How to Winterize your RV

RV winter cold winterizing tips

So it’s that time again.

The snow is falling, along with the temperatures! For a lot of our RV travelers this means that it is time to take their coach in for a little TLC.  Many repair shops will charge an excess of $100 to winterize your RV for you (and they may try and get you to buy more service)

But with a little time and common sense, you can do it by yourself for the cost of materials. In fact: Thousands of people who own campers do it themselves to save money. With a 75% savings on average! Check out this IRV2 forum post that shows you how much other people paid for their winterizing and repair service here

If you do plan on doing it yourself, there are a couple of ways to accomplish winterizing your RV. This list contains a culmination of good ways to complete the task.

Winterizing your Coach:

winterizing illustration RV

1. Drain tank that contains all of your fresh water

2. Drain the hot water heater

3. Dump & flush the black and gray water tanks, leaving the gray water valve open

4. Attach a compressed air adapter like this one from Camping World, onto the fresh water inlet

RV blow out hose winterizing antifreeze air compressor

5. Start blowing away with your compressor (keep the pressure less than 20 lbs/sq inch)

6. Open each faucet, one valve at a time, to allow the compressed air to force the water out of the line. Don’t forget the shower and toilet

7. Remove the drain plug from the hot water tank and allow the compressed air to blow out the remaining water. Re-install drain plug

8. Remove the compressed air source and adapter

9: Close the water heater by-pass valve

10. Remove the water line that runs between the fresh water pump and the fresh water tank, where it joins the fresh water tank

11. Insert the end of the line into a gallon jug of RV antifreeze. Do not use automotive antifreeze, only use specified RV Antifreeze similar to this brand for sale here

how to winterize RV blow out hose antifreeze

12. Start the fresh water pump. It will run for a few moments, sucking antifreeze from the jug. Eventually it will stop as pressure in the system builds up

13. Open each valve of each faucet, one at a time, until the red antifreeze appears, shut the faucet. Don’t forget the shower and toilet

14. Remove the line from the jug of antifreeze and reattach it to the fresh water tank

15. shut the gray water valve

16. Pour a few cups of antifreeze down each drain and the toilet

17. Pat yourself on the back. You are done!

Make sure to take the time to inspect all of your power cords and adapters you take along with you as well. If you suspect damage to any of your power cords or inlets, replace them immediately! So for all of our fellow RV’ers out there, I hope this comes as a gentle reminder. If you have an RV you park for winter and your batteries keep dying,   read more about how to keep your batteries charged during cold winter months.


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