How to Winterize Your RV

The goal of winterizing is to prevent the damage caused by cold weather, and to that end, the biggest culprit in instances of damage is water. When water freezes it will expand, potentially causing huge damage to your plumbing, and your RV as a whole. RV Four Seasons – Loveland has made this guide so you can winterize your RV and save yourself the hassle and headache of cleaning up a winter mess in the spring. If you need any parts to get the job done right, or are looking for some advice, RV Four Seasons – Loveland is here to help. We proudly serve the areas of Loveland, Wheat Ridge, Denver, and Colorado Springs, Colorado; as well as Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Draining out your Tanks

Because water is your RVs greatest enemy when it goes into storage, your goal in winterizing is to remove as much water as you can, and mitigate the effects of any water you can’t get out. First, drain your fresh water holding tank, as well as your gray and black tanks. If you have a black tank flush on your RV you’re going to need to use it to rinse your black tank, otherwise use a black tank wand attachment on a hose to give this holding tank a rinse.

With your holding tanks emptied, you’ll need to drain the water heater. Never attempt to drain your water heater while it is pressurized or heated. Open the pressure relief valve on the top of your water heater, and then pull the drain plug. Close the valve and replace the plug once the tank is empty.

Empty the Pipes

To drain the pipes in your RV, make sure all of your faucets open. You’ll need to find your water pump as well as the low point drain. Open the low point drain and turn on the water pump. This will push most of the water out of the system. Close your faucets again and replace the low point drain plug.

Bypassing your Water Heater

Bypassing your water heater is going to save you time and money as you winterize. The point of bypassing the water heater is to allow antifreeze to reach your hot water lines without filling the entire water heater tank first. If you already have a bypass installed on your RV, then simply turn the valve (or valves, depending on your setup) if you don’t have a bypass installed, come in and see our service department and we’ll be happy to help you get the parts you need, or schedule you a service appointment.

Prepping Antifreeze

With your water heater bypassed you need to get your water pump ready to pump in antifreeze. This is typically fairly simple, depending on which type of connector hose. With a quick connect inlet hose, you simply plug the inlet hose into the intake side of the pump and insert the other end of the inlet hose to your jug of antifreeze. Be sure you’re using RV safe antifreeze that’s safe for use in potable water systems.

Pumping Antifreeze

Start with your faucets closed. Turn on the water pump to pressurize the system, and find the faucet closest to your water pump. Open the first valve on the faucet and allow it to run until you see a steady stream of the pink antifreeze. Open the opposite valve on the faucet next (hot to cold, or cold to hot) until you see antifreeze there, then close the faucet securely. Repeat this process on the next closest faucet in the RV. Flush the toilet until you see antifreeze there. Make sure to do the same on an outside shower if you have one. With all of your faucets winterized, you can turn off your water pump, and proceed to pour a cup of antifreeze down each of your drains, as well as flushing a cup down the toilet. Since your system is pressurized, open one faucet for a short time until the flow stops.

Final Touches

The last thing you’ll need to take care of are any unique appliances in your RV. Washing machines, ice machines, and other water using appliances need to be winterized before storage, so consult your owner’s manual, or bring your RV into our service department.

If you need any help while you’re winterizing, find you need some parts you’re missing, or are just looking for some pointers, we’re here to help at RV Four Seasons – Loveland. Our Dealership is proud to serve the areas of Loveland, Denver, Wheat Ridge, and Colorado Springs, Colorado, as well as Cheyenne, Wyoming.

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