3 Simple Steps To Winterize Your RV

FCIS Insurance RV Maintenance, RV Safety

BRRRR! Winter is quickly approaching! For many of us, that means purchasing hats, gloves, coats, boots, and all of the other essentials to surviving winter. However, what does that mean for our RVs? Our trusty motor-homes need some winter preparations too, right? Well, here are some of the most important things to check off your list to ensure your RV is ready for its winter hibernation.

Bypassing and Draining

The first thing you should do before bypassing your water filters and the water heater is shut off the heater and make sure it is not hot. You can turn it off by flipping the switch on the heater as well as the switch on the instrument panel. Next, you should bypass them by turning the valves. By doing so, you are not allowing any chemicals like antifreeze to infiltrate the filters or the water heater. If this does happen, it is crucial that you completely flush out your water heater before you fill it up with more water when camping season starts next year. This is also a good time of year to see if any filters need to be changed. Filters should be changed when you realize you have weakened water pressure and/or your water tastes different/is not clean. 

After bypassing the valves, pull the node rod from the water heater to drain it. While this is happening, open up the hot, cold, and low spot valves located underneath your RV and let them drain. When this is done, shut the valves and grab your air compressor. Connect it to the city water intake and put it no higher than 15 PSI (anything higher will blow your lines). This will blow out all of the water that could cause damage to your RV when it freezes in the winter. Turn on one line at a time and leave it until only air comes out. Be sure to do this for your shower (including your outside shower if you have one) and all of your sinks. Once this is completed, take out your compressor and put the cap back on. After this, pour half a gallon of antifreeze down each drain, including the toilet. When you pour it down the toilet, flush it and pour more down the drain. 

While winterizing your motorhome, you also need to drain your black and gray water tanks. Doing so is very easy: simply hook up the hoses at a dump station and drain them. When you are done draining them, be sure to thoroughly clean the hoses before putting them away.  

Adding Antifreeze (Optional)

This way of adding antifreeze is only necessary if you did not use an air compressor in the technique above. For this, you will need a water pump converter. By hooking up the kit, closing the lines, and turning on the kit, the antifreeze will run through the lines. Turn on each faucet (hot and cold), one at a time, and let it run until the water is pink. Do not forget about the toilet and shower(s) and be sure to do this twice. Once that is completed, turn everything off, and release the coolant. It would be beneficial to pour more antifreeze down each drain after this.

Cleaning

Finally, it is important to make sure you clean out your RV. Remove all of your bedding and food and be sure you have cleaned all surfaces, cabinets, and storage containers to prevent pests from wanting to share your motor-home with you. Another way to stop pests is to put dryer sheets in any storage containers that you must leave in your RV. 

Of course if you have any issues with the winterizing process, be sure to call your local dealership to help service your RV. With winter quickly approaching, you’ll want to make sure your RV is properly ready for storage. Once you’ve got that all taken care of, you can start to map out your 2020 adventures!