tips for moving in winter weather

De-Winterizing Your RV Water System After Winter Storage

Before winter hit, you took the time to winterize your RV before storing it away for the season. But, do you know how to de-winterize the water system in your RV before taking it out for your first RV adventure of the season?

Why do you have to de-winterize the water system in your RV?

Think about it this way – there is absolutely no way to get every last drop of water out of the water lines and holding tanks, so that water has been sitting in the system for several months. Do you want to drink the water that has sat in your system for that amount of time? No way! That would just be gross!

How do you de-winterize the water system?

Most RV owners use RV antifreeze that is non-toxic to winterize their RVs. The only other option is to blow out the water system with extreme air pressure. If you used antifreeze, you must first drain the antifreeze out of the system. Although the antifreeze is considered to be non-toxic, you should still catch the antifreeze in a garbage can instead of letting it drain onto the ground.

Tip: Don't forget to drain the antifreeze that is in the hot water heater.

Once the antifreeze has been drained, close all of the drains, fill the fresh water holding tank, switch the water pump on and turn on all the faucets in the RV. Allow the water to run through the system until the tank has been emptied.

Connect your water source to the external water connect and turn on the water. Turn on all the faucets once more to allow the water to run through the system for several minutes. Don't forget to flush the shower lines and outdoor water fixtures as well. Flush the toilet a few times and examine the entire system for any leaks that may have sprung over the winter.

If you find any leaks, turn off all of the water immediately and make all necessary repairs. Do not put off making these repairs for another day, because it is too easy for tasks like this to slip your mind and cause a lot of water damage to the RV.

Don't forget the black water holding tank! All of the water you have been running through the system is likely being held in the tank, so drain it as you normally would. Watch the water as it flows out of the tank. If it appears dark and discolored, fill the tank once more and drain it to flush out any remaining contaminants from the tank.

How do you sanitize the water system?

Before drinking or cooking with any water in your RV, sanitize the water lines. This is done by adding 1/3 cup of bleach with every five gallons of water it takes to fill your water holding tank. Allow the mixture to set in the tank for a day. Turn on the pump and all of the water fixtures and flush the lines with the mixture. Once the tank has been emptied, fill it once more with clean water and continue to flush the lines until it is emptied.

After completing the above steps, your water system is ready for use. Just remember, don't de-winterize your RV too early after storage or you could suffer the damage caused by early spring freezes. 


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