How To Winterize Your RV - DIY Guide

The goal is to 1) get anti-freeze through all your water lines, except the water heater which will be drained and bypassed, and 2) drain and leave open all holding tanks. Make sure you use non-toxic antifreeze that is designed for winterizing RVs. If you are still hesitant after watching the video, we recommend taking it to a dealer or someone familiar with the process. Failure to winterize properly may result in freeze damage to your camper. Here are the basic steps: 

Drain Everything 

  • Drain Fresh Tank 
  • Dump Waste and Grey Tanks 
  • Drain Water Heater 
  • Open Low Point Drains 

Open All Faucets

  • Sinks 
  • Toilets 
  • Showers 
  • Outside Showers 
  • Outside Kitchens 

Bypass Water Heater

  • Locate backside of water heater 
    • Already drained the from front side 
    • Backside located inside RV near same spot 
    • Usually under bed or inside a cabinet 
    • May have to remove a panel with screwdriver 
  • Purchase water heater bypass kit if not already installed
  • Turn valves to bypass water heater 

Run Antifreeze Through Water Lines and Drain Traps

  • Locate water pump 
    • Turn on and listen for humming sound 
    • Usually hidden behind a panel that can be removed with screwdriver 
  • Use water pump to draw antifreeze instead of fresh water 
    • Use winterizing kit if installed or purchase and install prior to winterizing 
    •  -or- Remove intake line and put in antifreeze jug 
    •  -or- Simply dump a few gallons of antifreeze in freshwater tank 
  • Open all faucets one by one until you see colored antifreeze (typically red or pink) 
    • Open both hot and cold 
    • Let a little extra antifreeze run into drain trap then shut off 
  • City water connection 
    • Locate city water connection outside of camper 
    • Remove screen or rubber washer 
    • Press in spring valve until you see colored antifreeze coming out 
    • Stand back as it can spray out! 

Bonus Tip: This is a great time to check your roof for cracks or tears. Seal any leaks before winter!

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