How to Dewinterize Your RV
As the sun starts setting later and the nights consider getting warm, people start itching for the first RV trip of the year. After several months of miserable weather, this trip can be the highlight of the spring. But it’s important that you properly prepare your RV for the active season so that you don’t get bogged down by problems that occurred while it was in storage. We here at Crabtree RV Center in Fayetteville, Arkansas created this brief guide to show you how to take a winterized RV and get it in ship-shape for your first trip.
If your RV has been sitting all winter long, the first thing you’ll want to do is open it up, air it out, and take stock of anything that could have happened during its dormant time. If you plugged up any vents or exterior holes, unplug them. Open up the awning and check for mold or mildew. Open up the slide outs and make sure the slides are well lubricated. Open all the windows and check the seals, making sure they aren’t dry, cracked, or damaged. Look under your RV for dark spots or signs of any leaks. Check your tires to make sure they have correct air pressure. Let your RV sit with the windows open for enough time to air out any musty smell that may have built up over the winter. Keeping a can of spray lubricant handy will make it easy to hit any locks, hinges, and latches with lube as you pass by.
Prepare Water System
Once you’ve got your camper opened up and aired out, it’s time to prepare the water system. If you winterized your RV correctly, it probably is full of non-toxic anti-freeze. This prevents pipes from freezing and keeps pumps from getting locked up. You’ll want to connect a freshwater supply to your RV, then start opening your faucets to purge them of anti-freeze individually. Do one faucet at a time, turning on the hot water tap and then the cold water tap until both are completely free of anti-freeze. Do this through all your faucets. Once you’ve purged all the anti-freeze from you trailer, add some bleach to your water system. About ¼ cup of bleach per fifteen gallons of water should do the trick. Pour the bleach into the freshwater tank and then turn on your faucets until you smell bleach. Turn them off and let it sit overnight, then flush the tank with fresh water again.
When your first trip of the year arrives, you’ll want to reinstall your batteries and propane. First, reinstall your RV batteries. Then, reinstall the smoke detector batteries and the batteries to any flashlights, alarm clocks, or other accessories that require batteries. If your RV as removable DOT propane containers, get them filled and reinstall them. If you have ASME tanks, make a trip to the filling station before you head out.
Go through your appliances and accessories one by one and test them to make sure they work. Turn on your furnace and refrigerator and your stove. Then check your smoke alarm and flashlights. Make sure all the batteries have a strong charge, and make sure the propane systems are all in working order. If you find anything in your propane system that seems suspicious, make sure to take your RV to a technician to have it looked at. Don’t risk starting a fire or not having functioning appliances.
Once you’ve opened your RV up, inspected every corner, and tested every system, you’ll feel confident that your RV is ready to go. If you find any problems, make sure to consult trained technicians who can take care of your problems before they become catastrophes.
The team at Crabtree RV Center wants to make sure you can get back on the road as soon as possible. If you live in Fayetteville, Russellville, Fort Smith, or Van Buren, Arkansas, stop by our showroom and service center. We’ll get your RV ready for the first trip of the year in no time.