When you own a camper, you have a certain freedom when you realize you can explore the world around you. While year-round camping is an option in some locations, Wisconsin residents know we’ll need to winterize and store our campers.
One of the crucial steps in RV winterizing is protecting the RV plumbing. This system is vulnerable to damage caused by dropping temperatures; however, safeguarding the RV water system from this potential threat is easy.
When winterizing an RV, you’ll want to ensure you get antifreeze into every water system except the water heater. You’ll save several gallons of antifreeze by draining and bypassing the water heater. Before you begin, you’ll need RV antifreeze (not car antifreeze) and a water heater bypass kit.
Drain out existing water
- Disconnect any water source attached to the city water hookup.
- Drain any holding tanks, including the freshwater tank.
- Drain any water heaters and drain lines.
- With the help of a water heater bypass kit, bypass the heater to stop the heater from becoming full of unneeded antifreeze.
Add RV antifreeze
- Using a plastic tube, add antifreeze to the inlet side of the water pump.
- Switch on the water pump, feeding the antifreeze into the system.
- Rotate the hot and cold faucets on and off throughout the RV until antifreeze comes out.
- Continue flushing the toilet until you see antifreeze emerge.
- Run several cups of antifreeze down each drain.
- Reconnect the water line to the freshwater tank.
De-pressurize the system
- Turn off the water pump and open the faucet again to release pressure.
- Tighten all faucets after this step.
Inspect the Interior
The cleaner, less cluttered your RV is when stored, the better your next season will begin. These steps will also help prevent unpleasant odors, moisture build-up, and residual damage.
- Unplug any electronic devices or small appliances. Owners should remove batteries from remotes, smoke detectors, and other gadgets.
- All food and drink should be removed from the kitchen and elsewhere in the camper.
- Remove towels and sheets, and launder and store them offsite. When you return to your camper next spring, you’ll have one less item on your to-do list.
- Remove all valuables. You don’t want an RV break in and lose out on expensive belongings.
- Remove external propane tanks and store them elsewhere. Make sure to remove any propane tanks from inside the RV.
- Consult the user manuals to winterize any ice makers, mini-fridges, or washing machines. Ensure there is no standing water left inside the ice maker.
Inspect the Exterior
Before you store your RV, check the exterior. Look over the roof, inspect for rust, ensuring everything is sealed correctly. In addition to this general assessment, review the following steps for winterizing the RV’s exterior.
- To keep tires in good shape, put tires on jacks or pallets throughout the season. If that isn’t an option, rotate the tires twice during the winter.
- Shut any gas tank valves.
- Re-caulk and seal any gaps in the door and window seals.
- Wash and wax the exterior right before putting it into storage. If storing in the open, invest in a fabric cover to further protect the RV.
- Invest in some tire covers to protect them from the sun.
- Avoid using rodent poison. The pest might eat the poison and then die inside the RV, leaving an unpleasant odor.
- Change the oil and add a new air filter.
Storage Authority offers outdoor storage for larger vehicles like RVs, campers, travel trailers, and boats. Your vehicle is a considerable investment, and our storage units will help extend the lifespan of your RV or camper. If you want to rent a future space or unit, call us at 262-676-8464. You can visit our website or contact us today to learn about our affordable rates!