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Best Definitive Guide to Winterizing Your RV for Cold Weather Extremes

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Introduction to RV Winterizing

rv winterizing

It’s that time of the year again. Time to prepare your RV for the harsh and chilly weather that’s coming, This is where RV Winterizing comes into play. The process of RV winterizing protects your vehicle from potential damage caused by freezing temperatures and ensures it remains in prime condition, ready for your next adventure when spring arrives.

Imagine this: It’s the first day of spring, and you’re excited about hitting the road again in your RV. But instead of setting off on your much-anticipated journey, you’re stuck dealing with burst pipes and a damaged water system caused by winter’s icy grip. That’s a scenario no one wants to find themselves in, and it highlights the importance of winterizing your RV.

In this comprehensive blog, we will do a deep dive into RV/motorhome winterizing. We will cover what you need to be prepared in advance for winterizing, a step-by-step guide for motorhome winterizing, the usage and advantages of an RV winterizing kit, tips for storing your winterized RV, and how to de-winterize your RV when the time comes. so, without further ado, let’s jump right in.

Preparing for RV Winterizing

Before you dive into the winterizing process, it’s crucial to prepare your Recreational Vehicle (RV) adequately. Without preparing in advance, you can run into a lot of struggles and challenges through the RV winterizing process. Proper preparation ensures a smooth and effective winterization process, helping to protect your vehicle from severe cold weather damage.

Outlining the Necessary Preparations Before Starting the RV WInterizing Process

Firstly, perform a thorough cleaning of your RV, both inside and out, and remove any food items to prevent pests by cleaning your refrigerator and leaving its door slightly open to prevent mould growth. Also, ensure to clean the exterior, focusing on the roof and slideouts where debris might be stuck.

For the next step, be sure to conduct an in-depth inspection of your RV’s interior and exterior. Make sure to check for any signs of damage or problem areas that need repairs, especially seals and seams for leaks, as these can lead to significant issues if water gets in during the winter. It is important to give yourself enough time to address these damages and repairs as soon as possible, as cold weather can sneak up on us at any time.

A Checklist of Items Needed for the Process

Making sure you have the right tools for winterizing your RV is a crucial step in the winterizing process. Although you might not need a lot, missing a single part can put your RV at risk for serious and expensive damages over the chilly months. Here are the tools and equipment you’ll need to make sure your RV is protected.

  • Non-toxic RV antifreeze: Depending on your RV size, you may need up to a few gallons.
  • Water heater bypass kit: This prevents antifreeze from entering the water heater, saving you a considerable amount of antifreeze.
  • Hand pump: Useful to push antifreeze into the water system.
  • Wrenches and basic hand tools: Necessary for opening drain valves and removing drain plugs.
  • RV cover: To protect the RV’s exterior from harsh weather conditions.
  • Pest traps: Although it isn’t a crucial element for RV winterizing, it is always good to keep unwanted animals out of your camper.

Step-by Step Guide to RV Winterizing

How To Winterize An Rv!

Now that you have all the tools you need to winterize your RV, you’ll need to know the right steps in the RV winterizing process. RV Winterizing might be a simple task, but forgetting a step can cause serious and expensive damage. With that said, this step-by-step guide will help avoid these damages and protect your RV from cold weather elements.

Winterizing Your RV’s Plumbing System: Draining and Flushing

rv winterizing - plumbing system diagram
  1. Remove all water filters: when you are ready to open up the camper for the weekend, it won’t be a good start when your water filters are filled with antifreeze.
  2. Draining and flushing your RV’s plumbing system: Begin by emptying all tanks, including the fresh water, grey water, and black water tanks. It is also important to ensure that you open all faucets, including the shower and toilet valves, to allow any residual water to flow out. Once this is done, close all the valves and faucets.
  3. Bypass the water heater: This step prevents antifreeze from filling up in your water heater. Once the bypass is set up, it’s time to blow out the lines. Using an air compressor, blow air through the water lines to remove any remaining water. Although most RVs come with a bypass kit, these can be found at just about any RV supply stores
  4. Connect non-toxic antifreeze to lines: Pour the antifreeze into the freshwater intake and pump it through the system until it flows out of every faucet and drain. It is also important to pour about a cup’s worth of antifreeze into your sinks and toilet.
    This ensures that your lines are fully protected from freezing temperatures. Remember to close all faucets once you see the pink antifreeze flowing out.

