Tony & Peggy Barthel - StressLess Campers

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We’re Tony & Peggy Barthel and we’re working to help you be a StressLess Camper.

De-Winterizing Your RV

De-Winterizing Your RV

One of the saddest days in the life of a happy camper is putting your RV away for the winter. Winterizing your RV is a process that can be important, depending on where you live, but is also just a signal that it’s time for winter to return. Yuck. 

But this article is about going the happy direction - dewinterizing your RV and getting it ready for another season of StressLess Camping! Here is a step-by-step guide to getting your RV ready for another season of enjoyment. Remember each RV is unique so make sure we haven’t missed any steps specific to yours. As always, check your resources including the owner’s manual and use our free checklist to create your own dewinterization checklist. 

  1. Make sure all RV water faucets are closed

  2. Make sure the RV’s water pump is off

  3. Close, plug, or cap the fresh water tank drain

  4. Cap or turn off the low point drains

  5. Close the hot water tank drain valve or replace the anode rod or tank plug. Be sure to place plumber’s tape (PTFE tape) on the plug or rod threads

  6. Connect a potable water hose between a household spigot and the RV fresh water connection and turn on the water supply to the RV at the “City Water” connection

  7. Starting with the faucet furthest from the RV fresh water connection, slowly open the cold water faucet so the RV antifreeze flows (usually pink in color). Note that the furthest fixture from the water connection may be an external tap such as an outdoor kitchen or the outdoor shower. When the water runs clear, turn off the cold water faucet and repeat the process with the hot water faucet in the same location. 

  8. Repeat step 7 with all remaining faucets, including the toilet

  9. Close all faucets and put some water in the fresh water tank. Add some RV water system freshener

  10. Turn off the city water supply and turn on the RV’s water pump

  11. Open any cold water faucet for at least 20 seconds to purge anti-freeze in the pump line

  12. Turn off the water pump and set the water heater bypass valve(s) to disable the bypass

  13. Reconnect the fresh (city) water supply and allow the water heater to fill

  14. Once the water heater is full, open the hot water faucet closest to the water heater slowly. There will be significant aeration from the hot water tank air space, so use the rag to contain the splashing. Do not open the faucet fully until aeration is complete.

  15. Repeat step 14 with the other hot water taps until no aeration exists. Open the cold water taps once more to verify steady flow

  16. Turn off the fresh water supply and pump, and stow the hose

As usual, we have a de-winterizing checklist on Google Docs or download to your own Drive and customize for your RV. After all, we think checklist are a great way to experience StressLess Camping. 

Now it’s time to enjoy StressLess Camping and don’t forget to share your pictures with us on all the various social media places. Happy Camping, everybody!

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