Are owning an RV and living at a place that leads towards freezing temperatures in winters? If it’s so, can we guess what’s going on in your mind? Winterizing RV is your biggest concern. Then what to do? You are at the right place to know how you can drain and store your RV properly. We will tell you the most effective ways about “how to winterize an RV?” A quick read is going to solve all your tangling thoughts about winterizing your RV in the right way. Yes, we guarantee you the fittest solution.

Why is winterizing RV so necessary?

Though winterizing RV knocks at your mind as a continuous reminder. Still, thinking about the hectic process, you keep on asking yourself:

  • Why should I do it now?
  • Why not delay next weekend?
  • Why not look for some DIY solutions?

Shunning off such thoughts to start on time winterization is essential for the health of your RV. So, here are some inescapable reasons to store your camper safely in winters. You winterize your RV for two reasons.

  1. You’re an occasional camper and will discontinue your trips until the cold weather ends.
  2. You love camping in chilly weather.

Whatever be the case, you must winterize your RV when:

  • Temperature ranges from 20 degrees Fahrenheit or below.
  • You use no heating options to keep the core of your RV warm.

So, it’s obvious that now you’ve got the only option of winterization of RV.

Steps to follow for Winterizing RV

how to winterize an RV
Winterizing RV

Winterization of your recreational vehicle involves different processes. Therefore, we’ve got you a step-by-step, in-depth understanding guide.

1. Do RV plumbing and water system winterization

The first step to winterize your camper is to do with all its water system. So, get the important tools to get started.

  • Sufficient amount of Non-toxic RV antifreeze. We recommend 2-3 gallons.
  • Water heater by-ps kit, if there isn’t any in your RV
  • Holding tanks, cleaning wand.
  • Water tank tubing or converter kit.
  • Basic hand tools for removing drain plugs.

After checking out your collection of necessary tools, you can carry out water system winterization. However, it’s better to read your RV winterizing guideline in its manual. Now follow the steps to do a good RV water system winterization.

  1. Remove all the inline water filters if there are any
  2. Drain the freshwater holding tanks and gray-black holding tanks. In case, there isn’t any in-built tank flushing system in your RV, using a wand or cleaning product can also help the process equally.
  3. Don’t forget the lubrication of valves with WD 40.

2. Drain the RV water heater

Make sure you’ve turned off the water heater and let it cool. Similarly, ensure that the system has no pressure at all. You can do this by disconnecting the water sources, turning off the water pump, and opening the hot water faucet. Now, open the pressure release valve and take off the drain plug. Moreover, you can also clean your water heater using a tank-rinsing wand or vinegar solution. Once you’ve done water heater drainage, close the drain plug using plumber’s tape and reinstall it.

3. Drain out the water in hot and cold lines

You can do the draining out procedure after locating hot and cold lines. Hence, close all the drains and faucets. It’s also necessary to open all the hot & cold faucets including the shower and toilet valves.

winterize camper
Winterizing RV

4. Bypass your RV water heater kit

If your RV already has a water kit, you can follow the diagram in the manual to do a bypass. Bypassing the water heater is the most important step, for it’ll save refilling 5-6 gallon of antifreeze. If you find no pre-installed system, using a water pump converter kit can also help. Hence, you can draw antifreeze into your RV’s water lines by using any of the methods.

4. Run antifreeze through your water system lines.

Use a water pump inlet tube into the gallon jug of antifreeze and pressurize the system by turning on the pump. By opening up every faucet in your system, one-by-one, to run antifreeze through all hot and cold valves to fill both lines.

5. Fill the drains using antifreeze.

Filling the drain is also an inevitable part of winterizing an RV. So, fill every drainage by pouring one cup of antifreeze. In the same way, pour your toilet bowl and holding tank with two cups of antifreeze. Note that you can also use the compressed air method as an alternative. Yet, it’s more time-consuming and less advisable.

Tips to winterize RV exterior

Winterization of your RV requires exterior safety as well. So, you need to follow these precautions before you close your RV garage.

  • Do a proper wash and wax of your camping vehicle. After drying it, sparing silicone will waterproof your dear RV.
  • Coat the roofs of your RV with liquid rubber if you detect any cracks.
  • Inspect all the openings of the air conditioner, vents, and pipes and seal them.
  • Pest can bring potential destruction of your RV. So, spray the doorway with a good pest repellent.
  • Install bug screens over vents to your water heater and furnace.

Thus, you can prepare your RV for the long hibernation of winters.

Winterize RV interior by following these tips.

Can you see wandering cats, mice, and squirrels in winters? You can see their destruction when you visit your RV after 2-3 months of freezing. Then how to keep them away? The following RV interior winterization tips can allow you to be happy with your RV ultimately.

  • Seal all the nooks and corners of your RV.
  • Leave no remnants of food or clothes.
  • Check and cover all the soft spots on the floor.
  • Keep your vacant refrigerator and cabinet doors to let no mold build there.
  • You can also set some traps. Yet. it’s necessary to check them out once a month.

More tips to follow to winterizing RV for cold camping

Camping in your RV and storing it in the garage aren’t alike at all. You need to follow some more measures for winterizing the RV. Therefore, we’ve got you some special tips to enjoy undisturbed camping with your RV in the frost.

  • Skirt your RV by covering the gap between the ground and your RV belly. You can do skirting by using wood or some other waste material.
  • Arrange a small heater to prevent the RV’s underbelly from freezing. Your heater also requires a vigilant check on its operations.
  • Do cold camping with a freshwater connection or heated water hose.
  • To keep your water system active, leave the water running. Similarly, when it’s too cold, leaving a faucet open will also help water moving continuously.

Final checklist for winterizing a camper

Before the fall haunts your camper with its freezing temperature, you take an instant move to winterize your RV. We’re glad you’ve done everything perfectly. But how can we tell you did all winterization in the right way? Here is our checklist to let you know how good you’ve been. Just see and check:

  • The hoses and clamps of your radiator are wear-free after checking and replacing them.
  • You’ve stored the battery and propane tanks in a safe place after removing them.
  • The air filter is properly operational perfectly to allow you a happy post winters return in your RV.
  • No lights, signals, headlights are in burned condition for you’ve replaced them.
  • All the circuit breakers for heat, electricity, and air conditioning are off.
  • You’ve inspected the casing quality, tread depth, and sidewalls for any damage. In the case the tires have less than 6/32-inch tread depth, it’s time to replace them before RV winterization.
  • You’ve inflated the tires finding them in OK condition.
  • Before parking your RV, you’ve turned the emergency brakes on and used wheel chocks to ensure stable parking.

Hence, make sure you’ve closed every corner and repaired the broken surfaces.

How To Winterize An RV! [Video Guide]

How To Winterize An RV


Winterizing an RV requires a lot of effort. However, a wonderful investment of time, effort, and material can help your beloved RV see you with a smile next spring. So, what first purpose you’ll do winterization of RV: frosty cold camping or resting it in your garage? We advise you to do it perfectly!!!


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