Cold weather is on its way, and that means it’s time to protect your RV from damaging freezing temperatures! This great guide will give you step-by-step instructions on how to winterize your RV in order to avoid costly damage to you RV’s water system!
What You’ll Need:
- 2-3 gallons of RV antifreeze (make sure that it’s non-toxic antifreeze)
- Water heater bypass kit (optional if your RV already has one)
- Water pump converter kit or a length of tubing
- Be sure to remove and bypass inline water filters if your RV has them.
- Drain the fresh water holding tank.
- Use your black tank flush system to flush the black tank. If your RV is not equipped with this, use a sprayer wand to clean both the gray and black tanks.
- Drain the water heater by opening the pressure relief valve and removing the drain plug. You may see lime deposit bits come out, but they aren’t cause for concern. DO NOT drain your water heater when hot or still under pressure!
- Open all faucets to drain the water lines, including the toilet and outside shower.
- Open all low point drain lines. There is one for both hot and cold lines. Use the water pump to help force water out, but turn the pump off as soon as the lines are drained. Close all faucets and replace drain covers.
- Next, install the water heater bypass system, or if it is already in place, go ahead and bypass the water heater. This will prevent the water heater from filling up with antifreeze and wasting it!
- Either install the water pump converter kit, or attach a small piece of hose onto the water pump hose, and insert the end into a gallon of antifreeze.
- Turn on the water pump to pressurize the system and move the antifreeze through the lines.
- Starting with the faucet closest to you, open each valve one at a time until you see pink antifreeze run through, then shut the valve off. Do this for each faucet, including the toilet and outside shower, and be sure not to let the antifreeze bottle run dry during this process.
- Turn off the water pump. Open one faucet to release pressure, then close it once it has been relieved.
- Remove the screen of the city water inlet and push on the valve until you see antifreeze, then put the screen back in place.
- To prevent the under-sink traps from freezing, pour about a cub of antifreeze into each drain. Leave a small amount in the toilet bowl to prevent the seal from freezing and sticking.
- Clean out any excess antifreeze from sinks and the shower.
- Make sure that the electric heating element is shut off if your water heater has one.
- Do one final check to make sure all faucets are closed, then you are done!
This step-by-step process for winterizing your RV takes a little bit of time, but will protect your RV so that it’s in perfect shape and ready for adventure come spring or summer! You can always take your RV to the dealership and have them winterize your unit, but if you prefer to do this process yourself, hopefully this guide has helped! Comment to share any other tips or tricks you have for winterizing your RV!