How To Winterize Your RV

It is very important to winterize your RV at the beginning of every winter. Following our winterizing steps will prepare your RV for the cold and ensure that it will be ready to hit the road come camping season.

Step 1 – Clean Clean Clean!

Walk around the exterior of your RV and check for any cracks or openings. Clean the body with a coat of wax to protect it from the elements.

Once you have finished the exterior, start on the interior. Remove all food, drink, and unnecessary items. Leave your cabinets, closets, and fridges open to prevent moisture buildup. It is never a bad idea to run a dehumidifier inside your RV a few times throughout the winter to reduce moisture. Give the interior a deep clean and allow it to completely dry before closing up your unit. Click here to see our blog on Making Your RV Squeaky Clean

Step 2 – Tank Cleaning

Start with the black tank, then the gray tank and finally the fresh water tank. To winterize your tanks dump each tank completely, then clean, sanitize, and flush with more water.

Step 3 – Empty Lines

Make sure your water heater is turned off and cooled down. Once this is done, empty it by opening the pressure valve and taking out the drain plug. Then go inside your RV and turn on all sinks, showers, and toilet valves. Run them until no more water is coming out, then turn off your water pump.

Step 4 – Use Antifreeze To Winterize Plumbing

Any water left in your RV lines can freeze, expand, and rupture your pipes or hoses. Use RV antifreeze to protect your RV’s water system! RV Antifreeze is usually a non toxic pink fluid. Do NOT confuse RV Antifreeze with toxic antifreeze that would be used for a car. There are two ways to winterize your RV depending on the type you own.

Using an Air Hose To Winterize RV Water Lines

  1. Empty all holding tanks and switch drain values to OPEN
  2. Run water pump until dry
  3. Open all faucets, drains, toilets
  4. Using an air hose and adapter, blow air through the city water connection to blow out any remaining water. (5-10 minutes)
  5. Pour one cup of non-toxic RV antifreeze into all drain P-traps.

Winterizing Demand or Power Plumbing System

  1. Level the RV and drain fresh water plumbing system.
  2. Replace the water filter cartridge with clear plastic bypass hose.
  3. Make sure water heater 12V and 120V interior control switches are OFF
  4. Turn the water heater bypass valves to the bypass position
  5. Close fresh tank and low point drains.
  6. Insert garden hose into a container of RV Antifreeze. Attach other end to the City Water Fill.
  7. Turn water pump ON
  8. Open hot water line on all faucets until Antifreeze is flowing continually.
  9. Close faucet hot water lines and repeat with cold lines and toilet.

Step 5 – Disconnect and Protect the Batteries!

Disconnect your RV batteries and store them in a warm and dry place for the winter to prevent the liquid inside from freezing, and preserve their longevity.

You can risk damaging the battery cells by allowing it to sit uncharged for long periods of time, so remember to fully charge the battery before putting it into winter storage.

A good way to ensure your batteries are always fully charged is by investing in a rooftop solar panel system!

If you store your RV in a climate controlled area, simply disconnect the negative cable on your RV battery, and switch the Battery Disconnect to OFF. Even during storage your RV still draws a small amount of power for things like carbon monoxide detectors, and over time it can drain your battery.

Step 6 – Lube Hinges and Locks

Use a simple household lubricant on your RV’s door hinges and locks to avoid jamming or sticking.

Step 7 – Turn Off Gas

If your RV uses propane gas, turn off the valve and remove fuses.

Step 8 – Check Your Tires

Ensure your RV’s tires are fully inflated before storage.

Step 9 – Lock, Cover, and Store!

Invest in a specialty RV lock for maximum security, and make sure you have the appropriate insurance for your unit. Whether you are storing your RV indoors or outdoors it is always a good idea to use an RV storage cover to protect it.

Click here to view our video tutorial on how to winterize your RV!

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