It’s always hard to accept it when the warm summer and fall months come to an end and we have to hang up our camping gear for another season. While this means the beginning of football season and tailgating, it also means putting away the RV until next year. In doing so, it’s important to winterize your RV correctly so that it’s protected from the freezing temperatures and moisture that most of us experience in the winter. If an RV is not winterized properly, water in the lines will freeze, causing them to burst open and spring a leak! Other preventable damage will occur as well if you do not take the steps to ready your RV for winter. Winterization is quick and inexpensive. Repairs are not! Follow these 8 steps to winterization so that you can feel confident that your RV will be ready to go when you thaw out in the spring and you’re ready to hit the open road.
Disconnect your outside water source. Do not drain the water heater until after you have filled your pipes with antifreeze.
Bypass your water heater and any under-sink water systems.
Open the petcock to drain as much water from your pipes as possible. Open water taps and flush the toilet to drain any remaining water in the system.
After draining as much water as possible, you might want to attache a blowout plug to the water intake fitting. Apply air pressure from an air compressor to drain the remaining water. Blowing out the remaining water is not required, but the remaining water will dilute your antifreeze, making it less effective. Close all faucets and petcock when complete.
Add antifreeze either from the inside using the water pump conversion kit or from the outside using a hand pump. Check your progress by opening up one faucet at a time, starting from the highest and working to the lowest point in the fresh water system. Begin with the kitchen faucet. Open the HOT side of the faucet only. Pump antifreeze until flow from the faucet becomes pink. This will indicate that all the water has been flushed from your system. Close the faucet. Repeat this on the cold side. Continue to the next lower fixture.
Pour at least two pints of antifreeze into all sink & shower drains. The icemaker, washing machine, and external shower will also need to be winterized. Look for this information in the appliance manuals.
Open the drain plug on the water heater and leave it open.
Leave antifreeze in the lines until spring. Do not drain.
Congratulations! You are ready for any cold weather that comes your way!
• Turn off completely. Clean and dry the inside and prop the door open slightly for air circulation.
• Check the condition of screening material underneath the refrigerator roof vent.
• Turn off completely and clean and dry it.
• Disconnect all batteries.
• Fully charge if they will be left in the RV.
• If batteries are to be left in the RV, disconnect negative cables for all batteries.
• Turn off breakers at distribution box.
• Unplug any 120-volt devices.
• Clean and cover the roof, including the air conditioner unit. For complete roof maintenance, read this.
• Check sealant around the door and every window. Seal if you find openings.
• Inspect rubber seals and keep slide-outs in retracted position. Disarm the system. Repair any broken seals.
• Clean and dry before retracting.
• Inspect for any openings and cover if needed.
If you plan to store your RV for the winter, taking the proper steps to winterize it is essential for a smooth-running RV in the spring. But if you plan to keep your RV open and do some winter RVing, read this for some great winter RVing maintenance tips.