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Winterizing your RV Plumbing

Your RV is a big investment, and an important part of your lifestyle, we understand. Here at Ryan’s RV Town, we also understand that for those who aren’t used to it, the routine maintenance on your RV can seem intimidating. We’ve made a quick list of things you need to do when winterizing your RV to get you on the right track. Before you start winterizing, don’t be afraid to stop by and see us at Ryan’s RV Town to get help, advice, or supplies for your next round of RV maintenance and service! Our dealership proudly serves the areas of Seattle, Tacoma, Bellingham, Vancouver, and Everett, Washington!

Drain it All Out

The first step to winterizing your RV is to get all of the water out of your plumbing, or at least as much as possible. Remove your inline water filters if you have any installed, empty out your fresh water tank, and then dump your grey and black water tanks. If you’ve got an RV with a black tank flush use that to clean it out, otherwise, clean your black tank with a wand. You’ll want to drain your water heater as well, but make sure it’s not hot or pressurized before emptying, open your pressure relief valve and pull your drain plug.

Now that you’ve drained your tanks, you’ve got to finish getting the water out of the pipes and appliances. Open all of the facets, including the toilet, and the outside shower if you have one. Next you’ll open the low point water drain lines and use a water pump to suck out any remaining water. (While using the pump, keep an eye out to make sure that you’re not pumping out air, which can burn out your water pump. Once you’ve got all of the pipes cleared out, cap the drains and close all of your faucets back up.

Antifreeze Prep

Next you’ll get your RV ready to pump in antifreeze. If you’ve got a water heater bypass you’re almost there, if not, you’ll certainly want to install one. Without a water heater bypass you’re going to have to fill the entire water heater before your antifreeze begins to reach the rest of your plumbing, which is pretty wasteful.

You’ll also need to install a water pump converter kit to pump the antifreeze directly into your plumping. Another option is to disconnect the intake side of the water pump and hook the inlet tubing into a one gallon jug of your antifreeze.

Antifreeze distribution

Now you’ll turn on the pump. Starting with the faucet that’s closest to your water pump, open the faucets of your RV one by one (both hot and cold valves) until you see the red antifreeze begin to come out, then close the valve and move to the next. This may take several containers worth of antifreeze.

Flush the toilet until you see antifreeze, and then pour a cup of antifreeze down every drain, and down the toilet (followed by a quick flush). This will prevent any water left in your pipes or holding tanks from freezing. Do one last check to make sure that all of your faucets are close. Some appliances, such as washing machines, have particular winterization procedures that need to be followed. Consult your owner’s manual for these specific pieces of your RV.

RV Winterization Supplies, Parts, and Service in Washington

Every RV is different, but this quick guide should at least get you started when you go out to winterize your RV this year. If you have questions, or need some supplies to get started, come in and see us at Ryan’s RV Town and we’ll be happy to help you protect your investment! Ryan’s RV Town serves the areas of Tacoma, Seattle, Everett, Bellingham, and Vancouver, Washington, so come in and see us for any of your RV parts, maintenance, and service needs!

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