As the temperature drops lower and the weather becomes colder, it is important to remember to maintenance or “winterize” your RV to withstand colder weather. Not only is it important to winterize your RV’s plumbing system but, also, your RV’s interior, exterior, and chassis for harsh winter months.
Winterizing starts with your plumbing system. If left unprotected, any water left in your tanks or water lines may freeze and expand, breaking lines and fittings. This causes a costly repair that is preventable!
Its important to note to check your manual for specific instructions on winterizing your RV. Some RV’s already come with built in winterizing controls.
To get started, you need a few items on your list to get the job done properly. You may need:
• 2-3 gallons of RV antifreeze (depending on the type of system you have)
• By-pass kit for your water heater (if you don’t already have one installed)
• A water pump converter kit and basic tools for installation
• If you don’t have a self cleaning system built in for your black water tank, you will need a wand to clean it out
Once you have these Winterizing Accessories (Or a kit if you choose to purchase one instead), get started by following these steps below!
1. Drain the fresh water tank, then the grey and black tanks (clean out with wand if you don’t have a built in cleaning system).
2. Drain water heater by removing the drain plug and opening pressure relief valve. Important Note: Do not drain while under pressure or hot.
3. Open all hot and cold faucets, and low point drain lines. Using the water pump can help drain out all the water, turn back off when done draining.
4. Once all water is drained, flushed the toilet a couple times to make sure there is no more water, then close all the faucet and drain lines.
5. When getting ready to add the antifreeze the first thing you will want to do is set up the by-pass line for the water heater. The water heater does not have to be stored with antifreeze, by using the by-pass it will stop the antifreeze from entering the water heater and save you money.
6. Next you want to install the water pump converter kit, connect the tubing to the water pump inlet then into the jug of antifreeze and turn pump on to pressurize the system.
7. Open faucets slowly starting with the closest to the water pump and working your way to the furthest, open hot first, then cold, keeping valve open til you see the antifreeze color. Repeat this with all faucets and remember to include exterior water. Last flush the toilet as many times as it takes to have the antifreeze color in the toilet.
8. Turn off pump and open a faucet to release pressure, then to help protect the holding tank, pour 1 cup of antifreeze down each drain and flush some down the toilet.
9. Last turn off the electric heating element on your water heater, if the unit has one and make sure all faucets and valves are closed.
10. Now your RV water pump and system is winterized.
11. Check your RV owners manual for any other instructions or if you have an ice maker or washing machine.
Now you are ready for adventure until the spring!