How to Winterize Your RV

Winterizing your RV is essential if you plan to store it during the colder months to prevent any damage caused by freezing temperatures. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to winterize your RV:

  1. Read Your Owner’s Manual: Always consult your RV’s owner’s manual for any manufacturer-specific instructions or recommendations. Owner’s Manuals for brands carried by Western RV Country can be found here.
  2. Drain Water Systems:
    • Empty the black and gray water tanks at an approved dump station.
    • Drain the freshwater tank.
    • Open the low point water drain lines. There’ll usually be one for the hot and cold water lines.
    • Drain the water heater. Remember to switch off the heater’s power source first and let the water cool down.
  3. Bypass Your Water Heater: Before adding antifreeze to your water system, make sure you bypass the water heater to prevent filling it with antifreeze.
  4. Pump in RV Antifreeze:
    • Close all the drain valves and faucets.
    • Using a water pump converter kit or drawing from the antifreeze container, turn on the RV’s water pump. This will push the antifreeze through the system.
    • Open all faucets (including shower and toilet) until you see pink-colored RV antifreeze coming out.
    • Pour a cup of antifreeze down each drain and into the toilet to protect the traps.
  5. Empty Holding Tanks: If they aren’t already empty, be sure to drain both your black and gray water tanks.
  6. Seal RV Exterior:
    • Check for cracks, holes, or openings and seal them.
    • Ensure windows, doors, and access panels are shut tightly.
    • Inspect the roof for leaks and seal any potential spots.
  7. Tend to Batteries:
    • If possible, remove batteries and store them in a cool, dry place.
    • If you leave them in, disconnect them to prevent draining. Clean the terminals and apply a protectant.
  8. Clean and Defrost the Refrigerator: Prop open the door for air circulation, which will help prevent mold and mildew.
  9. Remove Perishables and Clean the RV Interior: Vacuum, wipe down surfaces, and remove all food.
  10. Pest Control: Ensure all vents are covered, gaps are sealed, and consider using natural deterrents or traps to keep pests out.
  11. Tire Care: Inflate tires to the maximum recommended PSI. Consider using tire covers to protect ugagainst UV damage. If possible, move the RV occasionally to prevent flat spots on the tires.
  12. Engine and Generator: If you’re storing for an extended period:
    • Change the oil and filters.
    • Top off the fuel tank and add a fuel stabilizer. Run the engine and generator to circulate the stabilizer.
  13. Climate Control: If storing outdoors, consider an RV cover for added protection. If storing indoors, ensure the location is ventilated. Silica gel or DampRid can help manage moisture inside.u
  14. Check Insurance: Ensure your insurance is appropriate for storage. Some policies may have different coverages when an RV isn’t in use.
  15. Final Walkthrough: Before leaving your RV, double-check everything. Ensure all appliances are off, vents and windows are closed, and everything is secured.

Remember to always de-winterize and check all systems before using your RV in the spring. It’s crucial to flush out the antifreeze from the water system and ensure everything is in working order.

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