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How to winterize your RV

To winterize your RV and protect it from potential damage due to freezing temperatures, you'll need to go through a series of steps to prepare the plumbing system. Here's a general guide on how to winterize your RV:

Materials/Tools Needed:

  • RV antifreeze (non-toxic and safe for plumbing)
  • Water heater bypass kit (if your RV doesn't have one built-in)
  • Compressed air or an RV water pump converter kit
  • Basic tools
  • Water pump converter kit (if not using compressed air)

Step-by-Step Guide:

  1. Gather Supplies:

    • Make sure you have all the necessary materials and tools before starting the winterization process.
  2. Drain the Water System:

    • Open all faucets (both hot and cold) and drain the water from the fresh water tank.
    • Empty and flush the black and gray water tanks.
    • Open low point drains to remove water from the plumbing lines.
  3. Bypass the Water Heater:

    • If your RV has a water heater bypass valve, set it to bypass. If not, drain the water heater.
  4. Use Compressed Air or RV Water Pump Converter Kit:

    • Connect a compressed air line to the city water inlet or use an RV water pump converter kit.
    • Blow out the water lines by opening each faucet (hot and cold) until only air comes out. Don't forget the toilet and outside shower if applicable.
    • Repeat for both hot and cold lines on all faucets.
  5. Add RV Antifreeze:

    • Pour RV antifreeze into the freshwater tank.
    • Use the water pump to pump antifreeze through the system. Turn on each faucet until you see pink antifreeze coming out.
  6. Antifreeze in Drains and P-Traps:

    • Pour antifreeze down each drain (sinks, shower, toilet) to fill the P-traps.
  7. Antifreeze in Toilet:

    • Flush antifreeze into the toilet to protect the flush valve and the seal.
  8. Check Exterior Components:

    • If your RV has an ice maker, dishwasher, or washing machine, follow manufacturer instructions for winterizing these appliances.
    • Ensure that all exterior shower hoses and connectors are drained and protected.
  9. Cover External Vents:

    • Cover external vents and openings to prevent pests from entering.
  10. Remove Batteries:

    • If storing the RV for an extended period, remove batteries and store them in a cool, dry place.
  11. Store RV Properly:

    • Park your RV in a secure, covered storage facility if possible.
    • If storing outdoors, use an RV cover for additional protection.
  12. Regular Checkups:

    • Periodically check on your RV during the winter to ensure everything remains in good condition.

Always refer to your RV's owner's manual for specific winterization instructions and follow the guidelines provided by the RV manufacturer. Additionally, consider seeking advice from experienced RV owners or professionals if you are new to the winterization process.