When we first bought our RV, we knew absolutely nothing about RVing. I remember the first time someone told us, “Your RV has been winterized.” I was like, huh? We live in Florida. What does that even mean because we don’t really have a winter? Then they explained that when an RV travels to a state where the temperature drops, it’s important to have the RV winterized so that the pipes don’t burst.

Winterizing is something that can be done at a dealership or it can be done yourself. If you’re going to put your RV away for the winter season, it’s super important to protect it by winterizing it first. The most important thing about winterizing is getting all of the water out of the RV. For the DIYers, here is a list of the items you will need to winterize your RV:

  1. RV Antifreeze (it’s pink)

  1. Water Hose
  2. Water Heater Bypass Kit (sometimes these are already installed)
  3. Water Pump Converter Kit

  1. Wand to Clean Out Holding Tanks

Once you have the items above (they can all be found at Walmart) you can follow the steps below as a guide to remove the water out of your RV by filling it with RV antifreeze:

  1. Disconnect the RV from any water source.
  2. Drain the entire water system (cold water lines, hot water lines, and fresh water lines).
  3. Open all of the faucets, shower and flush the toilets to drain any remaining water.
  4. Drain the hot water heater by pulling the drain plug. Make sure that you relieve the pressure from the hot water heater tank (use the pressure relief valve on the hot water heater).
  5. Bypass the hot water heater to prevent water from going in or out of the hot water heater.
  6. Find the water pump and run antifreeze through the RV (DO NOT put RV antifreeze in the freshwater tank).
  7. Turn on the hot and cold water in your faucets (one at a time) and run each one until pure antifreeze comes out of the faucet.
  8. Flush the toilet until pure antifreeze comes out.
  9. Take the hose out of the antifreeze.
  10. Run the water pump until it makes a gurgling noise.
  11. Shut off the water pump.
  12. Drain everything in the holding tanks.
  13. Pour antifreeze down the P-traps to fill them.
  14. Pour extra antifreeze down the toilet.

If you have a dishwasher, washing machine or an ice maker in your RV make sure you contact your local service department or consult your user manual to follow the proper procedure for your RV.

Other steps to help winterize your RV include:

  1. Using something like DampRid to absorb moisture and keep mildew away.
  2. Take all the food out of the RV to avoid rodents or animal infestations.
  3. Turn off the propane.
  4. Check the seals around doors and windows and caulk as necessary.
  5. Check the roof for any damage or leaks and caulk as necessary.
  6. Cover your RV if it will not be inside a storage space.

Don’t forget to always check your owner’s manual for specific winterizing instructions for your RV. Every RV is a little different. The steps above are a quick guide to help you winterize your RV. If you can check your RV throughout the winter months, this can also help avoid any surprises come spring.

Do you have any winterizing tips? Please share below: