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How to winterize your RV.


Living in the south

As a child growing up in Georgia and enjoying camping with a towable trailer, it was lots of fun going camping, until you discover water flowing inside the RV. I can remember a couple of times that we were hit by pipe damage due to not winterizing. Back in the day, we were not lucky to have all this online information, so it was easy not to be well informed on winterizing the RV.

Being in Georgia, my winterization preparation maybe different from someone living in the more northern states, or even northern Georgia. We don't have long contiguous stretches of below freezing temperatures. From what I have been told by dealer service folks, it needs to be below 32 for a long period of time to cause damage to the plumbing. I think I was told like 2 or 3 days straight, but you should ask your dealer. Where I am, it maybe below 32 for 4 or 5 hours straight, and that's about it. Also, there are some RV's that are built for 4 seasons. There are some variables just like in everything else we deal with in life. So, please don't take what I have here as the gospel for all RV's in all locations. Do your homework. Even prior to purchasing your first RV, do a lot of research, but don't get discouraged. Its not all that bad.

My method of winterizing

Again, this method seems to work for me now, and was actually recommended by the Dealer. I'm sure this will not always for for everyone, due to their RV and Location.

The Air Pressure Method.

First, you should make sure your black, gray and fresh water tanks are empty. You may want to run your water pump until it is dry. It should only take 10-20 minutes.

Next, you will want to open all the faucets and drains inside the RV, to include your low point drains on the outside of the RV. I also open the drain for the hot water heater on the outside and ensure it has drained completely.

Once you are confident all of the water lines have been drained, you want to use a RV Air Plug to connect to your city water connection on the RV. Once the air plug is secure, connect your air line to the plug and have the compressor turned on and ready to go. Important. You do not need to have the PSI opened up to high on the compressor. No more than 30 PSI. Now you are ready to blow out the remaining water in the lines. This may take five to ten minutes. I would suggest having another person inside watching the faucets to ensure everything is going as it should.

Once you feel confident that all the lines are blown clear of water, go ahead and close all the faucets, button up the water heater to close the drain, and don't forget the outside low point drains.

Now, using the RV non-toxic antifreeze, you want to pour one quart or more in the black and gray tanks, which will include the P-traps. You will also want to pour a pint into the toilet to protect its seals.

This method seems to work for me here in middle Georgia.

Method 2 - Antifreeze

There are other methods for winterizing your RV, another one, does include the steps above, but also running RV non-toxic antifreeze through all the water lines in the RV.

Important: You will need to remove any water filters in your RV before starting, and use the water heater bypass to bypass the water heater. This will bypass having any antifreeze in the RV's water heater. Some RV's have a BYPASS valve on the water heater.

Make sure the fresh water drain and low point drains are closed.

Insert the garden hose into a container of RV antifreeze, and attach the other end to the City Water Fill.

Turn the water pump on.

Open the hot water lines on all the faucets until the antifreeze starts to flow out, than close the faucets. Do this on every faucet and the cold water faucets.

When complete, remove the hose from the antifreeze container and clean up any residual antifreeze to prevent the possibility of staining.

A few supplies/tools I use when winterizing my RV

Remember, I'm in middle Georgia. Cold, but not so old. So, I can probably get by...hopefully with the items below for winterizing my RV. The air plug is used to put into the fresh water fill to blow the remaining water out of the pipes at no more than 30 psi for 5 to 10 mins.


RV air plug for blowing out the water pipes

Non toxic RV antifreeze

The Non-Toxic RV Antifreeze is used to place in the water lines, and to keep some in the P-Traps, to include tanks.

RV antifreeze for your plumbing

Oil free portable air compressor for blowing out plumbing.

I hope this article helps.

This article may not fit for everyone, but it should help to provide a little knowledge to those interested. If there are others, that have other ways to winterize, please leave a comment below.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 mlowell

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