How to Properly Winterize Your RV

How to Properly Winterize Your RV

You have spent all summer and fall traveling to those fabulous destinations in your favorite RV. However, it’s now that time of year when the weather is cooler and the days are shorter. The holidays have officially arrived, and you will be spending more time hosting family and friends at home than adventuring off in your RV to see them. Winterize your RV today, so when the time comes to get back on the road again, you can rest assured that your motorhome is ready to hit the road. Here are steps that you can take to do-it-yourself; or stop by and see your trusted Utah RV service center to have it taken care of for you today!

Winterizing Step #1: Remove Water Filters

Winterize your RV before the weather gets too cold.

Did you know that you can actually damage your water filters when you use chemicals to winterize your RV? Avoid potential damage by removing the water filter entirely before adding anything to the water system. It also serves as a reminder to check and/ or replace your water filters. 

Step #2: Drain Both Black and Gray Water Tanks

Snowy road with motorhome. Winterize your motorhome to protect it.

If left to sit all winter, those tanks can breed harmful bacteria. Along with that is the potential for water leftover to freeze when temperatures drop, which can cause additional problems and costly repairs. To avoid either of these issues with this important winterizing step. First, drain the black tank; then clean it using a cleaner specific for black tanks. Finally, empty the gray water tank.

Winterizing Your RV Step #3: Drain Your Water Heater and Water Lines

How to winterize your motorhome to avoid costly repairs in spring.

You do not want to drain your water heater until the pressure has had time to come down. Turn off the water heater and let it sit until it cools. Once it is safe, open the drain plug and open the pressure valve to let the water out. To finish, turn on both hot and cold water valves to drain any remaining water from the lines throughout the unit.

Step #4: Bypass Your Water Heater

Snow piled up on campers. Winterizing your RV can reduce the risk of conditions like this

Check to see if you have a bypass installed to your water heater.  If you have one, it will be visible toward the back of your RV water heater. Checking for this is crucial because you do not want antifreeze to get into your water heater. If you do not see one, you can have one installed by a trusted RV service center. 

Final Winterizing Step: Add Antifreeze

Winterizing your RV by a Salt Lake City RV department - protect your RV even in the harshest weather conditions.

For this step of winterizing your RV, disconnect the inlet side of the water pump. Next, close all your faucets and drain the lines. Finally, turn on the water pump. This will allow the antifreeze to flow into the water system. Once properly pressurized, you can go to each faucet and turn on the hot water dial until you see antifreeze leaking. Then, repeat that step with the cold water dials. Now turn off the water pump and open all the valves. 

Now you will need to remove the small screen in the city water inlet. You can use a screwdriver to push on the valve until the coolant starts coming out. Once you see it, you can replace the screen and close the inlet. That part should be relatively short.

All that is left to winterize your RV is to pour a little antifreeze down each drain now; about a cup in each drain will work nicely.  While you’re at it, add some to your toilet and flush it to prevent any remaining water in the holding tank from freezing. Finally, do one final walkthrough to ensure all the faucets, as well as the water heater’s heating element, are all turned to the “off” position.  

A Salt Lake City RV Service Center Can Help

Family happily travelling in their RV during warmer months.

Following these simple steps can keep you from having to spend money in the spring, repairing broken lines or other damage caused by leftover water freezing. Protect your RV, and if you are having trouble or don’t have time, a Utah RV service center will take care of it for you! Don’t risk costly repairs in 2020, call the Recreation RV service center today at 801-571-6439.