Master Guide to Winterizing RVs

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DAY 1

Proper RV Battery Storage: Tips And Troubleshooting

DAY 2

Using An RV Winterizing Kit

DAY 3

How To Winterize An RV Using Pressurized Air

DAY 4

How To Keep Mice Out Of An RV

DAY 5

Tips For Winterizing An RV Water Heater

DAY 6

How To Winterize An RV Generator
Discussion
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55 Responses to “Master Guide to Winterizing RVs”
  1. Ted WINDER
    Ted WINDER

    RV Make: open range, RV Model: 297RLS, RV Year: 2016

    winterizing 5th wheel trailer

    Reply
  2. ADOLPH
    ADOLPH

    RV Make: renegade, RV Model: verona 36ghs, RV Year: 2021, Brand: renegade, Model Number: 36gsh

    winterizeing

    Reply
  3. STEVEN
    STEVEN

    RV Make: Sunset, RV Model: Layton, RV Year: 1998

    I don’t see the winterizing the water heater video but the tip offered in the “Tips” section should have included those of us without a cold water bypass on the water heater. I do blow air through the water heater but after I first pull the anode to drain it. I then put the anode back in, hand tight only, and finish blowing out the hot water lines. After I’m done with that I pull the anode out again, scrub the lime scale off, and store it inside the trailer for the winter. Pulling it out the second time also allows any water that may have blown into it from the cold water line to drain out.

    Reply
  4. Richard Kern
    Richard Kern

    RV Make: Holiday Rambler, RV Model: Endeavor, RV Year: 2004

    I visit my Grandson at school up north and want to avoid Hotels/Covid, so I want to stay in the RV. What is the best way to avoid freezing problems? Thanks

    Reply
    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      Hi Richard. Really the most important thing about using an RV in cold weather is the water system. If you plan on using water while in the RV you have to take precautions when the temperatures go below freezing. This includes the holding tanks as well. They make tank heaters that attach to the bottom of the tanks to prevent them from freezing. They also make plumbing wrap to keep the lines and drains warm as well. If you will be hooked up to a hose you will also want a heated line from the city connection to the RV. Other than the water system everything else should be fine. You can better insulate with window and vent covers to help hold in heat. If you use the furnace you will be going through a lot of propane to keep it warm so it’s not a bad idea to have an extra tank on hand as a standby in case you need more gas until you can get them filled. The only issues for freezing would be the water system so just make sure to take care of that and you should be fine.
      Thanks
      Dan-RV Repair Club

      Reply
  5. Bobby Myers
    Bobby Myers

    RV Make: Jayco, RV Model: Grey hawk, RV Year: 2017

    How to winterize the 2017 jayco grey hawk?

