Winterize Your RV’s Water System

Well y’all, it’s time to really think about hibernating for the winter, which means getting the ole RV cleaned, stored, drained, preserved, and put away for its long winter nap. One of the biggest concerns of course is preserving and protecting the water systems on the RV: cold, hot, black, and gray. Let’s get started with fresh water.

The last thing you want to do come springtime is to have to spend time and money fixing a freeze break in the fresh water system, so what you need to do first is drain the system. Remember to turn the hot water heater off and let it cool so you don’t attempt to drain it while it still has pressure. If you expect the RV to endure extended below freezing condition, you can actually drain the system by pumping anti-freeze through the system, effectively replacing the water with anti-freeze. You can add the anti-freeze to the fresh water tank and use the RV’s pump to circulate, but be sure that the water heater is drained and in bypass mode, bypass the water filtration as well as the supply line to the ice maker. Turn on all faucets until you get anti freeze coming out of the taps. While the anti-freeze is circulating, go to the city water supply inlet and push the valve open with something soft like a pencil (eraser end) until anti freeze flows from this port as well.

You also need to drain and flush the black and gray water tanks. Check the dump valves for condition, lube the o-rings and plates if necessary. Once the tanks are flushed and empty, pour anti-freeze through the toilet, and through each drain that feeds into the gray water tank (sinks, shower, washer if installed, etc). Use enough anti-freeze to completely cover the bottom of each tank, volume will vary depending on tank size.

It’s a lot of work but it sure beats paying for repairs once it warms back up, to paraphrase an old Army slogan: “Take Care Of Your RV And It’ll Take Care Of You.” If y’all have any tips and labor saving hints, leave them in the comment section below and tell us about it! And before you get started putting the RV away, please stop by the PPL Motorhomes site for all your parts and accessories.