How to Winterize a Camper, RV, or Travel Trailer

October 19th, 2018 by

RV in snow
Winters in Meridian, ID can take a brutal toll on your new RV – damaging water lines, holding tanks, and water heaters. So, how do you winterize your camper, RV, or travel trailer before the cold weather hits? Fortunately, winterizing your motorhome is neither difficult nor expensive. You can do it yourself this weekend with a few tools and accessories from Dennis Dillon RV Marine Powersports. We serve drivers from Orange County, CA to Salt Lake City, UT.

How to Winterize Your Camper, RV, or Travel Trailer: Step-by-Step

If you’re a snowbird who plans on hanging out in San Diego or Palm Springs, you probably won’t have to worry about freezing water tanks. But if you’re parking up your camper in Salt Lake City, you really ought to follow these simple steps.

  • Empty and clean your freshwater, gray water, and black water holding tanks at your local dump station. Do not simply dump your gray water or black water wherever you please – doing so poses health risks.
  • Drain your hot water heater. You’ll want to ensure your hot water heater unit is cold and not under pressure.
  • Drain all of your pipes. Seattle campers may want to try an air compressor set to no more than 50 psi. As the compressor is running, walk around the outside and open the water valves one-by-one.
  • Find and open the low-point drain lines. Doing so will ensure that all water is removed from your system.
  • Close all valves and drains.
  • Bypass the hot water heater to avoid filling it with antifreeze unnecessarily. If you don’t already have a bypass on your hot water heater, you should install one now.
  • Using the tube attached to your water pump (you can install one if your system doesn’t yet have this feature) pump non-toxic RV antifreeze through your water lines. Amounts vary depending on the size and complexity of your lines.
  • Turn on your water pump and, starting with the faucets closest to the pump, open the hot and cold water valves and let them run until you see pink. When the antifreeze begins to flow, close the valves and move on to the next one. Continue this pattern until all the faucets have antifreeze coming from them. Watch the level in your antifreeze bottle and replace it with a new one before it runs dry.
  • Flush the toilet until you see antifreeze.
  • Turn off the pump.
  • If you have an external city water inlet, remove the screen and press the valve until you see antifreeze.
  • Replace the screen.
  • Pour 2-3 cups of antifreeze down each drain and into the toilet and flush it into the holding tanks.
  • Turn off the hot water heater’s electric heating element if it has one.
  • Winterize other appliances according to manufacturer directions.

RV in snow by lake
Check your work. Verify that you’ve closed all the valves and the water pump is turned off. You wouldn’t want to find out you have a leak while you’re stuck in Seattle traffic or driving out of a Salt Lake City-area winter campground.

Reach Out to Dennis Dillon RV Marine Powersports for Winterizing Tips and Tricks

Find great deals on the RV winterizing supplies, replacement parts, and accessories here at Dennis Dillon RV Marine Powersports. We have locations in Boise, ID and Orange County, CA. Contact us today!


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