    Reply
    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      Hi Bobby. I don’t have the specs of everything that your RV has but I do have a good template with the instructions on how to winterize all RV’s. The same principal applies to all RVs, getting the water out of the system. This includes the lines, hot water tanks and all holding tanks. The lines can be cleared using pressurized air or siphon anti freeze into the system to push out all of the water. Here is the steps for winterizing:
      Start by draining all of the holding tanks, this includes the fresh potable water tank and all gray and black waste tanks. You then want to drain the hot water tank. Atwood/Dometic models have a 7/8″ or 15/16″ plastic drain plug and Suburban models use a 1 1/16″ steel drain plug that has an anode rod attached to it. Both of these drain plugs are located on the outside of the hot water tank near the bottom. Pull the plug and leave it out during storage. Once the tank is drained you want to bypass the tank.You don’t want to add anti-freeze to the hot water tanks so you want to bypass it. Most RV’s are equipped with a way to do this either by valves on the back of the hot water tank or a valve in the wet-bay to put the water lines in bypass. Most travel trailers and some 5th wheels use the valves on the back of the tank, most 5th wheels motorhomes use a manifold system that has a valve in the wet-bay. I will provide a diagram showing how to set the valves on the back of the tank. There are many different set ups and can vary from year to year but the basic idea is to divert the cold line to the hot line without anything going into the tank. Some RV’s don’t even come with these valves and they would need to be installed if aren’t present.
      Once the tank is in bypass you want to drain as much water as possible from the water lines. There should be some low point drains under the RV, these can be in many locations and are different on every model but there are typically two side by side. They can have turn valves, caps or even a valve inside the RV to release the water outside. Open both of these lines and then open all faucets inside. This will drain most of the water out of the lines. You then close everything back up. If you skip this step it is not a big deal but you will end up using more anti-freeze than if you didn’t. This is because the anti-freeze will mix with the water in the lines and you have to run more to clear out the mixture. Most RV’s use 2-3 gallons based on the size and extra features. Larger 5th wheels and motorhomes that include things like washers, dishwasher, macerator pumps etc will use a lot more. You can now add anti-freeze to the system. Most RV’s are set up to do this at the water pump. You want to locate the pump and see if there is a valve attached to it with another hose. If there is, this is the siphon hose. You turn the valves to open up the additional hose and put the hose in your jug of anti-freeze. Turn on the pump and let the pressure build up until the pump turns off. You can then go to each fixture one at a time and open the valves until solid color anti-freeze is coming out. On faucets make sure to do both hot and cold lines and also select the different spray settings for the nozzle if there are multiple ones. Make sure to get the toilet and outside fixtures as well like an outside shower or sink. You also want to make sure to open the lower point drains as well. Once anti-freeze is coming out of every fixture that water can come out, you are done siphoning. If you do not have this siphon feature at the pump, you can install your own using a kit or you can use a manual pump at the city water connection. Once the lines are finished you can then take the remainder of the anti-freeze and poor it down all of the drains to fill the P-traps and prevent them from freezing.
      Here are some videos on winterizing as well:https://www.rvrepairclub.com/article/winterizing-m/
      Thanks
      Dan-RV Repair Club

      Reply
  6. Paul Meinke
    Paul Meinke

    RV Make: Tiffin Allegro, RV Model: Open Road, RV Year: 2007

    Still living in the RV. Getting a Single Wide Trailer ready to live in this winter (already in the mid 20’s here) and be home base. I will be tackling the RV winterizing in about a week if all go well in getting the trailer done.

    Reply
  7. lloyd ashley
    lloyd ashley

    RV Make: forest river, RV Model: flagstaff classic, RV Year: 2021, Brand: flagstaff classic, Model Number: 832flsb

    how to remove a dvd from the IVR70 blue ray player

    Reply
  8. William Watkins
    William Watkins

    RV Make: Thor, RV Model: Freedom Traveler, RV Year: 2018

    Thank you. This video on winterizing was perfect. This will be my first winter not spent in Florida so I needed a good guide to winterizing my RV.

    Reply
  9. Eddie Knotek
    Eddie Knotek

    RV Make: Gulfstream, RV Model: Yellowstone Capri, RV Year: 1995

    In the process of repairing some significant but not overwhelming water damage in my cab overhang area. I’m a new RVer. I have strong mechanical experience, but RV construction techniques are new to me. I need all the help I can get. Also, I need a source for replacement top cover for the Coleman 7330-730roof A/C unit as well as for the roof vent cap for my Dometic #RM2807 Refrigerator
    Thanks in advance.
    Eddie

    Reply
  10. James Vowell
    James Vowell

    RV Make: Holiday Rambler, RV Model: Empirial 33, RV Year: 1982

    where can i find wirering diagrams specific for my model

    Reply
    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      Hello James,

      Thank you for contacting us. Have you tried entering the RV detail into a google search? If you want to ask the experts if they can help they will need the make, model and the year of the RV.

      If you have any other concerns, please contact us at 1-855-706-3536, or chat with us on our site.

      We greatly appreciate your business!

