Do I Need To Winterize My RV?

Winter is a season we all love. The ground is white and the days are cold. We all love to gather around a nice warm fire and be with those we love. But you might wonder if your RV deserves better treatment than just sitting there idle all winder long. If you are going to simply be parking your RV all winter, then there are a few things you will need to consider before doing so.

Before You Get Started

Before you get started on winterizing your RV there are a few things you will to have on hand. The good thing is that most of the items you require can be found in most RV stores. You will need the following things: 

  • Water Pump Converter Kit (Or Something Similar)
  • Water Heater By-Pass Kit (Some RV's come with this installed)
  • Wand To Clean Out Holding Tanks
  • Non-toxic RV Anitfreeze and
  • Basic Hand Tools

Winterize Your RV

You love your RV just as much as the next man or woman does. You want it to last for the coming years, which is why you need to take the proper steps to Winterize your RV. Now that you have the equipment needed to winterize your RV, what is the next step? How do you keep your RV in tip-top shape during the winter? Each RV unit will have instructions on how to preserve your RV for the long and cold winter. Below are a few steps from KOA.

  • "If you have any inline water filters remove and bypass before starting.
  • Drain the fresh water holding tank.
  • Drain and flush the gray and black holding tanks. If your RV doesn’t have a built in tank flushing system clean the black tank out with a wand, or use a product like Flush King that allows you to clean both the black and gray tanks. Lubricate the termination valves with WD 40.
  • Drain the water heater. Remove the drain plug and open the pressure relief valve. CAUTION (never drain the water heater when it is hot or under pressure)
  • Open all hot and cold faucets; don’t forget the toilet valve and outside shower.
  • Locate and open the low point drain lines. There will be one for the hot and cold water lines. Using the water pump will help force water out, but turn it off as soon as the system is drained.
  • Recap all drains and close all faucets.
  • By-pass the water heater. If you do not have a by-pass kit installed the water heater will fill up with antifreeze before it goes through the water lines, wasting six gallons of antifreeze.
  • Install a water pump converter kit, or disconnect the inlet side of the water pump (the line coming from the fresh water holding tank). Connect a piece of clear tubing to the inlet side of the pump and put the other end into a one gallon container of non-toxic RV antifreeze.
  • Turn the water pump on and pressurize the system. Starting with the closest faucet, slowly open the hot and then cold valves until antifreeze appears. Replace the antifreeze container as required.
  • Repeat this process on all faucets from the closest to the farthest away. Don’t forget the outside shower, if equipped.
  • Flush the toilet until antifreeze appears.
  • Turn the water pump off and open a faucet to release the pressure. Go outside to the city water inlet. Remove the small screen over the inlet and push in on the valve with a small screwdriver until you see antifreeze. Replace the screen.
  • Pour a cupful of antifreeze down each drain. Pour a couple of cups in the toilet and flush into the holding tank.
  • If your water heater has an electric heating element make sure it is turned off. This will protect the element if the unit is plugged in while being stored.
  • Make sure all the faucets are closed.
  • Consult your owner manuals for winterizing icemakers and washing machines.
  • The unit is winterized."
Winterize Your RV