Skip to main content

How to Winterize Your RV

Letting your RV sit in the extreme cold is A-OK if you properly prepare.


  • Step 1: Pour 1 cup of antifreeze down each drain. Pour 2 cups into the toilet and flush.
  • Step 2: Remove the screen from the outside city water inlet and push in on the valve until you can see antifreeze. Replace the screen.
  • Step 3: Flush the toilet until antifreeze appears and then shut down the water pump. Turn on a faucet, for a moment, to relieve the pressure buildup inside.
  • Step 4: Turn everything off and make sure that all drains, faucets, and doors are closed.
  • TIP: Add some protection by getting an RV cover, which covers the wheels as well.
  • FACT: German manufacturer Volkner Mobil features a motor home model that fits a small car in a built-in "garage" underneath the RV.
  • Step 5: Read any directions regarding winterizing of appliances in your RV in the owner's manual. Lock up and close up shop for a relaxing winter season.
  • TIP: Don't forget to turn on both the hot and cold faucets when running antifreeze through the water system.
  • Step 6: Turn on the faucets one at a time, until antifreeze flows freely, and then shut it off. Replace the bottle of antifreeze as needed.
  • Step 7: Drain the water heater after it has cooled by removing the drain plug and opening the pressure release valve.
  • TIP: You may want to brush out the gray and black tanks if you do not have a built-in tank flushing system.
  • Step 8: Drain the freshwater, gray water, and black holding tanks at a dumping station. Flush the gray and blank tanks with a bit of liquid dish soap and water.
  • Step 9: Open all of the water valves, including the hot and cold faucets, shower, outside shower, and toilet. Turn off the water pump as soon as the system is drained.
  • Step 10: Turn off all of the faucets and recap each drain.
  • Step 11: Disconnect the inlet side of the water pump and attach a clear plastic tubing at the inlet. Put the other end of the tube into a gallon of antifreeze. Turn the water pump back on to pressurize the water system.
  • Step 12: Install a bypass kit to the water heater to avoid backflow of antifreeze later.
  • Step 13: Remove any inline water filters you have and bypass them with a bypass kit.

Popular Categories