A certified technician is often the best choice for winterizing an RV. It’s good to understand how the winterizing process works, whether you are doing it yourself or having someone else do it, so you know what to look for. Here are the tips to winterize your RV:
- Deep clean the gray & black tanks: Before winterizing, this step is essential to dislodge any clinging solid waste & TP in the black tank and to break up grease and oil adhering to the gray tank sensors. Deep cleaning should be performed twice a year or every three to five dumps for full-time RVers.
- Take out the in-line water filters: Once the in-line filter has been removed from your RV, you will be able to install a bypass hose. The third step may be skipped if your RV does not come with an in-line water filter.
- Drain all your tanks: Empty your freshwater holding tanks. If you have an RV dump station or a clean-out port in your home, you can drain your black water and gray water-holding tanks. Any excess water should be drained from your water heater tank and the system flushed out.
- Pump out excess water: All faucets and valves in your RV need to be opened (hot and cold), including the ones on your toilet and shower. On the low point water drain lines, locate and remove the drain plugs. If your RV’s toilet isn’t flushing well, use the 12-volt water pump to extract any remaining water from the plumbing system; turn off the pump when the system is dry to prevent damage. A compressed air blower can also be used to remove all the water. Close all faucets and replace drain plugs.
- Avoid water heaters: Your RV most likely comes with a bypass kit for water heaters, but you can also buy one if it doesn’t. The purpose of this step is to avoid wasting antifreeze. If you don’t turn off the water heater, all of your antifreeze will be absorbed by the water heater tank before it is able to reach your water lines, resulting in a significant loss of antifreeze.
- Antifreeze your RV’s water system:
- If your water pump has an inlet end, you can connect it to a gallon of antifreeze with plastic tubing or install a water pump converter kit.
- Pumping RV antifreeze into your water line requires the installation of a 12-volt water pump, allowing it to be pressurized.
- You can start dripping pink antifreeze from the nearby water faucet after opening it until it begins to run. Once the pink antifreeze starts dripping, quickly close the faucet. You may need to replace your gallon of antifreeze from time to time.
- Your RV’s drains should be poured with antifreeze after you flush your toilet until pink antifreeze appears in the bowl. By flushing antifreeze down your toilet bowl, you can prevent your holding tank from freezing with any residual water.
- Close all your faucets & valves.
- Turn off the water heating element: Be sure to turn off the electric water heater element on the RV’s water heater when it’s not in use. It will burn out if left on, and you’ll have to replace it.
Your RV has been winterized successfully! You should consult your manual for specific winterizing instructions for your particular RV since every RV is different. In the long run, your RV will appreciate the time you put into it now, and you will save money too!