Much like travel trailers, motor homes also need to be winterized in preparation for the cold weather. Winterizing your motor home is a fairly simple process that you can do on your own, as long as you adhere to the following steps:
Winterize Motor Home Checklist –
- Drain all the water out of your tanks – Drain the water out of your RV tanks, including your sinks, shower, toilet, gray water tank, and ice maker. Don’t forget to disconnect all the lines leading to the ice maker.
- Open the low point valve drain – On your RV’s undercarriage you will find the low point valve. Opening it is a very important part of winterizing your RV – this is where all the fresh water that could freeze in your pipes will drain.
- Install an antifreeze installation kit – To do this, simply insert the valve after you detach the inlet line from the water pressure pump. Most antifreeze installation kits come with specific instructions for how to operate them.
- Pour antifreeze into your water tanks – Make sure you only use the pink nontoxic antifreeze – never pour toxic green automobile antifreeze into your drinkable water tanks! Use a siphoning hose and the winterizing valve on your RV to get the antifreeze into your tanks easily, and run a faucet until you can see antifreeze come out. Finally, pour 10 to 12 ounces of antifreeze into your black water tank.
- Drain the water heater – First, install a water heater bypass kit (this part is fairly complex, but a RV serviceman will be able to do it for you). To drain your water heater, open the drain petcock and the water heater relief valve. This will allow air in to push the water out of the heater, potentially saving you hours of draining.
- Keep your RV dry with a chemical absorbent – Most camping stores have chemical absorbents designed specifically to absorb moisture in RVs during the winter. The absorbent can simply be placed in the floor of your RV. This is an important part of winterizing your RV as it will prevent mold and mildew from forming in your RV come spring.
- Jack up your RV on blocks – Some people think this step is unnecessary, but it is very important to consider where your RV is parked. If you are parked on the grass after a particularly wet winter, you may find yourself stuck in the mud come spring!
- Spray WD-40 on your RV’s suspension – This will keep the rubber soft and as a result prolong the life of your RV.
- Remove all food from your RV – Having any food at all in your RV will attract mice and insects looking for a warm spot to spend the winter. Take any food that you have out of your RV and plug up any holes leading to the outside, as animals can find their way into even the smallest cracks. If necessary, place some insect and mousetraps throughout your RV just to be safe.
- Disconnect the propane tanks and close the outside line – You can cap the thread fitting using a cap from your local hardware store.
Knowing how to winterize your motor home properly is the best way to keep it well maintained for years to come. If you live in Maryland, Virginia or Pennsylvania and want to learn how to winterize a motor home, or if you need winterization supplies or want an RV engine inspection before winter hits, visit Beckley’s Camping Center!