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A Guide to Preparing your RV for the Winter

man cleaning an rv

Preparing your RV for the Winter


If you have an RV, you know that if you’re not going to use it during the winter, you need to make sure it’s winterized.  This involves more than just parking your RV in its winter parking space.  There are a number of things you need to do in order to keep the vehicle safe from being damaged during the colder months. What You’ll Need Before you can winterize your vehicle, you’ll need to have a few things on hand.  That includes: basic tools, a water pump kit or tubing, a cleaning wand to clean out the RV’s holding tanks, a few gallons of RV antifreeze, and a water heater by-pass kit.

Winterizing the RV

basic rv weatherization tools Now that you’ve got the basics together, it’s time to winterize your RV.  Here are some of the things you’ll want to make certain you do:
  1. Remove any inline water filters and bypass them.
  2. Drain all of the water from the holding tank.
  3. Drain the black and gray holding tanks and flush them completely.  Your RV may not have a flushing system.  If that’s the case, you’ll need to use a cleaning wand or use a flushing product.  Be sure you spray some lubricant on the termination values.
  4. Next, make certain the water heater is turned off, then drain it. Remove the plug and release the pressure relief valve.
  5. Open up all of the faucets, the shower, and the toilet valve.
  6. Open the low point drain lines (both the cold and the hot).  You may want to use a water pump to force water out of these lines.
  7. Once you’ve flushed all of the lines out, close the faucets and recap the drains.
  8. Install a water heater by-pass if you need to.  If you already have one, by-pass the water heater.  Otherwise, you will waste a lot of antifreeze.
  9. Install the water pump converter if you need to, or disconnect the water pump on the inlet side.  Place a piece of tubing on the inlet side and put the other in the RV antifreeze container.  Turn on the pump and pressurize the drain system.  Then slowly turn on the hot and then the cold taps until you see antifreeze running out of the faucet.  Do this for each faucet, replacing the antifreeze as needed.
  10. Flush all of the toilets until you see antifreeze.
  11. Turn off the water pump.
  12. Put about a cup of antifreeze into each drain and several cups into the toilet, then flush the toilet.
  13. Make sure your water heater’s electric heating element is turned off.
  14. Close all of the faucets.
Storage The storage of your RV can be just as important. Housing your RV for the winter months in a structure that is durable, can help protect your RV from unwanted damages. * If you are in need of a building to store your RV for the winter visit the Olympia Steel Buildings RV Storage page for more information.  To keep up with all of our articles and specials, Follow us on our Olympia Steel Buildings LinkedIn page

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