Winterizing Your RV: 7 Pro Tips for a Smooth Ride Next Season
Posted by ProPride Hitch on 1st Dec 2021
Imagine the joy of hitting the open road with your family in your trusty RV, heading out to a cozy campground or a beautiful lake for a weekend getaway. But before you pack up and hit the road, ProPride Hitch wants to remind you of the importance of winterization. You see, if you don't take the time to properly protect your RV during the colder months, you could be risking your vacation plans for spring and summer. Especially if you live in areas known for harsh winter weather like the Great Lakes, Upper Midwest, or Northeast, where the winter can wreak havoc on your recreational vehicle, resulting in costly repairs. But don't worry, even if you're living in warmer states, winterization is still crucial. Because even the warmest states can experience sub-freezing temperatures that could damage your RV. The key to winterization is to drain all liquids from pipes and tanks to prevent freezing and irreversible damage. To make the process easier for you, we've put together 7 pro tips to help you protect your family's investment and ensure many more happy memories on the road. So whether you're in the north or south, now's the time to get your RV ready for winter!
1. Drain and flush black and gray water tanks
When winter comes, the last thing you want is for your RV's tanks to be filled with frozen leftovers from past meals. Not only is it unsanitary, but it's also a recipe for some pretty unpleasant smells once the weather warms up in the spring. To avoid any unwanted surprises, it's crucial to drain and flush both your black and gray water tanks. Not only will it keep your RV fresh and clean, but it will also ensure that your tanks don't turn into breeding grounds for bacteria. But it doesn't stop there. To really give your tanks a deep clean, use a wand or specialized tank cleaner to finish the job. Trust us, your nose (and your stomach) will thank you! So, don't wait till it's too late, flush those tanks now, and enjoy a worry-free vacation season next year.
2. Drain and flush the water heater
Your water heater is an essential part of your RV, keeping you and your family warm and clean. But, when winter comes, it's important to make sure that your water heater is protected too. Luckily, flushing and draining your water heater is a quick and easy process that can save you a lot of headaches down the road. First, turn off your water heater and give it time for the pressure to release. Then, remove the drain plug and open the pressure valve to allow all the water to escape. This simple step will help prevent any damage caused by freezing water in the pipes, and keep your water heater running smoothly. So, don't neglect your water heater, give it the care it deserves, and enjoy hot showers all season long!
3. Bypass the water heater
When winterizing your RV, it's crucial to make sure that the water heater doesn't get clogged with antifreeze. Trust us, you don't want to mix the two! One way to prevent this from happening is to bypass your water heater. For some RVs, this is a breeze - they come with a factory-installed bypass that makes the process a no-brainer. But for others, you might need to adjust the corresponding valves manually. Either way, it's important to check and make sure that the water heater is properly bypassed to ensure it's protected during the colder months. Think of it as a safety measure, a quick and easy step that will save you from potential headaches in the future. After all, it's always better to be safe than sorry. So, before you store away your RV for the winter, make sure to bypass the water heater.
4. Drain fresh tank and low-point drains
When it comes to winterizing your RV, one important step is to make sure that all the water in the fresh tank and low-point drains is drained out. This will help prevent any damage from freezing water during the colder months. Luckily, it's a quick and easy process to do, but you do want to make sure you do it right! First, turn off the water pressure. Then, prepare to remove the drain plug and let any remaining water make its way out of your tank. Once all the water is out, close the faucets and re-insert the drain plug. By doing this, you're making sure that you're giving your fresh tank and low-point drains a fresh start for the next time you hit the road. And who doesn't love a fresh start! Don't neglect this step, it will give you peace of mind, and ensure your RV is ready to roll when the time comes.
5. Locate your water pump
When it comes to protecting your RV from winter damage, it's important to remember that every system needs attention, including the water pump. And, as you might have guessed, antifreeze is your friend in this case! First, you'll want to locate your water pump and siphon any remaining water from it. Once the water is out, it's time to bring in the big guns - antifreeze! Take a gallon of antifreeze and run it through the water pump using a siphoning hose. Open the pump valve, turn on the pump, and watch as that cold-fighting liquid works its way through the system. By taking this extra step, you're ensuring that your water pump will be protected from freezing and any damage come spring. Now that's a win-win! Don't forget to check on your water pump, it's an easy step to take, but it can make a big difference. So, give your water pump a little TLC, and enjoy a smooth ride next time you hit the road.
6. Open external valves and faucets/showers
When it comes to protecting your RV from winter damage, don't forget about the external valves and faucets/showers. These might seem small, but they can make a big difference when it comes to preventing costly repairs. It's important to remember that if these valves and faucets are left closed, water can become trapped inside and freeze over the winter, causing damage to your RV. To prevent this, take a walk around the exterior of your RV and work your way up, opening all the valves and faucets, and loosening any plugs. As you do this, pay attention to the water, it should turn pinkish, indicating that antifreeze is making its way through the pipes. Don't forget to run the showers too, both hot and cold, until the water turns pinkish. By doing this, you're making sure that all the water is drained out and the pipes are protected from freezing. It might seem like a small task, but it can make a big difference in ensuring a smooth ride for your next RV trip. So don't forget to check on your external valves and faucets/showers, and give them a little TLC, before you store your RV away for the winter.
7. Now it’s time for the inside
You've done an amazing job so far, you've protected your RV's exterior from winter damage, but don't let your guard down just yet! It's time to head inside and repeat the same steps for the internal valves, faucets, and showers as you did for the external ones. Don't forget about the toilet, this one is pretty self-explanatory. You don't want to be greeted with rank, months-old toilet water, or have freezing in your plumbing when you're ready to hit the road again. Pour antifreeze down the toilet, shower drains, sinks, and P-traps to ensure that they are protected from freezing. By doing this, you'll make sure that your RV is ready for action come next season and all your inside valves, faucets and toilet are working smoothly without any unwanted smells or freezing. You'll be able to relax, knowing that you've done everything you can to protect your investment, and ensure smooth operation when it's time to make more memories on the road.
Your RV is more than just a vehicle, it's an extension of your family. It's where you create unforgettable memories with your loved ones, and that's why it's essential to take the time to properly winterize it. Sure, it's a tedious process, but trust us, it's worth it in the long run.
Think about all the fun, laughter and joy you've experienced in your RV, it's where you've made some of your best memories with your family. Don't you want to make sure it's ready for the next adventure? Winterizing is an important step to ensure that your RV is protected from the harsh winter weather and ready to hit the road again when the time comes.
Don't put it off any longer, the sooner you winterize, the better. Take the time to follow all the steps, and you'll be glad you did when you pull up to your next campsite or family cabin. Imagine, the peace of mind that comes with knowing that your RV is protected and ready for action.
Don't wait, treat your RV like the valued member of your family that it is, and give it the TLC it deserves. You'll be thankful for it in the long run, and it will help ensure many more happy memories on the road with your loved ones.