People who have yet to make the decision to live fulltime in their RV, but already have one in their possession, need to consider how best to handle the effects of the cold of winter on their recreational vehicle.
If you are going to be parking your RV for the cold season, there are several things worth doing to protect the financial investment you have in your vehicle.
Install a RV Water Heater Bypass Kit
These kits, once installed, allow you to take your water heater temporarily out of the plumbing system. This is important to do during the winter when not in use, as any water retained in there could potentially freeze, causing damage to the tank or water lines.
Drain and Flush Your RV Holding Tanks
You don’t want gallons of dirty water sitting in your gray holding tank for months over the winter. Even more so, you definitely don’t want gallons of waste in your black holding tanks for all that time! Use your RVs tank flushing systems to clean out both these tanks before parking for the winter. If you do not have a built-in flushing system then use a product like Flush King to empty those tanks.
Anytime an RV is not in use, it is a good practice to cover it with a high quality RV cover. These shield your investment from the harsh effects of the elements, and winter weather is particularly damaging.
Fill Your System With Non-Toxic RV Antifreeze
Use a water pump converter kit to pump antifreeze through your plumbing system. Ensure all faucets, showers, and the like are dispensing anti-freeze by the time you are done. Flush the toilet until no more water is present, i.e. antifreeze appears. The water heater bypass is critical here, as it will take many gallons of antifreeze if you need to fill its tank also.
This is a basic list of some of the winterizing tasks for an RV. You should consult your owner’s manual for a full checklist. Forums dedicated to particular models of motorhome – Airstream, Newmar, Casita, etc… – can provide an abundance of tips and tricks appropriate for the RV or travel trailer you own.
Those of us who are fulltime RV dwellers will not need to do all the items in this list, as our units stay warm year around. However, we should still be aware of these items, as you never can know when circumstances may change. One day we too may need to park our RV for the winter.