How to De-winterize your RV

This article is also available in French

Depending on where you live in Canada, you may either be enjoying early blossoms or still digging out from piles of snow. Regardless of your current situation, RV season isn’t far off, and it’s time to start thinking of getting your RV ready for the upcoming season.

Pink and purple flowers blooming along interstate highway as trailer drives by

De-winterizing is an important task of reversing the winterizing process you went through in the fall, and getting your RV back in working order. You do not want to leave this to the last minute. Rushing to get it done the day before you’re set to leave can leave you frustrated and unable to travel if you run into problems. We recommend de-winterizing your RV as soon as your area’s climate allows, or at least three to four weeks before your scheduled departure.

If you don’t want to take this project on yourself, you can visit your local RV Care dealer to have it done for you. Many offer great spring specials to take advantage of.

When you’re ready to get started, here are the basic steps:

1. Flush the water system

a. Close all taps, drain valves and install all drain plugs, taking care not to forget the water heater drain plug as well.

b. Switch the water heater and/or water pump bypass valves to the summer position.

c. Hook up your city water connection and turn on the supply, or fill your fresh water tank and start the water pump.

d. Open all taps, one at a time, starting with the fixture the farthest away from your fresh water tank. Run the water until all the antifreeze has been flushed through, and the water is running clear.

Alternate route

image004If you own an air compressor, you can use it to expedite the process of flushing the water system. After step (b) above, use your air compressor to blow the antifreeze out of the water system. This takes teamwork, with one person operating the air compressor at the city water hookup, and the second person opening and closing taps. To avoid damaging your waterlines, you must set the pressure of the air compressor so that it does not exceed 50/60 PSI. Once this is done and the antifreeze is displaced, proceed with step (c), which will now take less time and water.

2. Perform a pressure test

Once your water system is flushed, perform a pressure test to check for leaks. Large leaks should already be visible by this time, but the test may reveal any small, unseen leaks.

3. Sanitize your water system

RV water systems can be a source of mould and bacteria, so it is important to sanitize your water system before use. Fresh water sanitizing procedures and products are readily available at your local RV Care dealer.

Extra recommended steps:

1. Clean out your water heater

image005While de-winterizing, this is the perfect time to clean out mineral deposits from your water heater. Since you can’t see it building up, it’s an easy task to forget! Pick a water heater Rinse Wand for this task, the hose attachment is inserted through the drain opening, and allows you to pressure wash the inside of your heater. You’ll be surprised at the amount of build-up that comes out.

2. Improve the taste of your water

To rid your water system of any unpleasant taste, add a fresh water additive. These can be found at your local RV Care dealer.

Keep in mind that if your RV is equipped with some of the more sophisticated water system components (such as icemakers, water dispensers, washing machines, dishwashers, etc.) there may be additional, more complicated processes required.  If you are uncertain of the correct procedures, your local RV Care Dealer will be happy to provide additional information or perform the procedure for you.

As you de-winterize, this is also a great time to do a visual inspection, checking for any visible damage incurred over the winter. Stay tuned for more information about prepping your RV for the summer season, including how to perform a Spring Inspection and why we recommend taking a pre-season road trip!