Before your get started, there are a few items you will need to have. Visit our RV Parts Centre if you're missing the supplies you need!
Non-toxic RV antifreeze: Two - Three Gallons
A water heater bypass kit, if not already installed
A wand to clean out holding tanks
A water pump converter kit
Basic hand tools to remove drain plugs
Once you have the supplies you need, you can move on to winterize your RV water system in order to protect if from freezing. Be sure to read your owner's manual for unit specific winterizing guidelines. Follow the steps below as they pertain to your RV. Have questions? Click the button to ask an RV technician!
If your RV doesn't have a built-in flushing system, clean the black tank out with a wand, or use a product like Flush King which allows you to clean both the black and gray tanks.
Remove the drain plug and open the pressure relief valve. Caution: never drain the water heater when it is hot or under pressure.
Don't forget the toilet valve and outside shower as well.
There will be one for the hot and cold water lines. Using the water pump will help force water out, but turn it off as the system is drained.
If you do not have a bypass kit installed, the water heater will fill up with antifreeze before it goes through the water lines. This would waste close to six gallons of antifreeze.
OR disconnect the inlet side of the water pump (the line coming from the fresh water holding tank). Connect a piece of clear tubing to the inlet side of the pump and put the other end into a one gallon container of non-toxic RV antifreeze.
Starting with the closest faucet, slowly open the hot and then cold valves until antifreeze appears. Replace the antifreeze container as required.
Start with the closest and work your way to the farthest faucet. Don't forget the outside shower, if equipped.
Go outside to the city water inlet. Remove the small screen over the inlet and push in on the valve with a small screwdriver until you see antifreeze. Replace the screen.
Also, pour a couple of cups in the toilet and flush into the holding tanks. If your water heater has an electric heating element, make sure it is turned off. This will protect the element if the unit is plugged in while being stored.
If your RV is equipped with an ice maker and/or washing machine, consult your manual to learn the process for winterizing those units.