If you enjoy camping but can’t use it year round you know that there is work to be done at the end of the camping season. When you’re done camping for the year, and it’s time to leave your RV dormant for the winter, you need to take the appropriate steps to winterize an RV. You don’t want to find burst pipes come spring! While we do offer winterizations as a service we want you to be able to know how to take care of your RV if you are unable to bring it in. It’s actually a fairly simple processs to do your self and can be completed relatively quickly.
Antifreeze Requirements: 2 to 4 gallons of Propylene Glycol (Pink)
I. Drain Entire Water System
A. Locate and open low point drains for hot and cold water lines. Open all faucets including exterior faucets to allow air to force water out of lines.
B. Drain water heater by removing drain plug located on front of water heater.
C. Drain all holding tanks (fresh, black and gray).
A. Close all faucets and low point drains.
B. Bypass water heater by one of the following methods:
- Some RVs are equipped with one or a series of bypass valves on the back side of the heater (inside the trailer). Locate and turn these valves to the appropriate positions so as to not allow antifreeze into the water heater, but rather divert it directly from the cold line into the hot. Note: You never want to put antifreeze into the water heater!
- If your RV does not have built-in bypass valves, you must disconnect the cold and hot line from the back of the water heater and couple them together. Be careful you do not cross-thread the fittings.
C. Locate the on-board water pump.
- Some RV manufacturers pre-plumb a siphon hose for winterization. If your RV is pre- plumbed, you must shut off the valve on the water line from the fresh tank and open the valve for the siphon hose.
- If a siphon hose is not pre-plumbed, you must make your own. Remove the line on the suction side of the pump and install your own siphon hose.
D. Remove all water filters and install couplers where needed. If antifreeze is run through filters, they are ruined and must be replaced.
III.Pump Antifreeze Through System
A. Place syphon hose into gallon jug of antifreeze and turn pump on.
B. Move throughout the RV, opening both the cold and hot sides of the faucets one at a time until nothing but antifreeze comes out of them. Note: Interior and exterior shower hoses must have antifreeze run through them as well.
C. Flush antifreeze through the toilet and any other appliance that is connected to the water system (washer/dryer, ice maker, etc).
D. Winterize city water inlet.
- Turn off water pump.
- Open and close, very quickly, the cold side of any faucet to relieve some, but not all, of the pressure on the cold lines. Note: If you attempt step 3 below without letting some of the pressure off the lines, you could damage the city water check valve.
- Go out to the city water inlet and depress the check valve to allow antifreeze to force any residual water out of inlet. When antifreeze comes out of the inlet the winterization process is complete