How To Winterize An RV: The Start-to-Finish Guide
Aug 22, 2019 · 5 min read

Once the camping season ends and the thermometer begins to drop, every RVer knows that it’s time to temporarily stop RV travel and get their vehicle ready for winter. Before the temperature falls below freezing, you must finish winterizing your RV in order to protect the delicate piping system. Nowadays, many RV maintenance shops offer to look after vehicles in winter but with basic knowledge, you should be able to take care of everything on your own using antifreeze. That being said, if for some reason you could not use additives, it’s possible to winterize RV without antifreeze.

The Fundamentals Of RV Winterization

So you are about to go through the first winter with your RV but you really have no idea how to winterize the piping system in the absence of antifreeze? If that is so, this article shall provide with step-by-step instruction on how to winterize RV without antifreeze. Generally speaking, it’s indeed convenient for RVers to pump a few gallons of antifreeze through their recreational vehicle and then call it a day. However, if you prefer to avoid antifreeze, follow the guide below while winterizing your RV.

Overall, you have a lot of things to worry about when it comes to winterizing recreational vehicles as a whole. Normally, RVers utilize antifreeze to prevent waters from freezing solid in pipes, faucets and valves. In the case you allow water to freeze without doing anything, there would be extensive damages to the piping system. Since the system itself extend deep behind the walls of the vehicle, you should expect an expensive repair bill afterward. That is why if you want to winterize RV without antifreeze, you have to remove waters from your recreational vehicle.

How To Winterize An RV
How To Winterize An RV

Besides the piping system, you must pay attention to other aspects of the RV to keep the vehicle in shape. It’s meaningless to concentrate on one feature of the RV and expose the rest to the harshness of winter. As a result, glance over the tires, the batteries, the electrical arrangements and so on. Your RV would sit idly for a couple of months so if you fail to perform proper maintenance, the RV might not be able to work as smoothly as before. Luckily, you don’t have to be an expert about recreational vehicles to set things right for the incoming winter.

Preparing Recreational Vehicles For Winter: Must-Have Tools And Gears

Most of the items you need for the project could be found in your toolbox and the local hardware stores. All things considered, you need to have an air compressor, a couple of plastic bags, some quality cleaning solutions and a few pieces of cloth. It’s also a good idea to prepare automotive fluid around so you could readily refill particular systems if necessary. To be on the safe side, you should visit the website of the RV manufacturer to see if your RV happens to require specific products. If you RV lacks built-in jacks, you should keep several independent jacks on hand.

About the gears, you have to work around stuff that could inflict injuries, hence, it’s of utmost importance to protect your eyes and skins. For most of the time, safety glasses, electrical insulated gloves and facemask would be sufficient. Keep these protective accessories on for the duration of the project to safeguard your health. Once you manage to gather everything mentioned above, it’s time to perform the winterization.

The Winterization Process Of RV

Step 1: Blow Out The Piping

To winterize RV without antifreeze, you have to depend on the air compressor to get rid of waters inside the piping system of your vehicle. Disconnect your RV from outside water sources, bypass the water heater, open all faucets and proceed to flush the toilet. Next, set your compressor to around 30 psi, connect its hose to the blowout plug then simply turn on the machine. After it seems that you have dislodged all the water in the RV piping system, shut down the air compressor and detach the blowout plug.

Step 2: Carefully Position The Tires

In storage, the tires of your RV could develop flat spots if left alone for an extended period of time. To prevent that scenario from occurring, it’s strongly recommended that you slightly raise the rig so the tires don’t have to support thousands of pounds in one position. When it comes to raising recreational vehicles, jacks work wonders. In the case you are unable to secure jacks for the winterization, move the tires ½ revolution every now and then.

The Winterization Process Of RV
The Winterization Process Of RV

Step 3: Check Out The Engine

Moat RVers consider the engine to be the soul of motorhome which means you need to watch over it well. In order to avoid condensation, you should fill the RV fuel tank to the brim and add some fuel stabilizers. Take the opportunity to thoroughly assess the current fluid level in various systems to see whether a refill is required. Cover the engine to the best of your ability so as its integrity would not be compromised by low temperatures.

Step 4: Glance Over The Batteries

For traditional batteries, it’s a good idea top off the fluid level before you put your RV into storage. Again, remember to wear protective accessories at all times to decrease the risk of injuries. Furthermore, fully charge the batteries periodically to extend their lifetime. If you allow the energy level of batteries to drop to a certain point, they might never be able to be charged to 100% after that.

Step 5: Sweep The Vehicle Interior

Take times to clean the kitchen, the toilet and every facility on your recreational vehicle in preparation for winter storage. If you store your RV in a storage lot, you must remember to remove valuable items in advance such as TVs, game consoles, computers, tools…. Flip off the RV main breaker, open the vehicle fridge and let it thaw completely. Pop open a can of baking soda, leave it in the middle of the interior and that should be everything.

Important Note: Want to be a full-time RVers and the winterization is too much of a hassle for you? If that happens to be the case then here is a hint for you: keep heading south until the temperature stays at an acceptable level.

Written by is the premier online resource for those who love RVing, travel and road tripping. Visit us to learn more about hitting the road in an RV.

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