Tips for Winterizing Your RV

Winters in Spokane can be cold and harsh which can be hard on your RV or camper. Winterization is key to preserving your investment. Here is a handy checklist to run down this winter and make sure that your vehicle is ready to go for your next adventure:

  • Empty the water lines and winterize with antifreeze – water can be the most damaging if it freezes in your systems. You need to remove virtually all water from your systems, save a small amount (~7%) in your black and grey tanks.
    • For winterizing power or air-pressure plumbing systems, see this guide.
    • For this step:
      • Make sure you have purchased RV antifreeze not the more common “antifreeze” used for cars.
      • Turn off your water heater before beginning
      • Open the pressure valve and take out the drain plug
      • Run all your sinks, showers, toilets until all water is out
      • Turn off the water pump
      • Move the valves to the “sanitize/winterize” position
      • Make sure all low point drains are closed
      • Add the antifreeze
      • Turn on the pump and open all faucets again one at a time until you see antifreeze coming out
  • Empty all your tanks – The recommended order for cleaning out your tanks is: black, grey, and finally fresh water. Dump, clean, sanitize and then do a final water flush. It is recommended that you keep a small amount of water (~7%) in the black and grey tanks with a tank treatment solution to prevent bacteria and solidification.
  • Clean and wax the exterior – Do not cheat and try to go through an automatic carwash! Handwash your RV carefully to remove road salt, tar, bugs, droppings, tree sap, which can cause corrosion or degradation of paint. Once you have thoroughly cleaned the RV, wax the exterior and inspect your seals.
  • Clean the interior – Trust us – opening up your RV after 4-6 months of storage to last years crumbs and stains is mighty depressing (and sometimes smelly!). You can use the same chemicals and techniques you use to clean your house.
  • Disconnect the battery – If you are not hooking the camper or RV up to a trickle charger, remember to disconnect the negative cable to avoid draining the battery and shortening its life.

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