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5 Mistakes to Avoid When Winterizing Your RV

If you’re getting ready to store your RV for the winter and you live in a cold climate, there are certain things you need to do to winterize your rig to avoid problems down the road. And since the last thing you want to do is winterize your RV the wrong way, we asked an expert, Tim Hulett, for his advice on common mistakes to avoid. He and his wife Tracy own Sourdough Campground in Tok, Alaska and Mohave RV & Marine in Fort Mohave, Ariz., so they know a lot about RVs.

Here are five common mistakes to avoid:

Mistake #1 – Pouring antifreeze into the fresh water tank

Instead, Hulett recommends going to your RV dealer and purchasing a three-way valve so you can bypass the freshwater tank completely to eliminate the risk of getting antifreeze in your water system.

Mistake #2 – Failing to completely drain the hot water heater tank

According to Hulett, simply pulling the drain plug isn’t enough get the job done. You also need to open the pressure pop-off valve. Otherwise, the tank won’t drain completely and the remaining water will freeze, which can cause damage. As with your fresh water tank, you can also purchase a bypass kit from your RV dealer to make sure you don’t get antifreeze in your hot water heater tank.

Mistake #3 – Forgetting to winterize the sinks

Many RV owners forget to pour antifreeze down their kitchen and bathroom sinks, which means any water remaining in the p-traps (the curved section of piping underneath the sinks) can freeze and cause problems.

Mistake #4 – Using too much antifreeze

Naturally, you want to use enough to get the job done, but Hulett says that a common mistake RV owners make is to use too much antifreeze. He says that two gallons should be enough, regardless of the size of your rig.

Mistake #5 – Failing to treat the grey and black water tanks

If you’re getting ready to store your RV for the winter and the freezing temperatures in your area haven’t hit yet, Hulett advises filling your grey (sink and shower) and black (toilet) water tanks with fresh water, adding your usual chemicals, and letting them sit for a week or more before draining them. This will help rid the tanks of any leftover matter so you can avoid encountering strong odors when you open up again in the spring.

 

Once winter is over, Hulett recommends that you have the back of your refrigerator serviced (dust accumulation can impair its efficiency) and also have your air conditioning system, furnace and hot water heater checked out. Also, be sure to check your tires. Even if they were in good condition when you put your RV into storage, having them sit idle for a number of months can be hard on them.

By following these simple tips, you’ll be better prepared for your spring and summer road trips. To make your planning easier, go to GoCampingAmerica.com where you’ll find plenty of great RV parks and campgrounds to explore.