How to Dewinterize Your RV

FCIS Insurance RV Lifestyle, RV Maintenance

With the warm weather quickly approaching, the camping season draws near. Unfortunately preparing for your trip is a little more than packing up your things and driving away. Here are some of the biggest ways to make sure your RV is ready to make its first trip of the summer: 

Check the outside

Before you even worry about checking the inside of your motorhome, take a few moments to walk around your motorhome and check for rust. It is also important to check your tires. Make sure they are not flat by checking the tire pressure and tighten the lug nuts.

Check the inside

After checking the tires, it is important to examine the inside of your RV. The first thing you will want to do is open the windows to let some air in. From there, you should check your cabinets and storage spaces to see if any critters made a home out of your RV throughout the winter. Then, walk through the motorhome to check for any damage that may have occurred while you were away. This is also a great time to change your batteries in your smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector to ensure it will work throughout the camping season. 

Sanitize your water system

It is really important you clean and sanitize your water systems at least once a year, and a great time to do so would be at the beginning of the season after your motorhome has been sitting for several months.

To start, you should use a diluted bleach solution to clean the fresh water tank. When you clean this tank, you should follow these guidelines:

  • 40-gallon tank= 4 gallons of water + 1 cup of bleach
  • 60-gallon tank= 6 gallons of water + 1 ½ cups of bleach
  • 100-gallon tank= 8 gallons of water + 2 cups of bleach

Once this is mixed, pour it into the fresh water tank and then top it off with water. From there, you will want to run all of the faucets in your RV until the tank is empty and you can smell the bleach from them. After this, fill the fresh water tank back up again with water and leave it overnight. The next day, let the water run through all the faucets again until the tank is empty. It is important to repeat this process as many times as needed until you can no longer smell the bleach. 

It is really important to remove waste from and clean your black water tank. You will want to start by going to a dump station and removing all the waste from your tank. After that, you should take a hose inside your RV and put it through your toilet. When you turn the water on all the way, move the hose around as best as you can. This will allow you to clean as much of the tank as you can. Empty it once it has become full and repeat the process once more. 

It is a good idea to clean your gray water tank last because it will help push out any remains of the black water tank when you drain it. For your gray water tank, you should fill the tank halfway with water and then add a cup of dish soap. After this, go on a drive. This will allow the mix to move around the tank and clean it. Allow this to sit for at least 24 hours prior to draining the tank at a dump station. While still connected to the station, run all your faucets again and let it drain out. One important thing to remember for the safety and cleanliness of your gray water tank is to strain or scrape off any remains of food plates so you do not get crumbs or chunks down your drain.

Set up your water heater

To prepare your water heater for the camping season, make sure you are in the range of a water outlet. Open up the water bypass valve and allow the water to go into the primary tank. Connect the motorhome to the outlet and start pumping the water. After this, you will want to make sure the hot water tap is on. Allow the water in the heating tank to fill up to the line and it will be ready for the camping season.

Following these tips will not only ensure your RV is ready for traveling, but will also help you maintain your home away from home for the long haul!