Winterizing: How do I do it?

If you haven’t already, be sure to read the previous post(s) in Winterizing to make sure you’re up to speed on parts and terms.

Winterizing your RV is simply the act of removing the liquids from the internal systems. To do this completely, there are three main parts:

  1. Drain/dump all tanks.
    You’ll want to dump your holding tanks, flush them out really well (i’d flush the black tank at least three times to get all the gunk out!) and make sure they’re completely empty. To do this well, i’d leave the sewer connection in place and all the valves open after i’ve flushed the tanks, just to make sure any residual water gets into the sewer system.
  2. Drain your fresh water tank.
    Somewhere on your RV there will be something called a ‘low point drain’, and this is simply a drain at the lowest point of your fresh water system.
    Open this drain, and let the water flow until it doesn’t flow anymore.
    While this is going on, you want to make sure you’re disconnected from city water supply, so no water is coming INTO your RV.
    I like to open all the faucets while this is going on (Kitchen sink, bath sink, shower/bath, outside) to help water drain from any low points in the faucets, and to provide plenty of air flow for the water draining out of the bottom of the fresh water tank.
    You can also turn on the water pump  to speed up the process, but you must be careful to turn it off as soon as the water level gets low so you’re not running your pump dry (more on that in another post).
  3. Last thing I do is drain my water heater.
    There’s usually a drain valve on the water heater, accessible from the outside access panel for the water heater, and you can open this drain and let the water out. Some people like to take out the heating element as it’s usually mounted low in the tank, and while it won’t hurt anything, it’s not necessary if you opened the drain.


So there you have it, three easy steps to winterizing your RV!


Quick tips:

You can leave the drains open so that any moisture collecting in the lines or tanks can drain out of the RV. Make sure you use some kind of bug/pest repellent since there’s openings into your RV when you do this.

You don’t have to, and probably should NOT, leave the sewer connection hose in place. I like to disconnect mine and hang it up/over something so it will completely dry out, and then store it in a way where it can drain, but is not left in the stretched position.


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