Protecting Your RV’s INterior and Exterior from Cold Weather

Now that your plumbing system is protected, it’s time to focus on safeguarding your RV’s interior and exterior.


1. Start inside by removing any food and drinks that might freeze or attract pests. it will be a big hassle and clean-up job if you open your RV for the season and find food and drinks everywhere, even if the pest traps don’t work like they are supposed to.

  1. If your RV won’t be heated throughout the winter, consider removing electronics and batteries, as they can be damaged by extreme cold.
  2. Prop open refrigerator and freezer doors to prevent mould and mildew growth.


  1. Examine your RV for any cracks or openings that might let in cold air or critters. Seal these areas with appropriate materials like caulk or foam insulation.
  2. Check the condition of your RV’s roof, windows, and doors, making sure they are well-insulated and secure.
  3. Cover your RV with a breathable, weather-resistant RV cover to provide additional protection against harsh winter elements. Make sure to get a cover that fits your RV properly. For example, if your RV is 30 ft and your choice for covers is 25.1-30 ft and 30.1ft – 35ft, go with the 25.1ft – 30ft, as RV covers are slightly larger than the size says.

Storing Your Winterized RV

Once you have finished these steps of RV winterizing the job isn’t fully done. Storing your RV can be a crucial step that can be overlooked during the process. Rather than a last-minute panic for this choice, it is better to plan this out ahead of time. Here are some tips for storing your RV over the winter.

RV Winterizing Tips for Storing

One of the hardest choices to make is where exactly you are going to store your RV. Ideally, an enclosed space like a garage or a covered RV storage facility is the best option. Such environments shield your motorhome from harsh weather conditions, minimising the impact of constant exposure to the elements. However, if indoor storage is not feasible, you can opt for an open lot or driveway. If you do have to opt for a driveway or lot, make sure to add your new RV cover to add the right protection for winter elements like snow, rain, and ice.

How to Store Your Winterized RV

rv coach battery

Once you find the right place to store your RV, it isn’t as simple as backing up and leaving it where it is. Consider parking your RV on a solid, level surface, as this will help prevent tire damage and maintain its stability. AS well, if you are able to, remove the tires and store them separately to prevent flat spotting. Lastly, disconnect the batteries, remove them and store them indoors in a cool, dry place to prolong their life.

disconnect the batteries, remove them and store them indoors in a cool, dry place to prolong Their life.

Addressing Common Concerns About Storing a Winterized RV

Storing an RV for an extended period can raise some concerns among owners. A common query relates to protecting the RV from pests. To deter rodents, the first step is to seal potential entry points. If they manage to get in after this, also avoid leaving food inside, after all, these pests won’t have anything to get from it. If you want some extra reassurance, consider placing traps inside and around your RV.

Another frequent concern is maintaining the RV’s exterior. maintaining your RV exterior while it’s in storage is a simple task. All you need to do is regular cleaning and the application of a UV-protectant wax can help guard against fading and oxidation. As for the interior, using moisture absorbers can help prevent mould and mildew.

Conclusion: Should you prepare for RV Winterizing?

We’ve taken you on a comprehensive journey, detailing the ins and outs of preparing your RV for those chilly winter months. We have covered what RV winterizing is and how to prepare for the process, what tools and equipment you need, and a step-by-step guide for completing RV winterizing the right way. We hope that you now understand the importance of winterization, not only for the longevity of your vehicle but also for your peace of mind.

Now, it’s time to put this knowledge into action. Winter might seem far away, but it’s never too early to start preparing. The elements wait for no one, and the cold can creep up quicker than you think. So, why wait? Begin your RV winterizing process today and

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