      Sincerely,

      Joan
      RV Repair Club Video Membership

      Reply
  11. Gwen Schwemmer
    Gwen Schwemmer

    RV Make: Winnebago, RV Model: class c, RV Year: 2005

    How do I drain my hot water heater

    Reply
    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      Hi Gwen. There will be a drain plug on the outside of the tank. There are a few different models but the most common are Suburban and Atwood/Dometic. Suburban will have a metal drain plug in the center near the bottom of the tank under the burner. Atwood/Dometic will have a plastic plug in the same area or sometimes on the left side of the center near the bottom. Remove this plug and the water will drain out. Suburban uses a 1 1/16″ socket to remove the plug and Atwood/Dometic use 15/16″ socket. This is of course as long as no one installed something after market like a petcock valve. I will share two pictures of the two common tanks and where the drain plugs are located. I hope this helps!
      Dan
      RV Repair Club Video Membership

      Reply
  12. Julio Velazquez
    Julio Velazquez

    RV Make: Coachmen , RV Model: Pursuit 31TS, RV Year: 2021

    Hello everyone. I winterize my unit and I’m about to hit the road this weekend. I used the air pressure method and put antifreeze in the kitchen and bathroom sinks. The toilet and shower drain to protect the lines. Also have the water heater on bypass mode. So now I need to dewinterize and I would like some guidance on how to do it. What I’m not certain of is the exact order I should perform the steps. For example. At what point do I put the water heater back to normal usage? When do I put my pump valve back to normal usage? Things like this have me a bit confused. So any guidance or outline would be greatly appreciated

    Reply
    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      Hi Julio,

      Here is what our expert had to say:
      Since you only blew out your lines and didn’t add antifreeze to them there isn’t much to do. You just need to connect to a water supply, turn it on and open the faucets to clear the air in the lines until water is coming out. After that you put the drain plug back into the water heater and open the valves so the water can flow into the tank. It is best to open a hot faucet while doing this as well to allow the air in the tank to flow out. Once solid water is coming out of the hot faucet the system should be ready to use. You only need to turn the pump valve when you want to use the fresh water tank as the main water supply. If you are connected to city water it doesn’t need to be turned in a certain direction as you won’t be using the pump when on city supply. All the antifreeze that was put down in the drains and toilet will just go into the holding tank so you don’t need to do anything with those either. You just need to add water to the system and fill the hot water tank by taking it out of bypass.

      Sincerely,
      Dan
      RV Repair Club Technical Expert

      If other questions come up please let us know!
      Sincerely,
      Codi
      RV Repair Club Video Membership

      Reply
  13. Richard Deal
    Richard Deal

    RV Make: Jayco, RV Model: Hummingbird 17RK, RV Year: 2017

    How to dewinterize.

    Reply
  14. Bill Mitchell
    Bill Mitchell

    RV Make: Jayco, RV Model: Precept 36a, RV Year: 2019, Brand: whirlpool, Model Number: WRS571CIHZ

    I have an icemaker on this refrigerator, plus we have a washer/dryer unit. Need to know steps to winterize this unit.

    Reply
  15. Paul Juenger
    Paul Juenger

    RV Make: Winnabago, RV Model: Micro Mini, RV Year: 2020, Model Number: 2108TB

    First Time to winterize.

    Reply
  16. Darby Galbraith
    Darby Galbraith

    RV Make: Ford, RV Model: 350, RV Year: 1990

    How can I download some videos to take with me. I am a 66 year young , very fit and could do most of the work on my own (I hope ) I just can’t afford to have anything done and it’s a home for me and my 2 dogs. Thank you

    Reply
    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      Hello Darby,

      Thank you for contacting us. I am sorry to hear that you are having trouble accessing your downloads. Please follow the instructions below:

      1. Please visit the website.
      2. Click on LOG IN towards the top-right hand side of the web page.
      3. Enter your email address:bdarbygirl1@gmail.com and your password, then click on Login to log in.
      4. From your Account Dashboard, click on the Downloads icon:

      5. To save the download to your device, click on the title underneath the DOWNLOAD column on the right-hand side of the page.

      To ensure each download is successful, please only download one file at a time; please be patient while waiting for the download to complete, as this is a large file.

      If you are still having trouble accessing your downloads, please chat, email, or call Customer Service.

