How To Winterize Your RV

November 30, 2017


Stephanie Goraczkowski


winterize RV

Some travelers get to their next assignment by car; some travel by plane… and some get there by RV. If you’re an RV road warrior, chances are you could use a few tips on keeping your ride running smooth while the winter season approaches. Take a look at this helpful, in-order RV winterizing checklist to see if you have all of your bases covered and to learn how to winterize your RV this season.


RV Plumbing System

  • Remove and bypass your inline water filters.
  • Drain your fresh water holding tank.
  • Flush your black and gray holding tanks, or manually clean the tanks with a flushing mechanism, like Flush King or Hydro Flush. Check out your options here.
  • Add WD 40 to the termination valves.
  • Drain the water heater. Safety Tip: DO NOT drain when water heater is hot or under pressure.
  • Turn on all hot and cold faucets, toilet valve, shower faucet, and any low point drain lines to drain them of water. Then recap and turn off all faucets when finished.
  • By-pass the water heater using your by-pass kit. If you don’t have one installed, the water heater will fill up with antifreeze before it goes through the water lines, wasting 6+ gallons of antifreeze. You can get one installed by any local RV facility.
  • Install a water pump converter kit to filter antifreeze through your system. Another way is to disconnect the inlet side of the water pump (fresh water holding tank line) and connect tubing to the inlet side of the pump and put the other end into a container of RV antifreeze.
  • Turn on the water pump to pressurize the system. Open all hot and cold faucets and shower until antifreeze runs through. (RV antifreeze is pink.) Close faucets once antifreeze appears. You’ll need to replace antifreeze jug as needed.
  • Flush the toilet until antifreeze runs through it.
  • Turn off the water pump and open a faucet to release pressure.
  • Pour one cup of antifreeze down each drain and also into the toilet; flush it so it goes into the holding tank.
  • If your water heater has an electric heating element, turn it off. This will protect it if the RV is plugged in while in storage.
  • Make sure all faucets are closed.
  • Check your owner’s manuals for how to winterize any icemakers, washing machines, or other small appliances you have.
  • Thaw freezer and dry out.
  • Place a fresh, opened box of baking soda in the refrigerator.
  • Open a container of moisture absorbent and place it inside your RV. It will help prevent corrosion and mildew.


RV Engine and Batteries

  • Top off the fuel tanks to avoid winter condensation.
  • Add a fuel stabilizer, then turn on and idle the engine so it can work its way through the system.
  • Fill radiator with auto antifreeze.
  • Check oil, brake fluid, and windshield washer solution. Top them off as needed.
  • Make sure batteries are fully charged and remove them to store in a dry, warm place.


RV Tires

  • Use leveling jacks when storing your RV for extended periods of time.
  • Park on a paved surface to prevent tire sinking.
  • Set parking brake and use wheel chocks.


Winterizing your RV can seem like a long to-do list, but it’s so worth it to keep your rig up and running for your next RV travel adventure!

Want to read more on traveling RV-style? Check out Fusion's very own Tina! That contest is long over, but you can still see some pretty sweet pics of Tina's adventures.

Where are you headed for your next assignment this winter? Need some ideas? We have some great jobs available:

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