How to Winterize Your RV

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Winterizing Your RV

As you know it is important to have your RV winterized after each camping season, along with checking specific items such as the roof.  Regular RV maintenance helps to keep the value of the RV and to ensure it works properly for the spring.

If you choose to winterize your RV, below are a few steps that are important to follow.

Otherwise, please book an appointment at: or 780.438.2008

  1. Drain your fresh water holding tank.
  2. Drain the gray and black holding tanks and flush the black tank. Open all low points
  3. Drain the water heater.
    1. Turn off the water heater, LP gas and water pump. Turn off the city water supply if you are hooked up to it.
    2. Run the hot water inside the RV unit until it runs cold. This is to ensure that the water inside the water heater is at a safe, workable temperature. Go outside of the RV and open the door to the water heater.
    3. Open the pressure valve on the top of the water heater. Use a 1 1/16” socket wrench to loosen the drain plug at the bottom of the water heater. On suburban brand water heaters, the plug is also an anodized rod. Remove the rod. Water will run out.
    4. Wait until no more water runs out of the hot water heater. When the tank is empty, replace the rod or install a new anodized rod. Close the pressure release valve. Rinse off the area with a garden hose to remove any debris that came out of the RV water heater. Close the panel door.
  4. Open all hot and cold faucets. (Including outside shower and sink.)

Note: You will only get about 80% of water out of the lines this way.

  1. Open low point drains and let all water drain from the system. (You could at this point blowout your lines with air as well to help this process.)
  2. Recap all drains and close all faucets.
  3. Locate valve to bypass water heater and put in bypass position, the handle should be perpendicular to line. These valves only make a quarter turn in one direction.

Note: MUST bypass water heater and clothes washer if you have one installed in your unit.

  1. Locate sticker for Antifreeze Inlet.
  2. You are ready to pump antifreeze. You will just need to move the bypass valve so it pumps from antifreeze container instead of fresh water tank, and stick the end of the extra tubing into a one gallon container of RV antifreeze.
  3. Turn the water pump on and pressurize the system. Starting with the furthest faucet, slowly open the hot and then the cold valves until antifreeze is coming out. (Don’t open both hot and cold at the same time.) Replace antifreeze container as required.
  4. Repeat this on all faucets from the furthest from the pump and work your way towards. Don’t forget the outside shower and sink.
  5. Flush toilet until you see antifreeze in bowl,
  6. Turn the water pump off and open a faucet to release the pressure. Go outside to the city water inlet. Remove the small screen over the inlet and push in on the valve with a small screwdriver until you see antifreeze. Replace the screen.
  7. Pour a cupful of antifreeze down each drain. Pour a couple of cups in the toilet and flush into the holding tank.
  8. Make sure all faucets are closed and clean up any excess antifreeze in sinks and shower to prevent staining. You are done! Your unit is winterized 😊

Warning: Do not use automotive antifreeze, it is toxic and not meant for potable sources.

Note: Do not attempt to use the plumbing systems or water heater after winterization is complete.


If you need any assistance or would like to book an appointment,

Contact Us: or780.438.2008

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