ProPride Hitch: 7 Pro Tips on Winterizing Your RV

Posted by ProPride Hitch on 1st Dec 2021

ProPride Hitch: 7 Pro Tips on Winterizing Your RV

Outside of taking the family out to the campground or lake, or taking some other sort of road trip or memory making excursion, ProPride Hitch believes that the most important thing you can do with your RV is winterization.

Think about it.

If you fail to properly protect your family’s fun machine during the cold months, you’re risking vacations in spring and summer -- especially if you live in cold-weather states. Winters in the Great Lakes region, Upper Midwest and Northeast can really do a number to recreational vehicles, often resulting in thousands of dollars in repairs and corrections.

If you live in northern areas, you probably should have already completed this process. If you haven’t, do it right now!

With that said, winterization is equally important for those in warmer states -- because even those states can experience sub-freezing temperatures, and those low-digit readings are one of your RV’s worst enemies.

The goal of winterization is to, obviously, drain liquids out of drains and tanks. Once frozen, lingering water in pipes or drains can cause irreversible damage.

The following 7 pro tips should help protect your family’s investment and ensure many more weekends at the campground, lake or cabin for you and yours.

1. Drain and flush black and gray water tanks

You definitely don’t want frozen remnants of past meals lingering in your tanks. It’s incredibly unsanitary to leave waste in the tanks over extended periods of time, as they’ll become breeding grounds for bacteria -- not to mention the smell, once it all thaws in the spring. Once drained, you can use a wand or specialized tank cleaner to finish the job.

2. Drain and flush the water heater

Make sure to turn it off and give time for pressure to release, then you’re ready to remove the drain plug and open the pressure valve.

3. Bypass the water heater

Antifreeze and water heaters don’t mix, so make sure to adjust the corresponding valves to avoid a problem. Some RV water heaters have a factory-installed bypass, so this won’t be an issue for everyone. But make sure to check, because it’s much better to be safe than sorry.

4. Drain fresh tank and low-point drains

Turn off the water pressure, first, and then prepare to remove the drain plug and let any remaining water make its way out of your tank. Last step, close the faucets and re-insert the plug.

5. Locate your water pump

In this case, antifreeze is your friend. So after siphoning water from your pump, be sure to run a gallon of antifreeze. How? Well, you’ll run a siphoning hose from your gallon bottle, open the pump valve and then turn on the pump -- and watch that cold-fighting antifreeze work its way through the pump system. This will ensure that you avoid any problems come spring.

6. Open external valves and faucets/showers

These are on the outside of your RV. If they’re closed, that means that water will be trapped for months; it’ll then freeze and cost you money and/or headaches while preparing for the busy seasons. Working your way up, open all the valves and faucets, loosen plugs, and let the water drain. Pay attention, because the water should turn pinkish, indicating that antifreeze is making its way through the pipes. In addition, run the showers until the water turns pinkish. Do this for both hot and cold (have to take care of both sides, right?)

7. Now it’s time for the inside

Basically, go through the same steps for the internal valves, faucets and showers as you did for the external. Make sure to hit that toilet, too -- that one is pretty much self-explainable. You don’t want to smell rank, months-old toilet water, nor do you want freezing in your plumbing. Pour antifreeze down the toilet, and down the shower drains/sinks. Hit those P-traps too!

You and your loved ones spend a lot of time in your RV; it’s part of the family, so treat it as such and make sure to take the time to properly winterize. It’s a tedious process, but it’s certainly worth it in the long run -- so don’t delay any more than you already have. You’ll be thanking yourself as you pull up to the campground or settle-in at the family cabin.