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Is your RV Ready for winter?

| Updated Jun 20, 2023

With winter and cold weather now a reality for many who live in northern states and Canada, its time to make sure your RV is ready for winter.

There are lots of different approaches.

I've used three different methods in our six years of Roadtreking.

The one I now use is discussed in the first video below. Beneath that, are videos demonstrating two other ways. And beneath those videos, we have a little bonus tip on how to keep things warm inside your RV when camping in the winter.

I just did a YouTube Live video on this, covering in detail the steps you need to take to winterize your RV. We discussed several methods and the one I use now, which involves putting RV antifreeze right in the fresh water tanks and then circulating it through the plumbing system.

I also talk about using your RV in the winter, cold weather camping, driving in snow and more.

Here's a recording of that live video.

That's one way.

Here's another. This is a step-by-step video on the winterizing process I used on my previous RV. It was recommended by a local RV dealer and uses a blow out plug and a winterizing kit. You can use a bicycle pump to push air through the plumbing to get out any excess water. This is not the process I use these days. Roadtreking says it's not needed, as once antifreeze goes through the plumbing, any water in there will not freeze. The inexpensive winterizing kit (available through RV stores) is an effective way to run antifreeze through the system, though in my current RV, the fresh water tank approach is equally effective. These days, as I noted above and in the YouTube Live video, I just put antifreeze in the fresh water tank and then turn on the faucets to circulate it through the entire plumbing system. But the approach below works as well.

There are lots of different ways to do this. Here's a very detailed video on the way many RV dealers winterize at RV. If you have an anode rod on your RV's water heater. This shows how to remove it and drain the hot water heater, as well as winterizing the whole coach. One note: The process of de-winterizing in the spring and removing the antifreeze from the fresh water tank is very simple.  And it is not a problem at all to remove the taste of the antifreeze from the system.

Here's a DIY video about insulating the windows with Refectix to keep the heat inside while you are using it in cold weather.

Remember, every RV manufacturer has it's own special instructions. If in doubt, check with your dealer or the manufacturer and ask for winterizing instructions.

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Mike Wendland

Published on 2017-11-18

Mike Wendland is a multiple Emmy-award-winning Journalist, Podcaster, YouTuber, and Blogger, who has traveled with his wife, Jennifer, all over North America in an RV, sharing adventures and reviewing RV, Camping, Outdoor, Travel and Tech Gear for the past 12 years. They are leading industry experts in RV living and have written 18 travel books.

2 Responses to “Is your RV Ready for winter?”

November 20, 2017at8:08 am, Robert Koppenaal said:

Hey Mike. Love your site. I have a question about winterizing. When you add your 3 gallons of RV antifreeze to the fresh water tank. Do you drain the hot water heater and switch the bypass valves so no antifreeze goes into the hot water tank. I have a 2004 Class A Georgetown. Thanks

November 18, 2017at10:37 am, rhiebert said:

If quality synthetic lubricants are not in the engine and transmission, etc. your R.V. is not ready for winter. Superior protection from premature wear, down-time, easier starting and reduced operation and maintenance are the reason for making the change from petroleum-based products.

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