De-Winterizing Your RV

Memorial Day Weekend is less than a month away and all RV owners need to start thinking about De-Winterizing their rigs.

De-Winterizing your RV can be a daunting task. Our Service Department can De-Winterize your RV for you, giving you peace-of-mind when you take your RV out for the first time this Spring. We’ve also taken the time to give you the main steps to De-Winterizing your RV yourself – WARNING: Before you do it yourself, please be cautious and follow all guidelines from the Manufacturer and agreements on your warranty (if you have a warranty).

Steps to De-Winterizing your RV

  • Remove any covers that you put on for storage.
  • Check all tires for inflation pressure.
  • Replace the plug-in your low point drains and water heater
  • Check the water heater, refrigerator and any storage compartments for any critters.
  • If you removed your batteries, top off the water and give them a good charge, then re-install them. Pay careful attention to positives and negatives!
  • Interior Inspection – look for leaks and discolorations on the ceiling, walls and floors. Also look for anything unusual, like holes, broken glass, etc.
  • Exterior Inspection – Look for holes, leaks and anything that looks out-of-place or unusual.
  • If you have a travel trailer, fifth wheel or toy hauler, check all of the hitch components. Clean off any old grease and re-lubricate the hitch components with new grease to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Replace anything that looks damaged or questionable. Once your hitch is ready, hook up your rig and plug it in. Check your brake lights, tail lights and manually check your brakes.
  • If you have a Motorhome, look under the hood for critters. Also check the fluid levels, wiring and that the engine looks normal. Once you have check everything under the hood and the battery is connected, fire up the engine. Check the headlights, brake lights, turn signals and running lights. Once your Motorhome is warmed up, take it for a drive around the neighborhood. Listen for any noises or squeaks that might happen during the drive. It is also a good idea to take your Motorhome into a shop that specializes in Motorhomes just to make sure everything is working properly, including the engine!
  • Propane Check: To check for any leaks in your propane pipes, turn on the main propane supply valve. Grab a spray bottle of soapy water and carefully spray a bit of soapy water on each and every fitting. To indicate a leak, watch for soap bubbles forming at connections. Wipe excess soapy water off with a paper towel as you go. Always remember to use your nose to help you detect a gas leak. If you do find a gas leak, turn off the main propane valve immediately.
  • Plumbing System:  You need to flush out the plumbing system with fresh water, getting all of the antifreeze out of the system. The best, environmentally friendly way to do this, it to take your RV to a water and sewer hook-up area where you can flush the chemicals down the right type of drains. As you are flushing out the plumbing system, run your water pump and open each faucet in your RV (one at a time), allowing the water to flow for a minute or so. Make sure to let the water flow until all of the antifreeze color is out of the system and the water turns clear. Don’t forget to run the water in your toilet and shower to clear out all the antifreeze in those pipes too. Remember to also open your gray water dump valve. Make sure to run enough water through the system to flush out all of the antifreeze. Be sure not to un-bypass the water heater until you’ve flushed all the lines.
  • To put your bypassed water heater back in service, reset the valves for normal operation and make sure that the drain plug is in or that the drain valve is closed (if water is running down the side, the drain plug maybe still be out of the heater). To make sure there are no leaks in your water heater system and that it is running properly, run the water pump and turn on the hot water at one of your faucets. Once the water heater tank is full and turns on, shut all the faucets off and wait until the pump turns off. Listen to make sure the pump does not cycle again. If the pump cycles on and off repeatedly, it may indicate a leak somewhere in your fresh water plumbing system. If you do suspect a leak, take a flashlight and check all of the plumbing pipes you can visually see (check under sinks, in cupboards, storage compartments, etc for drips). Make sure to fix any leaks before continuing.

As always, if you have any questions about De-Winterizing your RV, please come see our Service Department at Bish’s RV. If this list seems too complicated or daunting, please drop off your RV to us. We’d love to do it for you!

Service Department Numbers:
Boise: 208-343-6203
Idaho Falls: 208-529-4386
Nampa: 208-888-1111
Pocatello: 208-232-4386
Twin Falls: 208-293-9100

**The information for this post was taken from Camping w/Chris “De-Winterizing Your RV.”

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About bishsrv

Bish’s RV Super Center is dedicated to provide quality products and services that exceed the expectations of our customers, and to create an atmosphere where our customers can enjoy a positive experience as friends of our family business. When Bish's RV first opened its doors in Idaho Falls 17 years ago, we had no intention of evolving into the largest RV dealer in the State of Idaho. Rather, it was owner Tadd Jenkins' goal to incorporate the same ideals that had been instilled in him by his family since he was a small boy. Among these were honesty when dealing with others, treating others like you would want to be treated, and always be available to provide service when it is needed.
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