How To Winterize a Camper

Most people often find it too cold to go camping shortly after October or November. However, just parking your RV or camper in a safe spot will not be enough—not if you want it ready to drive once spring comes along. That’s where knowing how to winterize a travel trailer, or RV comes in.

Winterizing refers to the process of getting your camper ready for the cold, freezing temperatures of winter. If your home has ever experienced frozen pipes, you know the damage frozen water can do to plumbing. How to winterize an RV camper essentially involves draining your RV’s plumbing system to protect it from that kind of damage.

How To Winterize an RV

You can choose from two different methods when you want to know how to winterize an RV trailer: with antifreeze and without antifreeze.


How to Winterize a Camper

How To Winterize a Camper Trailer With Antifreeze

This option is the easiest winterizing method. Here is what you will need:

  • Two to three gallons of non-toxic camper antifreeze (the amount you will use depends on the size of your rig)
  • Water pump converter kit
  • Tools to remove and reinstall the heater drain plug
  • Black tank flush nozzle or wand
  • Heater bypass kit

Once you have all you need, follow the simple steps below.

1.      Drain Your System

Drain every tank in your RV. Empty and flush the black and grey holding tanks. Rinse the inside of the tanks, making sure that they are ready for storage.

2.      Drain Your Water Heater and Interior Lines

Before doing this, make sure that you have switched off your heater and waited a few hours for the water to cool. Also, disconnect it from any water source. After draining your heater, wrap plumbers tape on the drain plug’s anode and reinstall it.

Open your gray tank dump valves, turn your faucets on, and open low-point water drains. Use a pump to force the remaining water out of the interior lines. Recap the drain and close your faucets and the gray tank valves.

3.      Bypass Your Heater and Fresh Water Tank

Bypassing your heater helps you avoid filling your tank with antifreeze. Bypassing your freshwater tank also enables you to draw the antifreeze only into your camper’s water lines.

4.      Run Antifreeze Through the Lines and Down the Drains

Run antifreeze through all the water lines in your camper, including interior and exterior showers, kitchen sprayers, and drinking water taps. Remember to pour antifreeze down the drains to protect your P-traps from freezing.

How To Winterize a Camper Without Antifreeze

If you do not want to use antifreeze, you can learn how to winterize a camper using compressed air. Start by draining your system and heater. In this method, however, you will not replace your heater’s anode rod.

Instead, you will close the pressure relief valve, connect your air compressor, and pump the air through your camper’s lines.

Once finished, bypass the heater and any filters your camper has, and then blow out all the water lines. Open your RV’s low-point drains and every faucet. Once the water stops coming from the drains, close them and turn your taps off.

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