How To Winterize Your RV: 5 Steps to Storing Your RV for Winter

Preparing your new fifth wheel, travel trailer, or motorhome for winter can seem daunting, but we’re going to show you how to winterize your RV in just five steps.  This process typically takes about an hour to complete and only requires a socket set, or open end wrench (15/16″ or 11/16″), and 2-8 gal. Non-Toxic RV antifreeze.  If you’re still not feeling up to the challenge, then bring it by Fretz RV, and we’ll winterize your RV for you!

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We’ll save you the trouble, and the time of doing it yourself!

1.) Drain the System

The number one threat to your RV over the winter is damage from water left in the pipes, so it’s critical to drain everything.  Drain the following sources:

  1. Fresh water, grey water, and black water tanks.
  2. Hot water heater*

*Make sure you follow the instructions for draining your, specific hot water tank, as the instructions may vary depending on the model of water heater.

2.) Hot Water Heater By-Pass

Once you’re finished with that, you’ll need to by-pass the water heater system.  Most models will come equipped with a by-pass system that will only require a few turns of the valves, but if you have trouble locating your by-pass or do not think your RV is equipped with one, contact us at Fretz RV to discuss possible solutions or options.

3.) Antifreeze

Next, locate the water pump and run antifreeze through the system. To do so you’ll need to do one of the following:

  1. If it is equipped with a by-pass system, then place the clear tube into the bottle of antifreeze and turn on the pump.
  2. If it is not equipped with a by-pass system, then remove the hose from the tank side of the pump, attach a different hose to the tank, place the end in the antifreeze, and turn on the pump.

Warning: never use antifreeze in the fresh water tank! 

Drain each of the sinks, one at a time.  Starting with the kitchen, turn on the hot and cold, let it run until only antifreeze comes out, and then turn off the sink.  Repeat this process throughout the RV and with the exterior kitchen and shower, as well.  You’ll then need to open the toilet ball valve until pure antifreeze comes out of it, as well.

Winterize Faucet
Run until pure antifreeze comes out.

4.) Drain the Water Pump

After that, you’ll need to drain the water from the pump until it begins to gurgle.  Shut off the water pump and double check that all the water tanks are empty.

5.) Final Touches

Lastly, open all the faucets, be sure to block the toilet valve open, place the cap on the sewer connection, and open all gate valves.  Once you’ve finished with that, fill the traps with RV antifreeze by pouring approximately 1 pint per trap down the P-traps.

Now, in about an hour, your RV will be entirely ready for the long winter months. If you’d rather have someone else tackle the task of winterizing your RV, take advantage of our Super Fast RV Winterize package at Fretz RV. Contact us today for more information.

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Relax and let us do the work for you!

Disclaimer: Fretz RV is not responsible for damage resulting from improper winterization of the water system. This serves only as a guide to basic procedure. 

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