Easy Winterizing Tips for Your RVs Plumbing

Brrrr, It’s Freezing Out There! Protecting Your RV’s Plumbing in the Winter

As the crisp autumn air starts to creep in and the leaves begin their annual dance to the ground, it’s time for us RV enthusiasts to start thinking about the dreaded “W” word – winterizing. I know, I know, it’s not the most exciting topic, but trust me, taking the time to properly winterize your RV’s plumbing system can save you a whole lot of headache (and money) down the road.

You see, when those temperatures start to dip, water that’s left sitting in your RV’s pipes can freeze, causing them to expand and potentially crack. And let me tell you, dealing with a burst pipe in the middle of winter is about as much fun as a snowball fight with your mother-in-law. That’s why I’m here to share my tried-and-true tips for easy RV plumbing winterization. By the time you’re done reading, you’ll be a pro at keeping your rig’s plumbing system in tip-top shape, even when Jack Frost comes a-knockin’.

Step 1: Drain, Drain, Drain

The first and most crucial step in winterizing your RV’s plumbing is to ensure that all the water has been drained from the system. This includes the fresh water tank, the water heater, and all the pipes and lines. I like to start by opening up all the faucets, both inside and outside the RV, and letting gravity do its thing.

Now, I know what you’re thinking – “But what about that pesky water heater?” Well, my friend, you’re going to want to drain that sucker too. There’s usually a drain plug or a valve at the bottom of the water heater that you can open up to let the water flow out. Just be careful, because that water is going to be HOT.

Once you’ve drained everything, go around and double-check each and every faucet, fixture, and line to make sure they’re all completely empty. Trust me, you don’t want to miss a single drop, or you could be in for a rude awakening come spring.

Blow It Out

Alright, now that the water’s been drained, it’s time to move on to the next step: blowing out the lines. This is where you’re going to need a good quality air compressor and an adapter that fits the city water inlet on your RV. Attach the adapter to the compressor, then hook it up to the city water inlet and start slowly pressurizing the system.

As you’re doing this, move around the RV and open up each faucet, one at a time, until you see a steady stream of air coming out. This ensures that any remaining water has been forced out of the lines and into the drain. Just be sure not to exceed the maximum air pressure recommended by your RV manufacturer – you don’t want to end up with a burst pipe on your hands.

Pump It Up

Now, if your RV is equipped with a water pump, you’re going to want to give that a little extra attention during the winterization process. Start by turning the pump on and opening up each faucet, one by one, until the pump shuts off. This will help to clear any remaining water from the system.

Once that’s done, you can disconnect the water pump from the power source and give it a good cleaning. Remove any filters or strainers and give them a thorough rinse. This will help prevent any gunk or debris from clogging up the pump when you start using it again in the spring.

Protecting the Water Heater

Your RV’s water heater is another critical component that needs some extra love during the winterization process. After you’ve drained the tank, you’ll want to make sure you protect the interior from any potential freeze damage.

One option is to simply leave the water heater drained for the winter. But if you want to play it extra safe, you can fill the tank with a non-toxic RV antifreeze solution. This will help to prevent any leftover water from freezing and causing damage.

Just be sure to bypass the water heater when you’re blowing out the other lines, so you don’t end up pumping a bunch of antifreeze through the rest of the plumbing system. And remember, when it comes time to use the water heater again in the spring, you’ll need to flush out the antifreeze before refilling the tank with fresh water.

Don’t Forget the Extras

Alright, we’re almost done, but there are a few extra steps you’ll want to take to ensure your RV’s plumbing is fully winterized. First, make sure to disconnect any external hoses or attachments from the city water inlet and the drain valves. This will help prevent any leftover water from freezing and causing damage.

Next, you’ll want to consider adding some RV antifreeze to any traps or P-traps in your sink and shower drains. This will help to prevent those from freezing up as well.

And finally, if your RV has any outside compartments or storage bays where plumbing components are located, be sure to insulate those areas or add some heat tape to keep them from freezing. Trust me, you don’t want to be the one who has to thaw out a frozen sewage tank in the middle of winter.

The Moment of Truth

Alright, my fellow RV enthusiasts, you’ve made it through the winterization process. Now it’s time for the moment of truth – time to start her up and make sure everything’s working as it should.

Go ahead and turn on the water pump and open up each faucet one by one. If you hear any gurgling or see any drips, you may have missed a spot during the draining process. Don’t worry, it happens to the best of us. Just go back and double-check those lines and fixtures.

And remember, when it comes time to de-winterize in the spring, you’ll need to go through this whole process in reverse. It’s a bit of a hassle, I know, but trust me, it’s way better than dealing with a burst pipe and a hefty repair bill.

Well, there you have it – my top tips for easy RV plumbing winterization. I hope this guide has given you the confidence and know-how to tackle this crucial task with ease. And if you ever find yourself in a pickle and need some professional RV repair services, be sure to check out Orange County RV Repair. We’ve got your back, even when the temperatures start to drop.

Happy winterizing, my friends! May your pipes stay toasty and your RV adventures be merry and bright.