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How To Winterize Your RV

We've all experienced seasonal depression to some degree, but for RVers, winterizing your RV adds one more winter burden to cause stress. Whether you're seasoned in RV living, or are experiencing your first winter with an RV, this blog will take you through the whole process, removing the burden from your shoulders.

Before you start:

Before you begin winterizing, it is important to understand that not all RV’s are equal. The steps outlined in this blog are general guidelines so be sure to check your RV’s owner's manual. This can prevent issues in the process of winterizing that could come up due to a lack of information.

That being said, generally there are a few different tools you will need handy to start your winterizing.

  • Socket & Wrench Set

  • RV Antifreeze

  • Owner's Manual

  • Water Pump Converter Kit

  • Drain Hose

  • Water Heater Bypass Kit

  • Air Compressor

  • Insulation & Heat Tape

  • Sealant

  • RV Wash & Wax

Step 1: Drain The Water Systems

Now that you’ve got all the needed materials and read your owner's manual, it’s time to get started. The first thing you’ll need to do to begin winterizing is drain the water systems. This can be done using the following simple steps.

  1. Empty your freshwater and holding tanks, which will vary in location depending on RV.

  2. Open all of your water faucets and ensure the water is drained from the water heater.

  3. Flush your toilet & empty its water supply.

Step 2: Adding The Antifreeze

Now that your RV is drained, it’s time to add your antifreeze. Remember to ensure that your antifreeze is non-toxic and RV Specific. This means that it does not contain lead and other harmful chemicals, and is ethanol-based, propylene glycol-based, or an ethanol/propylene blend.

Once you’ve obtained the correct antifreeze, pour it into the drains, toilet, and any water lines located in your RV. This should be outlined in your RV’s owner's manual if you aren’t sure on their locations or amount. It is important to do this step from the highest to lowest drain in the RV, which usually means to start at the kitchen sink and move down from there.

Next, you'll run the faucets and flush the toilet until the antifreeze appears. Starting with the kitchen sink, you’ll run the hot water until the antifreeze runs through it, then move on to cold, and move down to the other systems from top to bottom.

Step 3: Protecting the RV’s Exterior:

The next step is to protect your RV’s exterior from the harsh winter ahead. You’ll want to start by cleaning, drying, and waxing your RV’s exterior. This will keep your RV in good condition during this winter period and protect it from snow and ice.

After that, you’re ready to start sealing leaks. Inspect your RV inside and out for any leaks that may present a threat. Be sure to seal these areas, along with seams, windows, and other points of entry for outside forces.

After protecting the exterior of your RV, inspect your RV again, this time looking for any exposed pipes. To prevent pipe freezing, it is crucial to wrap any exposed pipes with insulation and in extreme climates, use heat tape.

Some Final Considerations:

Now, you’re nearing the end of your winterizing journey. Great job! But before you store or live in your RV this winter, consider taking these few extra precautions.

  1. Search your RV for any items of value and remove them from the RV. You never want to return to your RV and realize something valuable has been ruined over the winter. Protect more than just your RV during this harsh season!

  2. Remove all perishable items from the refrigerator and clean/defrost the refrigerator. Finally, leave the refrigerator slightly cracked before storing.

  3. Find a safe place to store your RV. This step is crucial for winterizing success. It is recommended that your RV is stored in a covered area, preferably near a warmer climate.

Shilo RV: A Place to Call Home

Shilo RV Village is a Texas Hill Country RV Park, specializing in long term stays. Whether you’re looking to store your RV somewhere safe, or a place to experience a flourishing RV lifestyle, Shilo is here to help.

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