      Sincerely,

      Sarah
      RV Repair Club Video Membership

      Reply
  17. Chuck Spencer
    Chuck Spencer

    RV Make: Jayco Seneca , RV Model: 37TS, RV Year: 2018

    General information for Winterizing the first time.

    Reply
  18. Ruben cervantes
    Ruben cervantes

    RV Make: 1976 dodge commander, RV Model: Commander, RV Year: 1976

    Fridge isn’t working

    Reply
  19. Bill Hooten
    Bill Hooten

    RV Make: Fleetwood , RV Model: Tioga 22c, RV Year: 1998

    Water leaks in bathroom sink and toilet intake

    Reply
    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      Hello Bill,

      Thank you for contacting us. I will need the make, model, and year of your RV to submit your question to our experts.

      Have a great day!

      Reply
  20. Marlys Lensing
    Marlys Lensing

    RV Make: FR3, RV Model: 30DS, RV Year: 2018

    Any info for repairs or update would be appreciated.

    Reply
    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      Hello Marlys,

      Thank you for your feedback. I have forwarded your comment to the proper department. We value your opinion, and it will help with the development of our online streaming community. We will continue to listen and work hard for your complete satisfaction.

      Have a great day!

      Reply
  21. jeff kudsk
    jeff kudsk

    RV Make: Road Trek, RV Model: 200, RV Year: 2000

    II am wondering if there is a way to bypass the water reservoir tank and draw anti-freeze directly into the water lines. My water intake valve either is on or off and, if on fluid goes to the reservoir tank. If off it does not accept fluid at all.

    Reply
    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      Hi Jeff. This can be done by using a winterizing kit on the water pump. It is a water line used to siphon antifreeze directly to the water lines. I will share a link to this video. This is the easiest way to winterize a unit and these kits can be purchased online, at service centers and often the parts can be found at hardware stores.
      https://www.rvrepairclub.com/video/using-an-rv-winterizing-kit/
      Dan
      RV Repair Club

      Reply
  22. Barbara Downey
    Barbara Downey

    RV Make: Heartland , RV Model: Pioneer 250BH, RV Year: 2018

    Winterizing my travel trailer

    Reply
  23. Laurie Astles
    Laurie Astles

    RV Make: Vanguard , RV Model: Class A motorhome , RV Year: 1985

    Hi. The winterizing video is great, thanks! Can I winterize my rv 80 – 90%, specifically everything but emptying the holding tanks, and finish a few days later? I won’t be able to get it to a station to dump the tanks until after I have some help and a place to work on it. Thanks.

    Reply
    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      Hi Laurie. Yes, there is no issue with doing that. You just want to make sure to empty the tanks before winter. As long as you eventually get everything winterized and emptied, it doesn’t matter if you do it in steps or not.
      Dan
      RV Repair Club

      Reply
  24. Donna Jo Daniel
    Donna Jo Daniel

    RV Make: Grand Design, RV Model: Solitor, RV Year: 2022, Brand: Grand Design, Model Number: 373FB

    I will be living in my RV all winter AND I am new to the RV world. What kind of things will I need to do to keep warm and keep everything from freezing up in cold weather. We live in Nashville Tennessee.

    Reply
    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      Hi Donna Jo. If you plan on using the water system there are precautions you have to take. You need to make sure your underbelly is covered and insulated, not all RV’s come with this option. Your holding tanks are located here and need to be enclosed from the outside and insulated when using the water system. Many RV’s that come with an all seasons package will put a furnace duct into the underbelly to help. You can sometimes add this option depending on if there is extra space in the furnace for more ducts. They also make tank warmers that can be installed as well. If you have a water source connected to the city inlet, you will need a heated line. If you have any exterior water fixtures like an outside shower or kitchen it is best to put antifreeze into these fixtures to prevent damage as these areas won’t be heated. The same goes for low point drains. To do this you will need to winterize the unit and then flush out the fixtures you will be using. This will leave the antifreeze in your outside fixtures. To better insulate the inside you can install vent covers and window covers to help keep in the heat and prevent moisture build up on the windows. Investing in a good electric heater is worth it as well since the furnace will use a lot of propane really fast. We do have a video and an article going over some more tips as well:
      https://www.rvrepairclub.com/video/cold-weather-rv-camping-009103/

      https://www.rvrepairclub.com/article/6-tips-and-tricks-for-cold-weather-rving/
      Dan
      RV Repair Club

      Reply
  25. Tim Dunifon
    Tim Dunifon

    RV Make: Forest river, RV Model: 3025, RV Year: 2012, Brand: Forest river blue ridge, Model Number: 3025

    Where is water pump and how do I winterize this rig . I just bought it.

