How to Winterize your RV: Adding Antifreeze
There are a lot of important steps to winterizing your RV that can help you keep it from accruing damage over the cold months. One such important step is adding antifreeze to your water system to avoid frozen and broken pipes. However, it’s not enough to just add the antifreeze to your RV and walk away. The process is fairly easy, but it does have a lot of steps, so Modern Trailer Sales has provided you with a guide to adding antifreeze to your water system. If you find that your RV needs repairs before you put it in storage, call our service department in Anderson, Indiana. We proudly serve the areas of Indianapolis, Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, and Muncie, Indiana.
Drain the Water System
Not only will water in the pipes still pose a freezing risk, but it’ll also dilute the antifreeze solution. Open the three low-point drains, one each for cold, hot, and freshwater lines, to get as much water out of the system as you can. Open every faucet and shower and flush the toilets a few times.
You’ll also want to drain the water heater, even though you won’t end up adding antifreeze to it. This process can change from model to model, although most will just involve removing a drain plug or opening a drain valve. Either way, you’ll want to consult your owner’s manual first and then wait for the water heater to cool completely before starting this process.
Blow Out the Lines
To ensure you have every drop of water out of your RV’s system, you’ll want to blow out the lines. This means hooking up a blowout plug to the City Water Intake and using an air compressor to suck out those last few drops. This isn’t a required step, but we highly recommend it. Whether you just drain the system or you blow out the lines, make sure to recap all the drains and close all the faucets when you’re done.
Bypass the Water Heater
Your water heater won’t need antifreeze so you’ll want to make sure you bypass it. Otherwise, you can waste a lot of time and resources before realizing there’s a problem. Many newer models come with their own bypass kit, in which case you’ll just need to flip a switch. If you don’t already have one, you’ll want to get one installed.
Install a Water Pump Converter Kit
Installing a water pump converter kit is another optional step, although one that most RV owners take advantage of. This automatically pumps the antifreeze through the system. If you choose not to do this, you’ll need to add the antifreeze using a hand pump.
Finally, you’re ready to add antifreeze. When you’ve disconnected the inlet side of the water pump and put one end of the tube, you’re using in the inlet and one end in the antifreeze, go to the nearest faucet and turn on the hot water valve. When you see pink fluid, turn on the cold water valve. When you see pink fluid there, move on to the next nearest faucet and repeat this process. Go from faucet to faucet, moving farther away from the water pump, until pink fluid comes out of every faucet. This should include all showers, both inside and out, and your toilets. You’ll also want to flush a cup of antifreeze down each toilet.
Once you’ve made your way through the RV, open the two low-point valves for the hot and cold water lines until you see antifreeze there as well. When you’re confident your water system has been fully winterized, close all faucets and low-point valves. If you have any appliances that use water (ice-makers and washers), you’ll want to consult your owner’s manual on the best way to winterize these appliances.
This isn’t necessarily the end of your winterization process, but it is an important part that you won’t want to skip. For more tips on how to winterize your RV, stop by Modern Trailer Sales in Anderson, Indiana and talk to some of our experienced staff. We welcome all patrons from the areas of Indianapolis, Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, and Muncie, Indiana.