How to Winterize A Travel Trailer

Making sure your travel trailer RV provides years of reliable service depends in great part on the efforts of the RV owner. With winter just around the corner, it is important to start thinking about winterizing your travel trailer now so that it lasts until the next RV season. Winterizing your travel trailer RV is a process that any RV owner can do themselves, provided they follow the following steps:



Winterize Travel Trailer Checklist –

  • Drain the fresh water tank To do this, simply open any faucet in your RV and let it run until the water stops. This is a crucial first step in winterizing your RV because it not only removes water that could potentially cause your pipes to freeze and burst but also saves you from getting sprayed when you open the drains or unscrew the plug on your water heater.
  • Open low point drains and drain any water out of them – Keep in mind that they may be difficult to find, but you need to make sure you find them – draining the water out of your low point drains is very important when you winterize your RV.
  • Turn your electric water heater off.
  • Drain hot water heater.
  • Remove all the water from your water heater and drains – To do this, hook up compressed air to the city water inlet. Blow all of the water out of the water heater and low points .
  • Remove the rest of the water from your RV – Close the water heater and low point drains. Open all faucets while they are under pressure to blow all water out of the faucets, tubs, showers, toilet and outside shower.
  • If you have a filter, remove it and install a filter bypass – This will prevent antifreeze from ruining the filter. If you plan on replacing the filter you can skip this step and leave the filter in place.
  • Add antifreeze to your RV – Find the water pump and disconnect the suction side of the pump. Install a hose with fitting onto the pump and insert the other end of the hose into a jug of antifreeze. Make sure you use RV antifreeze – never, never, NEVER use automobile antifreeze when winterizing you RV.
  • Turn the bypass valve on the water heater to the bypass position – If your water heater does not have a bypass valve, you may try either of these two options: either fill the water heater with antifreeze (it will require about six gallons) or disconnect the lines from the rear and install an inline fitting to manually bypass.
  • Move antifreeze through your whole system – Turn on the pump and run antifreeze through both the hot and cold side of all faucets in the sinks, through the shower faucet and hose, and through the toilet and outside shower. This requires about 1.5 gallons of antifreeze.
  • Fill the water heater with antifreeze – Turn the bypass valve back to the normal position or reconnect the lines on the back of the water heater and pump the remaining half gallon of antifreeze into the water heater.
  • Unhook the pump and reinstall the hose to the tank.
  • Pump antifreeze into the city water fill – Use a hand pump to protect the check valve.
  • Pump antifreeze through the black tank rinse to winterize the check valve.
  • Clean all sinks, tubs and showers thoroughly – antifreeze can stain!


Properly winterizing your travel trailer RV will ensure years and years of camping memories and a fully reliable rig. And for all your other RV service needs in Maryland, Virginia or Pennsylvania, visit Beckley’s Camping Center!

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