How to Winterize Your RV - The Quick Guide

Posted by RVCampersUSA on Jan 2nd 2017

If you're settling in for the winter and storing the RV, you'll want to follow this quick guide on how to winterize your RV to make sure everything is good to go in Spring.

how to winterize your rv

December 21 marks the official start of the winter season, so this post about winterizing your RV seems appropriate.

The bone-chilling temperatures over prompt owners to park their RV in storage until the following year. Before doing so, however, it's recommended that you “winterize” your RV. Doing so will protect it from common forms of damage while ensuring all of the systems remain functional.

So, how exactly do you winterize an RV?

1. Drain the Fresh Water Tank

Using the potable water hose, go ahead and drain your RV's fresh water tank. Allowing stagnant water to sit in the tank increases the risk of mold, mildew and corrosion (if your tank is metal). Fresh water is cheap and easy to replace, do don't worry about having to refill the tank.

2. Drain the Gray and Black Water Tanks

Of course, you should also drain both the gray and black water tanks as well. This is typically done by removing the cap, connecting the sewer hose, placing the sewer hose 5-7 inches into the dump hole, secure the hose fitting, and release the valve.

3. Drain the Water Heater

With the water pump off, release pressure from your RV's water heater and drain the water. This should only be done, however, when the water is cool and not under pressure; otherwise, you run the risk of serious injury.

If you're like me, I always appreciate a good "how to" video and Mike Wendland put together a great video for that shows exactly how to winterize your RV. You can check it out below.

4. Use Leveling Jacks

If your RV has leveling jacks, use them to raise your RV off the ground. Why is this necessary? Well, it's not technically necessary. Rather, it's a helpful way to prevent tire deflation. The heavy weight of an RV can depress and deflate tires over the course of several months – a problem that's easily prevented by using leveling jacks.

5. Add a Fuel Stabilizer

Before storing your RV for winter, top off the fuel tank and add a fuel stabilizer product. The purpose of this step is to prevent condensation buildup inside of the fuel tank. Condensation can wreak havoc on the tank and engine, causing serious damage later down the road.

6. Check and Fill Radiator with Antifreeze

When was the last time you checked your RV's radiator for antifreeze/coolant? There's no better time than the beginning of the winter season to check it. Antifreeze lives up to its namesake by protecting the liquid from freezing. If your radiator has little-to-no antifreeze, it could sustain damage during the cold winter weather.

Last but not least, check your RV's owner manual for more information on winterizing. If it has an icemaker, for instance, the manual should provide further guidance on how to prepare it for long-term winter storage.