Winter will be here before you know it and if you’re an RV owner, you don’t want this season catching you by surprise. Winter and the freezing temperatures that come along with it can wreak havoc on your RV’s plumbing system if you don’t properly prep it for cold climates. And the damage that results isn’t just a pain to deal with, it’s an expensive fix too! But with just a little bit of time and a few easy-to-find supplies, you can have your RV ready to withstand even the most brutal winter! So unless you’re heading south before the snow flies, heed our warning and don’t delay: it’s time to winterize your RV!
Draining Your Plumbing
Any water trapped inside your RV lines will freeze and expand once cold temperatures hit, and the resulting damage will be costly. To empty your plumping systems, follow these easy steps:
Step 1: Open up the valve on your fresh water tank and let the contents drain out. Empty your gray water holding tank and your black water holding tank as well.
Step 2: Flush out your gray and black water holding tanks using either the flushing system built into your RV or an after-market cleaning wand.
Step 3: Open up a faucet inside of your RV to relieve any built-up pressure before draining your water heater completely.
Step 4: Secure a blowout plug to your water intake fitting and attach an air compressor to the plug. Blow in low-pressured air to force out any water that remains in your lines.
Step 5: Remove your air compressor and plug before closing the water intake fitting. Recap all drains and close any valves that remain open.
Adding the Antifreeze Antidote
Unlike distinctly green-colored antifreeze, when winterizing your RV you’ll use a special non-toxic antifreeze product which has a vibrant pink hue. Follow these steps to add it to your RV:
Step 1: Bypass your water heater. Newer RVs have a built-in method of doing this, but after-market bypass kits are also available and installing one will be well worth the purchase!
Step 2: Take the detached end of your water pump inlet tube and put it into a container of RV antifreeze. Turn your water pump on to pull the antifreeze through your system.
Step 3: Head inside your RV and, starting with the faucet closest to your water pump, turn on the hot water faucet and let it run until the antifreeze pours through. Repeat with the cold faucet.
Step 4: Move from faucet to faucet repeating step 3 until you get to the point farthest away from your water pump. You’ll also want to flush the toilet until antifreeze is present too.
Step 5: Turn off your water pump and relieve any built-up pressure by opening up a faucet. Remove the water tube from your antifreeze container and re-attach it to the tank.
Step 6: Dump a few cups of antifreeze into the toilet and down each drain. After doing so, make sure that all of the faucets and valves are closed both inside and outside of the RV.
Now that your RV is officially winterized you can either put it in storage for the winter, or you can brave the snowy weather and go camping in the cold! But regardless of whether you and your RV go adventuring this winter or you both decide to hibernate, winterizing your RV is a crucial step to ensuring that there won’t be any expensive surprises waiting for you once spring finally arrives! And once the warm weather rolls back around, simply follow these steps to unwinterize your RV, and you’ll be back to enjoying the campground sunshine before you know it!
How are you and your RV planning on spending this winter? Let us know by leaving a comment!