Winterize RV: How to Winterize Your RV the Right Way

Quick NavigationHow Is Winter Bad for My RV?What Can I Do About It?Drain The PlumbingAll about RV Anti-FreezePrecautionary Measures

As camping season comes to an end and the temperature starts dropping around the US, it is best that you get your RV ready for the winter.

Parking your RV for the winter requires some solid precautionary measures so as to ensure minimum damage.

Now, you can always take your rig to the local RV maintenance shop, though it would cost you a few bucks.

There are other ways to winterize your RV. I have mentioned the steps that would guide you through the entire process:

Tools Needed

How Is Winter Bad for My RV?

Winter slowly creeps in with the days getting shorter and the chilly nights get longer. ​

Fall is that time of the year when you have to put an end to your camping trips if you’re not a full timer.

Not winterizing your RV can cause immense damage to the system, to the extent that the water lines pump and hot water tanks might need to be replaced.

The water system of the RV is especially vulnerable to the drop in temperature. Even a little bit of water left over in the cracks and corners of the pipes would freeze, expand and split the pipes. Simply draining the water is not enough; you have to clean it out completely to make sure no water is left

What Can I Do About It?

Now that you know about the damage water can cause to the system, let us move on to discuss the various ways of winterizing an RV.

Don’t worry though, you don’t have to take your RV to a professional, you can protect the device yourself following these simple but effective steps. Check them out:

infographic on how to winterize your RV

Drain The Plumbing

First and foremost, ensure that the pipes and corners of the RV are completely dried out. Even a little bit of water inside the RV can cause irreparable damage. You can blow out the system using compressed air using an external blow-out plug. or do it the traditional way, i.e. fill the RV with anti-freeze.

Blowing out the RV plumbing is the easiest technique, although it doesn’t guarantee 100% success. There still might be some water inside the RV. In the second method, however, the system has antifreeze in it to protect the pipes.

Add the adequate amount of RV anti-freeze depending on the size and scale of the rig, usually, a couple of gallons does the trick.

Use an External Hand Pump

You can pump in the anti-freeze solution into the RV system either with an external pump or use the traditional RV pump. Once you have removed all traces of moisture from the RV, you can add the RV anti-freeze.

Attach the siphon of the pump to the anti-freeze solution and connect the other end with the city’s water inlet. Close all the valves and only open the hot side of the faucet and pump in the anti-freeze until the faucet grows pink. So the same for the cold side, and repeat the process for all other valves and faucets.

Or, Try the Internal RV Pump

The alternative to the external water pump is the internal RV pump that uses the bypass valve to distribute the RV anti-freeze evenly throughout the system. Ensure that the rig is parked on the solid and stable concrete surface so as to prevent any damage to the tires. Add a fuel stabilizer to the motor and fill the radiator with anti-freeze.

Also, remove the batteries and store them separately in a dry place. For extra protection, you can even apply a bit of the moisture absorbent on the inner flat surface of the RV to prevent metal corrosion, dampness, and mold formation.

Once you add the anti-freeze the the water pipes, make sure you pour some anti-freeze down all the drains in case there is some water in the elbow areas of the pipes.

All about RV Anti-Freeze

All RV units are prone to damage and corrosion is not properly winterized. The best way to store an RV would be to keep in inside a dry heated building, but it’s not a feasible idea. RV anti-freeze solution is the next best alternative that can ensure total removal of moisture from the system.

Getting the system ready for winter requires a bit of preparation. You have to check for leaks, separate the various parts of the RV, clean them properly and then drain them completely before storing them for the winter.

Precautionary Measures

  • Disconnect the RV unit from the rig and separate all the components before winterizing it. This includes removing the batteries, the radio, the alarms, and detectors.
  • Clean the refrigerator, the oven, and the pipelines. Remove all the toiletries, and refreeze the freezer.
  • Remove all food items, clothing and anything else from the RV unit
  • Check for gaps and cracks in the system, a thorough pest control is also recommended.
  • Check the roof vents for any damage and repair the plumbing of the house before you begin with winterizing
  • Cover the rig with plastic or a tough fabric specially made for RV units.
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