The best way to gain confidence and excitement about RVing is to learn how to take care of your RV. Today, we are going to teach you how to dewinterize your RV.
A very special thank you to my husband, Jerry, for writing this post. He loves to Go RVing. He also enjoys sharing what he has learned to make RVing a fun experience for the entire family.
DeWinterize and GO CAMPING!
But before we can have fun there are a few things we need to do before the fun can begin. You need to de-winterize your RV an make sure it is completely safe to hit the open road. Skip this step, and you may have the RV season from hell. Done properly, and you can plan to have an enjoyable year and make some awesome memories.
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Step 1 Batteries
Your battery has been cold and unused all winter long. Some people in colder climates remove their batteries from their RV and bring them indoors to protect them. In warmer climates, we tend to leave them installed and maybe just keep them on a trickle charger. Make sure your batteries are fully charged. Having fully charged batteries will help your appliances, slides, and appliances work correctly.
Step 2 Flushing your water system
If you live in a colder climate that freezes in the winter, you need to protect the plumbing in your RV. This is accomplished by flushing the water from the water lines and adding antifreeze. Failure to do this could cost you big time with cracked pipes, leaks and water damage.
You need to flush the entire RV water system of the antifreeze that you added when you winterized. Fortunately, it is nontoxic, but you don’t want to take a pink shower or wash your hands with bubble gum looking water.
To do this properly, most RV’s follow these steps:
- Close all RV water taps.
- The water pump needs to be off.
- Next, Make sure the water heater switch is off. To be extra careful, I also shut down the breaker for the water heater. You can’t risk the water heater being turned on while it is empty after winterizing because you will burn up the anode.
- Cap all fresh and low water drains.
- Make sure the hot water drain plug/anode is replaced with thread sealant tape (PTFE tape). I usually use this as a chance to rinse the tank with a wand to remove any sediment and contaminates.
- Connect a potable water hose to your RV’s water hookup. Turn on the water supply to your RV. Open all cold water faucets in your RV starting from the tap the furthest away and let the fresh water flush the system. Repeat the process with the on the hot water side. Remember to also flush any outside taps including outside showers.
- Flush the toilets to clear the sewer lines and to remove any residual antifreeze. Shut off faucets once the lines run clear, which usually takes about 10 minutes.
- Close all taps and put water into the fresh water tank. Turn on the water pump and turn on the cold water tap to flush antifreeze in the water pump.
- Shut down the water pump. Turn on the fresh water supply and allow the water heater to fill. The easiest way to verify there is water actually in the water heater is to briefly flip up the lever on the temperature/pressure relief valve at the top of the water heater. If water comes out here, then the heater should be full of water. It is now safe to turn on the water heater switch outside and the water heater breaker inside. Tun on hot water taps and bleed the air from the lines.
- Check under sinks, bathrooms and outside for any leaks caused by freezing. Take a flashlight and look under sinks and around the toilet and shower. Repair any leaks by tightening or replacing broken pipes. Clean and maintain accordingly.
Step 3 Propane
- Tighten all propane connections. Next, Turn your propane valve just slightly to open the line. Now place a damp and soapy sponge at the end of the connectors. Do air bubbles form? If so, you may have a leak in your line. Recheck or replace the connections. No bubbles? Now, you are ready to go! Tight fittings the are critical to successfully de-winterizing an RV.
Step 4 Tires
Check the tire pressure on each of your RV’s tires. Your manual or the tag behind the driver’s seat will tell you the correct pressure for your tires. Now, be sure to inspect the tread of the tire and look for any wear or cracks. This is a major step if you want to avoid a blowout. If your RV has a spare, be sure to check that as well. I also use a tire pressure management system to make sure I know how my tires are doing.
You are done!
Finally done. You are now ready to load up with food and gear and head out to explore the beauty of our country. You can find family fun places to visit on this blog, Our American Travels.