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Checklist for Winterizing Your Camper or RV

November 6 , 2018

As that crisp, cool air moves in and the trees become a little more barren, we know the winter months are rolling in. We just turned back our clocks, and now the days have even become shorter, requiring us to get up earlier, which might be fine in your house. However, in an RV things might take a little while to warm up.

If you aren’t planning on using your camper however, you need to prepare for the possibility, and the prevention of freezing of the operative fluids of your vehicle, and of the water lines for your shower, sink faucets, and toilet. You’ll need to purchase things like non-toxic  antifreeze, and other fluids that won’t freeze over as the season progresses.

Why Do I Need to Winterize?

Winterizing is a preventative measure to sustain the longevity of your RV’s mechanics and water pipes. In order to do this, you’ll need a cleaning wand for your holding tanks and a by-pass kit for your water heater. Purchase a water converter kit if you haven’t done so already, it makes the job much faster and easier.

Emptying Your Tanks

First off, you’ll need to detach your inline filters and take out any existing bypasses.  Empty your freshwater, graywater, and blackwater tanks completely, and clean out the blackwater tank with your wand if your RV doesn’t have a self-cleaning mechanism. This isn’t the cleanest job in the world, so wear gloves and a face mask if possible; it’s best to wear protective clothing, or at least something you don’t mind getting dirty. Use WD-40 to grease up your termination valves.

Turning off the Water Pressure

Next you’ll need to shut off the heat, and the water pressure to your RV and open your faucets, including the toilet and shower. Be sure to open the plug on your water heater to drain the water and also your valves under your camper. Use your air compressor to blow out any remaining water through each faucet and toilet.

Pump out any excess water that might be lingering, and immediately shut off your pump when finished. Now you can close your faucets and replace all your drainage tops.

Turn off your valves to route around your water heater or use your heater bypass kit to avoid antifreeze buildup, which you’ll need to slowly pump back into your system. This will save you alot of cost and effort so you don’t have to fill up your entire water heater with antifreeze. Get a gallon of antifreeze and a hose attachment so you can manually pump antifreeze into your water lines. Begin pumping antifreeze through until it is visibly flowing through your faucets. Continue this process faucet by faucet until you’ve completed each one, starting from the faucet closest to you when you first begin pumping the antifreeze. Afterward pour one cup of antifreeze down each drain pipe and rinse or flush it into the holding tank.

Preventing Bugs and Rodents

To prevent bugs and rodents, you can put some peppermint oil on cotton balls and place them in any place where mice and bugs can enter. Even placing some near your tires so they can’t climb up is a good idea. Place them by vents, drains, and doors as well. You can also set out glue boards throughout your camper or RV as an additional way to catch pests.

At this point, your RV should be winterized and ready for the cold season!

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