Your RV is a big investment, and even when you’re not spending time on the road, your RV needs to be taken care of. Winter is a particularly hazardous time for RVs, as improper storage and preparation can cause serious damage that tallies up to a big repair bill in the spring. Wisconsin RV World wants to give you the knowledge you need to protect your investment, so we’ve made this quick guide to walk you through the basic steps of winterization. Remember if you have any questions during this process, or need some materials, come in and see us or call us here at Wisconsin RV World in Deforest, proudly serving the areas of Milwaukee, Green Bay, and Eau Claire, Wisconsin.
Draining and Flushing
If you’re expecting freezing weather, then the biggest enemy your RV will have is water. Getting the water out of your plumbing is important, so start by draining your fresh water tank. At an approved septic site empty your black tank, and then your gray tank. Flush your black water tank using the black tank flush, or alternatively, use a black tank wand hose attachment and rinse the tank that way. When your holding tanks are empty, you’ll still need to drain your water heater tank. As long as the water heater is turned off and cool, you can open the pressure relief valve on top and pull the drain plug. Close the valve and put the plug back when your done, and you can move on to draining your plumbing.
Open the faucets and valves in your RV, including your outside shower, and pull the low point drain valve. Turning on your water pump will help push stubborn water out of your pipes. When you stop seeing a flow of water from the low point drain, you can turn off your water pump and cap the low point drain. You will also need to go through and close off your faucets and valves today.
Water Heater Bypass
The Water Heater Bypass is used to save you time and money during the winterization process. You may already have a bypass installed if you’re driving a newer RV, but if you’ve got an older model this component may be missing. The Water Heater bypass is designed to route the flow of antifreeze around the water heater to reach the hot water lines. This saves you about six gallons of antifreeze, as most water heater tanks need to be completely filled if a bypass is not in place. If you need help with this part of the job, or are looking for some components, our service department here at Wisconsin RV World will be happy to get the job done.
So, we’re on to the main event! Hook your water pump up to your container of RV antifreeze. Make sure you’re only using red RV/marine antifreeze that is labeled as safe for potable water systems. Our parts department can help you pick out the right kind for you. With the antifreeze hooked up to your water pump, turn the pump on and move to the faucet closest to the water pump. Open the cold water valve, and allow the faucet to run until you see pink antifreeze flowing, then switch to the hot water valve, and again, wait for the antifreeze to show. Close the valve tightly and then move to the next closest faucet. Repeat this process throughout the RV until you’ve seen pink antifreeze in all of the faucets (don’t forget your outside shower as well). If your antifreeze runs out during this process switch it out for a fresh jug (it may take several depending on the size of your RV). Flush your toilets until you see antifreeze there. Turn off your water pump. Pour one cup of antifreeze down each drain, and flush a cup down each toilet. Open one valve to relieve any remaining pressure in your plumbing, and then reclose.
If you have any other appliances that use water, you’ll need to have these winterized individually based on manufacturer requirements, so check your owner’s manual and take care of each of these in turn.
So there you have the basic steps to winterizing your RV. If you find the process daunting, we’re happy to help here at Wisconsin RV World, just give us a call and we’ll be happy to help any way we can, from helping you find the parts you need, to scheduling a RV service appointment so we can take care of everything for you. Wisconsin RV World is proud to serve the areas of Milwaukee, Green Bay, and Eau Claire, from our dealership here in Deforest, Wisconsin.