it over the liquid.
  • Start the water pump to help drain the left fluid from the tube to the lines. If there is left any remaining antifreeze in the box, you should lift the hose or turn the sink on to help its drain.
  • Wipe down it by stopping the water pump and then sow the siphon tube

Step 9: Use the P-traps to pour the RV antifreeze

  • In your sink, shower, or toilet’s p-traps, pour the pink RV antifreeze’s half cup amount


How to Winterize a Camper: 10 Preparation Tips

Consult the owner’s manual for long-term RV storage procedures once you are done with your water system’s winterization. However, depending on the RV’s storage facility and its type, the winterized process vary. For winter storage purposes, you should prepare your RV following the ten tips below:

  1. If there are any power-draining devices in your RV, unplug or turn them off.
  2. For maintaining the battery’s good condition, follow the manual or recommendations of your RV manufacturer.
  3. Shut off the propane supply valve, which supplies the primary liquid
  4. If there are any food items in your RV which could attract bugs or rodents, you should remove them.
  5. Turn off your refrigerator and properly wipe down its inside. For adequate air circulation, always keep a towel on the door.
  6. Using cordless dehumidifiers, you can prevent mold and mildew growth inside your RV or camper.
  7. If you store the RV outside, you should adequately cover its tires.
  8. Set up mouse traps or place new cab type repellent in the position from where the critters may enter your RV.
  9. For ensuring better air circulation, leave the cabinet open.
  10. For winterizing the generator, you should follow the specifications of your RV manufacturers.


Final Words

Hopefully, the above article was informative enough, and now you are aware of how to winterize your RV. For winterizing your RV, you should properly follow all the steps mentioned above. The winterizing will allow you to enjoy camping in your RV, even if its winter. And if you want to keep your RV in storage during the winter season, then winterizing is a must. Otherwise, your RV could get damaged.

You can winterize your camper by yourself or can take help from an expert. But whoever completes this job, be sure that your RV is safe from damage in winter. Usually, at the camping season’s end, the RVer winterize their RV. So you should be ready to de-winterize the RV while spring is around the corner. Proper storage and winterization can help you to keep the RV in great shape and condition for years.

Tim Harris

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