If you have a vacation home or spare vehicle which will be spending winter idle you know it is vital they be winterized. Failure to do so can lead to frozen water lines and costly repairs come summer.
Well, your RV’s winterization is just as important.
You could take it to the dealer or service center, either of which will be happy to perform this task for a price.
Or you can do it yourself, save some money and enjoy knowing you are doing it yourself.
Winterization is generally the removal of water from the plumbing system and introducing antifreeze in its place. It may sound complex but with a little bit of time, basic tools and a general ability to perform DIY tasks you can easily do it yourself.
Let us help by providing easy to follow steps.
1. Disconnect any outside water source.
2. Drain the water system by opening all low-point drains (There are usually 3). Open all faucets, showers and flush the toilet to remove residual water from system.
3. Drain the water heater. NEVER DO THIS WHEN THE TANK IS HOT. Depending on the type of tank you have this will require either removing a plug or opening a valve, both of which will be located near the bottom of the tank. Leaving the faucets open while draining the hot water tank will assist is forcing additional water to drain.
4. By pass you water heater. Your system may have a by-pass already installed, if so simply follow the manufacturer’s instructions to activate it. If one is not installed it is simple to add one by disconnecting the lines to and from the tank and connecting them to each other with a short piece of flexible hose.
5. It is now time to add anti-freeze. To do so insert a short length of tubing into a jug of anti-freeze and connect it to either a water pump conversion kit or hand pump. Next you will open the faucet closest to the water pump and pump antifreeze until it flows from the open faucet. Continue the process at each faucet and shower moving from closest to farthest. Finally, flush the toilet until antifreeze is visible as well. If using a hand pump do not forget to add antifreeze to water pump as well. For extra protection pour a small amount of antifreeze down each drain.
6. Drain and clean your grey and black water tanks.
7. Remove battery.
8. Clean and dry all water & sewage lines.
9. Remove all food and trash.
10. Winterize freezers, air conditioners and other appliances as per manufacturers’ instructions.
11. Cover or store RV out of direct sunlight.
For more tips on preparing your home away from home for a long winter nap check out this YouTube video.