The air is changing, days are shorter and nights are colder. Fall is here! For many people, this means that camping season is coming to a close. For others, it's time to embrace the cold or head south. If you are the type where you shut it down for the winter you'll need to take some preventive measures so you're ready for the spring and to avoid costly repairs due to the damaging results of the winter freeze.
How do you "winterize" your RV? Should you do it yourself or have the professionals take care of your RV for you? You'll have to determine who will do it but as for the how, here's our tips. Keep in mind that each unit has variations and you should check your owners manual before performing the process.
Follow the steps below that apply to your RV.
- Remove and bypass any filters.
- Drain the fresh water tank.
- Empty and flush the gray and black tanks. Use WD 40 to lubricate the termination valves.
- Drain the water heater. Remove the drain plug and open the pressure relief valve.
- Open all the water faucets, toilet valve and the outside shower.
- Locate and open the low point drain lines. There will be one for the hot and cold water lines. Using the water pump will help force water out, but turn it off as soon as the system is drained.
- Recap all drains and close all faucets.
- By-pass the water heater.
- Install a water pump converter kit, or disconnect the inlet side of the water pump (the line coming from the fresh water holding tank). Connect a piece of clear tubing to the inlet side of the pump and put the other end into a one gallon container of non-toxic RV antifreeze.
- Turn the water pump on. Starting with the closest faucet, slowly open the hot and then cold valves until antifreeze appears. Replace the antifreeze container as required.
- Repeat this process on all faucets from the closest to the farthest away.
- Flush the toilet until antifreeze appears.
- Turn the water pump off and open a faucet to release the pressure.
- Pour a cupful of antifreeze down each drain. Pour a couple of cups in the toilet and flush into the holding tank.
Your RV weighs thousands of pounds and after several months can create flat spots on your tires. There are a few options. You can use leveling jacks if the RV is equipped, or move your RV about 1/2 tire revolution a few times per winter to distribute the weight.
Fully charge the batteries. In freezing climates remove the batteries and store somewhere warm.
If you have a motorhome, fill it with fuel and add a fuel stabilizer. Run the engine for a few minutes. Make sure fluid levels are topped off.
Disconnect from shore power, remove batteries from clocks and detectors, turn off your main circuit breaker.
Do a thorough cleaning. You won't want to head into a dirty camper in the spring. Open the fridge and freezer. Leave a box of baking soda inside
Make sure all vents are closed.
Extend the awning and clean thoroughly. Let it dry completely before pulling it back in.
Take care of your RV and it will take care of you and your family as you embark on next year's camping adventures. If you would like us to take care of the winterizing process give us a call today and we'd be glad to help!