    Reply
    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      Hello Tim,

      Thank you for contacting us.

      What is the year, make, and model of your RV?

      Thanks!

      Reply
  26. Lendon Balch
    Lendon Balch

    RV Make: cedar creek, RV Model: cottage, RV Year: 2020

    Winterizing this cottage is harder than our standard RV. This has a hot water tank( not just the heater), a washing machine, dishwasher, icemaker in the fridge.

    Reply
  27. Richard Jones
    Richard Jones

    RV Make: keystone, RV Model: montana 3820FK, RV Year: 2017

    How do you hook up the hoses to the convenience center to draw antifreeze from containers into the RV water system?

    Reply
    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      Hello Richard,

      Here’s what the experts had to say about your question:

      It depends on how the system is set up on your specific RV. The most common is to use a siphon hose connected to the water pump. There are manifold systems where you connect a hose to an inlet and turn valves to allow the water pump to suck from the inlet to the fixtures. If this needs to be done at the water manifold there should be labels indicating where the valves need to be in order to do this. If there is no label you will have to check the owners manual to see how your system is set up. Most of the time the city inlet is what is used if there isn’t a hose connected directly to the water pump.

      Sincerely,
      Dan
      RV Repair Club Technical Expert

      Reply
  28. Morgan Sharp
    Morgan Sharp

    RV Make: Jayco, RV Model: 382FLRB, RV Year: 2021

    Thanks for the insight. Winterizing this week using pink stuff.
    Great tips.

    Reply
  29. Tom Yates
    Tom Yates

    RV Make: Keystone, RV Model: Cougar, RV Year: 2020, Brand: Furrion

    Propane furnace blower works but furnace doesn’t light to produce heat

    Reply
    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      Hi Tom. There are many things that could be causing the fan to operate and no heat. The big thing is if it tries to ignite or not. Once the fan kicks on try to listen for the igniter clicking. If you do hear it clicking and nothing ignites, there could be a blockage in the burner chamber, failed igniter, igniter not positioned properly, bad gas valve, bad regulator or the control board is not opening the valve. If there is not clicking then the issue could be with low voltage, broken or debris covered fan wheel, bad sail switch, bad igniter, bad connections or bad control board. Some control boards flash error codes when something fails so I would look for that too. The best thing to do is inspect the fan wheel and make sure nothing is broken and it isn’t covered with dust or hair. There are no filters used in RV furnaces so it is very common for dirt and debris to cause issues like this. I would then check to make sure there isn’t a blockage near the igniter or the exhaust. Also make sure all vents are open, restricting the air flow can prevent it from lighting as well. Here are some videos that could help as well.
      https://www.rvrepairclub.com/?s=furnace
      Dan
      RV Repair Club

      Reply
  30. Rick Jones
    Rick Jones

    RV Make: Keystone , RV Model: 3820FK, RV Year: 2017

    Where do you hook up the hose to create the suction to add antifreeze to the system?

    Reply
    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      Hello Rick,

      Thank you for contacting us.
      This is best done directly from the water pump. Most RV manufactures have a way to do this, most common is a siphon hose attached to the pump and you then have to open a valve to the hose. This allows you to turn on the water pump and suck the antifreeze into the system. Every RV is different and some have this done with a hose connected to the city water inlet instead of the pump. There are also other RV’s that don’t have this option and a manual pump is required or you could install a winterize kit. It is best to check your owners manual to see what the best way to do it for your RV is.

      Sincerely,

      Sarah
      RV Repair Club Video Membership

      Reply